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Midnight Love & The Sexual Healing Sessions

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Album Review

After a series of business and personal upheavals as well as a couple of artistically satisfying but commercially disappointing albums, Marvin Gaye scored a final triumph with Midnight Love on which he embraced dancefloor rhythms derived from Rick James, horn charts that echoed Earth, Wind & Fire, and the kind of loverman lyrics he himself had pioneered on earlier hits such as "Let's Get It On." The breakthrough track was his last major hit, "Sexual Healing," a relaxed groove tune with burbling percussion, doo wop backup vocals, and a new twist on the old romantic come-on. But the album as a whole made Gaye's case as a contemporary R&B artist. Then he was gone. This reissue compilation contains the entire Midnight Love album on the first disc, followed by a full 74-minute disc of previously unreleased work tapes and alternate takes of most of the album's songs, among them four versions of "Sexual Healing." Since Gaye developed the tracks himself, playing keyboards and percussion, the alternates illuminate his creative process, but they contain no real revelations and will be of interest primarily to Gaye fans and hip-hop musicians searching for samples. Everybody else can stick with the original album.


Born: 02 April 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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