Marvin Gaye

Fundamentals Live

  • AllMusic Rating
    5
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This live set is drawn from Marvin Gaye's 1983 tour, and while it is certainly bearable (the crowd noise is a bit intrusive at times) and valuable as a historical document, only die-hard Gaye fans should bother. Although he was never less than charismatic on-stage, Gaye was most at home in the studio, where his soft and subtle vocal phrasings could be layered into amazingly expressive suites. For live performances he tended to strip his melodies down and resort to larger gestures (up to, and including, taking off his clothes) in a probably unavoidable attempt to be the consummate showman. While it is interesting to hear a live version of "Sexual Healing," one of Gaye's greatest songs, it is also obvious that the gentle tension that makes the song so arresting in its studio version gets dissipated here, and the same could be said for most of these performances. Gaye hits the right notes, but the hushed intimacy is gone.

blue highlight denotes track pick