Everyone knows Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Let’s Get It On – they are albums that defined his solo career. But dig a little deeper into his back catalogue and you’ll find Here, My Dear. It’s an album has been described as the most “poisonous alimony settlement of the 20th Century”, but that’s missing the point.
This is a soul-opera, a raw heart-on-sleeve statement that tells the story of a couple’s love and loss in the starkest of terms – the couple being Marvin Gaye and his then wife Anna, the sister of Motown’s founder Berry Gordy. The album came about after Gaye’s affair and separation from Anna Gordy, and their lawyers striking a deal for hard-up Gaye to give the proceeds of his next album to Anna. Recorded in 1977 and released a year later following a bitter row with Motown, Here, My Dear met was universal disregard when it came out in December 1978; only with the passing of time can it be seen as an emotional, heart-wrenching opus. Some would say it’s Marvin’s finest ever recording.