Let's Get It On

Your sweet shadow still hangs on my cold walls, rests on my dusty shelves, smiles at me from old photos. She and I danced all night long to Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On.

Have you ever read the liner notes? The Mobile Fidelity reissue preserves them well. You open the gate and you smile and you read:

I can't see anything wrong with sex between consenting anybodies. I think we make far too much of it. After all, one's genitals are just one important part of the magnificent human body. I have no argument with the essential part they play in the reproduction of the species; however, the reproductive process has been assured by the pleasure both parties receive when they engage in it.

Hee hee. I can't help but giggle. I mean, he said "genitals." Our man, Marvin Gaye should've kept to singing and let someone else do the liner note writing. Even with the album's massive sex appeal, Gaye's introduction remains decidedly unsexy. But it is pretty awesome.

I contend that SEX is SEX and LOVE is LOVE. When combined, they work very well, if two people are about the same mind. But, they are really two discrete needs and should be treated as such. Time and space will not permit me to expound further, especially in the area of the psyche. I don't believe in overly moralistic philosophies. Have your sex, it can be very exciting, if you're lucky.

I hope that the music I present here makes you lucky.

Thanks Marvin! I did, in fact, get lucky while listening to this great album. While I played "Let's Get It On" for the very first time, my apartment's old water pipes, which had frozen overnight, somehow miraculously thawed. I doubt it was just coincidence. Though I've heard the title track thousands of times, I've never owned a copy of the album. I had always only heard it on some car radio, or in the lobby of some building, or in the background of some movie or television show—never before on the hi-fi, and certainly never on vinyl.

What a difference! To be fair, it wasn't the same sort of shocking difference I heard when listening for the first time on vinyl to Bruce Springsteen's The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle, but it was pretty fantastic, nonetheless. Let's get it on. Those first four notes—you know the ones—those first four notes, they come in so sweetly, so innocently, before the song just erupts into such an undeniable groove, you can hardly make it back to your seat before you're doing a little sway and so suddenly you're gone and it's all, I've been really tryin', baby, tryin' to hold back this feeling for so long….

Why hold it back, Marvin? Let it go, let it go. Don't fight it, feel it.

Oh, but Marvin's not holding back at all, now, is he? He's just working. He's teasing. He's making moves. He's getting somewhere.

The Mobile Fidelity reissue offers handsome packaging, dead-quiet 180g vinyl, and sound that can thaw winter's frozen pipes. I had never heard the touch of pain in Marvin Gaye's voice when he sings, "We're all sensitive people with so much to give," and I had never seen the hungry look in his eyes when he promises, "I ain't gonna worry, I ain't gonna push."

Trey's picture

What a great record. And I love the contrast between this one and "What's Going On." Play them back to back sometime, it really highlights Marvin's talent and scope. I totally agree about those first four notes: killer.Trey

Smittyman's picture

Check out the March issue of MOJO for an excellent, though brief, description of Gaye's short and thoroughly messed up life. Such a waste.

tris mccall's picture

what does it tell me about my life that i have gotten far luckier to howard jones than i have to marvin gaye? probably nothing good.

Christian's picture

Great album! I have the SACD version and this is one album where I think I have to vote digital. You can put the disc on repeat and that way you won't have to interupt 'gettin it on' to flip the record over.

Stephen Mejias's picture

I don't want to analyze your weird sex lives, people. Time and space will not permit me to expound further. Thanks, though!Tris, you're a strange turtle.

Doug Bowker's picture

Love it man! DIG those three dudes on back up, and the chick playing the bongos. Marvin had it going for real. I got the What's Going On lp earlier this year and love it- time to get this one too. Thanks Stephen.

Doug Bowker's picture

Just bought it- love it. Thanks again!