Marvin Gaye – musical innovator, truth teller, soul singer, Trouble Man. Today marks 26 years since Marvin passed away. Tomorrow would have been his 71st birthday.

I paid homage to Marvin in this Lost Ones post — I gave up writing that series because it ached to work on it. That post in particular got under my skin, and the feelings I voiced then still hold true now.

“…the circumstances of Marvin Gaye’s death make me almost angry. It makes me feel robbed. That such a great talent was snuffed out… over what? When I contemplate the overall picture of his life, such a feeling of loss washes over me. If only he’d kicked his habit and found true love, after singing so many songs about it. If only he didn’t go back to his parents’ house. If only the weight of his foreshadowing didn’t turn out to be so crushingly true. If only.

That video clip is the ending sequence to the stage play “My Brother Marvin,” and it just breaks my heart every time I watch. So I’m not going to end on such a sad note. Instead, when I listen to Marvin Gaye now I try to just enjoy his soaring three-octave voice, his poignant and still pertinent lyrics, and his gift for unforgettable melodies.

If that isn’t the eternal spring-into-summertime outdoor picnic jam, I don’t know WHAT is.

We miss you, Marvin. Your musical legacy will never die!

What’s your favorite Marvin Gaye song?


Sabbio says:
April 1, 2010, 1:00 pm
I feel just the same, when I heard about his death, about his terrible childhood dramas it became more painful to watch and listen to him. This is a paradox because he's one of my favorite singer ever but it's painful to listen to him! :(
Jen says:
April 1, 2010, 1:08 pm
What a loss. He is truly a legend and though his tragic ending does hurt my heart, I am so thankful that his voice lives on in his music.
Niki says:
April 1, 2010, 2:01 pm
Too many great songs to chose from! I am feelin' "Come Get To This" and "Praise" right now.
Danielle says:
April 1, 2010, 8:06 pm
Why is it that so many of the most talented artists tend to lead such troubled lives? Not everyone who is uber-talented struggles so much. And yet so many of our stars seem to die far, far too soon. Anyway, I have too many favorite Marvin Gaye songs to choose from! I do adore his cover of "Yesterday". [] And Love Starved Heart, his rare and unreleased album, is full of gems. My favorite track is "It's A Desperate Situation." []
JenG says:
April 2, 2010, 8:49 am
It is interesting that you mentioned him in your post. I was watching the Superbowl this year and commented about the different singers who have song the National Anthem and a friend mention Marvin Gaye so I went to youtube and found the video. Marvin Gaye is definitely missed!
Coop says:
April 12, 2010, 12:22 am
*chiming in a few days late* My fave Marvin song right now is "Distant Lover". I was in my car listening to it recently and realized I've never heard a studio version -- just the live version where there's mic feedback and women screaming endlessly! When he sings "PLEASE" I feel it, ya know. Like Marvin is begging ME personally! lol I'm loving that song right now.
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