We know how Marvin Gaye ended up, how his life was cut short after decades of difficulty. We also know he created some of the most cherished moments of the last century, and I’m not talking about the cringe worthy Sexual Healing. Perhaps it’s a more fitting epitaph that two of his more vulnerable songs has been finally etched onto vinyl after all these years in the shape of I Wanna Be Where You Are and I Want You. The later a perennial favourite for me. The former penned by Leon Ware and Arthur ‘T-Boy’ Ross and was originally a hit single for Michael Jackson in 1972, Gaye’s cover comes filled with piercing strings and slinky grooves stretching out to six minutes of swooning satisfaction. Moving effortlessly with the times the production echoed the in vogue style of disco permeating dancefloors as the artist bridged the gap between the social consciousness of What’s Going On with a typical air of grace.
The second number, I Want You was likewise written by the same duo appearing on the 1976 album of the same name, also as a single. Combing the twin flairs of Jazz and R&B it was tailor made for the singer with harmonies of such soul stirring strength it is as once intense as it is delicate yet inescapably ecstatic. Musically it shines with such a sublime heat that it sets the night on fire. Appearing here as the exhilarating Jam Alternate Mix its combinations of soaring strings, sassy percussion, funky guitar and rousing horns all work their magic until the introduction of voice sometime along the half way point. It is, put simply, a rare joy to behold.
Release: June 2