Marvin Gaye

MASTERCUTS - What's Going On


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Release date: 15 December, 2023

Marvin Gaye's first album to present him as a producer and to credit Motown's in-house studio band, the iconic session musicians known as the Funk Brothers.

"What's Going On" is a concept album with its narrative, established by the songs, being told from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran returning to his home country to witness hatred, suffering, and injustice.

The album was an immediate commercial and critical success making Gaye the first male solo artist to place three top ten singles on the Hot 100 from one album. In 2020, it was ranked number one on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Composer, Drums/Percussion, Piano, Liner Notes, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals: Marvin Gaye
Vocals (Background): The Andantes, Mel Farr, Bobby Rogers, Elgie Stover, Lem Barney
Bass: James Jamerson, Bob Babbitt
Tambourine, Percussion: Jack Ashford
Vibraphone, Percussion: Jack Brokensha
Celeste: Johnny Griffith
Drums: Chet Forest
Bongos, Congas: Eddie "Bongo" Brown, Earl DeRouen
Guitar: Joe Messina, Robert White
Solo Work: Eli Fountain (Alto Saxophone), William "Wild Bill" Moore (Tenor Saxophone)
Saxophones: Larry Nozero, George Benson, Angelo Carlisi, Tate Houston
Trumpets: John Trudell, Maurice Davis
Trombone: Carl Raetz
Violins: Gordon Staples, Zinovi Bistritzky, Beatriz Budinszky, Richard Margitza, Virgnia Halfmann, Felix Resnick, Alvin Score, Lillian Downs, James Waring
Violas: Edouard Kesner, Meyer Shapiro, David Ireland, Nathan Gordon
Cellos: Italo Babini, Thaddeus Markiewicz, Edward Korkigan
Harp: Carole Crosby
String Bass: Max Janowsky

Date of Recording: June 1, 1970 - May 5, 1971
Original Release Date: May 21, 1971
Location: Hitsville Studios and Studio B, Detroit, MI, and
Sound Factory, Los Angeles, CA
Original tape numbers: P6786, P6787
Catalog Number: Tamla TS310
Balance Engineer: Günter Hermanns
Recording Producer: 
Produced by Marvin Gaye
Arranged and Conducted by David Van dePitte.

Side A
1. What's Going On
2. What's Happening Brother
3. Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)
4. Save The Children
5. God Is Love
6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

Side B
1. Right On
2. Wholy Holy
3. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)

Vinyl LP