Marvin Gaye

Legend, Live and Forever

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Marvin Gaye disliked touring, and truthfully, his sweetly nuanced singing style worked best in a studio setting, where every lift and turn of his phrasing could be clearly heard. The concert stage, by contrast, required large, grand gestures from his singing, and while no one would suggest Gaye was ever anything but a solid performer, the hushed intimacy that made some of his greatest songs so magnificent was often difficult to attain on-stage. Bootlegs and cobbled-together packages of live Gaye shows have been on the market for years, often with the venue mislabeled (if it is listed at all) and overly intrusive crowd noise. This set features selections drawn from Gaye's 1979 tour of Japan, his 1980 tour of Europe, his 1983 U.S. tour, and adds two versions of "The Lord's Prayer" recorded in Belgium in 1981, one with keyboards and the other with keyboards and strings. The sound quality varies (these are not professionally made recordings by any means) and while Gaye's vocals are usually clearly audible, the finer instrumental details of the large band he worked with are lost in the cluttered and boxy background, making these live tracks more useful as archival and historic documents than as a truly satisfying listening experience.

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