What's Going On - Music That Defined A Decade

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.

Available now

25 minutes

Last on

Mon 23 May 2011 01:05 GMT

In Detail: Moving Pictures

A Flower Painting by Rachel Ruysch

Take time to discover the detail in old masterpieces using your phone, tablet or computer

Amazing documentaries from 2017


Catch up on some of the most powerful global stories from the last year


The Space Race

Stargazing - from eclipses to the spacecraft changing our view of the Universe

The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Every episode of The Documentary, on your mp3 player, to play wherever you are

The Compass

The Compass - branding 1920

The essential take on big ideas, issues and trends from the 21st century