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What's Going On

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iTunes Review

A deeply felt collection of early-’70s soul, What’s Going On is a current-events chronicle that could get by on its burbling groove alone. The title track, “What’s Happening Brother,” and “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” are laden collages of supple post-funk rhythms and despairing urban mood that barely even need words to get their message across. Yet the lyrics match the music: The “picket lines and picket signs,” “trigger-happy policing,” poison wind, collapsing ghettos, and boys sent off to die are just a few of the details in these timeless portraits.

Customer Reviews

Marvin Gaye: whats going on

Amazing album to simply just relax and kick back. This is in my top 10 albums of all time!!

What's Going On

Hailed as one of the best albums ever, this is a true classic. Similarly to Curtis Mayfield, by 1971 Marvin Gaye had moved from singing love songs and dance numbers to creating songs of social commentary. This album touches on subjects such as war, poverty, drug addiction and pollution, yet it still manages to have positive and uplifting moments. Musically it's very consistent. Most of the songs sound similar, and flow into to each other seamlessly. The backing tracks have a mellow, jazzy feel which complements Marvin's sweet, smooth tone. Three of the songs What's Going On, Mercy Mercy Me, and Inner City Blues have become classics and are included on most Marvin Gaye compilations. A high point, however, is the second song on the album, What Happening. It is sung from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran returning to his neighborhood, and wondering what he has missed. It's a great example of how the lyrics make you think, but the music makes you feel.

Emotional Album

Always has an effect on me when I listen to this beautiful album. A great artist was taken away from us way too soon but he left us with albums such as this one. I could listen to this all day.


Born: April 02, 1939 in Washington D.C.

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

One of the most gifted, visionary, and enduring talents ever launched into orbit by the Motown hit machine, Marvin Gaye blazed the trail for the continued evolution of popular black music. Moving from lean, powerful R&B to stylish, sophisticated soul to finally arrive at an intensely political and personal form of artistic self-expression, his work not only redefined soul music as a creative force but also expanded its impact as an agent for social change. Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (in the style of...
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