Friday, November 07, 2008
Bogged town a tad in work this week I've been nevertheless tearing through David Ritz's biog of Marvin Gaye on those hushed early morning trains into town. It's a terrifically well-rounded portrait of a deeply complex, restless soul and like all good books about music I think should, leads you right back to the records with renewed perspective and desire.
I can't list many singers I love better than Marvin, but it's amazing to read that he always felt his voice was lacking in depth next to the great Motown 'shouters' like Levi Stubbs and David Ruffin, or next generation soul/funkers like Harold Melvin. According to Ritz, Gaye made a conscious effort to prove to himself and others that he too could do the gruff big churchy thing as well as the soaring lyricism, but you can already hear all that in this record, one of his earliest 'break through' tracks.
There are some pretty special backing singers on this - know who? (no Googling, You're Only Cheating Yourself)...
Marvin Gaye - 'Stubborn Kind Of Fellow' (1962)