Thanks to his incredible vocal power, musical legacy and tragically short career, the work of Marvin Gaye has been pawed over for decades. It has meant that very little art associated with Gaye has yet to be explored, but now there’s a new album to devour.
An instrumental record, the funky number was composed and recorded in 1971 and has remained unheard until now. You can listen to the record in full below, and get a taste of Funky Nation: The Detroit Instrumentals and Gaye’s position at the time.
The album came out of Gaye having some unusual rest following the singer’s refusal to go on tour. Gaye had just released his seminal record What’s Going On and refused to be shipped off on a promotional tour. Instead, he helped create this record alongside his band.
Hamilton Bohannon on drums and incredibly young Ray Parker Jr. join Wah Wah Watson, Michael Henderson and Leroy Emmanuel in the band. The instrumentals are truly inspirational and have been released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of ‘What’s Going On’ being released.
Some of the songs below have been heard on different special edition Marvin Gaye releases, but never as a complete set. It’s a staunch reminder of the talent Gaye had behind him when he delivered a defining album of the century.
Listen below to Funky Nation: The Detroit Instrumentals.