Monday, 5 July 2010

Marvin Gaye - an appreciation

I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye is three minutes and a bit of pure magic. When I first heard the song I thought it was the finest recording of popular music ever and nothing has come along in the intervening 42 years to cause me to change my mind.
With songs like Grapevine and later What's Going On and Sexual Healing, Gaye brought a deeper dimension to soul music that was truly spiritual.
Gaye's life was beset by demons some of his own making and there is an inevitability about the shooting by his own father when he was 44 years old.
The death of duet partner Tammi Terrell seems to have prompted his decline. She collapsed in his arms on stage at the height of their success. Terrell was suffering from the brain tumour that led to her death several years later at just 24.
The two were not lovers but the delight they took in each other's presence is clear from the video of Ain't No Mountain High Enough which accompanies this post.
Today's crop of duet performances - often a girl singer with a male rap artist - look as though the two never met before they took to the stage.
Gaye and Terrell glow with fun and life made all the more poignant, as you watch, by the tragedies to come.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, GC, Marvin was and is truly a late great, says Jaffa.

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