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Marvin Gaye’s Heart-On-Sleeve Soul Opera ‘Here, My Dear’

The 1978 album was described as "the most poisonous alimony settlement of the 20th century," but it was much more than that.

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Here My Dear Marvin Gaye

In terms of his distinguished album output, everyone knows Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Let’s Get It On, records that became landmarks in his unique 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.

Listen to Here, My Dear right now.

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, and their lawyers striking a deal for the impoverished Gaye to give the proceeds of his next album to his estranged wife.

A Funky Space Reincarnation Marvin GayeRecorded in 1977 and released in December 1978, following Gaye’s bitter row with Motown, Here, My Dear was met with an often lukewarm response, to his considerable distaste. That was all the more disappointing given the emotional commitment Gaye had made to an often painfully poignant depiction of a love story that begins with happiness and ends in sad recrimination.

The album, which entered the US chart on 6 January 1979, produced only one, modest R&B chart single in the top 30 entry ‘A Funky Space Reincarnation.’ The LP itself reached only No. 26 on the pop listing and No. 4 R&B. A 2007 expanded reissue helped its wider appreciation, and with the passing of time, Here, My Dear went on to be viewed as an emotional, heart-wrenching opus that stands among Gaye’s finest pieces of work.

Here, My Dear can be bought here

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Peter

    June 21, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I couldn’t understand the negativity when this brilliant album hit the stores. For me a MASTER PIECE and which I play from time to time to remind me of love and how we take it for granted yet do not understand the failings and obstacles it presents to us all.

  2. Shana

    June 21, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    I LOVE this cd! I listen to it all the yime! A true Mastet Piece. The songs on are beyond awesome! Great music then and now! He sings with such passion and agony. Oh my!!!!

  3. rosa johnson

    June 21, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I understood and felt it when it 1st came out. I was going thru the breakup of my marriage also. I identified with every song and I still love this album.cry, cry, cry, I have done some crying. oh yeah.

  4. Teresa Ball

    June 21, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Just love Marvin Gaye and this is wonderful

  5. Keith Menezes

    January 10, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Marvin never made a bad album, although this came across as a depressing piece at the time for me. Just like a fine wine it got better with each listen. Not his best work though. What’s Going On will never be beaten

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