Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Unseen Marvin Gaye shot

Marvin-Gaye-Whats-Going-On.jpg

Looking good while getting drenched in a kids’ playground is not an easy look to pull off — but back when this photo was taken, Marvin Gaye was the coolest man on the planet.

This is one of the previously unseen images from Jim Hendin’s What’s Going On cover session that will feature, along with rare and unreleased music, on the super-deluxe edition of the album released to celebrate the record’s 40th anniversary. It captures the singer — who died in 1984 — secure in the knowledge that he’d just made not only one of the greatest albums of all time, but also a record that broke about every mould going.

Before What’s Going On emerged in 1971, soul music had largely served as a soundtrack to what people in 1971 called “making lurve”. What’s Going On, with its social commentary and anti-Vietnam War stance, changed all that; re-inventing the genre as a vehicle for social change. Without it, hip-hop would never have happened.

Ironically, Gaye’s record label Tamla Motown originally didn’t want him to go down the political route, but after the title track became a hit, the company changed its mind.

The photograph shows a man about to announce his genius to the world. Those bikes were still way too small for him, though.

What’s Going On: 40th Anniversary is released on 4 July

Related

Arctic-Monkeys.jpg

Classic album covers get the Lego treatment

Shorlist4.jpg

The Unseen Bob Marley

beatles.png

The Beatles as you’ve never seen them

Comments

More

Glastonbury reveals full line-up including the legends slot

And there's a treat for pop fans

by Dave Fawbert
30 Mar 2017

John Legend just sat down at a piano at St Pancras and started playing

Unrelatedly, tickets to his stadium tour go on sale Friday

by Tom Mendelsohn
29 Mar 2017

An amazing extended version of George Michael's 'Fastlove' exists

I won't bore you with the details, baby

by Dave Fawbert
28 Mar 2017

A woman has been jailed for playing Ed Sheeran on repeat

Fair enough?

by Gary Ogden
28 Mar 2017

13 amazing garage bangers that were hidden away as album tracks

Make this the soundtrack to your summer

by Gary Ogden
24 Mar 2017

Listen to brand new Kendrick Lamar song 'The Heart Part 4'

'Y'all got til April the 7th to get y'all shit together'

by Matt Tate
24 Mar 2017

Is Kendrick Lamar about to unveil his new album?

A 'To Pimp a Butterfly' follow-up seems to be imminent

by Dave Fawbert
23 Mar 2017

Here are the best picks for Record Store Day

From David Bowie to Aqua

by Emily Reynolds
22 Mar 2017

This brilliant video shows every song Daft Punk have ever sampled

Where have you heard that before? Probably in a Daft Punk song

by Matt Tate
21 Mar 2017

Watch Calvin Harris show how he made his latest single bit-by-bit

This is actually pretty fascinating

by Dave Fawbert
20 Mar 2017