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Play now 25 mins

What's Going On - Music That Defined A Decade

Duration:
25 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 21 May 2011

To mark the 40th anniversary of one of the most influential albums ever released, Marvin Gaye's What's Going On - which was released in May 1971 - Smokey Robinson explores the social and political impact of this classic album and explains why Marvin's masterpiece still has resonance today.

What's Going On was the first album to feature songs about social injustice, suffering, hatred, drug abuse, war, loss and poverty and inspired a new generation of performers to use their music for social commentary.

Guests in the programme include Stevie Wonder, Mary Wilson, Lamont Dozier, Harry Belafonte, John Legend, Beverly Knight, David Gray and three of the surviving Funk Brothers who played with Marvin on the album - Bob Babbitt, Joe Messina and Jack Ashford.

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  • Celebrating 40 years of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On

    Celebrating 40 years of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On

    "I wanted to write an album that could be translated into other languages and not particularly be an ethnic statement."

    Read more on the BBC News website

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