14 Classic Albums That Flopped When They Were Released

'Pet Sounds' and more iconic slow burners

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Marvin Gaye, 'Here, My Dear' (1978)
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Marvin Gaye, 'Here, My Dear' (1978)

During acrimonious two-year divorce proceedings, Marvin Gaye agreed that his ex-wife, Anna Gordy, would receive a cut of the royalties from his next album. And so Gordy became the muse of Here, My Dear, a brooding double album that catalogued every ugly emotion Gaye experienced during the end of his decade-long marriage in songs like "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You." The album received middling reviews at the time, and the public didn't know what to make of one of R&B's biggest sex symbols turning bitter and heartbroken. Here, My Dear only reached Number 26 on the Billboard 200, after his last two studio albums went top 5. The single "A Funky Space Reincarnation" missed the Hot 100 just a year after "Got to Give It Up" topped the chart. Though some thought he'd made an uncommercial album to spite the ex who stood to profit from it, Gaye was reportedly disappointed by the poor reception of the record. But after a 1994 reissue, the album was warmly reevaluated, soon turning up on lists of the greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone, Mojo and more. And Gaye's L.A. studio, Marvin's Room, where the album was recorded, has become a place for other stars to overshare, including Drake on his 2011 hit "Marvins Room."

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