Friday, April 17, 2015

"Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye

Top 10 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Song#:  1230
Date:  10/30/1982
Debut:  78
Peak:  3
Weeks:  21
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  As the 80s opened, Gaye was having all kinds of issues. In addition to drug use, a failed marriage, and tax problems, the master demo tapes to Gaye's next album were taken and given to his label (Motown). The label remixed the demos and released them without Gaye's input or consent. After learning that "In Our Lifetime" was released, Gaye stated he would never record for Motown again. After the dust settled, Columbia Records bought Gaye out of his Motown contract and settled all his other financial issues. Now given a fresh start, Gaye began to work on an album that would bring him back to commercial prominence. "Midnight Love" shied away from his more introspective work and focused on audience appeal. This first single threw down the gauntlet and became the biggest hit of his career spending ten weeks at #1 on the R&B chart and hitting #3 at pop. The song would get three Grammy nods winning two including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. It would end up being Gaye's final pop chart entry. Sadly, less than two years after his comeback, Gaye was killed when his father shot him after an altercation.

ReduxReview:  I don't like to admit this, but I hated this song when it came out. At this point, I can't even tell you why I didn't like it. Obviously, I've changed my mind since then. The slinky groove along with Gaye's "baaayyybeee" wails are way too good to resist. It's sexy as hell and a bedroom classic.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The ten-weeks at #1 on the R&B chart not only made this song his biggest hit, but it would end up being the biggest R&B hit of the 80s.  2) Gaye's real name was actually just Gay. Of course that name lead to much teasing over the years, so once he got signed to a label (Motown's Tamala), he added the "e" to the end of his name to help temper the teasing and any rumors about his sexual orientation.


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