It gives us a chance to see Marvin's complex and contradictory character in even more...
Greg Boraman 2003
Marvin Gaye's most sensual release gets a reappraisal with this special edition of his 1976 album I Want You. This extendedversion includes previously unreleased takes, alternate and instrumental mixes and snippets of the sensual love songs that were becoming Gaye's forte in the latter half of the Seventies.
Many of the tracks on the original release had already been recorded and released by label-mate Leon Ware. Motown boss Berry Gordy offered them up to Gaye, thinking they offered a suitable vehicle for his singular vocal talents.
And make the material his own he surely did. The very real target of his affections was his then wife Jan, whom he conspicuously refers to on the record. It's near the knuckle, personal stuff; no surprise, Marvin was never one to shy away from baring his soul.
What delights the most is the chance to hear familiar anthems from brand new perspectives; the stripped down a cappella version of"IWant You"makes the already suggestive grooves even more sensual. Marvin, along with fellow love god Barry White (and the frequent power cuts of the decade), has been blamed for the 1970's pronounced spikes in birth rates. Listening to this you can hear why.
The oft quoted myth of Marvin recording most of these vocals laid out on a studio sofa gains further credence from the alternative version of "I Wanna Be Where You Are." It features different lyrics from the original, and is delivered in such a laid back & fragile manner that the great man sounds on the verge of a very deep sleep.
One criticism of this 'deluxe' release is that the instrumental versions of some of the tracks, lacking Marvin's expressive voice, verge on the mildly bland easy-listening. But, taken as a whole, this collection is a real treat for aficionados and newcomers alike. It gives us a chance to see Marvin's complex and contradictory character in even more detail than before.