Simply put, this is one of the most important records of all-time and a damn good listen to boot. If you don’t already own it, you should pick up this quality gatefold reissue without hesitation. I shouldn’t have to tell you why, but if you are unfamiliar with the power, checkout tracks like “What’s Going On, Inner City Blues, Mercy Mercy Me” and “Right On.” There are seven songs total and they unfold like a play in acts, each piece setting a different mood, and returning to themes with a final resolution. It’s nothing short of a masterpiece. On a personal level, this was Marvin’s “coming out” album where he was able to emerge from the image of romantic pop crooner as a legitimate artist. He wrote, produced and arranged it almost entirely by himself and when What’s Going On broke in 1971, it washed over the consciousness of the whole country. It all sounds like overstatement, but pick it up and find out why it’s an essential piece of the modern human puzzle.
- music label: Tamla 1971 / 2012
reviewed by the mgmnt 05/2009
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