Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' Gets 50th Anniversary Digital Reissue - Rolling Stone
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Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ Gets 50th Anniversary Digital Reissue

Deluxe Edition/50th Anniversary digitally collects extras from previous decades’ reissues

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01:  USA  Photo of Marvin GAYE, Posed portrait of Marvin Gaye, wearing hat  (Photo by Gems/Redferns)

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Motown/UMe has marked the 50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s single release for “What’s Going On” — the title track from Rolling Stone’s Greatest Album of All Time — with an all-encompassing digital reissue of the 1971 LP out now on streaming services.

“What’s Going On” was released on January 20th, 1971, four months before the LP arrived. Over the past 20 years, the album has been reissued every decade, with early mixes, instrumentals and other rarities culled from the era added to each release.

To honor the single’s 50th birthday, Motown/UMe grouped together all that bonus music for the digital release dubbed What’s Going On: Deluxe Edition/50th Anniversary, which contains the original album plus 12 bonus tracks including single versions, demos and more, the “Detroit Mix” of the album and the collection of “Funky Nation” instrumentals from Gaye’s post-What’s Going On recording sessions.

“The Detroit Mix” of What’s Going On, Gaye’s original version of the album before canceling it and reworking it in Los Angeles, previously featured on the 30th anniversary reissue of the album in 2001. “Funky Nation: The Detroit Instrumentals,” a series of jams Gaye laid down in the recording sessions after releasing What’s Going On, was included in the 40th anniversary reissue.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced that January 20th would be What’s Going On Day in the state of Michigan to honor the classic song and album. “Having this tribute on the calendar provides us with an important moment — one where we can come together as a unified state to pause, reflect, and appreciate the need for ideas, perspective, love, and understanding. These are values that mean more today than ever before,” Whitmer said.

“Through the recognition of What’s Going On Day, we hope to bring awareness to Marvin Gaye’s profound words as his timeless music remains in our hearts and minds and continues inspiring generations to come.”

What’s Going On: Deluxe Edition/50th Anniversary Track List

Set 1: Original Album
1. What’s Going On
2. What’s Happening Brother
3. Flyin’ High (In The Friendly Sky)
4. Save The Children
5. God Is Love
6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
7. Right On
8. Wholy Holy
9. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)

Set 2: Bonus Tracks
1. What’s Going On (Mono Single Version)
2. God Is Love (Single Version)
3. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) (Mono Single Version)
4. Sad Tomorrows (Mono Single Version)
5. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (Mono Single Version)
6. Wholy Holy (Mono Single Version)
7. What’s Going On (mix 1/no horns or strings)
8. What’s Going On (rhythm & strings mix)
9. What’s Going On (Coffeehouse Mix by Russ Elevado)
10. What’s Going On (duet with B.J. the Chicago Kid)
11. Symphony (Demo Version)
12. I Love the Ground You Walk On (instrumental)

What’s Going On: The Detroit Mix
1. What’s Going On
2. What’s Happening Brother
3. Flyin’ High (In The Friendly Sky)
4. Save The Children
5. God Is Love
6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
7. Right On
8. Wholy Holy
9. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)

Funky Nation: The Detroit Instrumentals
1. Checking Out (Double Clutch)
2. Chained
3. Country Stud
4. Help the People
5. Running from Love (Version 1)
6. Daybreak
7. Doing My Thing
8. “T” Stands For Time
9. Jesus Is Our Love Song
10. Funky Nation
11. Infinity
12. Mandota
13. Struttin’ the Blues
14. Running from Love (Version 2 with Strings)

 

In This Article: "What's Going On", Marvin Gaye

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