The term musical genius is often and lightly overused these days particularly by record company promotion men. But it is a label that I would definitely attach to soul legend Marvin Gaye who died on this day 28 years ago in 1984.
You could say that Marvin Gaye came from what might be described as the golden age of popular music which could be anywhere from the late 1950's which saw the birth of popular youth culture as well as Rock n' Roll, leading right up to the early 1990's.
In fact when I look over my entire music collection I would say that 75% of it comes from that golden age except for my Jazz and Swing collection which comes from an even earlier period.
Sometimes on Saturdays I'll often listen to the vintage chart show around lunchtime on Radio 2 hosted by Tony Blackburn. And just last week he played the chart from 1969. And topping that chart was none other than Marvin Gaye with the classic Motown tune 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine.'
And yet when the names of other artists from the charts from that great period are read out, the list is like a who's who of Pop and Rock's music hall of fame with names like The Beatles, Elvis, The Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel and other legends from the stable of Motown like Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross. The list goes on.
If you asked any Marvin Gaye fan what their favourite album is I'm sure that most would agree that 'What's Going On' is his finest work. Yet the album I find myself constantly listening to is 'I Want You.' It's so incredibly soothing and sexy and more about love and romance rather than an album that makes social and political statements like other Marvin Gaye songs. I could easily listen to it every day and it would never lose it's appeal.
Further down below is a video featuring the song 'Trouble Man.' I'd never really heard this one until I saw it featured as the theme song for the Mark Walberg film 'Four Brothers.'
And it's around 1:37 minutes into the song that Marvin Gaye lets out a spine tingling cry for help that never fails to send shivers down the back of my neck. A great song by a truly great artist.