10 Songs, 28 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since the beginning of his career Marvin Gaye had been a fan of vocalists like Billy Eckstine, Frank Sinatra, and particularly, Nat King Cole. His first attempt at recording an album of jazz standards took place in 1968, but was quickly abandoned in favor of more saleable pop material (the abandoned recordings were issued in 1985 under the title Romantically Yours). His second attempt took place in 1977, following the completion of the monumental Here, My Dear. While the material was once again shelved (this time in favor of In Our Lifetime), Motown archivists rescued the lost recordings and released them in 1997 as Vulnerable. There isn’t a more succinct description for this music. The singer holds the orchestra in his sway — a big band has never sounded so smooth or unobtrusive. And yet, the focus here isn’t the big band — Gaye’s voice is an orchestra unto itself. His vocal tracks are doubled, sometimes tripled, giving the effect of velvet ribbons intertwined and fluttering mid-air. Gaye left behind many brilliant recordings, but few bring you closer to his voice — his essence — than Vulnerable.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since the beginning of his career Marvin Gaye had been a fan of vocalists like Billy Eckstine, Frank Sinatra, and particularly, Nat King Cole. His first attempt at recording an album of jazz standards took place in 1968, but was quickly abandoned in favor of more saleable pop material (the abandoned recordings were issued in 1985 under the title Romantically Yours). His second attempt took place in 1977, following the completion of the monumental Here, My Dear. While the material was once again shelved (this time in favor of In Our Lifetime), Motown archivists rescued the lost recordings and released them in 1997 as Vulnerable. There isn’t a more succinct description for this music. The singer holds the orchestra in his sway — a big band has never sounded so smooth or unobtrusive. And yet, the focus here isn’t the big band — Gaye’s voice is an orchestra unto itself. His vocal tracks are doubled, sometimes tripled, giving the effect of velvet ribbons intertwined and fluttering mid-air. Gaye left behind many brilliant recordings, but few bring you closer to his voice — his essence — than Vulnerable.

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