Marvin Gaye

Let's Get It On

Composed by Ed Townsend / Edward Townsend / Marvin Gaye

Song Review by

According to co-producer/co-writer Ed Townsend, Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" started out as an anti-drug song. The idea for the song came from Townsend's experiences at an alcohol rehab center. The title originally referred to the axiom "let's get on with life." Issued in July 1973, the record caused a controversy because of its overtly sexual theme. The session for the classic song listed Crusaders members Joe Sample and Wilton Felder as well as David T. Walker, Eddie "Bongo" Brown, and Gaye on piano. While working on the lead vocals, Townsend had Gaye improvise lyrics over the chorus. The spontaneity comes through like a quickie. "Let's Get It On" laid at number one R&B for six weeks while going to number one pop in the summer of 1973. The Let's Get It On album stayed at number one R&B for 11 weeks, went to number one pop, and yielded "Come Get to This," "Distant Lover" (a popular live version was on his Marvin Gaye Live at the London Palladium LP), and "You Sure Love to Ball." During summer 2001, Townsend was still involved in drug recovery through a play/CD Rehabilitation Been There! Done That! on his own 12 Step Records label, co-produced with his son David Townsend of Surface.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Let's Get It On 1973 Motown 4:52
No Image 1973
Various Artists
Motown
Live! 1974 Motown 4:43
Anthology [1974] 1974 Motown 3:59
Live at the London Palladium 1977 Motown 6:21
Oldies But Goodies: Legendary Hits 1979
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 4:00
Marvin Gaye's Greatest Hits 1981 Motown 4:02
Live: The Magic Collection 1983 Arc Music 5:21
No Image 1984
Various Artists
Motown
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Rhino
The Marvin Gaye Collection 1990 Motown 4:01
Sounds of the Seventies: 1973 1990
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:03
Greatest Hits Live [Video] 1991 Delta Distribution / Xtra
The Last Concert Tour 1991 Giant / Giant 5:03
No Image 1992
Various Artists
Best Love Songs, Vol. 3 1992
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:59
Hitsville USA, Vol. 2: The Motown Singles Collection 1972-1992 1993
Various Artists
Motown 4:03
Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 13 1993
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 4:00
No Image 1993
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:58
Superstars Best Love Songs, Vol. 3-4 1994
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:58
Inkwell [Original Soundtrack] 1994
Original Soundtrack
Giant / Giant 3:58
Slow Jams: The Timeless Collection, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 4:00
Golden Hits of the 50's & 60's 1995
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 5:22
The Master 1961-1984 1995 Motown 4:50
Motown Year By Year: The Sound of Young America, 1973 1995
Various Artists
Motown 4:04
Anthology: The Best of Marvin Gaye 1995 Motown 3:58
Cruzin' to Motown 1995
Various Artists
Thump Records 4:02
Soul Train 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Box Set 1995
Various Artists
MCA 4:03
Quiet Storm 1995
Various Artists
Malaco 4:02
No Image 1996
Various Artists
Goldies
Endless Love [Intersound] 1996
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Rock On 1973: Diamond Girl 1996
Various Artists
Rock On 4:51
The Man, The Music, The Legend 1996 Arts Recordings
Live [Newsound] 1996 Newsound 5:21
In Concert [Public Music] 1997 Public Music 5:26
The Very Best of Marvin Gaye 1997 Universal International 3:59
MVP Classic Mellow, Vol. 3 1997
Various Artists
MVP Records 4:51
Forever Yours 1997 DTS Entertainment / Digital Sound 5:01
Motown 40 Forever 1998
Various Artists
Motown 4:01
Old School Mega Mix, Vol. 3 1998
Various Artists
Cold Front Records / K-Tel Distribution 4:44
Selection of Marvin Gaye: The Man, The Music, The Legend 1998 Golden Sounds 8:13
Great Marvin Gaye: Live 1998 AdD / Goldies 5:19
In Concert [Mastertone] 1998 Mastertone 5:16
Strip Jointz, Vol. 2: More Hot Songs for Sexy Dancers 1998
Various Artists
Robbins Entertainment 4:51
The 70s 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 4:00
Foolish 1999
Original Soundtrack
No Limit Records / Priority Records
Best Soul Album in the World 1999
Various Artists
Virgin 4:04
More Music from the Motion Picture Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me 1999
Original Soundtrack
Maverick 4:00
Millennium Dance Party Mix 1999
Various Artists
Webster Hall Records 4:00
Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo 1999
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 4:53
Motown Chartbusters, Vols. 7-12 [Box Set] 1999
Various Artists
Spectrum Music
Roots of Rhythm: I'm in Love [Book + CD] 1999
Various Artists
Heart of Soul Classics 2000
Various Artists
Hip-O / Polygram 4:03
Pure Love 2000
Various Artists
UTV / Polygram 4:01
The Greatest Slow Jams 2000
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 4:55
The Love Songs [Universal] 2000 Universal Distribution 3:57
Body + Soul: Sweet Seduction 2000
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:53
Live: The European Tour 2000 Omaha Productions
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Webster Hall Records
Universal Masters Collection 2000 Motown / Universal
The Love Songs Album [#1] 2000
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:56
The Final Concert 2000 The Right Stuff 5:21
Soul Train: The Dance Years 1973 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 4:02
Number One Motown 2000
Various Artists
Polygram 3:56
Whipped 2000
Original Soundtrack
Intermedia/TVT / TVT 4:01
The Sexual Healer 2000 METRODOME 5:21
Jammin' Gold 2000
Various Artists
Q Records / Atlantic 4:01
Sexual Healing [St. Clair] 2000 Music Digital 5:23
Millennium Dance Party: Magic 102 - Dallas 2000
Various Artists
Webster Hall Records 4:00
Smooth Grooves: Live 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 4:43
Live in Concert [Town Sound/South Park] 2001 Park South Records / Town Sound/South Park 5:21
Back to Black: 1900-1999 2001
Various Artists
Universal International 3:58
Jammin' Oldies 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 4:03
Instant Party: Whole Lotta Soul 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 4:02
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: Great Soul Ballads 2001
Various Artists
Goldies 5:24
Rock & Roll Greats 2001
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 5:22
The Very Best of Marvin Gaye [Motown 2001] 2001 Universal Distribution / Motown / Um3 / Universal 4:53
Final Concert [Planet Media] 2001 Planet 5:26
Rock N Roll Classics [Columbia River] 2001
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 5:22
On Tour 2001 Town Sound 5:21
Say It Loud! A Celebration of Black Music in America 2001
Original TV Soundtrack
Rhino 4:53
Can You Dig It? The '70s Soul Experience 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:58
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Motown 1970s, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Motown 4:51
Soulful Ballads 2001
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 4:01
Bridget Jones's Dairy 2 2001
Original Soundtrack
Universal 3:57
Selections from Can You Dig It?: The '70's Soul Experience 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 4:05
Celebrate! 2002
Various Artists
Polygram 3:57
Blues & Soul, Vol. 3: 1972-1973 2002
Various Artists
Connoisseur Collection
The Sound of Motortown Detroit 2002
Various Artists
Goldies 5:22
The Bridal Collection: And Now Presenting 2002
Various Artists
Music For Two 4:52
Last Dance [Spectrum] 2002
Various Artists
Spectrum Music
R&B Lovesongs 2002
Various Artists
Sony BMG 3:56
Performance 2002 Goldenlane 5:21
No Image 2002 Mastersound
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Best of Love 2002
Various Artists
Universal International 4:02
WDAS 105.3 FM: Classic Soul Hits, Vol. 7 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 4:52
Platinum Soul Legends 2002
Various Artists
Warner Music
Gold Collection: The Best of Soul 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 6:37
Forever Gold: Gold Collection: The Best of Soul 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 5:24
Rhythm, Love and Soul: The Sexiest Songs of R&B [WQED] 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution / Shout! Factory 3:59
Rhythm, Love and Soul: The Sexiest Songs of R&B [Shout] 2003
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 3:59
Rocking After Midnight: The Last Concert 2003 Dynamic 5:23
Live in Montreux 1980 2003 Eagle Records 4:59
Live in Montreux 1980 [Video] 2003 Eagle Vision 5:01
Best of Soul Let's Get It On 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 4:53
Sex Cells 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Greatest Hits Live [Delta] 2003 Laserlight 4:57
The Marvin Gaye Collection [2003] 2003 Motown 3:52
The Ultimate Soul Collection, Vol. 2 2003
Various Artists
WEA International 3:58
Soul Classics, Vol. 9 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 4:52
Elite: Soul 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Hear Music
Let's Get It On [RCA] 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:58
The Concert Anthology 2004 Cleopatra / Goldenlane 5:21
Ultimate Collection 2004 Universal International 4:51
Music Legends: Marvin Gaye in Concert 2004 BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / BCI / Eclipse Music Group 5:31
New Woman Love Songs 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:57
Back 2 Back 2004 Masters / Double Play Records 4:08
Greatest Hits/Rockin' After Midnight 2004 Laserlight 4:57
Timeless Classics: Live 2004 St. Clair 6:37
Solid Soul [Dynamic] 2004
Various Artists
Dynamic 5:26
Live [2005] 2004 United Audio Entertainment 5:21
Let's Get It On [Pazzazz Collection] 2004 Pazzazz 5:25
The Best of: R&B Ballads 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 6:34
Let's Get It On: Live 2004 Mojo Music (Independent) 5:21
Cruisin' Hits 2005
Various Artists
Northquest 5:22
Gold 2005 Motown 4:53
Greatest Valentine's Day Album Ever 2005
Various Artists
Pegasus (Pinnacle)
What's Going On [Pazzazz Collection] 2005 Pazzazz 5:25
Soul Ballads [St. Clair] 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 5:24
Motown Unmixed 2005
Various Artists
Motown 4:54
Southport Weekender, Vol. 3 2005
Various Artists
Susu 4:15
Chronicles 2005 Motown 4:04
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Motown Remixed [Australian] 2005
Various Artists
Motown / Universal Distribution 4:22
Joy 2005
Joy
Yeaah! Records
Sexy Soul: R&B Soul 2005
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:58
Ultimate 16: Bump and Grind 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 4:03
The Ultimate Slow Dancing Collection 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 4:00
Sultry Soul 2006
Various Artists
Laserlight 4:59
R&B Soul Lovers 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 6:34
Classic Soul Ballads: Sweet Thing 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:53
K-Tel Presents: #1 Hits of the 70's 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:00
70s Love Train 2006
Various Artists
St. Clair 4:00
Goodnight Songs 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
What's Going On [DVD] 2006 Eagle Vision
Last Holiday 2006
Original Soundtrack
Bulletproof 4:51
Soul Legends 2006 Universal Distribution
Billboard #1s: The '70s 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 3:59
The Very Best of Marvin Gaye [Mastersong] 2006 Mastersong 6:36
Rock N Roll of the 70s 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 6:34
Live in Belgium 1981 2006 Motown
Soul Immortal 2006 American Legends 4:51
Instant Soul 2006
Various Artists
Snapper
The Greatest: 70s Soul Classics 2006
Various Artists
St. Clair 4:00
Party: 3-CD Box Set 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 3:57
Forever Soul R&B 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 6:35
The Real Thing: In Performance 1964-1981 [DVD/CD] 2006 Universal Distribution
R&B Soul Classics: Platinum Artist Series 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 4:00
K-Tel Presents: All Your Rhythm and Blues Hits 2007
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution / BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) 6:36
Blades of Glory [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2007
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 4:54
Number 1's: Love Songs 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:52
Soul Heaven [Malaco] 2007
Various Artists
Malaco 4:53
Best of Motown, Vol. 2 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Marvin Gaye for Lovers 2008 Q Records 4:46
Playlist Plus 2008 Motown 4:53
Motown 50 Fanthology 2008
Various Artists
Universal 4:53
No Image 2008
Various Artists
St. Clair
Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing Prism Leisure Corporation (UK) / Prism Platinum 5:21
No Image
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
No Image Phantom
North American Tour Planet 5:52
No Image Pair
True Party
Various Artists
Spectrum Music
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