Legendary Michigan Songs

78.) Let’s Get It On

Artist Name: Marvin Gaye
Year Inducted: 2013

“Let’s Get It On”  (M. Gaye, E. Townshend) – Marvin Gaye;  Tamla label,  # 1 Billboard Hot 100, # 1 Billboard R&B – 1973.  Inducted in 2013.

Marvin Gaye’s second # 1 single and biggest hit of the 1970’s was the title track and the first song recorded for his acclaimed album “Let’s Get It On”.   Gaye’s music during the decade had moved away from the Motown sound that he had helped popularize with his many classic recordings during the 1960’s. Marvin Gaye in 1973.jpgMarvin Gaye in 1973.jpg

“Let’s Get It On” was originally composed as a religious ode to life, but with the help of co-writer Ed Townshend, the lyrics were changed to better reflect Gaye’s views on love and sex. Marvin expounded on his forward thinking views on those two subjects in the album’s liner notes: “I can’t see anything wrong with sex between consenting anybodies. After all, one’s genitals are just one part of the magnificent human body. I contend that SEX IS SEX and LOVE IS LOVE. When combined, they work well together, if two people are of about the same mind. But they are really two discrete needs and should be treated as such.”

The song features soulful, passionate vocals and multi-tracked background singing, both done by Gaye. Inspired by Marvin’s infatuation with a young lady named Janis Hunter, “Let’s Get It One” has an almost 1950’s-styled melody built around an eccentric rhythm pattern and the distinctive guitar of session musician Don Peake.

The explicit content of “Let’s Get It On” cemented Gaye’s reputation as Motown’s sex icon. In 2004, the song was included on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was ranked at # 32 on Billboard’s Hot 100 All Time Top Songs list in 2008.

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vAiESu5wrA