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Marvin Gaye Author Of Soul Music

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Marvin Gaye; Author of Love Music

Tommy Harrington

Mrs. Guertin

English III

April 27th, 2001


Bayles, Martha. Hole In Our Soul. New York: The Free Press, 1994

Coleman, Nick. "Lost Soul." New Statesman 4 Sept. 1998: 127. EBSCO Host.

Centennial High School Lib., Franklin, TN. 14 Feb. 2001 <>.

Editor's of Time-Life Books. Turbulent Years: The 60s. Our American Century.

Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1998.

"Gaye, Marvin (Pentz Jr.)." 4. Online. World Wide Web. 12 Feb. 2001.

Available http//

Gracyk, Theodore. An Aesthetics Of Rock. Duke University: Duke University Press

Durham and London 1996

Haa, Erikka. Soul. New York: FriedmanFairfax, 1994.

"Marvin Gaye (1939-1984)." Discovering Biography. Windows Version. CD-ROM.

Detroit: Gale Research, 1997.


I. Intro

II. Music

A. Sex

B. Feelings

C. Life

III. Life

A. Early Life

B. Addictions

C. Death

IV. Conclusion

Harrington 1

Kci & Jojo, R. Kelly, and Blackstreet are all musicians who have modernized the music of Soul; the music invented by Marvin Gaye. Marvin Gaye used his feelings of himself, surroundings, and life to write his one-of-a-kind music. Soul music, often referred to as "love man music", was not about drugs or winning a championship it was about sex, romance, and passion, Marvin Gaye was about it all and more. Marvin Gaye, the Prince of Motown, revolutionized his music into one of America's most controversial musical forms, "love man music", which would later become Soul Music.

Marvin Gaye's music became so popular with the public because it was so risquй; the music was about sex. Gaye adored the respect and attention he received from his fans. Songs like "Lets get it on" and "Sexual Healing" became so popular because they were so deeply involved in lovemaking. A loyal fan on Gaye, David Ritz, explains the love expressed in Gaye's music:

[Gaye] loved fully orchestrated, wildly romantic music... By now he had mastered multi-track vocalizing, the art of playing with his voices. The use of moaning women in the background sounded childish, but sexual noise was an integral part of the little boy fantasy which lay at the heart of what seems to me a work of rare beauty. (Bayles 271)

His music was new, something people have experienced, but were ready for it and excited to hear it. "Love music" also appeared so sudden because the people were tired of the Rock and Roll scene that swarmed America. An unknown fan of the love

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music that was coming about, explains why it took the place of Rock at the top of the charts. "The assumption was that every woman in her right mind would prefer the love men's smooth talking satin-sheets-on-the-waterbed approach to the ear blistering screeching of white boys with road kill hair (Bayles 271)." Love music became very popular with women, because it appealed to them; it let them fantasize about their dream love man. Although women were into-the-music there were the selective few, either ignorant or indifferent, that thought of the religious background of the music as erotic. The music was filled with remarks of love and sex but it was done in a tasteful and very spiritual way. The music made created such a shock because it was a great combination of elements. Even though Gaye did grow up with a strong religious background he could still comfortably write songs about sex. "I [Marvin Gaye] can't see what's wrong with sex between two consenting anybodies. I think we make far too much of it (Bayles 271)." Marvin Gaye knew his music was questionable but he continued to write it and used sex as his main component.

Sex in music did excite the audience but they needed something they could also relate to, something like losing their loved one or getting a divorce perhaps. Marvin craved attention from his fans so he had to write his music for his fans. For the religious fans who need a change of music he catered to them. "Raised by the bible and sacred church songs, music strengthened his belief in church (Haa 40)." For the more heart-broken fans, he aimed one of his many albums just to the divorce of his first wife. He chronicled the divorce of his first wife in the album "Here my Dear". His tunes that he

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wrote also featured his own jazzy keyboard sequences with the addition of solos performed by a saxophonist. He wanted his music to reach out and touch people in their hearts and spirits. He wanted to connect with his fans with his music, he wanted them to feel how he felt and he wanted to know how they felt. "I [Gaye] was listening to a great deal of Gershwin at that time... and I really wanted to do something great (Coleman 2)." He was able to reach millions of people but one of his most famous connections made was to a man by the name of Stevie Wonder. "Gaye's album "What's going on" inspired Wonder to take charge of his career (Haa 41)". Stevie Wonder was twenty-one years young the month of the release of "What's going on". Gaye knew what it felt like to connect with someone's music; he was inspired by songwriter Isaac Hayes. Hayes motivation eventually led Gaye to write the hit song "What's going on".

Marvin Gaye also concentrated on using life in general in his songs. Weather it was the infamous Vietnam War, pollution, or the miseries



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