AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
MARVIN GAYE "What's Going On (Deluxe Edition)" (Motown) 4 stars
Marvin Gaye, one of popular music's quintessentially troubled souls, used to tell his friends that he worked best when he was depressed. Little wonder, then, that the politically riven, socially fractured early `70s were ideal for stoking Gaye's simmering genius. As he remarked then to an acquaintance: "The world's never been as depressing as it is right now."
For 30 years and through countless Detroit renaissances, the rest of us have gotten to enjoy the fruits of Gaye's emotional toil. "What's Going On," the album that was progressive enough both musically and lyrically to raise the wrath of hit-minded Motown chairman Berry Gordy Jr., has served as both an activist's call to arms and a soothing meditation. This was Gaye stepping away from the sexual soul man persona he'd developed through his top 40 singles in the `60s and crafting a concept album for the ages.
With "Deluxe …