The legendary concert album What’s Going On captures Gaye’s first live performance after a four-year hiatus from the stage.
The album was recorded at The Kennedy Center and has been newly mixed for its first stand alone release in 2LP black vinyl and 2LP colour colour vinyl.
1 May, 1972 was a whirlwind day of celebration in Marvin Gaye’s hometown of Washington, D.C. Designated ‘Marvin Gaye Day,’ it began with Gaye giving a speech to students at Cardozo High, the school he’d attended, before he and his parents were ushered by motorcade to other points around the city. They visited the office of D.C.’s mayor, Walter Washington, who presented Gaye with a key to the city. A VIP reception followed at the U.S. House of Representatives’ Rayburn House Office Building, before the evening’s hotly anticipated main event at the Kennedy Center: Marvin Gaye’s first live performance in four years.
The legendary concert was Gaye’s only live performance of his iconic 1971 What’s Going On album in full. The record includes the only known live recordings of Gaye performing songs That’s The Way Love Is; You; Right On; and Wholy Holy. However, due to an unfortunate lag in switching the first reel-to-reel tape to a second one during the concert, Gaye’s performance of Mercy Mercy Me was not successfully recorded.
Gaye did not tour in 1972, and he had not toured in years prior, following the collapse and subsequent tragic death of his singing partner Tammi Terrell. While he was on top of the world with the massive success of What’s Going On, he much preferred the studio to live performance, suffering from acute stage fright throughout his career. That year, his only live shows were the D.C. concert and one other, a brief set in Chicago on 27th September, which was filmed and recorded for the Save the Children documentary film.
- Sixties Medley 13:16
That’s The Way Love Is / You / I Heard It Through The Grapevine / Little Darling (I Need You) / You’re All I Need To Get By / Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing / Your Precious Love / Pride And Joy / Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
- Right On 7:33
- Wholy Holy 3:32
- Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) 9:06
- What’s Going On 5:42
- What’s Happening Brother 2:54
- Flyin’ High (In The Friendly Sky) 3:51
- Save The Children 4:22
- God Is Love 1:43
- Stage Dialogue 2:34
- Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (Reprise) 5:12
- What’s Going On (Reprise) 4:12