Marvin Gaye’s 1971 album “What’s Going On?” has been called the greatest soul album of all time. It was Gaye’s first shot at producing his own work and Motown’s first shot at a “concept album” protesting everything from America’s involvement in Vietnam to the abuse of the environment.
“What’s Going On” brought a political consciousness to soul music. It was genius in its ability to create a window on a moment in history. Thirty-one years after its release, people still turn to “What’s Going On” in times of crisis and concern.
Tonight, On Point Friday begins a new monthly series featuring a particular album that was both groundbreaking in its day musically, socially, culturally and/or politically and still resonates today. This hour, a look at “What’s Going On.”
Ben Edmonds, American editor of MoJo Magazine, author of “What’s Going On? Marvin Gaye and the Last Days of the Motown Sound”
Jack Ashford, percussionist who worked with Marvin Gaye on many projects including his album “What’s Going On”