Marvin Gaye – 1978 – Here, My Dear

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Wonderful stuff – and one of our favorite-ever Marvin Gaye albums! This is the legendary two-record set that Marvin wrote and recorded as an alimony payment to his ex-wife Anna Gordy. Although the album was thought of as a no-brainer quickie at the time – and predicted to fail so that Anna wouldn’t get any cash from it -the record is an extremely well-crafted one, filled with extremely personal songs that also have a warm soulful finish, in the style of Marvin’s work on the LP I Want You (which is kind of a nice bookend to this one – as it was an extended love poem to the young girlfriend that caused him to split up with Anna!) Hard and soulful, the record’s a searing testimony to the relationship between Marvin and Anna, and a painful document of the troubles between them – set to some mellow grooves that are easily some of Marvin’s greatest of the 70s! The set’s filled with great “lost” Marvin Gay songs, too – like “Sparrow”, “When Did You Stop Loving Me”, “Anger”, “You Can Leave, But It’s Going To Cost You”, and “Time to Get it Together”. (Dusty Groove)

Tracks

A1   Here, My Dear (2:48)

A2   I Met A Little Girl (4:58)

A3   When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (6:11)

A4  Anger (3:58)

B1   Is That Enough (7:42)

B2   Everybody Needs Love (5:41)

B3   Time To Get It Together (3:51)

C1  Sparrow (6:06)

C2   Anna’s Song (5:49)

C3   When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (Instrumental) (5:59)

D1   A Funky Space Reincarnation (8:12)

D2   You Can Leave, But It’s Going To Cost You (5:27)

D3   Falling In Love Again (4:36)

D4   When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (Reprise) (0:40)

Review by Trakbuv

The man that was Marvin Gaye – like so many gifted icons – shrouded in pain, misunderstanding, and ultimately doubt.  Primarily lauded for his 3 landmark LPs – ‘What’s Going On’, ‘Let’s Get It On, and ‘I Want You’ – he consummated his genius in exemplary fashion with music that is the best that speakers can offer.  Yet beneath all of this artistic exuberance lay a world in tatters.  His marriage to Anna Gordy, Berry Gordy’s sister, had become a public sham, with him moving in with Janis Hunter in 1973, and having two children by her in the following 2 years.  His marriage to Anna in 1964 had apparently been problematic from the outset, with Marvin reflecting that their “union was not marked by undying fidelity”.  The parading of 2 extramarital offspring was too much for Anna to bear, and she filed for divorce in 1975.  However, settlement proved to be an untidy affair and eventually a compromise was reached where the advance on the next album, and an agreed sum of the first earnings from that album, would go to Anna.

To quote Marvin : “I figured I’d do a quickie record – nothing heavy. Why should I break my neck when Anna was going to wind up with the money anyway ? But the more I lived with the notion of doing an album for Anna, the more it fascinated me.  It became a compulsion, I had to free myself of Anna, and I saw this as the way”.  In his words, the album became a personal venting of what their marriage had represented : “I sang and sang until I drained myself of everything I’d lived through”.  It apparently took 3 months to record, but was held back for over a year : “I was afraid to let it go”, remarked Marvin.   In his struggle to convey his feelings on record, Marvin ended up playing all keyboard components to the album : “I didn’t plan it that way.  It just turned out to be a hands-on project.  I’d never written music so personal”.

Pain, love, suffering, joy – the album epitomises the word ‘bittersweet’.  However, the deeply personal tone of the album was met, unremarkably, with a very lukewarm response.  Its overtly extravagant, almost nauseating cover design probably didn’t help.  It only possessed one possible single, the marvellously infectious ‘A funky space reincarnation’ which did cause some excitement on the disco floor.  But how many ‘Best Of’ compilations contain tracks from this LP ?  No, this – more so than any of his others – was an ALBUM experience.  Its gentle, consuming pathos is perfectly sublimated in the opening bars – this is Marvin Gaye at his most melancholic.  ‘I met a little girl’ recalls their meeting – he a tender 20, she 17 years his senior – and their subsequent passage from joy to pain.  Probably the saddest song I’ve ever heard is crafted so preciously in ‘When did you stop loving me’ – there is unearthly genius beseeching us here.  My favourite Marvin Gaye track of all time.  “Anger” subtly captures the cacophony of its title, effortlessly, and that break – ‘I don’t want to be mad, I don’t want to be feeling bad’ – fantastic.  Another one of my all-time MG faves – ‘Is that enough’ – extraordinary production, delivery, aura – this is what they call a burner, a jazz cooker – his frustration winding up slowly over it’s mammoth near 8 minutes while never faltering for a single micro moment.  The positive softness of ‘Everybody needs love’, the funky infidelity of ‘Time to get it together’, and then the fragile sorrow of ‘Sparrow’ – the freeform sax drawing salty tears from the vinyl.  Awesome !  Then one of those heart stopping moments – when he screams ‘Anna’ – it never fails to draw breath – enchanting.  And yet another one of my all-time MG’s – the off the planet funk of ‘You can leave’ – spunky sparring, jabbing and jostling with fire – and spitting sexiness – it’s that word genius again, but off the scale !  And as a deliberate focus of optimism, the penultimate track points to the life’s cyclic trap : ‘Falling in love again’.

I heard this LP deep in my hormonal teens – it seemed to capture something that my body and soul was struggling with – a bitter sweetness that comes with confusion, doubt, and the threat of freedom and independence – something that maybe Marvin shared.  I leave the final words for Anna : “It’s taken me a while, but with passage of time I’ve come to appreciate every form of Marvin’s music, even songs written in anger.  In the end, you know, when he was very sick, he came to see me often.  We stayed close”.

In the end, true love has no rules.

————————

Marvin Gaye quotations courtesy of his biographer, David Ritz. This is a must have album for any serious Soul-Funk collection.

Let’s enjoy “Anger” while waiting for the album to download.

Thanks Trakbuv for a very sentimental review! This album is so overwhelmed with feelings (Love, pain, anger..). Feel free to share your feelings with us, along with your opinion about the album and post.

Buy the AlbumMarvin Gaye – 1978 – Here, My Dear

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Conversation for album: Marvin Gaye – 1978 – Here, My Dear

37 Comments
  • rich
    Posted at 20:46h, 24 April 2009 Reply

    what a great post cant wait to hear it many thnax nikos

  • Soulsister
    Posted at 02:24h, 25 April 2009 Reply

    Amazing album. Great write up!

  • Robert
    Posted at 04:53h, 25 April 2009 Reply

    wow!! I’m a big Marvin Gaye fan and I never heard of this record so big thanks to you guys for the upload and the excellent post.
    Big up!!!

  • Nuldo
    Posted at 12:18h, 25 April 2009 Reply

    Great post, this is one of my all time favorites. Easily the greatest intro on an album aswell!

  • Amanda
    Posted at 12:20h, 25 April 2009 Reply

    This LP has been in my collection for years and i still play it very often. The whole album is stunning but there are great moments like Marvin (THE VELVET VOICE) spelling and singing Anna’s name in the beginning of Anna’s song. One of his best tracks ever. Excellent post. Congratulations.

  • PEDRO
    Posted at 16:03h, 25 April 2009 Reply

    got most of hislps but not this one in fact never heard it as yet will enjoy thanks

  • Kevin
    Posted at 17:24h, 25 April 2009 Reply

    Truly one of his deepest works ever. I’ve yet to hear an artist put heartache of a broken marriage into words like this. And the musicians just jam all the way through this album. “Sparrow”, should’ve been a bona fide Marvin Gaye hit. To all I recommend this gem. Get it while the gettin’ is good. Or regret that you didn’t.

  • Graham
    Posted at 21:36h, 25 April 2009 Reply

    This album is almost up there with “What’s going on?” This was written from the heart and really, really shows the song writing ability of Marvin Gaye. Thanx Nikos and Trakbuv (terrific review)for making me listen to it once more and have my digital copy (great rip must be from cd).

  • eevert
    Posted at 22:32h, 25 April 2009 Reply

    Thank you for a superb blog.
    And I agree,this is marvin Gaye,s best album,very underrated when it was first released

  • neoSOULjakuza
    Posted at 23:38h, 25 April 2009 Reply

    Fabolus post again ! Thank you Nikos. Marvin is one of my favorite soul pionee. By the way this one is a wery good double LP release.

  • neoSOULjakuza
    Posted at 23:38h, 25 April 2009 Reply

    1o/1o

  • Gea
    Posted at 15:59h, 26 April 2009 Reply

    Thanks for the great rip and write up of this masterpiece. Keep up the good work.

  • Radek
    Posted at 23:58h, 26 April 2009 Reply

    Definitely my all time favourite MG album. Soul music often deals with deep and difficult emotions that are involved in love relationships, but what Marvin does here really goes beyond anything normally heard on the soul scene. One can feel that the emotions in the music are real, that the album was meant to bring them them out and achieve a cathartic effect. Trakbuv’s review captures it nicely. Thanks for reminding us all of this marvellous album!

  • Alexandros
    Posted at 00:35h, 27 April 2009 Reply

    This album really magnified the talent of Marvin. I could really feel every song, its like a book. But,not his best work. Fairly ‘What’s going on’ is considered his pick. Furthermore ‘Let’s get it on’ is better than HMD in my opinion. Anyway this is my top 3 Marvin albums – all masterpieces.

  • Trakbuv
    Posted at 00:44h, 27 April 2009 Reply

    I also have a very soft spot for ‘In our lifetime’. But the genius that is Marvin on vinyl partly ensures that because all his albums are so uniquely different, you will always be struggling to agree what is his best, with others and yourself !

    Many thanks to everyone for sharing your views on an album that goes well beyond mere words and music.

  • Alexandros
    Posted at 01:10h, 27 April 2009 Reply

    I forgot to mention that this is his best vinyl cover and thank you nikos for posting your gatefold vinyl covers. That means professional (educational) work, we all enjoy inhere.

  • Frederic
    Posted at 10:29h, 27 April 2009 Reply

    Awesome post! I love it! Thanks so much!

  • George M
    Posted at 00:09h, 28 April 2009 Reply

    This is a landmark album, one of the best ever written and one that recieves much less publicty than Marvin’s others but I think is his best by far.
    Trakbuv, your write up is befitting of such a fantastic album and truly captures all the emotions of this offering. You have done a great job in promoting Marvin’s greatest gift to us, Many thanks.
    My favourite moment on vinyl is also when Marvin screams “ANNA!” I always take this record with me when I am buying speakers or amps.

  • Soul is the Music
    Posted at 01:51h, 28 April 2009 Reply

    This album is full of emotions yearning to be free and you get the feeling that Marvin felt free upon releasing this opus.The music,words and that powerful voice put everything into focus.

  • Ted
    Posted at 11:16h, 28 April 2009 Reply

    Marvin Gaye is without a doubt one of the greatest singing talents to ever grace the sound of music. I agree with the many reviews that rate this a classic album. BUT.. “What’s Going On” is not only Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece but its also a very moving album, and is one of the greatest albums ever created. It’s one of those albums I definitely could not be without. 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of Marvin’s death but he lives on in his music. We miss you Marvin!

  • LordMike
    Posted at 17:13h, 28 April 2009 Reply

    Thanks for another awesome share!

  • Sista
    Posted at 20:57h, 28 April 2009 Reply

    Thank you for the music! Brilliant work!

  • Oak
    Posted at 01:52h, 29 April 2009 Reply

    This is an amazing work of art which I have found more in with each listen. It isn’t an easy, smooth r’n’b album; pain and confusion feature as primary themes and some of the tunes are pretty far out. The album is lush with a raw production feel, it features some cool 70’s style synths and Marvins harmonies are still gorgeous and textured with perfection. Marvin was one of a kind and I love this album.

  • Markus
    Posted at 04:05h, 29 April 2009 Reply

    Always wondered if I’d like this album, now I can find out. Thanks!

  • Solomon
    Posted at 13:01h, 29 April 2009 Reply

    What an album! Certainly in his top 3 albums.

  • AstralPro
    Posted at 06:10h, 01 May 2009 Reply

    Very underrated Marvin record..probably my third favorite.

  • peskypesky
    Posted at 20:36h, 02 May 2009 Reply

    i haven’t really had a chance to give this several good listens…but it sounds nice so far. i’m surprised it was such a commercial flop. glad it’s finally getting some respect though. thank you for sharing!

  • whoknows
    Posted at 02:19h, 07 May 2009 Reply

    funky marvin! thanks!

  • Martin
    Posted at 18:23h, 26 May 2009 Reply

    Ain’t nothing like Marvin Gaye albums! Marvin’s gone but surely not forgotten! Still sounding wonderful! Thanks! 😉

  • manny
    Posted at 14:18h, 01 June 2009 Reply

    thanks for posting

  • 2freakdudes
    Posted at 11:59h, 27 June 2009 Reply

    Juss listened to “Anger” 10 times innarow…feelin’ tha fu^k out these harmonies right now. Music of this quality must be created AGAIN! THX 4 the ejemplos! FIRE!

  • brotherpete
    Posted at 05:55h, 01 October 2009 Reply

    Ain’t nobody better than Marvin !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rhys
    Posted at 00:04h, 05 October 2009 Reply

    This one surprised me, I have a far bit of his work but hadn’t come across this album. knowing the background makes it really come alive. as always, this site delivers a soulful education

  • Nne
    Posted at 22:01h, 07 February 2010 Reply

    What a great site! Thank you for sharing your extensive music collection with the us. I found a few records that I remember hearing when I was a little girl. As an adut I realized that I heard a lot of music growing up with out actually “hearing” what the artis was convening given my age. The must of the past is so rich and multi-faceted. Very refreshing in a time when the air waves do not reflect what is really going on in our world. Anyway, thanks again for sharing your amazing collection and valuable reviews.

  • Dooks P
    Posted at 02:46h, 11 May 2010 Reply

    im not downloading this as i have it, but just to say that your review was great, im enjoying the reviews almost as much as the music im finding here. i think its great your keeping history alive bless.

  • IDRISS
    Posted at 13:23h, 17 July 2011 Reply

    Le plus grand

  • nik
    Posted at 01:47h, 04 May 2015 Reply

    looking forward to this one. thx for the great reviews.

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