Photo: Jim Britt - Public Domain

Marvin Gaye’s 50th Anniversary Reissue

Including 18 never-before-released songs, Marvin Gaye‘s iconic 1973 album, ‘Let’s Get It On’, is getting a 50th anniversary digital reissue.

Arriving August 25, via Motown Records, the collection is comprised of 33 bonus tracks, including unreleased cuts recorded in 1974 for a full length that was never released but was re-made in 1997 and titled ‘Vulnerable’. 

The music milestone will be marked with a special event at the GRAMMY Museum on August 23, featuring Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Jam, and David Ritz, the biographer of ‘Divided Soul.’

In 2021, Warner Bros. acquired the rights to ‘What’s Going On,’ the Marvin Gaye biopic, to be directed/produced by Allen Hughes, alongside Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Andrew Lazar. 

In a formal statement to Deadline Hughes said:

“This is so personal for me.” “When I made my first film with my brother, we were fortunate to get ‘What’s Going On’ into the trailer for ‘Menace 2 Society’, and it was a game changer in elevating the marketing of that film.” “Every film of mine but the period film ‘From Hell’ had some Marvin Gaye in it, and I’ve just always connected to him.” “He’s the artist’s artist, with this ethereal voice that just comes out of the heavens.” “There have been plenty of great artists, and then Marvin, in his own lane.” “When you listen, in one measure you feel like you’ve read a novel.” “Such a rich inner life in that voice, heavenly but riddled with pain, the agony and ecstasy at the same time.” “When he gained his independence in the ’70s, with that album ‘What’s Going On’, then ‘Trouble Man’ and ‘Let’s Get It On’, ‘I Want You’ and his final masterpiece ‘Here, My Dear’, when it comes to vocal orchestrations and the way he layered his voice, he’s Mozart.” “You’ve heard of all these big-name directors that have tried for 35 years to consolidate these rights.” “This started with Dre, saying, ‘Let’s do this together,’ and then Jimmy came on, and Andrew Lazar, and we worked with the estate, with Motown and some other things that needed to be tied down, and we got it done.”

Needless to say, Gaye’s songs will be featured front and center in the movie as his estate and Motown are part of the project, with Marvin’s widow Jan Gaye serving as executive producer.

Gaye’s back catalogue contains such classics hits as ‘Sexual Healing’, ‘Ain’t That Peculiar’, ‘How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)’, and ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’. As well as showing how his repertoire was a huge part of popular culture for decades, the film will also touch on the life of women who influenced his career, and his relationship with his father. 

Following a string of failed attempts by others to bring his life story to the big screen, in 2018 it was revealed that Dre was making a movie about the iconic singer/songwriter. Gaye’s family confirmed just days later that talks were underway with the rapper, and his son Marvin Gaye III said at the time: “I love and highly respect Dr. Dre, and we are currently in talks about his participation in the film.”

One day prior to his 45th birthday, Marvin Gaye was murdered by his father in 1984.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Jim Britt – Public Domain