Midnight Love & The Sexual Healing Sessions
This supplementary edition of demos, instrumentals, and alternate versions gives a sense of how Gaye rediscovered his art in the process of making Midnight Love. The influence of Rick James is made apparent in the working title of the frisky, funky “Midnight Lady,” originally called “Clique James.” Midnight Love ended up being an album of precision, but the early versions of “Rockin’ After Midnight,” “’Til Tomorrow,” “Third World Girl” and “My Love Is Waiting” show Gaye in a looser, more free-flowing mode. Especially stunning is an a cappella mix of “Turn On Some Music”— later sampled to great effect by Erick Sermon for his 2000 hit “Music.” Of course, Midnight Love will forever be defined by its crown jewel, “Sexual Healing,” a song so rich and emblematic of Marvin’s personality that each alternate version reveals something different in the song. As shown by the lo-fi bedroom demo that closes this collection, “Sexual Healing” was shimmering magic even before it was burnished by studio wizardry.