35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Classic
If you have not got it, then get it, now !!! This very under-rated recording is a masterpiece from start to finish. The title track is an absolute knock out. The timeless 'T Plays It Cool' is one of the best grooves around, the drumming is flawless. Marvin sings sparingly on this album, but when he does it's heaven. I think he hits one of his best notes of all time...
Published on 25 Sept. 2002 by colster
3.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER BLACK SOUNDTRACK
IN THE EARLY\MID 70S MOST TOP NOTCH SOULMAN HAD A FILM SOUNDTRACK TO HIS NAME NOTABLY ISSAC HAYES SHAFT CURTIS MAYFIELD SUPERFLY JAMES BROWN BLACK CAESAR ETC ETC .TROUBLE MAN WAS MORE SOUNDTRACK THAN FILM AS THE GENRE BURNT ITSELF OUT BY LATE 70S. BLACK WAS SUPERCOOL THERE WAS EVEN BLACKULA. PAM GRIERS CLEOPATRA JONES ETC ETC. AND WHY NOT THIS PERIOD OF SOUL MUSIC THAT I...
Published 10 months ago by CENTRAL LONDON MAN
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Classic,
If you have not got it, then get it, now !!! This very under-rated recording is a masterpiece from start to finish. The title track is an absolute knock out. The timeless 'T Plays It Cool' is one of the best grooves around, the drumming is flawless. Marvin sings sparingly on this album, but when he does it's heaven. I think he hits one of his best notes of all time here.
The album is a soul/funk/jazz fusion dripping in strings, piano, and moog. Trevor Lawrence contributes throughout with his brilliant Alto, Tenor & Baritone Sax which weaves around the rhythms.
Forget the film, everything you need is here. Marvin wrote it all himself, produced every track , as well as playing all the keyboards, singing lead & backing vocals. In other words - pure Marvin.
Everyone I play this to Loves it.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Soundtracks Outlast Flicks,
By A Customer
To all those who only know Marvin Gaye for his metaphysically sexy voice on cuts like "Let's Get it on" or "Sexual Healing" - here comes a record where the man himself doesn't actually sing that much. "Trouble Man" is one of the better Blaxpoitation soundtracks; most of it is instrumental, that is a soulful blend of wailing guitars and lamenting horns. Yes, what you get here is some of that rather melancholy soul, but then again, isn't this where Marvin excels? As a matter of fact, this album has a similar mood to "What's Going on", Gaye's most heartfelt offering and one of the best records ever. "Trouble Man" definitely is a good listen; like with most soundtracks of its kind, it doesn't really matter whether you've seen the movie or not - if you think the record might appeal to you, go and buy it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proof of his genius,
If you were to expect smooth love songs or message music, you'd be disappointed. "Trouble Man" is a funky, jazz tinged masterpiece, mainly instrumental, with each track running into the next. Where there are lyrics, they do seem to echo some of MGs own troubled soul and some see this album as autobiographical.
While the album rewards a listen all through, there are tracks which stand alone - the walking blues rhythym of the opener, the very funky "T plays it cool" and, of course, the title track.
As a demonstration of the genius that was Marvin, chronologically, this album sits between "Whats Going On" and "Lets Get It On", and there can have been few artists who have produced 3 succesive albums of such quality, let alone of such variety.
This is well worth your attention, then, representing, as it does, the peak of Marvin Gaye's Motown creativity - there was more to come, but after this it was his troubles which were in control.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MARVIN PLAYS IT COOL...,
Often seen as a stop-gap between the classics WHAT'S GOIN' ON (1971) and LET'S GET IT ON (1973), Marvin Gaye's soundtrack to the "Blaxploitation" pot-boiler TROUBLE MAN (1972) has now - thanks to this anniversary make-over - been elevated to its rightful status as a key part of the artist's catalogue.
The TROUBLE MAN album is a deliciously cool and funky blend of smooth saxophone (courtesy of Trevor Lawrence); insistent, driving percussion; and haunting, jazz-flavoured piano with tinges of cutting-edge Moog synthesizer provided by Marvin Gaye himself. By and large, Gaye allows his vocal prowess to take a back seat here to let his instrumental ideas deliver the atmosphere. Intriguingly, we now get not just the original album beautifully remastered but also the complete music score from the film itself to create two quite different listening experiences. Regarding the film score, much of Gaye's work was, due to the necessity of Gaye having to meld the sounds to particular scenes, broken down into numerous short cues, some of which last around a minute or so; conversely, with the soundtrack album, Gaye constructed a virtually continuous suite to provide a more balanced and flowing programme of music for home enjoyment.
Right up until his death, Marvin Gaye claimed that TROUBLE MAN was one of the albums for which he held the most pride. Now re-packaged with a well-written and highly detailed booklet, the recording can now quite happily take its place among his major works, and in turn be listed alongside the likes of Isaac Hayes' SHAFT and Curtis Mayfield's SUPERFLY within a genre where the soundtrack music often outshone the quality of the films it was written to accompany.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...A Little Different Time Wise..." Trouble Man 40th Anniversary Extended Edition by MARVIN GAYE,
As I sit here listening to Marvin instructing Trevor Lawrence the Saxophone player on the Alternate Version of "T" Stands For Trouble on Disc 1 (dialogue above) - I'm properly drooling. This is just stunning stuff - and as a veteran of nearly 1650 reviews (hundreds for Soul) - I can safely say that this gorgeous 2CD set may just well be the coolest reissue ever put out in digital history.
While 1971's "What's Going On" and 1973's "Let's Get It On" are regularly acknowledged as Soul masterpieces and name-checked by everyone who is everyone in love with music that genuinely touches you - but real MG fans have always had a rush to the head at the mere sight of 1972's "Trouble Man" on vinyl. Gaye himself seemed to rate it as his best work and on the evidence presented to us on this fabulous 2013 overhaul - hot like an oven - doesn't even come close to how good Marvin was at the time. So let's get to the Blax facts right away...
Released November 2012 in the USA (January 2013 in the UK) - Universal/Hip-O Select B0017676-02 (Barcode 602537184040) breaks downs as follows:
Disc 1 (73:41 minutes):
1. Main Theme From Trouble Man (2)
2. "T" Plays It Cool
3. Poor Abbey Walsh
4. The Break In (Police Shoot Big)
5. Cleo's Apartment
6. Trouble Man
7. Theme From Trouble Man
8. "T" Stands For Trouble
9. Main Theme From Trouble Man
10. Life Is A Gamble
12. Don't Mess With Mr. T
13. There Goes Mr. T
Tracks 1 to 13 are the album "Trouble Man" - originally released December 1972 in the USA on Tamla T322L and February 1973 in the UK on Tamla Motown STML 11225. The American issue famously came in a die-cut sleeve with a flap that had him seated beneath the flap - the UK version came in a single laminated cover with no flap and only the seated photo.
14. Main Theme From Trouble Man (2) - Alternate Take With Strings
15. "T" Plays It Cool - Unedited Version
16. Poor Abbey Walsh, Part 2 - Take 1
17. Poor Abbey Walsh, Part 2 - Take 2
18. Trouble Man - Extended Version
19. Theme From Trouble Man - Vocal Version
20. "T" Stands For Trouble - Unedited Vocal Version
21. "T" Stands For Trouble - Alternate Version
22. Man Theme From Trouble Man - Vocal Version)
Tracks 14 to 22 are all PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACKS called The "T" Sessions
Disc 2 (47:37 minutes):
1. Trouble Man
2. Pool Hall
3. "T" Plays It Cool
4. Cadillac Interlude/Cleo's Apartment
5. Man Tied Up/Jimmy's West/Conversation With Cleo
6. Crap Game (A.K.A. The Break In)/Getting Rid Of Body/Talking To Angel
7. Outside Police Station
8. Bowling Alley Parking Lot
9. Stick Up
11. Closing Jimmy's
12. Police Break In
13. "T" Cleans Up/Police Station
14. Packing Up/Jimmy Gets Worked/Saying Goodbye/"T" Breaks In/Movie Theater
15. Car Ride/Looking For Pete
16. Parking Garage/Elevator
18. Getting Pete
19. My Name Is "T"/End Credits
Tracks 1 to 19 are "Trouble Man Original Film Score" (in MONO) which features the movie score chronologically reconstructed for the first time since release over 40 years ago.
It is PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED in this form.
Track 20 is a Film Band Bonus - "T" At The Cross
The three-way fold out digipak looks the business - the CDs are the same colour as the 1973 American Tamla label while the centre pages of the booklet picture the shot of Marvin sat in his chair from the die-cut sleeve. Under the see-through plastic trays are snaps of tape boxes for Side 1 and 2 and each flap has lovely colour shots of the great man. Very tasty...
But the booklet is a mixture of the beautiful and the baffling - it's 28 pages are gorgeous - filled with Motown Archive memorabilia, stuff from the collection of Mathieu Bitton, British and American trade adverts from the time, full colour spreads - even Turkish and Japanese pressings of rare singles. There are superb contributions from fans like Joni Mitchell, Lenny Kravitz, movie legend Cameron Crowe and filmmaker George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food, Men Of Honor and Notorious) -as well as reminiscences from the album's song arranger Dale Oehler (Joni used him for "The Hissing Of Summer Lawns") and the lone guest musician Trevor Lawrence who played Saxophone (Marvin played everything else). All this and detailed annotation on the sessions on the last set of pages etc. All good...
But then when you get to Page 17 of the Andrew Flory liner notes and the last sentence starts "Less than a year after its release, Trouble..." - you turn over the page - and nothing! It's not continued because someone's obviously missed a whole set of paragraphs. It's staggering sloppy for such a classy looking reissue.
But although that's a goof worth pointing out - in truth it's a sideshow to the real deal for long-time Gaye fans and lovers of this nugget album - the BEAUTIFUL NEW REMASTERED SOUND and STUNNING PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED EXTRAS...
ANDREW SKAROW did tape Research, JOHN MORALES mixed the bonus tracks and long-standing Universal Engineer KEVIN REEVES did the overall remaster. The work is exceptionally good - full of muscle and power. The booklet informs us that the 'reconstruction of the score for Disc 2 was painstaking' and it sounds it - segments I've never heard finally mixed in with what punters saw on the night. Some of it seems to fade out prematurely but I suspect that is to do what they had to work with. Other than that - track after track - and you're hit with sonic clarity and warmth that is thrilling.
I've had the 1998 CD remaster for years and this version is better - more detail and without being over-trebled for the sake of it. The punch off some of the tracks is shocking - and who can resist the only single taken off the album "Trouble Man b/w Don't Mess With Mister "T"" - it sounds glorious.
The Bonus Tracks on Disc 1 for me are the best - the Unedited Vocal Version of "T" Stands For Trouble" is brill - huge sound and sexy rhythms - with Marvin scatting over the cool rhythm and Sax. WOW!
Over 300 tiny sound cue segments were recorded for the movie and for this reissue the usable cues have been painstakingly cobbled together to make a cohesive whole. It's easy to see why music-hall crud like "Pool Hall" was left off the album but slink like "Cadillac Interlude/Cleo's Apartment", "Crap Game...", "Outside Police Station", "Cleaners/Cleo" and the sexy patter of "Penthouse" are so good and moodily atmospheric that they make you want to check out the actual movie itself (well almost). Although the Film Band Bonus "T" At The Cross is probably the worst audio on here - it's string arrangement is lovely and I can hear why it was included despite the wall of hiss that comes at you as it plays.
Apart from the presentation glitch - this is yet another superb Hip-O Select Motown release (they did the award-winning Singles Box Sets Volumes 1 to 12A).
As the years go by - his legend grows - and I'll be honest - this fabulous reissue made me shed a tear. Put the blame on Mister T people...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Godfather of Cool....,
Marvin Gaye's solo legacy is a number of landmark recordings from the 1970s which the 'all knowing' name-check endlessly, however in trying to impress those not yet acquainted with Marvin's output or essential contribution to soul music, they fail to mention 'Trouble Man'.
In 1972 'What's going on' had yet to become the classic it is now rightly hailed as which marks ''Trouble man' as an even bigger risk taken by Marvin and yet the album is probably the most consistent vinyl he recorded. Every track engages on a musical level to such a degree that the almost total absence of his voice, the greatest on the planet at this point is barely noticeable. This is soulful jazz and funk for the mind and body. It is the music of an unfettered genius released temporarily from a day job which produced the stone cold classics of 'What's going on' in 1971 through to the derided 'Here, my dear' in 1978. Regrettably this leave of absence was never repeated leaving 'Trouble Man' standing on another mountain in a different world.
This is a terrific 40th Anniversary package, lovingly restored with thought and attention to detail in extensive essays and sleeve notes. The music spread across both discs is the soundtrack of jazz and soul Heaven. It is music which will endure forever and is simply essential.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sound track,
One of the most underrated sound tracks.This 40 th anniversary edition is fantastic. First time the original film sound track has been released as it was in the film.Marvin Gaye one of the coolest soul artists ever, check out Whats Going On expanded edition also BRILLIANT.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps one of Marv's Best?,
The bubbling synth driven funk of 'T Plays it Cool' is pure compelling groove. Given that this is a soundtrack you get some pretty odd passages too, like the spooky atmospherics and lush orchestrations of 'Poor Abbey Walsh'. And poor old Mr T! The lovable rogue, you get the feeling Gaye cast himself in this role as a means of getting 'inside' the character and thereby creating a more plausible album.
Like Curtis Mayfield's Superfly, Trouble Man stands proud as a complete musical entity long after the film has disappeared, barely remembered. The strange patchworks of textures throughout are well arranged and flawlessly executed, and lend the album its filmic 'mean-streets' vibe. 'Theme From Trouble Man' is a nice lush orchestral number, followed swiftly by the bongos, flutes and tymps of 'T Stands for Trouble', which eventually launches into a great groove. 'Life Is a Gamble' is beautifully languid.
In short, 'Don't Mess With Mr T'!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Directly Channelled From God,
Trouble Man 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition
I owned this album on vinyl and it was alway within easy reach of my Technics SL-1200 turntable. As CD became the new format, one of my first purchases was the CD of Trouble Man.
For a long while I wondered about an Expanded Edition of this classic album. The soundtrack heard in the movie was markedly different to the album version, with a version of the title song that had Marvin's falsetto doubled by him cooly speaking the lyrics.
Where are the nearly 200 cues, tracks and songs Marvin composed for the movie?
It is hard to state a preferred track on the Trouble Man soundtrack as all compositions are stunning, funky and remarkable but the one that inspired the most curiosity was "T" Plays It Cool. Who played the extraordinary drums on that monster funk track?
The rumour was that Marvin, as he had on many of the first Motown hits, had actually played the drums on "T" Plays It Cool. Was this true? I had to know.
Finally an Expanded Edition of Trouble Man has been released. It has a lot to live up to after the fantastic Expanded Editions of What's Going On (1971), Let's Get It On (1973), Here, My Dear (1978) and In Our Lifetime (1981).
Trouble Man Expanded Edition has the original 13 track remastered Album, sounding as new and funky as ever, followed by The "T" Sessions, 9 previously unreleased tracks, including an unedited version of "T" Plays It Cool, which is simply amazing and 19 tracks, reconstructed from the master tapes, of the original Movie score as heard in the film.
The question about who actually played the drums on "T" Plays It Cool is left unanswered even with the informative 33 page booklet, yet maybe that is for the best.
This is an astounding Expanded Edition and a recommended purchase for anyone that likes music directly channelled from God.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent,
This was a replacement for an LP record i bought in the seventies which i still have.
I have not listened to this soundtrack for about 20 years. It is better than i remember it!
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