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Marvin Gaye: Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye [Bonus Tracks]

Track List

Album Notes

That in the years after the release of this album Marvin Gaye became one of the greatest and most influential singers in the fields of soul and R&B is hardly a matter for discussion. What kind of impression the listening public might have picked up from Soulful Moods, his debut recording project, is another question, as it is certainly an uncharacteristic collection. It starts off with a whole run of standard numbers from the great era of American songwriting before tossing in a couple of trivial numbers from the developing Motown stable, including a Berry Gordy number that compares most unfavorably with the Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hart numbers that surround it. Fans of saloon singing may be curious to know how well Gaye fares in this difficult genre, and for the most part these are fine performances considering the versatile range of his voice and the depth of feeling he brought to most of his performances. No, this is not Gaye with a fully developed style, and it is hardly the innovative legend of Let's Get It On or What's Going On but there is nothing he could have been embarrassed about here. The studio musicians come up with nice arrangements of the material, sometimes even with hints of the punch they would bring to his later, chart-topping material. The label re-released this project years later with a new cover substituting the artist's face for a jukebox, an unglamorous move no doubt intended to fool a hurried buyer into thinking they are getting a greatest-hits package. ~ Eugene Chadbourne



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