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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest Soul Album Ever Made!
This is the soul album that conquers all due to the fantastic combinations of highly orchestrated and almost otherworldly beauty of the instrumentation and melodies, the relevance of its subjects and the marvel that is Marvin Gaye's vocal stylings and impeccable range. The title track is the obvious highlight, but close competition for best track comes from "Flyin'...
Published on 26 Jan 2001

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Collectors/Completists Only!
FIVE STARS FOR THE MUSICAL CONTENT! BUT... the overall package is perhaps over-priced at 40 quid. I did actually get this from amazon.co.uk 7 days ago for 29.99 - they do this with alot of items - fluctuate the price, one week up one week down - you need to keep a keen eye on their listings as prices do change from week to week.

The product itself - well in...
Published on 18 Nov 2011 by the gooch


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest Soul Album Ever Made!, 26 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: What's Going On (Audio CD)
This is the soul album that conquers all due to the fantastic combinations of highly orchestrated and almost otherworldly beauty of the instrumentation and melodies, the relevance of its subjects and the marvel that is Marvin Gaye's vocal stylings and impeccable range. The title track is the obvious highlight, but close competition for best track comes from "Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)" and "Wholy Holy" although the whole album is a lush, sedated and simply groundbreaking achievement for a black artist, who helped create more independence for the artists at Motown, paving the way for Stevie Wonder's fabulous 70s work and his own erotic masterpieces. Marvin Gaye's masterpiece should be listened to eternally
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential, 8 May 2002
This review is from: What's Going On (Audio CD)
This is one of the first albums I bought when 'going CD', after falling in love with my mother's vinyl copy. 'What's Going On' is a stunning album ,and though 30 years old, as contemporary as if it were recorded yesterday. This is undoubtedly the high point of Gaye's career, between the Motown mush foisted on him (such a waste of his angelic voice) and the rising of his personal problems. I cannot recommend this album highly enough, even to those unacquainted with Marvin or not connoisseurs of this type of music. Beautifully orchestrated songs on themes ranging from peace, religion, ecology and the plight of black americans, all delivered in that peerless voice, make the album is a fantastic listen. From the laidback lament of the title track through to the ominously plaintive 'Inner City Blues' (the segue between 'God Is Love' and 'Mercy Mercy Me' still makes me shiver even after a thousand listens), Marvin holds forth on those things dearest to him, underlining how pointless and vacuous some of today's efforts are by comparison. Every collection should have this album, which stands alongside 'Innervisions' as one of the first occasions a black artist verbally confronted some of the ills that ailed black America. And given what happened some 13 years later, it is almost painful to hear him sing lines like 'love your father' and father father, we don't need to escalate.' Great album, great loss.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We love you Marvin, 10 Sep 2000
This review is from: What's Going On (Audio CD)
For me this is one of the great albums of the twentieth century. A million miles from the luurrveman shmooze of his later albums and the brash pop of his earlier stuff, this is all about pain, sorrow and optimism.
Now while this sounds drippy (and Marvin does holler, in all seriousness, 'Save the babies!'), the combination of killer melodies, featherlight string arrangements and Marvin's voice, free of the constraint of his earlier Motown meatgrinder material, make for an album straight from the gods. And it'll have your booty shaking like nobody's business.
How it isn't unbearably cheesy I'll never know, but somehow you get the feeling that our Marvin really meant what he sang and you can't help but get swept along. Wonderful stuff.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Desert Island Disk, 3 Jan 2008
This review is from: What's Going On (Audio CD)
Sadly, when this album was released, Motown was "uncool", and I was listening to Mahavishnu Orchestra and Chick Corea's Return to Forever. Both good bands, but don't get played too often these days. However, since eventually buying it, it's never failed to get the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up. The title track is as relevant today as it was when it was written (Vietnam and Iraq), and is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. It's just very sad that Marvin is no longer around to sing it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarily Beautiful, 23 May 2000
This review is from: What's Going On (Audio CD)
I had to write a review of this, I've just lent it to a friend to go on holiday with (a bit of musical education) and my room doesn't feel right without the possibility that I could put it on at any moment (even though I've got another 500 CD's to fall back on) The first time you hear it is like the first time you realise that well, maybe girls aren't so bad after all. Every subsequent listen reminds you exactly what it's all supposed to be about in the first place. A home without "What's going On" is just a big building with some rooms in.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 20 Feb 2007
By 
Phil Herbert (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: What's Going On (Audio CD)
I am 21, and have only discovered Marvin Gaye in the last few years. Admittedly, I originally delved into his catalogue due to feeling that I should (from what everyone else said). Since then, my love for his music has only grown, and this album is the pinnacle.

Each track is beautiful. It's kicked off by the title track, which deserve every bit of its reputation, and then the first half of the album slowly progresses, with each track moulding perfectly into the other. There is honestly no weak track on this album. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) and Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) are the two other best known tracks on this album, along with God Is Love being my personal favourite.

This is a true masterpiece of an album, and is how every release should be. If you have a love for Soul, of just beautiful music, please buy this.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 12 May 2007
This review is from: What's Going On (Audio CD)
Brilliant album, of its time but as valid now as the same problems exist or have got worse today. I read a review stating Marvin's high regard is through his untimely death - well I think I fell for this album before I knew he was dead! He produced a lot of good work before and after 'What's Going On' but for me this is the pinnacle, a mature album that is strong throughout and it's a real feet up on the balcony, chilling out with a large glass of your favourite spirit type album. Buy it, sit back, relax, then start trying to change the world for the better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvin Gaye's Best Album, 16 Oct 2007
By 
David R. Bishop "Bishbaby" (Plymouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: What's Going On (Audio CD)
Marvin had been on the Motown production line for nearly a decade. Now I have nothing against the traditional Motown sound, on the contrary, I live breathe and sleep it, but Marvin was ready to trust his own creativity, and try something new, of his own.

Some have described the album as a 'black American' album. Listen again, you will not hear the word 'black' once! The album speaks to all of humanity, like great art should. The concept is timeless. With the current growing concerns about pollution and global warming, 'Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)' could have been written tomorrow.

There is a lot of jazz in the music. The chords and changes are very pleasing, and thoughtfully complex if you listen closely.

This is Marvin's best album in my opinion. At the time of writing it is so cheap, and repackaged with a bonus track. It should be irrestibible to anybody. I believe it belongs in every serious collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful package and SACD remastering, 16 Nov 2009
By 
Marco Fullone "funkadelico" (Milan, Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: What's Going on (Audio CD)
Another masterpiece from MOFI.
Luxury mini album replica (paper sleeve) of a classic Marvin Gaye album.
The SACD high resolution (only in stereo) is a DSD great remaster, probably better than the SACD version released by Universal Music (but available in SACD multi-channel).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Soul Album in the World.........ever!!!!!, 17 Feb 2004
By 
This review is from: What's Going On (Audio CD)
This is Marvin's finest Hour, no question about it. With it he transformed his image from pop star to serious musical visionary in the space of less than an hour of glorious music. He was the first mainstream soul artist to record a concept album, as opposed to a collection of singles and "fillers" as had been the case up to this point. Marvin's vocals are straight from the church (his background) and the musicians on this are as tight a bunch as you'd find anywhere, yes even as good as anything Stax/Volt could produce. What it lacks in rawness, it makes up for in beauty and richness.
Particular stand out tracks for me would be "Whats Going on", "Whats Happening Brother" and "Inner City Blues (Make me wanna Holler)", a song that every jazz artist has taken a shot at!
But dont just take my word for it, buy it and see for yourself. You wont be disappointed!
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