These recordings were the ones of his that Marvin Gaye held the most precious. In fact, he held on to them so tightly -- constantly re-arranging and re-recording his vocal perormances, obsessing over measuring up to the treasures of the Great American Songbook he had selected and the stunning arrangements he had commissioned -- that they never saw release in his lifetime. They were finally issued, as Vulnerable, in 1997, and have since lapsed out of print. So if you are snuggling up to your sweetie and feeling some "interdependence" at the end of this Independence Day, put this on and get ready to snuggle a little bit closer.
And if you need a gentle comedown from the fireworks and expressions of patriotism, I have added as a bonus track Marvin's radical reworking of The Star-Spangled Banner, which he performed at the NBA All-Star Game in 1983. It's as profound a deconstruction and reinterpretation of the National Anthem as Jimi Hendrix's was at Woodstock. And I've always loved the way Marvin's Gospel roots show in his version, as he sings, "Oh, say, does thy star-spangled banner yet wave", rather than "that".
Happy Independence Night. Enjoy.
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