Marvin Gaye

Rarities Edition: I Want You

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While Universal Music makes no real attempt to hide it, it’s important for the informed consumer to look closely at the single-disc Rarities Edition series. While these discs boast the covers of the original albums they're related to, they are simply the bonus discs that were packaged inside the double-disc slipcased Deluxe Editions of the recordings they represent. They do not contain the original album even though the cover art is the same. This volume was the second disc in the Deluxe Edition of Marvin Gaye's classic I Want You album, the legendary set that Leon Ware wrote for himself (most of it with T-Boy Ross), but, after Gaye heard it, used his personal relationship with Ware and his muscle at Motown to record it himself with Ware as producer. While the original album is tightly arranged and produced beautifully, this bonus disc -- which makes the following boast on the back cover: "I Want You '2': complete alternate version of Marvin's masterwork, plus more rare cuts" -- is something different. Technically, there is truth in advertising here, since it contains versions of all the album's tracks. That said, this version is for collectors and truly hardcore fans because much of the material is quite raw and loose. There are 14 tracks in various stages of completion. There are three versions of the title track here. The first, with simply Gaye’s vocal and the rhythm track, is the most interesting; the second is a mere 29-second guitar break; and the third is the band vamping on the tune. There’s an unedited longer mix of “Come Live with Me Angel” at seven and a half minutes. The unedited mix of “I Wanna Be Where You Are,” at over six minutes, reveals just how wise Ware was as a producer. There are a few alternate mixes here as well, including “Feel All My Love Inside,” “After the Dance,” “Since I Had You,” and “Soon I’ll Be Loving You Again.” A couple of instrumentals round it all out. Ultimately, this disc is for those interested in Gaye’s studio process; it is revealing in that way. The question that remains, however, is that for those who are, why wouldn’t they have purchased the double-disc I Want You Deluxe Edition already?

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