Motown features quite heavily on my personal Basics playlist and although there are different periods of Marvin Gaye’s career that are worth mentioning, “What’s Going On” is certainly one of the albums everyone should listen to at some point. Wikipedia has this to say:
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. The narrative established by the songs is told from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran returning to his home country to witness hatred, suffering, and injustice. Gaye’s introspective lyrics explore themes of drug abuse, poverty, and the Vietnam War. He has also been credited with promoting awareness of ecological issues before the public outcry over them had become prominent.
How do you explain this one to your parents? It’s a film version of an album they’ve been bombarded with for 2 or 3 years about a rock star who’s having a nervous breakdown and ends up creating a neo-nazi alter ego.
Fair enough, but Bob Hoskins is in it and it’s directed by Alan Parker, the guy who made Bugsy Malone, yeah and Midnight Express …
Monumental film with a surprisingly (and at times, disturbingly) good performance from Sir Bob Geldof, pre-Live Aid days when he was still a Rat.
And of course, this song has one of the great guitar solos of all time!
One of the hundreds of tunes I heard as a cover version and then later rediscovered. I’ve added a new tag – Music Collection Basics – which of course is highly subjective, but will try to add songs / artists that I consider essential. I mean, how far have we come since the days of having Carmina Burana and The Planets as the only classical albums in any young person’s collection? That is the question.
What I remember about this is the gig at Southampton Gaumont (as it was then). This ageing fleapit of a theatre / cinema was the place to go for concerts as Southampton audiences apparently had a very honest opinion. So we were lucky to see a lot of bands who would otherwise have forgotten all about us, especially new bands.
Openers for Duran Duran were the unknowns Talk Talk, probably one of the best support bands I can remember seeing. But the Durans were even better and my hero John Taylor was on top form. For me, this first album and Rio were some of their best material.