Top positive review
59 people found this helpful
on 17 August 2003
Initially released in 1976, Marvin was under pressure to come up with the goods after What's Going On in 1970 and and Let's Get It On in 1973. Not being the most prolific of artists at the time [compared to say Stevie Wonder's prodidgious output in the same period] he finally collaborated with Leon Ware who had already written most of the songs [many in conjunction with Diana Ross's brother T-Boy Ross]for his own Musical Massage album ... released a few years later and also worth checking out.
Unlike the classic What's Going On and Let's Get It On, this album is not a concept album as such and could best be described as a love letter to his young sweetheart of the time - Janis Hunter who he met during the Let's Get It On sessions, whilst still married to Berry Gordy's sister Anna, and whose name is mentioned [or moaned erotically] throughout the album.
The songs are haunting, erotic [listen to Soon I'll Be Loving You Again, where he promises his beloved 'Some Head' ]... the vocals are just unbelievable .. both on lead vocals where Marvin is at his sensuous best and on background ... where you'd swear the best vocalists Motown had to offer must have been assembled but it's actually layer upon layer of Marvin, sounding like the most heavenly and soulful choir.
The playing is as you'd expect from the best session guys of the time ... Joe Sample on keyboards, James Gadson on drums, Chuck Rainey on Bass and assembled great funk guitarists ... Melvin [wah wah]Ragin, Ray Parker jnr and Dennis Coffey ...
The production and complicated arrangements by Leon Ware are outstanding and the album has a 'groove' and 'feel' to it that in my opinion has never been replicated since.
Like many of his albums 'I Want You' has Gaye's peaks not so much coming from the singles [although I Want You and After The Dance are both great tracks], but rather the album cuts and the totality of the effort itself.
Disc One is a remastered copy of the original album with 2 un-released instrumental tracks .. Disc 2 consists of previously un-released alternative versions, and a couple of new tracks.
I loved the original album so much, so to get to hear new or different versions of these songs is such a treat. I cannot recommend this or the original version highly enough.