Marvin Gaye

Live in Montreux 1980

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While not as emotionally potent or as historical a release in Marvin Gaye's live album catalog as others, Live in Montreux 1980 is a power-packed two-disc set capturing the man once again at the top of his game. Starting off with the classic "Got to Give It Up" (complete with a subtle nod to the Jacksons) and working his way through the much underrated "A Funky Space Reincarnation," Gaye ruthlessly tears through one hit after another before an audience that clearly is savoring every moment. A moving tribute medley to Tammi Terrell closes the first disc and leads Gaye into vintage territory before diving into classic hit after staggering hit that made What's Going On one of the most powerful albums of all time. Backed by a stellar band, Gaye exercises and stretches each song to its elastic limits, proving again why he was the yardstick by which all other live performers measured themselves, as well as further solidifying his reputation as one of the most consummate live entertainers of his generation. And though it's not as historically important as the Live at the London Palladium recording, Live in Montreux provides the kind of all-encompassing glimpse into his brilliant catalog that most live albums have failed to deliver accurately. Highly recommended, and arguably essential listening for anyone purporting to be a fan of Marvin Gaye.

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