Respected Motown arranger and conductor David Van De Pitte said later to Ben Edmonds that Jamerson "always kept a bottle of [the Greek spirit] Metaxa in his bass case. Upset, he discussed what he witnessed with friend and songwriter Al Cleveland, who in turn wrote and composed a song to reflect Benson's concerns. [18] Billboard ranked it as the No. Sands ended up mixing the leads together, by accident. It was the first album Gaye released that sold a lot of copies. What's going on? "[10] The laid-back atmosphere in the studio was brought on by constant marijuana smoking by Gaye and other musicians. With the release of "What's Going On," Marvin Gaye almost immediately became "deep" in the eyes of the world, a three-dimensional icon instead of a two-dimensional one. If you listen really closely you can hear so many different layers to this song, it is truly amazing. [10] When Harry Balk requested the song to be released, Gordy told him the song featured "that Dizzy Gillespie stuff in the middle, that scatting, it's old". Why are they attacking their own children in the streets?"[8][9]. “What’s Going On” is on our CD/DVD, PFC3! Originally inspired by a police brutality incident witnessed by Renaldo "Obie" Benson, the song was composed by Benson, Al Cleveland, and Gaye and produced by Gaye himself. Ooh, ooh ooh And I try, oh my God, do I try I try all the time in this institution And I pray, oh my God, do I pray I pray every single day for a revolution And so I cry sometimes When I'm lying in bed Just to get it all out What's … In 1969 Richard Nixonwas elected as America’s 37th president. He loved it because I had written Jamerson licks for Jamerson." [17] The song eventually became a huge success, reaching the top of the charts within a month in March of the year, staying at number-one for five weeks on the Billboard R&B charts and one week at number-one on the Cashbox pop chart. "What's Going On" is a song by American singer Marvin Gaye, released in 1971 on the Motown subsidiary Tamla. If we can take each other by the hand, show everyone what this land can be like…maybe there can be a brighter tomorrow. Find more of 4 Non Blondes lyrics. - Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Songs. In 1970, Marvin Gaye was Motown’s top male vocal star, yet he was frustrated by the assembly-line role he played on his own hits. The record was produced by Steve Levine and the executive producers were Fraser Kennedy and Jon Dee. It was his first album to credit him as a producer and to credit Motown's in-house studio band, the session musicians known as Jermaine Dupri and Bono produced the radio single version, whose performers included Destiny's Child, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, NSYNC, Darren Hayes of Savage Garden, Jennifer Lopez, Ja Rule, Nas, Lil' Kim, Sean Combs, Mary J Blige, Alicia Keys, Eve, Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado, Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, Aaron Lewis of Staind, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Wyclef Jean and Gaye's own daughter Nona, among other artists. In 1994, the song was covered in the Music Relief '94. He was a gifted song writer/artist who was temporarily down and out when his “father” shot him in cold blood. And I say, hey hey, hey hey I said hey, what's going on? Before presenting the song to Gordy, he produced a false fade to the song, bringing the song back for a few seconds after it was initially to have ended. Until then, like most Motown artists, he had lots of hit singles but album sales were secondary. Oh, what's going on What's going What's going on What's going on. On hearing a playback of the song, Gaye asked his engineer Kenneth Sands to give him his two vocal leads to compare what he wanted to use for the song's release. [29] In reviewing the What's Going On album, Rolling Stone critic Vince Aletti stated that while the song's lyrics were "hardly brilliant", the song itself helped to set the mood for the rest of the album, and that "without overreaching they capture a certain aching dissatisfaction that is part of the album's mood."[30]. Buy it on Amazon. The video for the song, directed by Andy Morahan,[34] was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award. Musician and songwriter Elgie Stover, who later served as a caterer for Bill Clinton and was then a Motown staffer and confidante of Gaye's, was the man who opened the song's track with the words, "hey, man, what's happening?" Lyrics to 'What's Up' by 4 Non Blondes: 25 years of my life and still I'm trying to get up that great big hill of hope For a destination I realized quickly when I knew I should That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man The song not o… The song was titled “What’s Up”, despite the phrase not appearing in its lyrics, to avoid confusion with the Marvin Gaye song “What’s Going On”. The song “What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye is unique among the diverse field of anti-war songs. Later topping the Hot Soul Singles chart for five weeks and crossing over to number two on the Billboard Hot 100, it would sell over two milli… This cover was released as a benefit single released in memory of the Rwandan genocide and is also on the album Now That's What I Call Music! The lyrics of the song are inspired by violence and police brutality in America. [12] The song was issued without Gordy's knowledge. In 1999, music writers Paul Gambaccini and Kevin Howlett listed the song #74 on BBC Radio 2's Songs of the Century. [14] Later Gaye brought Lem Barney and Mel Farr as well as Bobby Rogers of The Miracles to record the song's background vocal track. On the US Billboard Hot 100, the cover peaked at number 27, and it additionally reached number 24 on both the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 and Rhythmic charts. [11] During phone conversations with Berry Gordy, who was vacationing in the Bahamas at the time, Gaye had told Gordy that he wanted to record a protest record, to which Gordy said in response, "Marvin, don't be ridiculous. In 2004 and 2010, "What's Going On" was ranked #4 on the Rolling Stone list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", making it the highest Marvin Gaye song on the list. [7], The song's inspiration came from Renaldo "Obie" Benson, a member of the Motown vocal group the Four Tops, after he and the group's tour bus arrived at Berkeley on May 15, 1969. Looking at this song for a history assignment, it’s really good! Inspired by tales of the Vietnam War brought back by his brother Frankie, Gaye wrote the lines, “Brother, brother, brother/ There’s far too many of you dying.” On October 30, 2001, a group of popular recording artists under the name "Artists Against AIDS Worldwide" released an album containing multiple versions of "What's Going On" to benefit AIDS programs in Africa and other impoverished regions. The song eventually sold more than two million copies, becoming then the fastest-selling Motown single at the time. Three years before, the black civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr had been assassinated. The message it sends is not overtly critical of war, nor does it display any amount of contempt for those that wage violence in war. The What's Going On album takes on many issues, including the environment ("Mercy Mercy Me") and poverty ("Inner City Blues"). It was the title track of his album What's Going On?, released in May 1971. / What’s Going On / All You Need Is Love / Imagine / Man in the Mirror, What’s Going On (Mick Guzauski’s Pop Mix), What’s Going On (Diddy’s Bad Boy OG Remix), Medley II (Live at the London Palladium, 1977). Marvin Gaye's "What's Going...", "500 Greatest Songs of All Time: Marvin Gaye, 'What's Going On, "Experience the Music: One-Hit Wonders and the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll", "Rock On The Net: VH1: 100 Greatest Rock Songs 1-50", "Barbecue Grill Showman Never Skipped Beat", "Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart", "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada", "MARVIN GAYE - full Official Chart History - Official Charts Company", "Top 100 Hits of 1971/Top 100 Songs of 1971", "British single certifications – Marvin Gaye – What's Going On". General CommentThis song means so much to me, not least because my father used to have this playing all the time when i was a kid. 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