Yup, this is a masterpiece.  I bought this several years ago for a middle school general music lesson.  It’s one of the few CDs for which I paid full price, so I must not have been able to find it used.  In fact, I have some super-fancy special edition with a case cover and a lyric book.  I probably bought it at Target, and I doubt I paid more than $10 for it.  Anyway, I can’t remember the topic of the lesson I was teaching, but it probably had to do with social issues.  I remember playing “What’s Going On” and “Mercy Mercy Me” in class, and honestly, I think the kids were actually into it.

This whole album is smooth.  From the way Marvin Gaye sings to the way the tracks flow into each other, the whole album just radiates smoothness.  But what is even more amazing to me than the music is the fact the timelessness of the lyrics.  In fact, this record could have been written today in 2012 and it would still be relevant.  Virtually every one of the social issues Marvin Gaye is addressing on this album are still problems today.  Inner city poverty, war, drug abuse, environmental damage…it’s all still happening.  I guess its kind of sad that we haven’t progressed any further than this in the 40+ years since this was written.  Well, at least we are trying to fix the environment…

Other lists: “What’s Going On” is #4 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  Marvin Gaye is #6 on the 100 Greatest Singers list and he is #18 on the 100 Greatest Artists list.

My favorite song: “What’s Going On”

Honorable mention: “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”

Quote: “Everybody thinks we’re wrong, but who are they to judge us simply ’cause our hair is long?”

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