Monday, 3 June 2019

Marvin Gaye - Midnight Love (1982)

Rockin' after midnight....


Released October 1982

After several years living a slightly reclusive life in, oddly, Belgium, Marvin Gaye was persuaded out of retirement for what would prove to be his last album before his tragic passing in 1984. It was a really good album too, merging contemporary dance sounds with Gaye's instinctively sensual vocals  and an infectious percussion/keyboard/guitar sound. There were influences from the current dance grooves of Rick James on the captivating Midnight Lady and echoes of Michael Jackson's Off The Wall float around the album in occasional places too, particularly on Rockin' After Midnight, but it is largely Gaye's own unique creation. He wrote all the songs too. The album suited the early eighties in its mix between classy disco grooves and bedroom sensuality. That, and the smooth, mellifluous warm sound made it ideal wine bar background music.


1. Midnight Lady
2. Sexual Healing
3. Rockin' After Midnight
4. 'Til Tomorrow
5. Turn On Some Music
6. Third World Girl
7. Joy
8. My Love Is Waiting

Sexual Healing (ludicrously banned on BBC Radio) and announced on the charts as "Healing", was the big hit from the album, and deservedly so, it is a masterpiece of late-night seduction in the Let's Get It On and I Want You mould, with the sound lifted by an intricate, but incredibly catchy high-pitched guitar sound. The rhythm is as seductive as the song's intentions. 'Til Tomorrow ploughs the same furrow but much slower, with Marvin even giving us a little French. The mid part of the album envelops you warmly in its comforting sound, sometimes sultry, sometimes funky, before the final strains of My Love Is Waiting re-enact Sexual Healing a bit.

This was an impressive return for Gaye. Such a shame it all ended for him in the terrible way it did.


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