Marvin Gaye

Free Soul: The Classics of Marvin Gaye

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Here's the Marvin Gaye installment in the Free Soul series, released by Motown in Japan in 2002. While you'd have to make an effort to pick 21 tracks from Gaye's catalog that don't make for a great listen, there are several compilations of his that fall somewhere between being good and bad introductions. This one falls somewhere between the two poles, as it contains half of What's Going On, in addition to significant chunks from other '70s albums like Trouble Man, Let's Get It On (no "Let's Get It On," however), I Want You, and Here, My Dear. With the exception of his soundtrack for Trouble Man, each album this disc culls from is a classic in its own right -- in particular, What's Going On and Here, My Dear are albums that need to be heard in their entirety, since they are much more about the whole than a couple key singles. Admittedly, this is a good way to become somewhat familiar with the era that saw Gaye become a full-blown album artist. But the best way to go about this is to start with What's Going On and work your way forward chronologically.

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