Results for Marvin Gaye

interviews

Top Albums of 2005

The“Best Records”list: It's“a sacred thing”in pop music fandom, says Jim, requiring a discerning ear and laser-like focus. Thankfully, our hosts are here to help. After sifting through hundreds of records, and countless days spent listening (perhaps to the discontent of their wives), they‘ve managed to pick out their absolute favorites. Here’s what Jim and Greg say they'll still be listening to in 2006.

Go to episode 2
specials

Remembering Prince

Prince Remembered

"Life is just a party, and parties weren't meant to last." Yet the party ended much too soon for music legend Prince, who died on April 21 at the age of 57 at his Paisley Park home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Volumes have been said about the late Prince Rogers Nelson in the past week, but Jim and Greg draw attention to aspects of his music and career that aren't acknowledged enough. Growing out of the Minneapolis funk scene, Prince refused to be boxed into a single genre, fearlessly blending funk, pop, rock, soul, new wave, and R&B to create a sound all his own. He was known as a guitar god, but could really play any instrument he touched and often was the only musician on his recordings. Prince carried on the Marvin Gaye and Al Green tradition in R&B of mixing the sacred and the profane, sex and salvation. On records like The Black Album, he created some of the most lascivious music ever, but at the same time, Jim and Greg argue he showed a deep respect for women. Not only did he mentor and collaborate with up-and-coming female stars, but he also was eager to help out his idols like Chaka Khan and Mavis Staples.

Prince was unafraid to explore psychedelia, especially in the crucial three album run of Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, and Parade in the mid-80s. He spent the rest of his life toiling away at Paisley Park, churning out recording after recording – not without quality control issues. But in the past couple decades, Prince was defined by his unpredictable and often transcendent live performances. Prince was ahead of his time in recognizing the internet as a way to sell music directly to his fans without a label. But his greatest legacy will of course be his music, and his influence on generations of artists is immeasurable.

Go to episode 544

Best Second Acts

Go ahead…"call it a comeback." This week Jim and Greg highlight some of rock and roll's best Second Acts. These artists either fell into obscurity or went down a bad path before reemerging successfully, perhaps better than before. Famous examples include Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen and Elvis Presley, who told the world he wasn‘t yet down for the count at his ’68 Comeback Special. There's also Santana, whose record Supernatural went 15 times platinum in 1999, decades after his heyday in the late ‘60s. And don’t forget about Cher, who at age 53 had the number one song "Believe." Here are Jim and Greg's favorite "Comeback Kids."

Go to episode 334
classic album dissections
What's Going On - EPWhat's Going On available on iTunes

Marvin Gaye What's Going On

In 1971, Marvin Gaye released his iconic album What's Going On, that is beloved by many critics and fans alike. The record is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, and there are countless reasons why What's Going On is worthy of a Classic Album Dissection. This album marked a huge departure for Gaye, as most of his catalogue at the time had mostly consisted of love ballads and upbeat tracks. On What's Going On, Gaye wrote and sang about polarizing and controversial topics at the time, like racism, the environment, drugs and the Vietnam War. He also wrote about his personal struggles, such as difficulties within his marriage and the heartbreaking death of his duet partner and close friend Tammi Terrell. Along with the powerful lyrical messages he delivered, the sonic elements of record are just as impactful. Marvin Gaye enlisted talented musicians such as The Funk Brothers and also the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to create a magnificent blend of sounds that could evoke emotion from a brick wall.

Greg and Jim explain what was going on in the country at the time of the album's creation and release, and talk about what Gaye was dealing with personally. They'll also chat with NFL Hall of Fame member and retired Detroit Lion Lem Barney about his experience working on the title track which led him to receive a gold record.

Go to episode 571
reviews
WildheartWild Heart available on iTunes

Miguel Wild Heart

Wild Heart is the third studio album from cutting edge R&B singer and songwriter Miguel. Miguel who is of both Mexican American and African American heritages, has always had a different approach to the R&B genre. While his first album was tinkered with by A&R folks, his last record was his coming-out party; displaying his affection for multiple genres and subject matter of an adult variety. On this third album, Wild Heart, Miguel continues his exploration into genre and sexuality. Jim thinks he comes from the school of thought of Marvin Gaye and D'Angelo, artists whose avant garde nature scared traditionalists. He gives this album a Buy It rating. Greg agrees and says the orchestration and the honest lyrics make this album one of his favorites of the year. He gives it a Buy It as well.

JimGreg
Go to episode 501
On the Jungle FloorOn the Jungle Floor available on iTunes

Van Hunt On the Jungle Floor

R&B/soul singer Van Hunt also has a new album out. His 2004 self-titled debut album was very well-received — listeners could hear the funk influences of bands like Sly Stone and Curtis Mayfield, as well as the more romantic, slow jams of singers like Marvin Gaye or D'Angelo. (And with a pimp for a father and a nurturing caregiver as a mother, Greg muses, Van Hunt's own family parallels his musical influences'.) On On the Jungle Floor, Van Hunt stretches himself more. He makes the surprising choice to cover "No Sense of Crime," a punk classic by The Stooges. And, fans will hear the influence of yet another R&B/funk idol: Prince. However, both Jim and Greg assert that with this release, the grasshopper has surpassed the master, and rate On the Jungle Floor higher than Prince's new album 3121. It's a Buy It for both critics.

JimGreg
Go to episode 21
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Deluxe Edition)My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy available on iTunes

Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kanye West knows how to get into the headlines. He's bumped heads with everyone from Matt Lauer to Taylor Swift to President Bush. But, it's important not to forget: he also knows how to make music. Jim says, OK he's a jerk…John Lennon could also have been a jerk. But what Kanye West achieves on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is nothing short of amazing. He combines Iron Maiden with King Crimson; robotic humming and what Greg calls "classical opulence." Greg compares West to ambitious artists like Brian Wilson and Marvin Gaye, but notes that what separates him is his inability to censor himself. That gives his music both bravado and vulnerability. Both Jim and Greg give My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy an enthusiastic double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 260
Channel ORANGEchannel ORANGE available on iTunes

Frank Ocean channel ORANGE

Speaking of musicians who put their sexuality out there, rising R&B star Frank Ocean recently made the news when he wrote on his tumblr that he‘d fallen in love with a man when he was 19. That’s a bold statement coming from an artist linked to the outwardly homophobic hip-hop collective Odd Future. The buzz surrounding Ocean's major label debut channel ORANGEwas already intense given the success of his mixtape, last year's nostalgia, ULTRA. Does it live up to the hype? In short, yes. Jim thinks Ocean's a contender to be the next Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye. Not only is he bringing new sounds into R&B, but he's writing about money, sex, and class in a way that's honest and gimmick-free. What's getting him riled are those interstitial skits and snippets of conversation. They break the flow of the record and make channel ORANGE a Burn It for him. Greg echoes Jim's praise but isn't as bothered by the skits. For him this record is all about a singer telling emotion-packed stories. He gives channel ORANGE a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 347
Kaleidoscope DreamKaleidoscope Dream available on iTunes

Miguel Kaleidoscope Dream

Kaleidoscope Dream, the new album by Miguel debuted at #3on the Billboard chart. But he's still an unfamiliar name to most people. The R&B singer and songwriter had moderate success with his first record and has penned songs for Mary J. Blige and Usher. And with this sophomore effort, he really goes all out. You can hear influences from all over the map - from Marvin Gaye to The Zombies. But it's his unique spin and musical chops that make Jim and Greg give the album an enthusiastic double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 360
dijs

Greg

“California Soul”Marlena Shaw

One of the best things about music is it can transport you to a whole other place without ever having to leave the room. Greg's DIJ pick this week is Marlena Shaw's 1969 track, "California Soul." The song was written by Ashford & Simpson and had been covered by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and The 5th Dimension. However Shaw's version is the most definitive, having been sampled numerous times over the years. Her cover combined elements of R&B, soul, jazz and a hypnotizing string arrangement. While Shaw recorded the track in Chicago, it transports the listener straight to California.

Go to episode 495
lists

Anti-Love Songs

With the ghost of St. Valentine looming over us all, this week's show is dedicated to those music fans for whom "Love Stinks." Jim and Greg discuss their favorite anti-love songs and hear some listeners' picks. Here are some songs to get you out of the mood for Valentine's Day.

Go to episode 11
news

Music News

Robin Thicke and his producers Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr.(known to the rest of us as T.I.)—the team behind this summer's hit single Blurred Lines —have filed suit against the estate of Marvin Gaye and Bridgeport Music, rights holders to some of Funkadelic's compositions. The reason? Thicke and company claim that no, “Blurred Lines”sounds nothing like Gaye's Got to Give It Up or Funkadelic's Sexy Ways. (Members of the estate of Marvin Gaye, including his son, have claimed otherwise).

Chance the Rapper's mixtape Acid Rap (reviewed favorably on our show) has been selling well. The only problem is that Chance isn‘t the one selling it. Since Chance is lacking in a record deal, he isn’t covered by the protection of the RIAA, it's made the selling of his mixtape by a company called“Mtc”(for $14.83 a pop) all the more complicated. Still, Chance's manager Patrick Corcoran is looking on the bright side“This shows that there's a strong appetite for Chance in the marketplace,”he says. "How often does a bootleg hit a Billboard chart?"

Go to episode 404

Music News

One of the highest profile court cases in the music industry has been going on for nearly a year and half, and finally we have a verdict. A federal jury in Los Angeles on deemed that Robin Thicke, TI and Pharrell Williams's 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" was indeed similar enough to Marvin Gaye 1977 song "Got To Give It Up" to award the Gaye estate $7.3 million. Greg notes that while it's a huge win for the Gaye estate and one that will impact future copyright decisions, there will surely be an appeal. Howard King, Thicke's attorney said, "We owe it to songwriters around the world to make sure this verdict doesn't stand."

Pioneering documentarian Albert Maysles died on March 6th. Maysles, and his brother David, made a huge contribution to the film world with their cinema verite works like Grey Gardens and 1964's What's Happening! The Beatles in the USA. But for music fans like Jim and Greg, Maysles made his biggest impact with the 1970 rock doc Gimme Shelter, which showed the Rolling Stones during their 1969 US tour and the tragic death during their concert at the Altamont speedway. Maysles was 88.

Go to episode 485

Music News

grateful_dead Jerry Garcia may be dead, but we're sure he'd also be grateful for huge outcry of interest from Grateful Dead fans for a series of reunion tribute shows in Chicago this summer. According to Greg's reporting for the Chicago Tribune nearly a half million fans went online at the same time with the hope of paying almost $200 a ticket. Many of them, of course, got shut out and can only hope to score tickets on the secondary market…that is if they are willing to pay $8,000 to $116,000! The show's promoter promises fans they will try to make the experience accessible via the web, but we recommend loading up your generic mp3 device with Dead tunes and heading over to kick back at your favorite (free) outdoor spot as an alternative idyll.

Jim and Greg next give an update on two ongoing court cases in the music world. First, the former British glam star Gary Glitter has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after being found guilty of indecently assaulting three girls in the late 1970's. There is no statute of limitations for such offenses in the UK.

And while less unseemly, the copyright case over "Blurred Lines" is also embarrassing for the artists involved. The trial pits Robin Thicke and his co-writers Pharrell Williams and T.I. against the family of Marvin Gaye. They, like many people, hear a lot of similarities to Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up." So far the testimonies have been striking. Thicke admitted he was on drugs during the song's recording and that Pharrell was the primary force behind the song.“The biggest hit of my career was written by somebody else, and I was jealous and wanted credit,”he testified,“I felt it was a little white lie that didn‘t hurt his career but boosted mine.”No wonder so many of these cases don’t make it to a public courtroom.

After decades of being ready to review new releases on a Tuesday, Jim and Greg are preparing for a shift to Friday. But in this digital age, there's not much to prepare. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry announced the decision as a way to eliminate variance from country to country (it's Monday in the UK and Friday in Germany). But in a year when Beyonce and Drake can release music whenever they want with no advance fanfare, this is another example of the music industry being well-behind the times.

Tom Wheeler, commissioner of the FCC delivered a ruling that won in a 3-2 vote to approve strong Net Neutrality rules across the country. The Net Neutrality concept posits that the internet should remain a level playing field; certain companies who control data flow cannot show a preference for one company over another due to self interests. Ars Technica reporter Jon Brodkin, joined us to talk about the historic ruling. He doesn't see a downside to the ruling and says that most of the large telecommunication companies will respond with lawsuits. Brodkin adds that the effect on music fans who enjoy streaming services will be largely positive at this point.

Go to episode 484

Music News

Casey Kasem, a voice of musical authority almost as well known as Jim and Greg, passed away earlier this month at the age of 82. For nearly four decades Kasem counted down the county's biggest hits on his syndicated radio program American Top 40. While Kasem was born in Detroit, he drew on his family's Lebanese storytelling traditions to inject colorful commentary in between the songs on his countdowns. His unique contribution to music history is matched by his contribution to television history – Kasem voiced the character of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo for over thirty years.

Another memorable voice gone this month belonged to contralto jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott. Though small in stature (Scott's growth was stunted pre-puberty by Kallmann's Syndrome), his voice resonated through the decades with artist as varied as Lou Reed, Marvin Gaye, and Frankie Valli. For nearly 66 of his 88 years, though, Scott was unknown to most people, as he was often not credited for his work singing on other people's records. He‘d nearly faded into obscurity when a record executive heard Scott sing at a friend’s funeral and offered him a solo recording contract that brought Scott's powerfully melancholy voice back to move a whole new generation. In his honor, Greg plays the song "Sycamore Trees" performed by Scott in the final episode of the television series Twin Peaks, which was created by another one of Scott's admirers, David Lynch.

Go to episode 447

Music News

It has been one year since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region. The music community has responded in a number of ways over the past 365 days. In fact, the response was quicker and more dramatic than that following the events of September 11, Jim and Greg note. The most high-profile Katrina project was the collaboration between Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint. Toussaint is one of New Orleans‘ most noted producers and musicians, and, like many of the city’s citizens, he had to flee during the storm and has yet to be able to return. He and Costello wrote their album's title track, "The River in Reverse," just weeks after Katrina hit. Check out Jim and Greg's review of that album.

Other artists inspired by Hurricane Katrina include Paul Simon, Mos Def and Bruce Springsteen, who decided to add new hurricane-related lyrics to the song "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Time and Live," during his live performances. Rapper Master P also just announced that he will be debuting a stage play, "Uncle Willy's Family," which he describes as a hip-hop gospel comedy play about Hurricane Katrina. It will star the rapper, as well as his son Lil Romeo, Silkk The Shockker, and Terry Miles. Now he can add playwright to his ever-expanding résumé. But the post-Katrina project that most moved Jim and Greg was the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's version of Marvin Gaye's 1971 concept album What's Going On. Gaye's songs were inspired by many of the country's problems at the time, including poverty, the environment, urban decay and race conflicts. It's interesting to see how applicable his words are today.

Go to episode 40

Music News

Google Music entered the music-streaming fray this week with its new“All Access”service for Android. The world's top search engine is touting All Access as a combination of the best features of Pandora and Spotify. It offers curated“radio”stations alongside millions of tracks users can stream across devices. And Google is hoping users will pony up for that kind of access: unlike its competitors, Google's service will not offer a free option.

Forget the Desert Island - what music would you take to outer space? This week Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield made news by covering David Bowie's "Space Oddity" from the International Space Station. This isn't the first time rock has blasted into orbit. Last year Jim covered the auction of Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell's space mixtape, which featured tunes by Creedence Clearwater Revival and Marvin Gaye. So what tracks would Jim and Greg want to jam to in zero gravity? Greg picks Sun Ra's "Calling Planet Earth," whereas Jim sticks with a classic, The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun."

Go to episode 390

Music News

More sad news at the top of the show this week. Singer and drummer Levon Helm recently died at age 71, and as Jim and Greg explain, he was a fascinating character in rock, one that might epitomize American music. His self-effacing personality combined with his never-flashy drum style gave The Band exactly what it needed. They also note how extraordinary it was for a drummer to be such an accomplished vocalist. You can hear it on tracks like "The Weight" and "Up on Cripple Creek," and especially The Band's Marvin Gaye cover "Don't Do It." Fans should also check out Helm's star turn in The Right Stuff and Coal Miner's Daughter.

Go to episode 335