Archive for Marvin Gaye

Rock and Roll Remembrance

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by 30daysout

We’ve lost a lot of great rock and rollers lately. It seems we hardly catch our breath after one is laid to rest, then we hear of another that’s about to leave us. That’s the way it is – our heroes are getting older every day.

So today let’s blow it out with some tunes from rockers who’ve passed to the other side. R.I.P., and keep on rockin’.

MP3: “I’m Losing You” (alternate version) by John Lennon (d. 1980)

MP3: “Holy Diver” (live) by Dio (Ronnie James Dio, d. 2010)

MP3: “Smokestack Lightning” by Howlin’ Wolf (d. 1976)

MP3: “Piece Of My Heart” by Big Brother & the Holding Company (Janis Joplin, d. 1970)

MP3: “Texas Tornado” by the Sir Douglas Quintet (Doug Sahm, d. 1999)

MP3: “Ella Guru” by Captain Beefheart (d. 2010)

MP3: “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James (d. 2012)

MP3: “Lonely Lover” by Marvin Gaye (d. 1984)

MP3: “Small Town Talk” by Bobby Charles (d. 2010)

MP3: “Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze” (live at Woodstock) by Jimi Hendrix (d. 1970)

MP3: “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” by Hank Williams (d. 1953)

MP3: “Deep Blue” by George Harrison (d. 2001)

YouTube: “Up On Cripple Creek” (1969 rehearsal), by the Band (Levon Helm, d. 2012; Rick Danko, d. 1999; Richard Manuel, d. 1986)

Je n’ai rien appris, Part 2 – More foreign language fun

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2011 by 30daysout

The Beach Boys in Japan, 1966.

More versions of English/American hits done in other languages by the original artists. Now, there are TONS of hit songs that were remade for European and Japanese music fans – the Beatles’ remakes alone could fill a large warehouse – but we thought we’d focus here on the versions cut by the people who made the hits. I would give anything to see how long it took Johnny Cash to lay down German versions of his songs.

Full disclosure: “Santo Domingo” by Wanda Jackson, was actually originally recorded only in German in 1965. She cut a handful of German-language songs that were eventually collected on an album, Made In Germany.

MP3: “Le Temps des Fleurs” (Those Were The Days) by Mary Hopkin (French)

MP3: “Lowdown” (live, sung in Japanese) by Chicago

MP3: “Santo Domingo” by Wanda Jackson (German)

MP3: “My Cherie Amor” (Italian version) by Stevie Wonder

MP3: “Wer kennt den Weg” (I Walk The Line) by Johnny Cash (German)

MP3: “Sie Liebt Dich” (She Loves You) by the Beatles (German)

MP3: “L’amore Verrà” (You Can’t Hurry Love) by the Supremes (Italian)

MP3: “Call Me” (Spanish version) by Blondie

MP3: “96 Tears” (en Español) by ? and the Mysterians

MP3: “Waterloo” (French version) by ABBA

MP3: “Wie Schön Das Ist” (How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You) by Marvin Gaye (German)

MP3: “Green Circles” (Italian version) by the Small Faces

MP3: “Downtown” (German version) by Petula Clark

MP3: “Gira Gira” (Reach Out I’ll Be There) by the Four Tops (Italian)

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by 30daysout

Wrapping up our duets albums just in time for Valentine’s Day: today we spin the Motown/Tamla classic You’re All I Need, by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, from 1968.

Marvin Gaye was an established star at the Detroit label Motown when he was asked to cut a duet with a female singer in 1967.  Gaye, who had giant hits way back in 1965 with “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” and “Ain’t That Peculiar,” Gaye recorded “It Takes Two” with singer Kim Weston for Motown’s Tamla label in ’67.

Written and produced by William “Mickey” Stevenson (also Weston’s husband), the song wasn’t Gaye’s first duet but at that time it was his most successful.  It also made him an international star by going to No. 1 in the United Kingdom.  But there wasn’t gonna be a followup: by the time the record hit the top of the charts, Weston and Stevenson had already left Motown.  In fact, at this point Gaye had three duet partners: Weston, Mary Wells and Oma Page, and they had all left the label.

But label chief Berry Gordy wanted to repeat the duet success, so he enlisted Motortown Revue singer Tammi Terrell, who also happened to be the girlfriend of singer David Ruffin, of the Temptations.  Initially she cut her vocals separately from Gaye, and they hit with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Your Precious Love,” both written by Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson.

Gaye and Terrell toured behind these singles and their first duet album, but in 1967 Terrell collapsed onstage and was later diagnosed with a brain tumor.  She had the first of six brain surgeries, and she was pretty much finished as a live performer.  When she came back in a wheelchair to cut vocals with Gaye, it was face-to-face in a studio and one of the first songs they recorded is a classic: “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing,” by Ashford & Simpson.

“Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” is perhaps the archetypical Motown duet, with instrumentation by the Funk Brothers and the “sweet” Motown strings usually present on the label’s more romantic offerings.  Gaye and Terrell hit their marks as vocalists, and this was a nearly perfect record: listeners thought so as well, as it was an R&B and pop hit in 1968.

“You’re All I Need To Get By” was even bigger: it was a Top 10 pop hit in the United States and the United Kingdom and reached No. 1 on the R&B charts, where it stayed for quite a while in ’68.  “You’re All I Need” had a sort-of gospel backing choir (which included Ashford & Simpson) but it was assembled in the studio, with Gaye and Terrell cutting their vocals separately.

In fact, due to Terrell’s condition it was impossible for her to record new vocals for a full album.  So they took some of her old solo songs and overdubbed Gaye’s vocals into them to create duets.  Some of these included “Memory Chest,” “Baby Dont’cha Worry”, “Give In, You Just Can’t Win” and “When Love Comes Knocking At Your Heart.”

The album, You’re All I Need, on the Tamla label, was a moderate success (Motown usually had more success with singles) and would be the final album the duo would really record together.  A third duet album, Easy, was assembled and released in 1969, but Valerie Simpson sang along with Gaye in the studio for “guide vocals” then Terrell came in and painstakingly cut her own vocals.  In 1969 Motown also released Terrell’s only solo LP, Irresistible, but by this time she was too ill to promote either album.

She finally died in 1970 of the brain tumor.  Marvin Gaye would later say Tammi Terrell was his best duet partner, and her death would really tear him up emotionally.  His classic album What’s Going On is reportedly partially inspired by Terrell’s death.  Marvin Gaye would himself die prematurely, shot fatally by his own father in 1984.

MP3: “You’re All I Need To Get By”

MP3: “When Love Comes Knocking At My Heart”

MP3: “Keep On Lovin’ Me Honey”

MP3: “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”

MP3: “I’ll Never Stop Loving You Baby”

Last-Minute Christmas Mixtapes

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2010 by 30daysout

Only two mixtape-making days until Christmas!  We’re here for all your last-minute music needs!

MP3: “Funky Funky Christmas” by Electric Jungle

MP3: “Let It Snow” by The Diplomats of Solid Sound

MP3: “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love

MP3: “White Christmas” by Otis Redding

MP3: “Joy To The World” by Aretha Franklin

MP3: “Presents For Christmas” by Solomon Burke

MP3: “The Little Drummer Boy” by Stevie Wonder

MP3: “Christmas Comes But Once A Year” by Charles Brown

MP3: “Christmas Time (Beggin’ Santa Claus)” by The Black Ace

MP3: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Carla Thomas

MP3: “Christmas In Harlem” (Remix) by Kanye West (featuring Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Vado, Cyhi Da Prynce, Pusha-T, Musiq Soulchild, Teyana Taylor & Big Sean)

MP3: “The Christmas Song” by Redd Foxx (as Fred Sanford)

MP3: “Merry Christmas Mama” by Bill Cosby

MP3: “Poor Mr. Santa” by Andre Williams (Not Safe For Work)

MP3: “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Darlene Love & Ronnie Spector

MP3: “I Want To Come Home For Christmas” by Marvin Gaye

MP3: “Frosty The Snowman” by the Ronettes

MP3: “Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto” by James Brown

YouTube: “A Charlie Brown’s Christmas in Hollis”

Motown 50th anniversary: Grab Bag

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by 30daysout


It’s still Motown’s 50th anniversary year, and although the celebration has been subdued quite a bit by the death of Michael Jackson, we still want to commemorate the great artists who have recorded for this Great American record label over the years.  So, here’s a grab bag of some of Motown’s best artists.

MP3: “Come And Get These Memories” by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas

MP3: “Your Love Can Save Me” by the Marvelettes

MP3: “I Found That Girl” by the Jackson Five

MP3:  “Baby Don’t You Go” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

MP3: “Still Water (Love)” by the Four Tops

MP3: “Lonely Lover” by Marvin Gaye

MP3: “Run, Run, Run” by the Supremes

MP3: “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson Five

Motown 50th anniversary official website

Motown Turns 50 – “What’s Going On?” – Marvin Gaye

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 17, 2009 by 30daysout


Motown celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and in the coming weeks we are going feature some of the labels greatest moments. Today, it’s Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On?

Released in May 1971, What’s Going On?  tells the tale of a Vietnam veteran who left to fight for his country, but when he got home, all he found was the same social injustice, racism, suffering and hatred he knew before he left.  The brilliant lyrics deal with everything from God to drugs to poverty to war to taking care of Mother Earth. He was “green” long before it was a fashionable money-making venture.  Gaye’s vocals were smooth and soulful.  The music put you right on the troubled streets of Detroit with a soul that still hasn’t been matched to this day.  It was soul music’s first concept album, and one of the finest ever made.

Continue reading

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Motown 2

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , on December 22, 2008 by 30daysout


Day Whatever (I knew we’d screw this up) – Mo’  Motown holiday classics.  The Supremes, the Temptations, Smokey and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five.  What more do we need to say?  Except maybe that many of these versions, overlooked at the time as mere holiday tinsel, sound today like stone classics.

Tomorrow, we’ll visit another fine R&B record label for one of the greatest Christmas albums of all time.

MP3: “Little Bright Star” by the Supremes

MP3: “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by the Jackson Five

MP3: “Love Comes With Christmas” by the Temptations

MP3: “I Want To Come Home For Christmas” by Marvin Gaye

MP3: “White Christmas” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

MP3: “One Little Christmas Tree” by Stevie Wonder

MP3: “Give Love On Christmas Day” by the Jackson Five (feat. Michael Jackson)

MP3: “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)” (live at the Apollo) by Marvin Gaye

MP3: “Jingle Bells” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

MP3: “Silver Bells” by the Supremes

30 Days Out (from Christmas): Motown, Part 1

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2008 by 30daysout


Day Two – Nobody in the music industry is above a little holiday exploitation, and Berry Gordy’s Motown label was certainly no exception.  Gordy often put his star roster to work in the early summer recording finger poppin’ versions of holiday classics and a few originals, in hopes that he’d find a gold record under the Christmas tree.  Some of these are classics – Stevie Wonder’s “Ave Maria” is one of the better holiday records ever made – while others have justifiably faded into the mists of time.  There are so many Motown holiday songs, we’ll visit Detroit again on our 30-day Christmas odyssey.


The First Step

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 5, 2008 by 30daysout


Congratulations, America.  Thanks to everyone who voted.  Regardless of who you voted for, you made a difference.  Change has already begun, and many people agree that’s a good thing.  There is still a lot of work to do, still many challenges in the world, and there will certainly be some rough times ahead.  Most of the problems we face are too big to be fixed by only one man or one political party.  So we have to do this together. 

Today, let’s have a little party.  Some songs (OK, one: Blowfly) not safe for work.

MP3: “The Star Spangled Banner” (live) by Marvin Gaye

MP3: “Democracy In The USA” (live) by Leonard Cohen

MP3: “People Get Ready” by the Impressions

MP3: “Funky President (People It’s Bad)” by James Brown

MP3: “The First Black President” by Blowfly 

MP3: “We’re A Winner” (live) by Curtis Mayfield

MP3: “One Nation Under A Groove” by Funkadelic

MP3: “Living In America” by James Brown

MP3: “Let’s Work Together” by Canned Heat

YouTube: Bruce Springsteen’s new “Working On A Dream”

Soul Of The Departed

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2008 by 30daysout

We are still trying to right our barbaric ways.  Sunday (Nov. 2) is the celebration of All Souls’ Day, remembering those souls who may be on the way to heaven, but for some reason they haven’t arrived yet.  Yesterday we name checked the Saints, those beatific types who are already upstairs partying with the Man; All Souls Day is for those who haven’t gotten there yet because of a minor infraction and they’re still serving their time.  The Catholic church says they haven’t yet achieved the “Beatific Vision.”

So today, let’s flip our catechism to those dearly departed who achieved their “Beatific Vision” while they were on earth – yes, I’m talkin’ about Soul singers!  “Do you like good music?” (Let’s hear an “Amen!”) “Ha! That sweet soul music!” This is dedicated to those soul singers who are no longer with us.  Don’t they all look great, ya’ll?

MP3: “Please, Please, Please” by James Brown, R.I.P.

MP3: “Can’t Stop A Man In Love” by Wilson Pickett, R.I.P.

MP3: “Hands Off My Baby” by Mary Wells, R.I.P.

MP3: “Never Can Say Goodbye” by Isaac Hayes, R.I.P.

MP3: “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops (Levi Stubbs, R.I.P.)

MP3: “What A Woman Really Means” by Donny Hathaway, R.I.P.

MP3: “I Love You More Than Words Can Say” by Otis Redding, R.I.P.

MP3: “Breakfast In Bed” by Dusty Springfield, R.I.P.

MP3: “Drown In My Own Tears” by Ray Charles, R.I.P.

MP3: “Ain’t That Peculiar” by Marvin Gaye, R.I.P.

MP3: “Strokin'” by Clarence Carter, R.I.P.

MP3: “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” by the Temptations (Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams and David Ruffin, R.I.P.)

MP3: “We’re A Winner” by the Impressions (Curtis Mayfield, R.I.P.)

MP3: “Chain Gang” (live) by Sam Cooke, R.I.P.

MP3: “Sweet Soul Music”  by Arthur Conley, R.I.P.