One of the most iconic singers of his generation, Marvin Gaye, “The Prince of Motown,” would have been 76 years old on April 2 of this year. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, Gaye was cited for his “huge contribution to soul music in general and the Motown Sound in particular…[his] classic R&B voice was edged with grit yet tempered with sweetness…[projecting] an air of soulful authority driven by fervid conviction and heartbroken vulnerability.”
Universal Music Enterprises and Motown Records celebrate that legacy with a reissue roll-out over the next three months leading up to his birthday and beyond: two classic albums, a new digital single, a 7″ vinyl single and a comprehensive, seven-LP collection. That includes a vinyl version of his 1972 Trouble Man soundtrack (February 10); two rare cuts from 1972, “Where Are We Going” and “Woman Of The World,” that were first released only as a vinyl 12″ last year, when it was mixed by the original co-producer Larry Mizell, now available as a digital single for the first time (March 31); a Blu-Ray Audio, 96k/24-bit release of his 1973 chart-topping album, Let’s Get It On (April 28); and a special limited edition double A-sided 7″ vinyl single of his 1965 hit, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” b/w “Once Upon A Time” with Mary Wells (April 14), when he will be honored as Motown’s iTunes Artist of the Month. In addition, a seven-album 180g vinyl box set, Marvin Gaye 1961-1965, covering the first seven albums of his remarkable career, will be released May 19th.
Let’s Get It On was first released on August 28, 1973, recorded both in Detroit and Los Angeles. The album, with its combination of funk and romance, established Gaye as a romantic icon, producing three hit singles: the chart-topping title track – named by Vibe magazine as the No. 1 love songs of all time – as well as “Come Get to This” and the frisky, explicit “You Sure Love to Ball.” The album peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, charting for a total of 61 weeks; it was No. 1 for 11 weeks on the Soul LPs charts. The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004 and was one of three Gaye albums on Rolling Stone‘s 2003 list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” With a 5.1 Surround mix supervised by the album’s original engineer, this will be the first time it’s available in digital Blu-ray audio.