Marvin Gaye didn't intend "Got to Give It Up" to be a disco hit. The singer/songwriter thought the tune was funk. The prolific artist would sporadically work on a project of his called "Life's Opera" in between his more commercial-aimed albums. It was more meant to be a creative outlet than anything meant to be commercially released. Gaye felt the same way about "Got to Give It Up" until engineer/producer Art Stewart insistently intervened. At almost 15 minutes, the track has a laid-back feel due in part to Gaye's recording technique of lounging behind the recording console singing into a mic that was hung above him.Gaye was so nonchalant that he casually banged out a rhythm part on a half-empty bottle of grapefruit.
Listed on his number one R&B/number three pop album Marvin Gaye Live at the London Palladium, "Got to Give It Up" held the number one R&B spot for five weeks while going to number one pop in spring 1977. The track spawned several sound-alikes, the most famous being Bunny Sigler's "Let Me Party With You."