Marvin Gaye's ultra-seductive Let's Get It On overflows with overtly seductive numbers like its title track and "You Sure Love to Ball," but its most seductive moment may be its subtlest: "Distant Lover." The lyrics chronicle the yearning its narrator feels for a romantic partner who is "so many miles away" as he alternately pleads for her return and laments the emptiness he feels without her. The music undercuts the heartbroken feel of the lyrics with a lullaby-like style that drifts along, recycling the same yearning chord progression to haunting effect. Marvin Gaye's studio recording enhances the dreamy style of the song with stately horn and strings, tumbling drum fills that gently nudge the song along, and mellow, doo wop-styled background vocals that echo "love her, you love her" under his romantic pleas. Gaye fulfills the song's promise with a rich vocal that builds from a heartbroken croon to an impassioned wail. It worked both as romantic mood piece and a showcase for Gaye's considerable vocal skills. Both of these factors made "Distant Lover" a big favorite at concerts. A particularly steamy version of this song, complete with wailing female fans in the background, was captured on his 1974 Live album. A single release of this live version became a stopgap hit for Gaye (Top 15 on the R&B chart, Top 30 on the pop chart) during the three-year gap between Let's Get It On and I Want You.