The high-end audio format war (DTS vs. DVD Audio vs. Super Audio CD) still didn't have a clear winner in 2004, so to ensure there's some Marvin Gaye to pump through your expensive tube amps, Universal issued The Marvin Gaye Collection in a Hybrid Super Audio CD. There's a confusing history behind the collection, so get your flowcharts out. Originally this set was released in 1997 as Forever Yours in a DTS-only mix (you couldn't play it without a DTS decoder) that brought the "Legendary Surround Re-Mixes" to life. No explanation was given as to why these remixes were "legendary," but in general the mix was tasteful, warm, and spacious. In 2003, the DTS mix was reissued in the DVD Audio format with some juggling of the track list and a new title, The Marvin Gaye Collection. A year later, The Marvin Gaye Collection was reissued, this time as a hybrid CD with both Super Audio Surround and plain old CD mixes. The track list is filled with classics and there's nothing better for date night than a room-filling version of "Let's Get It On." You're missing some key tracks, of course, but it's the Surround mix you're here for, isn't it? The bad news is the Super Audio Hybrid CD shipped with some serious and jarring errors in the regular audio CD portion. "Ain't That Peculiar" is split across two tracks for some reason and the sound is awful on the track, filled with digital glitches. Granted, part of being an early adopter audiophile is waiting for the recall and the rest of the collection sounds great, so hang tight, dig the tracks that work, and get your send-back mailer ready.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
feat: Kim Weston