Marvin Gaye "I Want You" (1976)
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Uploaded on Oct 6, 2008
"I Want You" is Marvin Gaye's 1976 hit song released on the Tamla Motown label. The album was his first recorded studio material released in three years and marked a change in direction for Gaye, leaving his trademark Motown soul for funky, light-disco soul. Much of Gaye's music encompassed spirituality, sexuality, and vulnerability.
Originally conceived by Motown songwriter Leon Ware and his songwriting partner "T-Boy" Ross, it was originally intended to be included in Ware's Musical Massage album. When Ware, who was also signed to the label as a solo artist, presented the rough draft of his album to Motown-CEO Berry Gordy, the mogul was appreciative of the songs, including a rough version of "I Want You". But after hearing it, he convinced Ware to give some of the songs to Marvin Gaye, who was coming off the release of his acclaimed 1973 record, Let's Get It On, his final duet recording with Diana Ross and a commercially successful live album and was coming off a US tour at the time. Marvin, who called himself a perfectionist, had struggled with creating a follow-up album to Let's Get It On. When Ware played Gaye the rough draft of "I Want You", Marvin, then inspired by his relationship with his nineteen-year-old girlfriend Janis Hunter, was motivated to record a convincing performance of the song, which was about a man trying to convince a wayward lover that he wanted the woman to love him as deeply as he loved her.
Purportedly recorded at Marvin's Room, the singer's new recording studio in Los Angeles, Marvin also reportedly recorded the song while lying on his back of his sofa according to Ware, who said that he couldn't see Gaye at first but then discovered a laid-back Marvin delivering the song in his trademark tenor vocals.
Diana Ross, whose brother T-Boy co-wrote the song, remade "I Want You" for her "I Love You" album, released in 2007.
Robert Palmer released a medley of "I Want You" and another Marvin Gaye song, "Mercy Mercy Me" in January, 1991. This single reached #9 in the UK charts.
"I Want You" is also the name of Australian television star Toni Pearen's debut single from 1993.
Madonna recorded the song with British trip-hop group, Massive Attack. The cover was featured on the tribute album Inner City Blues:
The Music of Marvin Gaye as well as being something to remember and be collected, with a career spanning over more than a decade, it's no wonder that many of today's artists continue to honor and try to emulate Gaye. Although no longer a physical presence, his existence as an artist is one that is sure to be a vital part of the millennium and beyond.
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