I thought it fitting this morning, in light of the terrible tragedy on Friday to lay out these two records for FMF today. As a father, I am absolutely saddened about the events that happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT. My thoughts go out to the families who lost loved ones in this senseless violence. Enough is enough already. It’s time we start to not only look more closely on how our children or teens can attain these weapons (if that’s even possible), but more importantly examine the mental health care system, an often too overlooked sector of the medical profession. I’m at a loss for words this am, and hoping that these two records can help you get your day moving as they did for me.
Arguably the best Soul record ever released by Motown, and the best Soul record of all time, the Marvin Gaye record really needs no introduction. His social, political, and let’s face it, people issues hit close to home as Vietnam, drug abuse, inner city poverty, and substance abuse were all a target in this classic. The Funk Brothers slid right behind this track perfectly, and the rest is history.
Quincy Jones had just switched gears from straight Jazz to a more funky approach to Pop tunes a record before, and when he recorded his Smackwater Jack record he moved further in that direction. Only Q could have balls big enough to cover Marvin Gaye the same year her released What’s Going On. Enlisting players like Huber Laws, Toots Theilman, Milt Jackson, plus the vocal stylings of Valerie Simpson, Jones put out a damn good cover of the tune.
Music always helps me, and I thought I’d pass on some quality stuff for a Monday morning to anyone that needed a pick me up. Both versions, while different, are absolutely excellent in their own way. Look after yourself and your loved ones people.