Title - 'What's Going On: Super Deluxe Edition' (UMe)
Artist - Marvin Gaye
'What's Going On' was the eleventh studio album by soul musician Marvin Gaye. First released on May 21st, 1971, on the Motown-subsidiary label Tamla Records, the actual recording sessions for the album took place in June 1970 and subsequently (and importantly) March–May 1971 at Hitsville U.S.A., Golden World and United Sound Studios in Detroit, Michigan and at The Sound Factory in West Hollywood, California.
The first Marvin Gaye album credited as produced solely by the artist himself, 'What's Going On' is a unified concept album consisting (on its original release) of nine songs, most of which lead into the next. It has also been categorized as a song cycle, since the album ends on a reprise to the album's opening theme. The album is told from the point of view of a Vietnam War veteran returning to the country he had been fighting for, and seeing nothing but injustice, suffering and hatred.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary, Motown/UMe proudly announces the release of 'What's Going On – Super Deluxe Edition,' on May 17, 2011. This new Super Deluxe Edition includes two CDs and one vinyl LP, 14 unreleased tracks, copious rarities, all complemented by an oversized booklet with two essays and rare photos from the original cover shoot. Inside as well is a reproduction of the album graphics, which showcased, for the first time at Motown, the song's lyrics—and identified the musicians.
The classic titular song, 'What's Going On' kicks this long deluxe edition off, with it's twin-sounding 'What's Happening Brother' backing it. 'Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)' is followed by both the spoken word/sung' Save The Children' and 'God Is Love,' before another classic (and one that soon became one of Gaye's most famous songs in his extensive catalogue) is unleashed in the form of 'Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).'
The 'Heard It Through The Grapevine'-vibed, near 8 minute long 'Right On' is next, with 'Wholy Holy' behind it, before the beautiful 'Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)' comes forth. 'What's Going On' (unreleased original single mix), which became Motown's fastest selling single at that point, is next, before 'Head Title a.k.a. Distant Lover' (demo version, original master) is lovingly sung.
'Symphony' (demo version) is next, before a short instrumental 'I Love The Ground You Walk On' follows it. A beautiful, summery, so easy on the mind track, it's a shame it doesn't carry on for a bit longer. And then, to round the first disc out, come a slew of mono single versions of songs such as 'What's Going On,' the religious 'God Is Love,' 'Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),' the sadly too short 'Sad Tomorrows,' 'Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler),' and finally, 'Wholy Holy.'
The funky instrumental 'Checking Out' (Double Clutch) ("These are just a bunch of guys from Detroit," Gaye intro's, "who can play the music straight, but thought that they would double-clutch it for you") is the first song on the second disc, and is followed by instrumentals such as 'Chained,' 'Country Stud,' 'Help The People,' and 'Running From Love.'