Subscribe during February and save 50%.

Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On Gets the 40th Anniversary Deluxe Treatment

One of the greatest albums of all time is getting the deluxe two-disc treatment, with an extra LP thrown in for good measure.
Marvin Gaye

Even with a cursory understanding of music history, it should be pretty obvious that Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On is one of the greatest albums of all time. It’s an album that addresses a host of dark and disturbing social issues (e.g., war, drug addiction, environmental abuse) but does so with such love and compassion — which are exuded by Gaye’s angelic voice and the Funk Brothers’ incredible arrangements — that listening to it becomes well nigh a religious experience. Or, if not a religious one, then certainly a transcendent one (that, speaking personally, moves me to tears nearly every time I listen to it).

The album’s 40th anniversary is right around the corner, so not surprisingly, Motown is working on a deluxe edition to commemorate the event. The set will include the original album remastered plus a host of unreleased material, alternate versions and mixes, and demos. In addition, it will include the album on vinyl in its original “Detroit” mix, as well as essays and rare photos. The complete CD tracklist is below.

Disc One

  1. What’s Going On
  2. What’s Happening Brother
  3. Flyin’ High (In the Friendly Sky)
  4. Save the Children
  5. God Is Love
  6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
  7. Right On
  8. Wholy Holy
  9. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
  10. What’s Going On (unreleased original single mix)
  11. Head Title a.k.a. Distant Lover (demo version, original master)
  12. Symphony (demo version)
  13. I Love the Ground You Walk On (instrumental)
  14. What’s Going On (mono single version)
  15. God Is Love (mono single version)
  16. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) (mono single version)
  17. Sad Tomorrows (mono single version)
  18. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (mono single version)
  19. Wholy Holy (mono single version)

Disc Two

  1. Checking Out (Double Clutch)
  2. Chained
  3. Country Stud
  4. Help the People
  5. Running From Love (version 1)
  6. Daybreak
  7. Doing My Thing
  8. “T” Stands for Time
  9. Jesus Is Our Love Song
  10. Funky Nation
  11. Infinity
  12. Mandota
  13. Struttin’ the Blues
  14. Running From Love (version 2 with strings)
  15. I’m Going Home (Move)
  16. You’re the Man Parts 1 and 2 (original mono single version)
  17. You’re the Man (alternate version 1)
  18. You’re the Man (alternate version 2)

The 40th anniversary set of What’s Going On will be released on May 31, 2011.

Via Pitchfork.

Enjoy reading Opus? Want to support my writing? Become a subscriber for just $5/month or $50/year.
Subscribe Today
Return to the Opus homepage