28 Songs, 2 Hours 24 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At the end of the '70s, Marvin Gaye was determined to record an upbeat party album as a means of recovering fans who were alienated by the insularity and pain of Here, My Dear. But as much as Gaye might have wanted to record a straightforward disco album, he simply wasn’t that kind of artist. A world apart from the mechanized rhythms of the era, “Love Party,” “Funk Me” and “Heavy Love Affair” are every bit as lush and finely woven as Here, My Dear and I Want You. And even as Marvin attempted to uplift his tone, the desolation of his previous works permeates these pieces. “Far Cry,” “Love Me Now or Love Me Later” and “Life Is for Learning” are dark, volatile, and deeply lustful — they belong to a field of insular, post-Nixon blues that includes not only Here, My Dear, but Sly Stone’s Small Talk and Curtis Mayfield’s There’s No Place Like America Today. The album’s ominous undertone is underscored by its title, drawn from a lyric that asks if Armageddon will come “in our lifetime.” The tension between Gaye’s commercial aspirations and his personal reality is what makes this album essential.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At the end of the '70s, Marvin Gaye was determined to record an upbeat party album as a means of recovering fans who were alienated by the insularity and pain of Here, My Dear. But as much as Gaye might have wanted to record a straightforward disco album, he simply wasn’t that kind of artist. A world apart from the mechanized rhythms of the era, “Love Party,” “Funk Me” and “Heavy Love Affair” are every bit as lush and finely woven as Here, My Dear and I Want You. And even as Marvin attempted to uplift his tone, the desolation of his previous works permeates these pieces. “Far Cry,” “Love Me Now or Love Me Later” and “Life Is for Learning” are dark, volatile, and deeply lustful — they belong to a field of insular, post-Nixon blues that includes not only Here, My Dear, but Sly Stone’s Small Talk and Curtis Mayfield’s There’s No Place Like America Today. The album’s ominous undertone is underscored by its title, drawn from a lyric that asks if Armageddon will come “in our lifetime.” The tension between Gaye’s commercial aspirations and his personal reality is what makes this album essential.

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