Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' - special 40th Anniversary CD/ LP out now

Posted: 8th July 2011

What's Going On? I'll tell you what's going on…

Marking the 40th anniversary of the release of one of the finest albums ever recorded (not just my opinion, dear reader), UMC have released a special edition of the Marvin Gaye album 'What's Going On'.

The album regularly makes the top 20 in "best album" lists, topping the NME's 1985 writers' poll, and with the title track ranking fourth in Rolling Stone's 2004 list "500 greatest songs of all time". I've got the LP and the CD, don't yet have the t-shirt, though.

The 40th anniversary edition features many extra tracks, including songs which didn't make the cut, demo versions, single versions and mono versions and the original songs remastered, totalling a whopping 47 tracks in total! That's 38 more than on the original album.

Released at the end of last month as a download or double CD with LP, bonus lyric sheets and the story of the album. The download version retails for around £12.99 on Amazon, with the double CD and vinyl coming-in at an eye-watering £49.99 (I really do hope that LP is a 180 gram pressing!).

The album famously received a cool reception from Motown boss Berry Gordy, who expected songs about love and relationships (or even Onions!) rather than a statement about the World's political and ecological problems. The album achieved modest success when it was released, but massive critical acclaim has ensured that it has been a regular seller since its 1971 release. 'What's Going On', 'Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)' and 'Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)' were the singles taken from the album - three songs that would make any soul album green with envy.

Watch this space for the full review of this special edition.

Daniel O'Connell