" Returning to Detroit, Motown songwriter Al Cleveland wrote and composed a song based on his conversations with Benson of what he had seen in Berkeley. Decades later, the FBI told Congress in 1986 that “[t]he American media is sophisticated, and generally recognizes Soviet influence attempts.” But today, the media environment is considerably different, and the internet and social … The song was co-written by Renaldo 'Obie' Benson, Al Cleveland, and Marvin Gaye, and produced by Gaye himself. However, when he heard it, Gaye was impressed with the double-lead feel that he kept it. However, the night Jamerson came to record the bass lines, he could not sit properly in his seat and laid on the floor playing his bass riffs. On the main Billboard Hot 100, it reached number two. While there, Benson witnessed police brutality and violence in the city's People's Park during a protest held by anti-war activists, in what was described later as 'Bloody Thursday'. I had a mind of my own and I wasn't using it.  Gordy himself denied this claim, stating he loved the song's jazzy feel but cautioned Gaye that the sound was out of date of the sound of the times and also feared the loss of Gaye's crossover audience by releasing the political song.  In his 1994 review of Gaye's re-issues, Chicago Tribune reviewer Greg Kot described the album as "soul music's first 'art' album, an inner-city response to the Celtic mysticism of Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, the psychedelic pop of The Beatles' Sgt. Celebrity. 4 Non Blondes – Whats Going On Lyrics. When Gaye heard the playback to what Fontaine thought was simply a demo, Gaye instantly decided that the riff was the ideal way to start the song. Motown conductor David Van De Pitte said that Jamerson "always kept a bottle of [the Greek spirit] Metaxa in his bass case. Once Gaye heard Fontaine's riff, he told Fontaine to go home. I'm not a painter. goodbonez BLM song written and performed by Naima Nascimento age 10. Wife Annie Jamerson later said that when he returned home that night, he declared that the song was a "masterpiece". The entire album's stylistic use of a song cycle gave it a cohesive feel and was one of R&B's first concept albums, described as "a groundbreaking experiment in collating a pseudo-classical suite of free-flowing songs. Benson sent the song to the Four Tops but his band mates turned the song down. You really should be pretty comfy with science if you're going to read this without feeling overwhelmed. Gaye also provided piano and keyboards, and also played a box drum to help alongside Chet Forest's drumming. Right on, baby Right on Right on. In a revised 2020 list, this time voted on by musicians instead of music critics, the album moved up to the top spot, replacing The Beatles' Sgt. Gaye recorded the album between 1970 and 1971 in sessions at Hitsville U.S.A., Golden World, and United Sound Studios in Detroit, and at The Sound Factory in West Hollywood, California. In 2001, a deluxe edition of the album was released, featuring a recording of Gaye's May 1972 concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Broad-ranging surveys of critics, musicians, and the general public have shown that What's Going On is regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time and a landmark recording in popular music. He brought inoriginal Motown in-house studio musicians such as James Jamerson and Eddie Brown, with musicians he recruited himself. But I can do it with music.". ", Mother, motherThere's too many of you cryingBrother, brother, brotherThere's far too many of you dyingYou know we've got to find a wayTo bring some lovin' here today, eh ehFather, fatherWe don't need to escalateYou see, war is not the answerFor only love can conquer hateYou know we've got to find a wayTo bring some lovin' here today, oh oh ohPicket lines and picket signsDon't punish me with brutalityTalk to me, so you can seeOh, what's going onWhat's going onYeah, what's going onAh, what's going on, Mother, mother, everybody thinks we're wrongOh, but who are they to judge usSimply 'cause our hair is longOh, you know we've got to find a wayTo bring some understanding here todayPicket lines and picket signsDon't punish me with brutalityC'mon talk to meSo you can seeWhat's going onYeah, what's going onTell me what's going on, The Story of... 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, The Story of... 'Last Christmas' by Wham! Who's On First? “What’s Going On” was written by songwriters Renaldo “Obie” Benson, Marvin Gaye, and Al Cleveland. “I wrote a song about what’s going on” Naima said to me last week and txted me this video. Musician Elgie Stover, who was later a caterer for Bill Clinton, was the man who opened the song's track with the words, 'hey, man, what's happening?' According to Motown legend, musician and Funk Brothers leader Earl Van Dyke once mentioned that Berry Gordy didn't know of the word "ecology" and had to be told what it was though Gordy himself claimed otherwise. "My partners told me it was a protest song", Benson said. The House impeachment inquiry has focused on the July 25 telephone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. As a Catholic, Kerry held certain policy views that conflicted with the moral beliefs of his Church. A minor roadside argument escalated into a fight with police, and six days of civil unrest followed. "Right On" was a lengthy seven-minute jam influenced by funk rock and Latin soul rhythms that focused on Gaye's own divided soul in which Gaye later pleaded in falsetto, "if you let me, I will take you to live where love is King" after complying that "true love can conquer hate every time". R eaders may recall that during the 2004 presidential campaign, Sen. John Kerry led the Democratic ticket. "I said 'no man, it's a love song, about love and understanding. Gaye's lyrics explore themes of racism, drug abuse, poverty, and the Vietnam War. I realized that I had to put my own fantasies behind me if I wanted to write songs that would reach the souls of people. The lyric, "I know, I'm hooked my friend, to the boy, who makes slaves out of men", references heroin as "boy", which was slang for the drug. The laid-back sessions of the single were credited to lots of "marijuana smoke and rounds of Scotch". While traveling on his tour bus with the Four Tops on May 15, 1969, Four Tops member Renaldo "Obie" Benson witnessed an act of police brutality and violence committed on anti-war protesters who had been protesting at Berkeley's People's Park in what was later termed as "Bloody Thursday". , By the end of the 1960s, Marvin Gaye had fallen into a deep depression following the brain tumor diagnosis of his Motown singing partner Tammi Terrell, the failure of his marriage to Anna Gordy, a growing dependency on cocaine, troubles with the IRS, and struggles with Motown Records, the label he had signed with in 1961. Nearly 4,000 members of the California Army National Guard came into to control the situation, which resulted in 34 deaths and over $40 million in property damage. I'm going to be a songwriter. In 1984, the album re-entered the Billboard 200 following Gaye's untimely death. Oct. 26, 2015.  Fontaine's open alto saxophone riff on the song was not originally intended. This song was written by the former Motown producers Freddie Perren and …  Afterwards, Gaye told his brother, "I didn't know how to fight before, but now I think I do.  In 1998 Q magazine readers placed it at number 97, while in 2001 the TV network VH1 placed it at number 4. Those who build great organizations make sure they have the right people on the bus and the right people in the key seats before they figure out where to drive the bus. , According to Paul Gambaccini, Gaye's death in 1984 prompted a critical re-evaluation of the album, and most reviewers have since regarded it as an important masterpiece of popular music. In 2003, it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. The style is … This was a big risk for his image. According to one account, Gordy didn't like the song, allegedly calling it "the worst thing I ever heard in my life". It also became Gaye's second number-one album on Billboard's Soul LPs chart, where it stayed for nine weeks as well as staying inside the Billboard Soul LPs chart for a record breaking 58 weeks throughout 1971 and 1972. "Motown was about music for all people—white and black, blue and green, cops and the robbers. The narrative in the songs is told from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran returning to his home country to witness hatred, suffering, and injustice. By Averi Clements. It eventually became a huge success, reaching the top of the charts within a month, staying at number-one for five weeks on the Billboard R&B charts. Gaye's introspective lyrics explore themes of drug abuse, poverty, and the Vietnam War. I said 'no man, it's a love song, about love and understanding. I turned the TV on, and there it was: a song I had written for a movie theme titled Generation was playing right then (the song was performed by Rare Earth). According to a report from Politico, a Georgia election official said there is a glitch that stopped voting in two counties was caused by a vendor uploading an update into their Dominion … What's Going On was generally well received by contemporary critics. ", later crying out, "save the babies". Benson said later that Gaye tweaked and enriched the song, "added some things that were more ghetto, more natural, which made it seem like a story and not a song ... we measured him for the suit and he tailored the hell out of it. Gaye was inspired by social injustices committed in the US, including the 1965 Watts riots. The singer responded to Terrell's death by refusing to perform onstage for several years. Scientists have families too! Benson later told author Ben Edmonds, "I saw this and started wondering 'what was going on, what is happening here?' He has also been credited with promoting awareness of ecological issues before the public outcry over them had become prominent. When Gordy listened to the mix, he worried that no other hit single would emerge from it. One night, while holed up at a Detroit apartment, Gaye attempted suicide with a handgun, only to be saved from committing the act by Berry Gordy's father. I think that … Jamerson, who couldn't sit properly on his seat after arriving to the session drunk, performed his bass riffs, written for him by the album's arranger David Van De Pitte, on the floor. Gaye responded to this rejection by refusing to record anything else unless the song would be released, going on strike until Gordy saw sense. , Gaye started to experience more international success around this time as both a solo artist with hits such as "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" and as a dual artist with Tammi Terrell, but Gaye said during this time that he felt he "didn't deserve" his success and he felt like "a puppet - Berry's puppet, Anna's puppet. In 1973, Marvin finally answered What’s Going On with Let’s Get It On. “The police was beating on the kids, but they wasn’t bothering anybody. The singer responded by asking for partial writing credit, which Benson allowed. Thank you.". Mother, mother Everybody thinks we're wrong Oh, but who are they to judge us … One question led to another. Learn more about Where the Wild Things Are. The initial idea for “What’s Going On” came to Four Tops member Obie Benson when he was in San Francisco in 1969. Download 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' on iTunes, 3 June 2020, 14:07 | Updated: 4 June 2020, 09:25. Learn more about Where the Wild Things Are. Gaye added new musical composition, a new melody and lyrics that reflected Gaye's own disgust. Benson wanted to give the song to his group, but the other Four Tops turned it down. On July 22, 2013. If people join the bus primarily because of where it is going, what happens if you get ten miles down the road and you need to change direction? The song was released without Gordy's knowledge, and it sold over 200,000 copies within a week. I remember jumping up and down on the bed saying, 'I'm going to make it. But his fellow members in the Four Tops … Guess I seriously underestimated him. Here's the history of one of the most important songs of the 20th century: The song was co-written by Renaldo 'Obie' Benson, Al Cleveland, and Marvin Gaye, and produced by Gaye himself. Furthermore, the album was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for shipments of 300,000 albums. Also included was a recording of Gaye's first live concert performance after two years away from the stage following Tammi Terrell's illness and death, performed at The Kennedy Center Concert Hall in his native Washington, D.C., on May 1, 1972. 7 Gross Things About Someone Going Down On You. Mother, mother Everybody thinks we're wrong Oh, but who are they to judge us Simply because our hair is long Oh, you know we've got to find a way To bring some understanding here today  Gaye loved the sound and decided to keep it and use it for the duration of the album. CRAVE TART! " During this time, Gaye had been deeply affected by letters shared between him and his brother after he had returned from service in the Vietnam War over the treatment of Vietnam veterans. The final track, "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)", focuses on urban poverty, backed by a minimalist, dark blues-oriented funk vibe, with its bass riffs composed and performed by Bob Babbitt, who also performed on "Mercy Mercy Me" (Jamerson played on the rest of the album). According to Soundscan, it has since sold in excess of 1.6 million copies since sales tracking began in 1991. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. And I say: HEY! First Who, Then What—get the right people on the bus—is a concept developed in the book Good to Great. , The album's original mix, recorded in Detroit at both Hitsville and Golden World as well as United Sound Studios, was finalized on April 5, 1971. Marvin Gaye's protest anthem 'What's Going On' was a powerful and groundbreaking song at the time of its release in 1971, but fast forward nearly 50 years later and it is sadly still just as relevant for the world in 2020. Presented to Motown's Quality Control department team, they were worried about future hit singles due to its concurrent style with each song leading to the next.  Henderson also wrote that "Gaye's choice to emphasize humanity at its most charitable rather than paint bleak pictures of destruction and disillusionment is characteristic of the album that follows.". I will survive!" The album had a modest commercial reception in countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom; "Save the Children" reached number 41 on the latter country's singles chart, while the album reached number 56 twenty-five years after its original release. The song was released on January 21st, 1971 as the first single from Gaye’s eleventh studio album of the same name (“ What’s Going On “). That's taking things too far. by Abbott and Costello. , "What's Going On" features soulful, passionate vocals and multi-tracked background singing, both by Gaye. " Richie Unterberger found the album somewhat overrated, writing in The Rough Guide to Rock (2003) that much of its "meandering introspection" paled in comparison to its three singles. One question led to another. Released on May 21, 1971, What's Going On became Gaye's first album to reach the Billboard Top LPs top ten, peaking at number six, and staying on the chart for over a year, selling over two million copies, within twelve months after its release, becoming Motown's and Gaye's best-selling album to that date until he released Let's Get It On in 1973. Benson later said Gaye "added some things that were more ghetto, more natural, which made it seem like a story than a song... we measured him for the suit and he tailored the hell out of it.". Lady A What's Going On is a concept album with most of its songs segueing into the next and has been categorized as a song cycle; the album ends with a reprise of the album's opening theme. When Fontaine said he was "just goofing around", Gaye being pleased with the results replied, "Well, you goof off exquisitely. When Fontaine protested that he was just "goofing around", Gaye replied: "you goof off exquisitely, thank you.". The song marked Gaye's departure from the Motown Sound of his previous output, towards more personal material. Returning to Gaye's home outside Outer Drive, Benson played the song to Gaye on his guitar.  In MusicHound R&B (1998), Gary Graff said What's Going On was "not just a great Gaye album but is one of the great pop albums of all time", and Rolling Stone later credited the album for having "revolutionized black music". He put himself in his brother's shoes and wrote a song that stands among the most tuneful works of consciousness-raising in American music. The central theme of "What's Going On" and the album of the same name came from Marvin Gaye 's own life. During this secluded period, Gaye ditched his previous clean-cut image to grow a beard, and prefer to wear sweatsuits instead of dress suits and sweaters.. In 1973, Marvin finally answered What’s Going On with Let’s Get It On. What's going on? Most of Motown's Quality Control Department team also turned the song down, with Balk later stating that "they were used to the 'baby baby' stuff, and this was a little hard for them to grasp. Immediately after learning about the song, many of Motown's musicians, known as The Funk Brothers noted that there was a different approach with Gaye's record from that used on other Motown recordings, and Gaye complicated matters by only bringing in a few of the members while bringing his own recruits, including drummer Chet Forest. In 1985, writers on British music weekly the NME voted it best album of all time. “Even though ‘Go Your Own Way’ was a little angry, it was also honest,” Nicks wrote in the liner notes to the Rumours reissue in 2013. Gaye returned to Hitsville to record the rest of What's Going On, which took a mere ten business days between March 1 and March 10. That's taking things too far.". But her chihuahua still shows his owner’s continuing love for baked goods — going by the name Cookie. He could really put that stuff away, and then sit down and still be able to play.". " In March of 1970, Gaye's singing partner Terrell died of a brain tumor. "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" was another emotional plea, this time for the environment. In 2001, a "Deluxe Edition" 2-CD version of the album was released by Motown, which included the original LP as released, the discarded "Detroit Mix" of the album, and the mono 45 rpm mixes of the singles. Writing for Rolling Stone in 1971, Vince Aletti praised Gaye's thematic approach towards social and political concerns, while discussing the surprise of Motown releasing such an album. However, it is still a fascinating and friendly read. When Gordy heard the song, he turned down Gaye's request to release it, telling Gaye he felt it was "the worst thing I ever heard in my life". 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