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Derrick Dunn

Second Listen Sunday : Marvin Gaye, I Want You

The year was 1976, and Marvin Gaye was on top of the world. Three years earlier, he solidified his place as an R&B lover man with his groundbreaking album “Let’s Get It On .”For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I wanted to revisit Marvin’s follow-up, “I Want You.” The album “I Want You” marked a notable shift in Marvin Gaye’s musical direction, inspired by his relationship with Jan Hunter. Gaye’s music moved from his traditional Motown and doo-wop-influenced sound towards a more funky and light-disco soul. Despite this change, the album continued to explore the sexual themes in Gaye’s previous work, expanding on them further.

The album was released on March 16th, 1976, and its lead single was “I Want You .”Leon Ware and Arthur Ross wrote the song, a passionate and soulful declaration of love and desire. It explores the longing for mutual affection and reciprocity in a relationship. Marvin beautifully articulates his yearning for the person he loves, emphasizing the importance of wanting and being wanted in return.

The second single, “After The Dance,” was co-written by Marvin Gaye and Leon Ware. In this composition, Gaye captures the attraction and desire individuals experience while dancing. The song’s lyrics convey the artist’s initial fascination with a person he sees on the dance floor who exudes physical appeal and skillfully dances. Gaye contemplates whether this individual would reciprocate his interest and ponders the possibility of establishing a connection with them.

The last single released from the album was titled “Since I Had You .”The song tells the story of two lovers who had a passionate romance in the past but eventually parted ways. Despite the time that has passed, the lyrics suggest that there is still a strong bond between the two individuals. When they unexpectedly meet at a neighborhood dance, they experience a resurgence of intense feelings, reigniting the flame they once shared.

The rest of the album avoids filler material and still sounds fresh. “I Want to Be Where You Are”  and “Come Live with Me Angel” exude seductive and intimate energy, while songs like “Feel All My Love Inside” and ” Soon I’ll Be Loving You Again ” showcase Gaye’s unparalleled vocal talent and emotional range. Each song on the album is a gem in its own right, contributing to a cohesive and immersive listening experience that is as timeless as it is powerful.

“I Want You” is a profound work of art that explores the intricacies of human experience regarding the differentiation between love and lust. Through his honest and vulnerable portrayal, Gaye can capture the essence of these complex emotions in a genuine and relatable way. The album has rightfully earned its place as a classic in soul music due to its ability to resonate with its listeners and exceptional musical composition. The album’s significance transcends mere entertainment and has become an emblem of creative excellence in music.

Final Grade: A

“I Want You” is available on all streaming platforms.

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Second Listen Sunday : Marvin Gaye, I Want You