Marvin Gaye

Sexual Healing

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For some artists (especially those who began singing in church), pop music has always had a conflicting veneer: the flesh versus the spirit. Some of those who wrestled with this conundrum are Little Richard, Al Green, Prince, and Marvin Gaye. "Sexual Healing" is a prime example of the Motown legend's feelings about the paradox. By the '80s, Gaye wanted out of his Motown contract while living in Europe as a tax exile. Gaye's lawyer told CBS Records' Larkin Arnold that the singer was shopping for a new deal. It cost CBS two million dollars to have Motown release Gaye from his contractual obligations and Gaye signed with CBS in February 1981. Author David Ritz was visiting Gaye in Belgium to begin writing the singer's autobiography when he came across a pornographic magazine and he quipped that the singer needed "sexual healing." Adding music ideas from Odell Brown, Gaye at first tried to record the track with European musicians. Not getting the feel he wanted, Gaye opted instead to play all the music himself. "Sexual Healing" stayed at number one R&B for ten weeks and went to number three pop in fall 1982.

The Midnight Love album sold more than two million copies, topping the R&B chart for eight weeks and making it to number seven pop. A track from "Turn on Some Music" was the basis of Raheim's "Music."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Midnight Love 1982 Legacy 3:59
No Image 1990 Motown 3:58
Best of 1980-1990, Vol. 2 1990
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:59
Adults Only 1992 IMG / Int'l Marketing Grp 4:01
No Image 1992
Various Artists
Sandstone
Tribute to Black Entertainers 1993
Various Artists
Columbia 4:07
K-Tel Presents: '80s Love Jams 1994
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:59
Soul Devotion [Alex] 1994
Various Artists
4:06
Soul Patrol, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
Ripete Records 3:59
Classic R&B Oldies from the 80's, Vol. 3 1994
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 4:02
Soul Train: Hall of Fame, 20th Anniversary 1994
Various Artists
Rhino 4:09
Old School Love Songs 1995
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:59
Night Moves, Vol. 3 1995
Various Artists
DCC Compact Classics 3:59
The Master 1961-1984 1995 Motown 3:59
Only Love: 1980-1984 1995
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 3:58
Love Ballads [Connoisseur Collection] 1995
Various Artists
3:55
Slow Jams [SPG] 1995
Various Artists
SPG 4:07
Smooth Grooves: A Sensual Collection, Vol. 4 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 4:01
No Image 1996
Various Artists
Rhino 4:09
Smooth Grooves: A Sensual Collection, Vols. 1-4 1996
Various Artists
Rhino
Billboard Hot R&B Hits 1982 1996
Various Artists
Rhino 4:09
All About Soul [Castle] 1996
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 4:05
The Soul of Seduction 1996
Various Artists
Legacy 3:59
Old School Love Songs, Vol. 1 1996
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:59
The Man, The Music, The Legend 1996 Arts Recordings
The Very Best of Marvin Gaye 1997 Motown / PolyGram 4:09
Love Songs [BMG International] 1997 Ariola Express
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 4:05
Chart Toppers: Romantic Hits of the 80s 1998
Various Artists
Priority Records 4:02
Soul Legends: The Classic Collections of Sweet Soul 1998
Various Artists
Master 12:19
Selection of Marvin Gaye: The Man, The Music, The Legend 1998 Golden Sounds 12:06
Totally Awesome 80's [Razor & Tie] 1998
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
Body + Soul: Love Serenade [1999] 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 4:01
Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:59
Sexual Healing [Single] 1999 Lifetime
Love, Vol. 4 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:03
Soul Monty 2000
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 10:05
Platinum R&B Party 2000
Various Artists
Legacy Rock Artifacts Series / Sony Music Distribution 3:56
Let It Rock 1983 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 4:00
Disco Fever, Vol. 2 [Dressed to Kill] 2000
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 4:32
The Essential Cult Movies [9 Disc Box] 2000
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 10:05
One Hit Classics of the 70's & 80's 2000
Various Artists
BMG International 3:59
Radio's #1 Hits: The Very Best of the '80s 2000
Various Artists
Trans World 3:59
Soul Hits of the 80's [Sony 2000] 2000
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:00
New York Knicks: Their Music 2001
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Alphabet City 3:57
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:59
More Cold Feet 2001
Original Soundtrack
Bmg Tv 3:57
Blues & Soul, Vol. 8: 1982-1983 2001
Various Artists
Connoisseur / Connoisseur Collection 4:06
Sunday Love Songs 2001
Various Artists
Universal International 4:04
The Very Best of Marvin Gaye [Motown 2001] 2001 UTV / Motown 3:59
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:00
Super Hits 2001 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 4:00
The Marvin Gaye Collection, Vol. 2 2001 Dressed To Kill 12:07
The Love Album: Classics 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:03
Slow Jams, Vols. 1-2 2002
Various Artists
SPG 4:10
Midnight Love/Dream of a Lifetime 2002 Sony Music Distribution 4:00
Eighties [Rajon CD 4] 2002
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 3:24
Let's Get It On [Medalist] 2002
Various Artists
Medalist Entertainment 4:00
No Image 2003 Legacy / Columbia 3:59
Old School Jams, Vol. 4 2003
Various Artists
SPG 4:49
Soul Love 80s 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:59
Biggest Hits of the 80's 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:01
Elite '80s 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 3:24
Midnight Soul [The Right Stuff] 2004
Various Artists
The Right Stuff 4:00
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:59
Gold: Greatest Hits [Universal Canada] 2004 Universal Distribution / Universal International 4:00
Back 2 Back 2004 Masters / Double Play Records 5:44
Icons 2004 Motown 3:59
Gold 2005 Motown 3:59
Old School Soul Party 2005
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / TJL 4:00
R&B Classics [Sony] 2005
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:01
Ambient Lounge, Vol. 6 2005
Various Artists
Globe UK 3:56
Peabo Bryson Presents Classic Soul Ballads 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 4:01
Timeless Soul Ballads 2005
Various Artists
Rex Recording 4:07
Always & Forever: All Time Greatest Slow Jams, Vol. 2 2006
Various Artists
Infinity Entertainment Group / American Beat Records 4:01
Hall of Fame 2006 Laserlight 5:01
I Love You: Romantic Sax for Special Moments 2006
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 3:58
Love Collection 2006 Universal International 3:58
#1 Hits: Best of 80s Rock Radio 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:59
#1 Smooth Love Hits 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 4:00
Number 1's 2007 Motown 3:58
Ultimate Grammy Collection: Classic Pop and Classic R&B [Borders Exclusive] 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 4:01
Ultimate Grammy Collection: Classic R&B 2008
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 4:01
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:59
Marvin Gaye for Lovers 2008 Q Records
80's Top 100 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:08
Soul RNB 2008
Various Artists
Sony BMG 3:58
They Sold a Million [EMI] 2009
Various Artists
Virgin 3:57
100 Essential Tracks: 80s 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:58
Love Marvin: The Greatest Love Songs Of Marvin Gaye 2010 Island / Motown / Universal Music TV 3:59
Chilled R&B: Summer Classics 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:57
Love Songs: The Ultimate Collection 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:57
101 Soul Anthems 2011
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution / Source Interlink / Virgin 3:59
Pure... Crooners 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:58
100 Hits: Just Be Good to Me
Various Artists
Demon Music Group / DMG TV 3:57
100 Hits: Pop Essentials
Various Artists
DMG TV 3:58
100 Hits: The Best Love Album
Various Artists
100 Hits / DMG / Sony Music 3:57