To coin an often, and over, used phrase, when a person gets tired of Marvin Gaye, they are tired of life. The man was born to sing, to bring the funky good times into the lives of anyone and everyone who ever listened to him step up to a microphone. While twenty year old me would readily sharpen the many blades that he’d happily gut himself with if he ever thought for single moment that his middle-aged self would spend his evenings getting down with his not-quite-as-bad-as-he’d-like-you-to-believe-he-is self and Marvin’s back catalogue, forty something year old me is content to luxuriate in the knowledge that the best piece of advice I was ever given was “There’s more to life than punk rock”. Those words set me free and are probably the only reason that I haven’t had an embolism.
Portrayed as a “lost” album, You’re the Man is actually a collection of tunes that have appeared elsewhere, but was originally intended to be the record that followed What’s Going On, and you know what? It’s Marvin doing what Marvin did best and better than almost anyone else. Every single time I play it, in my imagination I’m strolling down the streets of New York City in 1971, looking like a million dollars without a care in this sorry old world. That’s the power of music, it takes you away from all of the things that are troubling you and weighing you down and Marvin Gaye takes me further away from it all than anyone else, which is almost certainly why I dig the heck out of everything that he ever did. Marvin, you’re still the man and you always will be… Tim Cundle