.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/e7312fac16bd548043a5a079fe10643216da474a.jpg Dream Of A Lifetime

Marvin Gaye

Dream Of A Lifetime

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
July 4, 1985

Dream of a Lifetime is Columbia's first plunge into the barrel of unreleased Marvin Gaye material. Although inconsistent, it is not without merit. Two of the songs come from the last recording session before Gaye's death; a third was recorded in the late Seventies; the five others, made earlier in the singer's career and "entrusted to his mother for safekeeping," are musically superior.

The three later songs are primarily notable for their sexually explicit lyrics. A warning on the jacket states that the record contains lyrical content that may be considered offensive by some listeners. Beyond that, the songs offer little of interest. "Sanctified Lady" is a slack reworking of Midnight Love's synthesized grooves; "Savage in the Sack" and "Masochistic Beauty" are novelty songs, the former a melodically undeveloped love boast, the latter a tale of sadistic triumph with lines as bad as "I love your booty/And it's my duty/To spank your booty."

A few of the older songs are pleasant surprises. The splendid harmonies of "Ain't It Funny (How Things Turn Around)" feature a multitracked Gaye and a funky bass line punctuated by jazzy saxophone. Though dated by sentimental Hollywood string arrangements, the reflective title cut and "It's Madness" – which finds Gaye pleading with his lover to return – remind us of just how tender the singer could be. Dream of a Lifetime also includes "Life's Opera," an autobiographical minisuite that modulates from a secular celebration of getting down to a gospel-tinged affirmation of faith and concludes with the Lord's Prayer.

Were it not for the most recent songs, this collection could stand alongside Gaye's finer works as part of the lasting legacy of a brilliant artist.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com