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Few singers could ever wish for a better few years creatively and commercially like the years between 1971s "What's Going on" and 1976s "I Want You". Between those five years Marvin Gaye had released four huge albums and had also recorded a live album. Roll on through a number of creative problems and also a series of drug problems, Debt and depression to 1982 when he recorded what would be his final studio album of his illustrious career before being shot dead by his Father in 1984.
Released in October of 1982, Midnight Love was a struggle to record with Gaye's drug problem and creative slump he moved to Europe and did briefly quit drugs long enough to get into the studio and get back to what he did best which was of course make Music. After cancelling his contract with Motown He signed a new three album deal with CBS Records. The album was hugely well received and was seen as a return to form by critics. It was rated the 37th best album of the 1980s in Rolling Stones list of 100 greatest albums of the 1980s.
1. Midnight Lady
2. Sexual Healing
3. Rockin' After Midnight
4. Till Tomorrow
5. Turn On Some Music
6. Third World Girl
8. My Love Is Waiting
1.) Midnight Lady
This opens the album with a very funky feel. The electric and bass guitars intertwine together to create a fine sound stage with the beat. Marvin's vocals are strong and this track has a very cool flow. Gaye's vocals sound different than on the other tracks on the album this shows a catchy more up tempo more rhythmically driven side to his music than previously.
2.) Sexual Healing
This was the first single from the album and is one of the best love songs of all time. It frequently features in romantic collections. This track has a classic drum machine beat which runs throughout the song and Marvin's emotion dripping vocals ooze brilliance on possibly the greatest love making musical aid of all time. Superb.
3.) Rockin' After Midnight
This track has a very funky feel which is a little like Prince's early stuff, It also has elements of Michael Jackson's sound from around the same time. This is a catchy up tempo track which although not as well known as some of the tracks on the album it's still a very good track with some great moments.
4.) 'Til Tomorrow
This features a fabulous drum beat thanks to a drum machine. This tracks shows the adaptation with the change of the decade from the 70s to 80s. This is a lovely fusion of awesome falsetto from the 70's and a new sound which was brought in at the turn of the decade. This is a wonderful track which shows that he still had that incredible voice.
5.) Turn on Some Music
This is another early Prince like track with some catchy beats and flowing guitar licks. This is another romantic bedroom track which has a fine feel. This track is about getting it on with romantic music as the backing setting the mood. This track could be even better if it was a little slower but it's a very very good track as it was recorded.
6.) Third World Girl
This is another catchy track with some great beats, It probably has the funkiest hooks on the album with some great vocals and the flow is brilliant. We hear a different vocal style from Marvin than we are used to but this works rather well and just shows another fine side to his voice. This is a Good flowing track.
This is another up tempo track, this time there are some wonderful Saxophone parts which run throughout the track. Marvin shows off his talent as a musician by playing the drums, Fender Rhodes, synthesizers and bass synthesizers on this track. (Not at the same time you understand). This features a nice Sax break which lets Bobby Stern loose on his wonderful vibrant solo.
8.) My Love Is Waiting
This track was written by Gordon Banks, (No not that one). It's an electro-funk, Caribbean-styled song which starts with a beat similar to the beat in "Sexual Healing". This track is about a man coming back to his lover after a long time away. This is another fine track which sees Marvin Gaye provide the synthesizers and organ. Good stuff with a very catchy feel and a strong sincerity.
Whilst Midnight Love doesn't have the amount of jaw dropping ballads of his best 70's work what it does have is a new style that Marvin Gaye picked up very quickly and added to his arsenal. Proving that he could do the fine up tempo funk just about as well as he could do the awe inspiring love ballads with that incredible falsetto. This was a Marvin Gaye that was adapting to the musical field and If he ever had got back to fully sound mind he would have gone on to adapt into the 90's aswell. His mind and actions led to his death at the hands of his father lets not forget that. But let's remember something else as well. This is a damn fine album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Midnight Lady
2 Sexual Healing
3 Rockin' After Midnight
4 Till Tomorrow
5 Turn On Some Music
6 Third World Girl
8 My Love Is Waiting
9 Rockin' After Midnight