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Marvin Gaye - Here, My Dear

2009-04-28 10:27
Here, My Dear

But what was a bankrupt soul singer supposed to do when he couldn't afford to pay his alimony? Well, banking on the previous commercial success of What's Going On (1971) and Let's Get It On (1973) Gaye's lawyer convinced the judge that signing over his hypothetical royalties over to Anna would solve his cash flow crisis.

The method in such monetary madness was simple: Marvin would knock off an album's worth of schmaltzy soul ballads and move on with his life. Thing is Marvin just couldn't write rubbish R&B love jams anymore. Sure he began by knocking up some "Sexual Healing" styled B-grade love ballads but the cheese soon melted. Instead of chart-topping bumps 'n grinds we get jilted doo-wop jibes about child custody (the title track), acrimonious alimony kiss offs ("You Can Leave but it's Going to Cost You") and bitterly twisted confessionals set to a bummed out jazz soundtrack ("When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You" and "Anger"). 

What makes Here, My Dear so timeless is that there isn't a sappy broken-hearted soul ballad in sight. "I Met a Little Girl" and "Anna's Song" are gentle, mournful meditations on those lost magic moments: falling in love and playing with the kids. And listening to the cosmic funk fuelling his reconicliation single fantasy, "A Funky Space Reincarnation" it's impossible not to hear that he obviously once had some serious hots for Anna.

So, nope, this isn't love as heaven or hell. This is love as limbo, an epic battle of the sexes where romance and infidelity are autopsied, but closure is never the name of the game. While the disco-era's hedonism pretty much guaranteed the record bombed back in the late 70s, three decades later Here, My Dear shows that Marvin Gaye was one of soul's few fractured Romeos who could turn personal failure into timeless art.

Back in the 1970s there was one record industry mogul you just never messed with: Motown founder and CEO Berry Gordy. So when Marvin Gaye got bust cheating on his wife – who just happened to be Gordy's little sister, Anna - he knew he was in deep trouble.

What to read next: Kalahari

sa 2009/05/05 10:12 AM
its a shame, but they say it takes 2 to tango, also law should protect both parties and allow 50/50 split in all assests, life is to short and to be so hungry for revenge is not gut, life is like a full circle and it will come back to you.....
wendy morland 2009/06/18 11:05 AM
Your music quizes are just fantastic. We need more please.
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