October 30: “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” Was Released By Marvin Gaye in 1967

I Heard It Through the Grapevine” isn’t a plea to save a love affair; it’s Marvin Gaye’s essay on salvaging the human spirit. The record distills four hundred years of paranoia and talking drum gossip into three minutes and fifteen seconds of anguished soul-searching.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock & Soul)

 

Wikipedia:

Released October 30, 1968
Recorded April 10, 1967
Hitsville USA (Studio A), (Detroit, Michigan)
Genre Psychedelic soul
Length 3:16
Label Tamla
Writer(s) Norman Whitfield
Barrett Strong
Producer Norman Whitfield

I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966, and made famous by Marvin Gaye in a single released in October 1968 on Motown’s Tamla label.

Originally recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles in 1966, that version was rejected by Motown owner Berry Gordy, who told Whitfield and Strong to make it stronger. After recording the song with Marvin Gaye in 1967, which Gordy also rejected, Whitfield produced a version with Gladys Knight & the Pips, which Gordy agreed to release as a single in September 1967, and which went to number two in the Billboard chart. The Marvin Gaye version was placed on his 1968 album In the Groove, where it gained the attention of radio disc jockeys, and Gordy finally agreed to its release as a single in October 1968, when it went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969 and became for a time the biggest hit single on the Motown label. The Gaye recording has since become acclaimed a soul classic:

  • in 2004, it was placed on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • On the commemorative 50th Anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 issue of Billboard magazine in June 2008, Marvin Gaye’s “Grapevine” was ranked 65th
  • It was also inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic and significant” value

Marvin gaye I Heard It Through The Grapevine2

Live at Montreux, 1980:

Whitfield recorded the song with Marvin Gaye over five sessions, the first on February 3, 1967, and the final one on April 10, 1967. Recordings of this version took more than a month due to Whitfield overdubbing Gaye’s vocals with that of the Andantes’ background vocals, mixing in several tracks featuring the Funk Brothers on the rhythm track, and adding the string section from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with an arrangement by Paul Riser. The session featuring Gaye led to an argument between the producer and singer. Whitfield wanted Gaye to perform the song in a higher key than his normal range, a move that had worked on David Ruffin during the recording of the Temptations’ hit, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”. The mixture of Gaye’s raspy vocals and the Andantes’ sweeter harmonies, made Whitfield confident that he had a hit; however, despite approval from Motown’s Quality Control Department, Gordy blocked the release.

norman whitfieldNorman Whitfield

Personnel

  • Lead vocals by Marvin Gaye
  • Background vocals by The Andantes: Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow and Louvain Demps
  • Instrumentation by the Funk Brothers and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
    • Organ by Earl Van Dyke
    • Drums by Richard “Pistol” Allen
    • String arrangement by Paul Riser

-Egil

1971: 30 Songs Released in 1971 You Must Hear





My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

Heaps of wonderful music was released in 1971, here are my 30 chosen songs.

    • Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones

      A song by The Rolling Stones from their 1971 album Sticky Fingers, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Rolling Stone ranked it at No. 334 in its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list in 2004.

      Childhood living is easy to do
      The things you wanted I bought them for you
      Graceless lady you know who I am
      You know I can’t let you slide through my hands




      Continue reading “1971: 30 Songs Released in 1971 You Must Hear”

August 28: Marvin Gaye released “Let’s Get It On” in 1973

Post-Al Green What’s Going On, which means it’s about fucking rather than the human condition, thank the wholly holey. Gaye is still basically a singles artist, and the title track, as much a masterpiece as “Inner City Blues,” dominates in a way “I’m Still in Love with You,” say, doesn’t. Then again, it’s an even better song, and this album prolongs its seductive groove to an appropriate thirty minutes plus
~Robert Christgau (Consumer Guide Reviews)

On this album, Gaye meditated on the gap between sex and love and how to reconcile them – an adult version of the Motown tunes he had built his career on. It’s some of the most gorgeous music he ever made, resplendent with sweet strings and his clear-throated crooning.
~rollingstone.com

Let’s Get It On:

Continue reading “August 28: Marvin Gaye released “Let’s Get It On” in 1973″

1973: 20 songs released in 1973 you must hear




The Year 1973 summary

  • Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark enter European Economic Community (Jan. 1)
  • A ceasefire is signed, ending involvement of American ground troops in the Vietnam War. (Jan. 28)
  • US bombing of Cambodia ends, marking official halt to 12 years of combat activity in Southeast Asia (Aug. 15)
  • Fourth and largest Arab-Israeli conflict begins when Egyptian and Syrian forces attack Israel as Jews mark Yom Kippur, holiest day in their calendar (Oct. 6). Egypt and Israel sign US-sponsored cease-fire accord (Nov. 11). Background: Arab-Israeli Wars
  • Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) hikes oil prices tremendously in retaliation for Western countries’ involvement in Yom Kippur War.
  • US Supreme Court rules on Roe v. Wade.
    ——
  • Movies: The Harder They Come, American Graffiti, The Exorcist, The Sting, Last Tango in Paris
  • Deaths: W.H. Auden, Pearl S. Buck, Betty Grable, Pablo Picasso & Lyndon Baines Johnson

Rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed (that’s another & more complicated list)
  • Max 20 songs

Here we go…

Continue reading “1973: 20 songs released in 1973 you must hear”