TS: Marvin Gaye's I Want You and Here, My Dear

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Everyone cites (yawn) What's Goin' On? and Let's Get It On when it comes to Gaye's legacy, but I think these may get more at the heart of it. One is the quintessential leather-sofa'd soft-core suite, the other the ultimate in bonkers break-up obsession — sort of the divorce attorney's version of the "bitching about my record contract" album. Let the games begin.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 19:09 (fifteen years ago) link

I love I Want You. It's really a Leon Ware album as much as anything. I remember the first time I heard it over a decade ago playing in the background in some bar, I could have sworn it was some mid-80s album by Sade. It wasn't until I asked the bartender that I discovered it was Marvin. But yeah, great chilled-out vibe that really anticipated a lot of nu-soul/quiet-storm type stuff.

Broheems (diamond), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 19:15 (fifteen years ago) link

here my dear

it seems dense [productionwise] and claustrophobic, it's long and wears you out like a cd version reissue of a double lp should - cf tago mago, 1999. [conversely, i think double lps on vinyl should be catchier than this, in order to keep you going back to the turntable eagerly] it isn't classic, the way goin' on and gettiton and even i want you are: but i see it sort of like the plastic ono band lp, a difficult record for hardcore fans to return to when in a mood to commune with gaye's spirit

mig, Wednesday, 9 June 2004 00:20 (fifteen years ago) link

I like parts of I Want You. But I think Here, My Dear is the definitive Marvin Gaye album. I have it on LP. There's something so hypnotic about its boredom, I guess like a good or bad marriage? Love "Funky Space Reincarnation" and "Anger." Not to slight the other great MG LPs (there's a cool LP from the late '80s made up of unreleased Motown tunes and it's all really great stuff), but I do find I've just heard all that material too much, so I come back to Here, My Dear...

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 01:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Here, My Dear, for me is the OTHER (and more interesting) side of Marvin Gaye. All of that 60's motown stuff is incredible, but when you hear Here, My Dear you understand the complexities of the man and his vision. The story behind the record is pretty impressive, too.

cramedog, Wednesday, 9 June 2004 20:37 (fifteen years ago) link

I've only heard the title track, but it leaves me so unimpressed that I don't see how it can compete with Here, My Dear which is pretty close to being overrated but still pretty awesome.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 22:16 (fifteen years ago) link

I've only heard the title track
from I Want You, I mean.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 22:16 (fifteen years ago) link

here, my dear reminds me of r kelly in all the best possible ways. lines like "what i can't understand is if you love me / how could you turn me in to the police" and "even the slimy seal / he needs love / all the folks in jail / they need love". ok my thoughts are trite but there it is.

vahid (vahid), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 22:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Here My Dear was the soundtrack to the ass-end of a horrible unrequited crush I had on a girl from college. Oh, the angst.

It's a fucking brilliant record.

AdamL :') (nordicskilla), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 22:30 (fifteen years ago) link

and a brilliant fucking record

mullygrubber (gaz), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 22:31 (fifteen years ago) link

also i don't understand when people call here, my dear boring. the liner notes in my reissue call it a "sensuous universe of sound", and it is. it's sort of like "selected ambient works ii", except it's not for late late night lucid dreaming. it's for sitting out on the patio, on an impossibly bright saturday mornings when your brain feels like it's been deep fried from your friday night and you just want to sip orange juice and listen to the fountain or traffic or the ocean or whatever. it's easily as good for that as the most chilled-out moments of kool + the gang or roy ayers. i can't imagine actively listening to this album like you would listen to an al green album or whatever.

vahid (vahid), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 22:35 (fifteen years ago) link

are the vocals on here, my dear as far as anybody's gone from soul towards vocalese without actually getting there, or is it me? annette peacock sort of goes there too but without the multitracking it's not as impressive. or maybe it's just a doowop thing.

vahid (vahid), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 22:38 (fifteen years ago) link

I feel like "Let's Get It On" is the one that is somewhat disappointing when compared to the rest of those four 70s canon albums. It kind of features exactly the same ideas as "What's Going On", only with less of an interesting and whole concept to bind the tracks together.

"I Want You", however, represented a step in a more interesting direction, with Marvin Gaye returning to the concept album form while mildly incorporating synths in his sound. And IMO he took this even a step further on "Here My Dear".

Hard to pick a fave among his albums, but it may be that I mights as well simply land on his sole 80s album, the brilliant "Midnight Love".

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 23:36 (fifteen years ago) link

"i want you" is my favorite gaye record

"midnight love" is mostly dreck

amateur!st (amateurist), Thursday, 10 June 2004 00:24 (fifteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Here, My Dear is without doubt my favorite Marvin Gaye album, not to say it's the best one (who knows?). I haven't listened to I Want You in about ten years and I remember there being a couple of good album tracks but not loving it.

I'm listening to When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You, and it's just brutal. I fell in love with this song when I was younger and didn't have much lived experience to filter through it. Now I hear it and the courage to put it all out there like he did just floors me. Maybe he's just more vain than me but I just can't imagine putting out so much of myself on record like he did there. Then again, Marvin never had a blog...

Does anyone else think Marvin is ready for "critical reevaluation" lately? It's been a long time since "What's Going On" was the greatest soul record of all time or whatever, so long that people don't talk about how great a singer, interpreter he was

Billy Pilgrim, Sunday, 11 November 2007 04:11 (twelve years ago) link

Here, My Dear is an incredible album, and "When Did You Stop Loving Me..." truly one of the greatest things he ever did. I know it all off by heart. I love singing it more than any other Marvin song.

I find I Want You less appealing, it's the lesser of his four great 70s albums, seems to me like an inferior version of Let's Get It On. Still enjoyable though.

FWIW What's Going On is the single greatest LP I've ever had the pleasure of hearing

bakerstreetsaxsolo, Sunday, 11 November 2007 13:39 (twelve years ago) link

I Want You is bleh, but what I've heard of Here, My Dear is fairly incredible musically, even when it gets too literal lyrically.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Sunday, 11 November 2007 14:51 (twelve years ago) link

UGH welcome to the RONG thread u fongs

deej, Sunday, 11 November 2007 15:48 (twelve years ago) link

'i want you' is amazing front->back btw
also love leon ware's 'musical massage'

deej, Sunday, 11 November 2007 15:50 (twelve years ago) link

maybe im too much of a romantic but i will take 'i want you' over 'here my dear' any day

deej, Sunday, 11 November 2007 16:03 (twelve years ago) link

Agreed with deej.

matt2, Sunday, 11 November 2007 17:16 (twelve years ago) link

I don't like choosing between those two as they are IMO his two best and most underrated albums. "Here My Dear" contains some of the best songs he ever did, but the fact that it might have been better had he limited himself to a single album means I will probably end up going for "I Want You".

Geir Hongro, Monday, 12 November 2007 01:46 (twelve years ago) link

I Want You is bleh

For shame, Alfred.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 12 November 2007 02:22 (twelve years ago) link

I find I Want You less appealing, it's the lesser of his four great 70s albums, seems to me like an inferior version of Let's Get It On. Still enjoyable though.

it is impossible to have sex while 'lets get it on' is playing

deej, Monday, 12 November 2007 18:04 (twelve years ago) link

If you don't like I Want You, your sexual equipment is broke.

Eric H., Monday, 12 November 2007 18:09 (twelve years ago) link

Here My Dear is definitely a really striking, deeply weird album. It's also relentlessly languid -- less a collection of tunes than grooves and melodic fragments Marvin coos over. But as interesting as the concept is, it's also a bit...offputting. I see why so many people are fascinated by it -- I'm less certain how anyone could LOVE it. It's almost designed to repel being loved, much like the man himself.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 12 November 2007 23:51 (twelve years ago) link

Well put, but that's kind of the appeal behind the record isn't it? I'd say it's an honest record but that's not the right word. Some of the most compelling things about the album are when he's trying to convince himself and the listener about the rightness of his actions. I mean, does anyone believe his version of events in "Is That Enough"? "You Can Leave..."? That he was really falling in love again in "Falling In Love Again"? But its endlessly fascinating to figure out where he's trying to fool me and when he's trying to fool himself.

I'd agree that this could be deeply offputting if not for his essential charisma, and also that there aren't really any tunes on it, but some (some) great grooves and fragments. It's just a really engaging piece of work, that I get tired of and bored by but every few years comes back fresh

Billy Pilgrim, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 00:02 (twelve years ago) link

I think it's fair to say that both are OK, despite remarkable moments (mostly on HMD).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 00:13 (twelve years ago) link

Btw. it took ages for "Here My Dear" to be re-released on CD at all. Today, the rest of his 70s to 80s output has been remastered again and again while there is still no remaster at all of HMD.

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 01:04 (twelve years ago) link

Agreed, Billy -- also well put. To be clear, I like HMD quite a bit.

I Want You, OTOH, is altogether different--in some places, very Barry White--but among the richest, most deeply sensual records I've ever heard. That Let's Get It On was seen as his loverboy masterpiece surely had to have crimped its critical acceptance. But melodically, it's quite possibly his strongest record (certainly helped by Leon Ware) -- with several songs--the title track (and the awesomely dark fuzz guitar intro), "Come Live Me, Angel," "Feel All My Love Inside," "After the Dance"--outright classics.

This was also the record that made me love Marvin and realize how spazzed out he really was. Obv., HMD is off the charts weird, but this is every bit as crazed, trading HMD's fatal obsession--divorce--for graphic (and pornographic) sex. It's my fave for sure -- and the 2-CD Motown deluxe edition is completely worth it.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 03:31 (twelve years ago) link

This thread reminds me that I need to buy In Our Lifetime.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 03:33 (twelve years ago) link

Naive Teen Idol OTM x 1,000,000.

Eric H., Tuesday, 13 November 2007 03:38 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

listening to the double CD remaster of Hear My Dear now, and it sounds great - so much more vivid than the original CD. the alternate versions are great as well, especially 'Anger' and 'Time To Get It Together', my two favourites from the original album.

Hüsker Dü is what Tears For Fears pretends to be (stevie), Tuesday, 9 December 2008 13:10 (eleven years ago) link

Why i love ILM. Bought I Want You today, and kinda realised that, despite owning 6 other MG records, i have no real handle on him. I 'know' LGIO and WGO of course and all the hits - I have the Anthology - but I've never had any real connection with him. IWY on initial hearing sounds like a great, involving record, and I know where there's a copy of Here My Dear i can lay my hands on so that's next......

sonofstan, Wednesday, 10 December 2008 08:02 (eleven years ago) link

two years pass...

"sparrow" is a motherfucker of a song. that free sax.

mutant slow drum (BradNelson), Tuesday, 15 November 2011 21:14 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

listening to the double CD remaster of Hear My Dear now, and it sounds great - so much more vivid than the original CD. the alternate versions are great as well, especially 'Anger' and 'Time To Get It Together', my two favourites from the original album.

― Hüsker Dü is what Tears For Fears pretends to be (stevie), Tuesday, December 9, 2008 1:10 PM (3 years ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

i think i actually prefer the alternate versions! sparser, the synths are mixed lower...feels more of a piece w/"whats goin on"

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 9 January 2012 19:06 (eight years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Just discovering HMD. "Is that enough" is such a smoked-out jam. Lots of amazing hypnotic grooves, and his background vocals are always as interesting as the leads. Also that cry of Aaaannaaa! Shivers.

SongOfSam, Saturday, 28 January 2012 22:23 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

Been obsessed with I Want You the last few months. It's so intimate and economical, and I feel like it hangs together better than most of his records. Maybe that's because it limits itself to just one winning theme, or maybe it's because it's less singles saturated than some of his other records, so I never feel like I'm pulled out of the record. Either way, I love this thing.

Evan R, Thursday, 21 February 2013 20:49 (six years ago) link

four months pass...

the sing-songy spoken bits in the title track are so odd.

the Spanish Porky's (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 June 2013 23:30 (six years ago) link

in Here, My Dear that is

the Spanish Porky's (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 June 2013 23:31 (six years ago) link

seven months pass...

Anna Gordy has passed:


Ned Raggett, Saturday, 1 February 2014 20:58 (six years ago) link


Didn't realize that she and Marvin had reconciled at one point.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 1 February 2014 21:30 (six years ago) link

three years pass...

RIP Leon Ware

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 26 February 2017 06:09 (two years ago) link

"Time to Get It Together" is such a weird song. Around 1:30 in you can hear someone sliding up the volume on the bass drum. it kicks with authority for a brief spell and then fades back to normal again for the rest of the song. apparently gaye played most of everything on the album. if so, it comes together in an astounding way on this song. the arrangement snaps together in such an odd but natural way that it could only come from a single mind.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 26 February 2017 07:42 (two years ago) link

Marvin was a killer drummer. Trouble man swings

calstars, Sunday, 12 March 2017 02:16 (two years ago) link

four weeks pass...

what marvin gaye fan in their right mind would've panned "here my dear" when it came out???? this record is incredible

marcos, Monday, 10 April 2017 15:16 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

how awesome is "is that enough"

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:51 (ten months ago) link


recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:55 (ten months ago) link

The dinky organ he plays in the outro rules.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:55 (ten months ago) link

four months pass...

also after about ten years of listening to it i've realized i want you is my favorite album of all time or close

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 6 September 2019 11:02 (five months ago) link

It's no contest my favorite Gaye album, at any rate.

Pauline Male (Eric H.), Friday, 6 September 2019 13:15 (five months ago) link

Marvin Gaye with the music and backing vocals removed is astonishing pic.twitter.com/iNbjY7F4bI

— Paul Haine (@paul_haine) September 3, 2019

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 6 September 2019 13:22 (five months ago) link


curmudgeon, Tuesday, 10 September 2019 03:59 (five months ago) link

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