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

Liam Gallagher's first solo gig will be in aid of Manchester victims

He's also announced the name of the first song from his album

by Dave Fawbert
26 May 2017

The music world has united in response to the Manchester attack

Here are the reactions from musicians on social media

by Dave Fawbert
23 May 2017

11 forgotten indie bands that shaped your '00s teenage years

And what are they up to now?

by Tayler Willson
22 May 2017

This Harvard student dropped a rap album as his final dissertation

Now I feel like a mug for writing a 20,000-word essay

by Gary Ogden
22 May 2017

UK music festivals are going to start testing your drugs for purity

It has the potential to save lives

by Gary Ogden
22 May 2017

The 7 most important UK festival sets of the millennium

The musical moments in a field that changed everything

by David Hillier
19 May 2017

These modern albums redesigned with retro covers are glorious

We wish these were the real thing

by Dave Fawbert
19 May 2017

Chris Cornell's isolated vocals to 'Black Hole Sun' are amazing

A reminder of the sheer talent of the Soundgarden frontman

by Dave Fawbert
19 May 2017

Check out the exclusive new Nothing But Thieves video

'Amsterdam' was filmed in a Ukranian industrial warehouse

by Dave Fawbert
18 May 2017

Paying tribute to Chris Cornell, one of the greatest voices in music

And here are six songs from him that you need to listen to immediately

by Dave Fawbert
18 May 2017