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The Concept Album Whatʼs Going On Was Released By

The Concept Album Whatʼs Going On Was Released By

What’s Going On is a concept album by Marvin Gaye that was released on May 21, 1971. The album is considered one of the greatest albums of all time and is often cited as a masterpiece of social commentary and artistic expression. Here are 8 interesting facts about the concept album What’s Going On:

1. Conceptualization: What’s Going On was conceived as a concept album that would explore the social and political issues of the time, including racism, poverty, and war. Marvin Gaye was inspired to create the album after his brother Frankie returned from Vietnam with stories of the horrors of war.

2. Production: Marvin Gaye took a hands-on approach to the production of What’s Going On, co-writing all of the songs and producing the album himself. He also played several instruments on the album, including piano, synthesizer, and drums.

3. Sound: What’s Going On marked a departure from the traditional Motown sound, incorporating elements of jazz, gospel, and funk. The album’s lush orchestration and layered vocal harmonies gave it a unique and timeless sound that set it apart from other albums of the era.

4. Reception: What’s Going On was initially met with skepticism by Motown executives, who were concerned that the album’s socially conscious themes would not appeal to mainstream audiences. However, the album was a commercial success, reaching number six on the Billboard 200 chart and spawning three hit singles.

5. Legacy: What’s Going On is considered one of the greatest albums of all time and has been praised for its innovative production, powerful lyrics, and emotional depth. The album’s themes of social justice and unity continue to resonate with listeners today, making it a timeless classic.

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6. Influences: What’s Going On was influenced by Marvin Gaye’s own personal experiences, as well as the civil rights movement and the anti-war protests of the 1960s. The album was also inspired by the music of artists such as Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, and Sly and the Family Stone.

7. Impact: What’s Going On was a groundbreaking album that helped to redefine the boundaries of popular music and establish Marvin Gaye as a pioneering artist. The album’s success paved the way for other musicians to explore socially conscious themes in their music and inspired a new generation of artists to use their platform to address important issues.

8. Cultural significance: What’s Going On has had a lasting impact on popular culture, with its songs being covered by artists from a wide range of genres and its themes continuing to resonate with audiences around the world. The album’s title track, in particular, has become an anthem for social justice and has been used in protests and demonstrations to raise awareness of important issues.

Common Questions:

1. What was the inspiration behind What’s Going On?

Marvin Gaye was inspired to create the album after his brother Frankie returned from Vietnam with stories of the horrors of war.

2. Who produced What’s Going On?

Marvin Gaye produced the album himself, taking a hands-on approach to the production process.

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3. What themes are explored in What’s Going On?

The album explores themes of racism, poverty, and war, as well as social justice and unity.

4. How did Motown executives initially react to What’s Going On?

Motown executives were initially skeptical of the album’s socially conscious themes but were ultimately proven wrong by its commercial success.

5. What impact did What’s Going On have on popular music?

What’s Going On was a groundbreaking album that helped to redefine the boundaries of popular music and inspired a new generation of artists to address important social issues in their music.

6. What instruments did Marvin Gaye play on What’s Going On?

Marvin Gaye played several instruments on the album, including piano, synthesizer, and drums.

7. What is the legacy of What’s Going On?

What’s Going On is considered one of the greatest albums of all time and continues to resonate with audiences around the world.

8. How did What’s Going On influence other musicians?

The album inspired other musicians to explore socially conscious themes in their music and paved the way for a new generation of artists to use their platform to address important issues.

9. What is the cultural significance of What’s Going On?

What’s Going On has had a lasting impact on popular culture, with its songs being covered by artists from a wide range of genres and its themes continuing to resonate with audiences.

10. How did Marvin Gaye’s personal experiences influence What’s Going On?

Marvin Gaye drew on his own experiences, as well as the civil rights movement and the anti-war protests of the 1960s, to create the album.

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11. What genres are incorporated into What’s Going On?

What’s Going On incorporates elements of jazz, gospel, and funk, giving it a unique and timeless sound.

12. What was the reception of What’s Going On upon its release?

What’s Going On was initially met with skepticism by Motown executives but was ultimately a commercial success, reaching number six on the Billboard 200 chart.

13. How did What’s Going On impact Marvin Gaye’s career?

What’s Going On established Marvin Gaye as a pioneering artist and helped to solidify his reputation as a musical genius.

14. What is the title track of What’s Going On known for?

The title track of What’s Going On is known for its powerful lyrics and emotional depth, making it an anthem for social justice.

15. How has What’s Going On been used in popular culture?

The album’s songs have been covered by artists from a wide range of genres and its themes have been used in protests and demonstrations to raise awareness of important issues.

Final Thoughts:

What’s Going On is a timeless masterpiece that continues to resonate with audiences around the world. Marvin Gaye’s innovative production, powerful lyrics, and emotional depth have solidified the album’s place as one of the greatest albums of all time. Its themes of social justice and unity remain as relevant today as they were in 1971, making What’s Going On a powerful and enduring work of art.