Marvin's spoken intro to the title track sums up the purpose of this set. Made to fund his divorce from Anna Gordy, Gaye had originally planned a quickly recorded album, low on quality, to spite his one time muse, since the judge had written the order into the divorce settlement. The original critical response to "Here My Dear" seemed to reinforce that view, as Gaye's popularity waned spectacularly in the late 70's. Indeed, it had been an incredible fall from the heights of the "What's Going On" era.
Marvin Gaye's problems with his public persona have been well documented by David Ritz, his friend and biographer. It was Ritz who identified the 2 sides of Marvins' personality and it was Ritz who persuaded him to return to performing in 1982. In doing so, he revitalized Gaye's career shortly before his death in 1984, and provided the impetus for the re-evaluation of his work. "Here My Dear", cruelly judged on its release, has come to be regarded as something of a forgotten masterpiece, as a result.
Soul music has always been about the raw emotion the artist brings to the song and there are many examples of personal turmoil contributing to wonderful music, listen to Aretha around the time of her split from Ted White or Al Green as he fought the spiritual urge. "Here My Dear" was Marvin Gaye's most completely personal work, as he wrote and sung of his alienation from the woman who had proved to be his inspiration.
This is latter day Marvin Gaye, the tracks built up over hours of improvisation, the lyrics refined to a ferocious honesty which is wonderfully conveyed in the haunting vocal performance. Marvin Gaye had better known albums, had many bigger hits, and also had other personal traumas which provided his motivation. Whatever, listening to this album brings you to the heart of the man, crying out for his love, knowing it was lost and being able to do nothing about it. This is real music with a SOUL.
This edition adds unreleased material in the form of demo vocals and alternate arrangements and mixes, and spoken passages omitted from the original album. You also get a couple of bonus tracks for good measure making this an even better proposition.
on 17 February 2008
Marvin respected his ex-wife enough to make a truly classic 'divorce settelemt' album.A heart felt epitaph to a doomed relationship.Marvin tries to rationalise the whole episode within this recording.I suspect drugs and fragile ego where the true root of Mr.Gaye's problems but to listen to 'when did I stop lovin' you........'is to get a true idea of the fragility of the man.A classic soul track!I really enjoy this album and I think it has got better with time,it has a number of really quality soulful tracks.I own it on vinyl and have now purchased it on CD.A masterful production with the only low point being 'Funky space' which is a somewhat pointless bit of obvious dance floor filling.Not a bad groove but way too long.Overall well worth five stars,this is Marvin's hidden masterpiece.Buy and listen carefully,you may know the ending which makes it even more poignant.
This is a really thrilling record, full of yearning, bathetic soul interspersed with the must delicious, at times bonkers Funk. You have to experience the slighty deranged funk of Funky Space Reincarnation to help you see another dimension of Marvins genius.