Thursday, October 11, 2012

165 Let's Get it on. Class

Album: Lets Get It On
Artist: Marvin Gaye
Year: 1973
Genre: Soul


1. Let's Get It On
2. Please Stay (Once You Go Away)
3. If I Should Die Tonight
4. Keep Gettin' It On
5. Come Get to This
6. Distant Lover
7. You Sure Love to Ball
8. Just to Keep You Satisfied

Class is a strange thing. A lot of modern popular music lacks any kind of class at all. It's basically a bunch of people singing about how they want to shag someone silly. It's a declaration that the singer has found a girl that they want to put part of their body into and they want to do it right now; no class at all.

Marvin Gaye on the other hand is classy. The man is full of class, his albums just ooze class and everything about him and his career is just... there's no other word for it... classy. His songs aren't about something as cheap as just wanting to have his way with someone they're hang on I'll check... oh.

Turns out Marv just wants to get it on as well. He wants to "groove you good" and he wants to do it "this minute." In fact he wants "Everybody to start getting it on". He might be classy but he's clearly horny as well.

So what makes Marvin Gaye classy but modern singers sharing the same sentiment not classy?

Firstly it's the strings. The lush production and instrumentation suggest a level of sophistication that you just can't replicate with guitars and drums. A room full of string instruments can give a simple declaration of lust an extra layer of gravitas. He might want to doink her but he wants to do it to a string accompaniment which makes it classy.

It's probably also got something to do with the declaration of love that Gaye adds as well. He doesn't want to groove simply because he's noticed someone in a club, he wants to groove a woman that he declares undying affection for. He's in love and wants to make love not just satisfy a primal urge.

If you're thinking of making a song about bonking and you're taking notes then note one should read: "strings" and note two: "love". But note three is the real clincher: you need to have Marvin Gaye's voice.

Marvin has a voice like golden velvet wrapped around honey. It's pure seduction in musical form and could charm the habit of a statue of a nun. If he directed his perfect voice at me I'd probably be halfway undressed before I remembered I was a heterosexual.

In the end class is all about talent. If you've got the talent of Marvin Gaye you could make songs about garbage disposal sound classy, if you haven't you can't.

I don't choose to listen to Let's Get it On very often but whenever I hear it or any of his other album's I always sit back and marvel at Marvin. It's too over produced and slick for my liking but there's no denying the massive talent driving it onward. Classy, very classy.

Influenced by: Soul
Influenced: Michael Jackson

Highlight: The title track
Lowlight: Distant Lover

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: " I suggest waiting until you're about to "get it on" and then putting on this album. "

-Eww. Please don't make these suggestions.

So would you enjoy getting this on or would you rather they just get it off? Let me know below.


  1. So, I am wondering: do you still like the album even though you said it was overproduced?

    Also, how consistent is this album? There are clearly highlights on this album, but how consistent would you say it is? I ask this because I know that Gaye's other masterpiece "What's Going On", while critically acclaimed, was in some cases criticized for its lack of consistency. So basically what I ask is whether or not this album holds up as an ALBUM, and whether or not it is a truly great album, seeing as it relatively high on the list.

  2. Yes it holds up very well as an album. It has no real flatspots and while the highlights are high there are no lowlights that are worth skipping. It's also one of the albums on here by an artist who has been the subject of lots of compilations that is still worth hearing. It's hasn't been rendered redundant by a comprehensive best of and is still worth hearing in it's own right.