Marvin Gaye wanted to move away from sweet innocent love songs and provide commentary on the turmoil happening in the inner cities of the USA in the 1970’s. Highly successful record company supremo Berry Gordy wasn’t feeling it.
He refused to back Marvin Gaye’s creative growth and Gaye had to go on strike for creative freedom.
Some of the songs that emerged were ‘What’s Going On’ and ‘Mercy Mercy Me’ plus the album ‘What’s Going On.’
Gordy initially said ‘What’s Going On’ was the ‘Worst thing he had ever heard’, saying ‘Don’t be ridiculous Marvin, that’s taking things too far.’
Because the quality control team at Motown also gave the single the thumbs down the record had to be sneakily released where it became the fastest selling single at Motown at that time.
According to Wiki, the album ‘has been voted one of the landmark recordings in pop music history and is considered to be one of the greatest albums ever made.’
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