In celebration of Marvin Gaye’s 80th birthday, Motown/UMe will release his never‐issued 1972 Tamla/Motown album, You’re The Man’ featuring all of Gaye’s solo and non‐soundtrack recordings from 1972, with most of the album’s tracks making their vinyl release debuts.
In 1972, Marvin Gaye was on top: or so it seemed. “What’s Going On,” “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” and “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler”),” the three singles from his universally acclaimed album What’s Going On, had each hit No.
1 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart. His new single, “You’re The Man” – a percolating, sarcastic riff on political non‐action issued as the U.S. presidential campaign was kicking off – reached No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart. He saw Motown schedule a You’re The Man album (catalog number Tamla 316). But when the lead single didn’t cross over Pop, stalling at No. 50, Marvin retreated.
Ambivalent about recording, stubborn about moving to Los Angeles with Berry Gordy and Motown, Marvin by his actions proclaimed no more new Marvin Gaye music.
In this singular and transitional year for the late music legend, Gaye recorded more than an album’s worth of music in Detroit and L.A. that he produced himself. Creating a suite of aching ballads, he worked with songwriters‐becoming producers Willie Hutch, and he cut two sought‐after tracks with Freddie Perren and Fonce Mizell, and he got together with Hal Davis, who was preparing a Marvin Gaye‐Diana Ross album, to cut another topical gem, “The World Is Rated X.” And Marvin funnelled his anger over the Vietnam War, and his brother’s experiences there, into a sequel of sorts to “What’s Going On,” the poetic holiday ballad, “I Want To Come Home For Christmas.” He even re‐cut “You’re The Man” as an eerie funk jam, perhaps for the LP as a bookend to the single…
Three tracks from the album are newly mixed by SaLaAM ReMi, the songwriter and producer long associated with Nas, the
Fugees, and Amy Winehouse: “My Last Chance,” “Symphony,” and “I’d Give My Life For You.” Also included is the rare, long LP version of Gaye’s cancelled 1972 Christmas single, plus an unreleased vault mix of its instrumental B‐side.