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Dec. 9th, 2008

Perhaps it's an urban legend. One of those stories that adds to the mythology of the music. Like Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil. Or Spinal Tap's drummers regularly exploding.



I heard somewhere that Marvin Gaye did the Midnight Love album, which includes the song “Sexual Healing,” out of obligation. He was in the midst of an ugly divorce and as part of the settlement, his ex-wife would receive half of the profits of his next record. His career had been struggling through the late seventies and early eighties, and he had a falling out with Motown Records. He released Midnight Love in late 1982 on Columbia Records.

According to the legend, the album was slapped together with little hope of success. Marvin Gaye, in fact, hoped it would tank so that his ex got nothing.

Then came "Sexual Healing."

While Marvin Gaye's music had always had a sexual element (“Let's Get It On”), “Sexual Healing” was more blatant and over-the-top than anything he had done before. I love the song, but, come on, it's cheesy: “I'm hot just like an oven/I need some lovin'” Gaye's warm, soulful voice, smooth as cognac, is the only thing keeping the song from being complete parody.

“Sexual Healing” become one of the biggest hits of his career. He earned Grammys and the album sold more than any of his previous. In fact, the legend goes, it sold so many that, even splitting the profits with his ex-wife, he made more money on it than any other record he made.

Again, it may not be true, but it's still a good story.

Shortly after, his father shot him to death. With a gun Marvin had bought for him. Sad but true. Best to focus on his life and his music, not his death.

So lessons learned:

You will do your best work after the wife leaves. No, that can't be it. He had done some great work while married, too.

Motown is falling apart. Wait, that's the lesson of the auto bailout.

Sometimes people buy cheese even in music stores.

America likes songs about being horny.

Oh, and I don't want to talk about my sex life (wonderful as it is) in Livejournal.

"You're my medicine/Open up and let me in"


[Posted for LJ Idol Topic 11 - Sexual Healing]

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Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
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caersidi
Dec. 9th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
Enjoyed this very much urban legend or not it's a great story.

Oh, and I don't want to talk about my sex life (wonderful as it is) in Livejournal.

I second that one. I'm planning to find another way to approach the topic myself :)

Edited at 2008-12-09 05:32 pm (UTC)
thndrstd
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading.
dabhug
Dec. 9th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
Good job. Exactly the tactic I was thinking of using.

You did it better.
thndrstd
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much.
roina_arwen
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
Awesome, dude!
thndrstd
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
explosivespam
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
"That is probably why Keith Richards can not be killed by conventional weapons."
thndrstd
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
Hahaha!
rosepurr
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
*laugh* And here I was hoping for something lauding my awesomeness.

This is good, sweetness.
thndrstd
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

And you are awesome, wonderdrawers!!!!
shadowwolf13
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
*squees at the spinal tap reference*

I understand your wanting to keep personal things private. :)
thndrstd
Dec. 9th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading.
lordrexfear
Dec. 9th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
Damn... you "stole" my "twist"... now I'll have to do the other complete twist.

You did it funny too... so thumbs up!
thndrstd
Dec. 9th, 2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
libra_dragon
Dec. 10th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
I really liked this, such a good take on the topic
thndrstd
Dec. 10th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much.
kittenboo
Dec. 10th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
haha, nice, I like the lessons learned
thndrstd
Dec. 10th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
the_surfacer
Dec. 10th, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
GREAT lessons.
thndrstd
Dec. 10th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
alycewilson
Dec. 10th, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)
Fascinating turn on the topic! I love to read essays about pop culture.
thndrstd
Dec. 10th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. Glad you liked it.
baxaphobia
Dec. 10th, 2008 11:50 am (UTC)
Why didn't I use this for my entry? I am not having an easy time of it. Nice job!
thndrstd
Dec. 10th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
lilmissmagic71
Dec. 10th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
A great take on it! Good job!
thndrstd
Dec. 10th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
brightflashes
Dec. 11th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
This is absolutely great. I really enjoyed it, especially the punch-line in the end. Totally gets my vote! Just one thing when I read this sentence:

edited to say ::is embarrassed:: - loved your entry and showed it to the hubby and he was like um, Kassi, his dad DID shoot him. : (

Love love love the entry! Sorry about the previous comment - I totally misread that sentence.

Edited at 2008-12-11 04:28 am (UTC)
thndrstd
Dec. 11th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
That's okay. Thanks for reading.
johnmill79
Dec. 11th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
That song is cheesy when you think of what it says. lol
thndrstd
Dec. 11th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading.
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( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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