I Want You

I Want You

by Marvin Gaye


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I Want You, while it a Top Ten smash for Marvin Gaye in 1976, is not as generally as well-known as its predecessors for several reasons. First, it marked a sharp change in direction, leaving his trademark Motown soul for lush, funky, breezy disco. Secondly, its subject matter is as close to explicit as pop records got in 1976. Third, Gaye hadn't recorded in nearly three years and critics were onto something else -- exactly what, in retrospect is anybody's guess. From the amazing Ernie Barnes cover painting "Back to Sugar Shack" to the Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson string and horn arrangements to Leon Ware's exotic production that relied on keyboards as well as drums and basses as rhythm instruments, I Want You was a giant leap for Gaye. The feel of the album was one of late-night parties in basements and small clubs, and the intimacy of the music evokes the image of people getting closer as every hour of a steamy night wears on. But the most astonishing things about I Want You are its intimacy (it was dedicated to and recorded in front of Gaye's future second wife, Jan), silky elegance, and seamless textures. Gaye worked with producer Leon Ware, who wrote all of the original songs on the album and worked with Gaye to revise them, thus lending Gaye a co-writing credit. The title track is a monster two-step groover with hand percussion playing counterpoint to the strings and horns layered in against a spare electric guitar solo, all before Gaye begins to sing on top of the funky backbeat. It's a party anthem to be sure, and one that evokes the vulnerability that a man in love displays when the object of his affection is in plain sight. Art Stewart's engineering rounds off all the edges and makes Gaye's already sweet crooning instrument into the true grain in the voice of seductive need. "Feel All My Love Inside" and "I Want to Be Where You Are" are anthems to sensuality with strings creeping up under Gaye's voice as the guitars move through a series of chunky changes and drums punctuate his every syllable. In all, the original album is a suite to the bedroom, one in which a man tells his woman all of his sexual aspirations because of his love for her. The entire album has been referenced by everyone from Mary J. Blige to D'Angelo to Chico DeBarge and even Todd Rundgren, who performed the title track live regularly. By the time it is over, the listener should be a blissed-out, brimming container for amorous hunger. I Want You and its companion, Ware's Musical Massage, are the pre-eminent early disco concept albums. They are adult albums about intimacy, sensuality, and commitment, and decades later they still reverberate with class, sincerity, grace, intense focus, and astonishingly good taste. I Want You is as necessary as anything Gaye ever recorded.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/07/1998
Label: Motown
UPC: 0731453088726
catalogNumber: 530887
Rank: 6254

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Marvin Gaye   Primary Artist,Drums,Keyboards,Vocals
Chuck Rainey   Bass
Dennis Coffey   Guitar
David T. Walker   Guitar
Bobbye Hall   Bongos,Conga
Eddie "Bongo" Brown   Bongos,Conga
Ron Brown   Bass
Gary Coleman   Percussion
Henry Davis   Bass
Wilton Felder   Bass
James Gadson   Drums
Jay Graydon   Guitar
Ray Parker   Guitar
Jerry Peters   Piano,fender rhodes
Melvin Ragin   Guitar
Sonny Burke   Piano,fender rhodes
Henry E. Davis   Bass
John Arnold   Percussion
John Barnes   Piano,fender rhodes

Technical Credits

Marvin Gaye   Composer,Executive Producer
T-Boy Ross   Producer
Hal David   Producer
Hal Davis   Producer
Berry Gordy   Executive Producer
Fred Ross   Engineer
Art Stewart   Engineer
Leon Ware   Composer,Producer,rhythm arrangement
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Frank Mulvey   Art Direction
Arthur Ross   Composer
Ernie Barnes   Paintings
Jacqueline Hilliard   Composer
Marilyn Devedjiev   Package Redesign

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I Want You 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is Marvin at his peak of sensualism...The songs are in chronicalogical love order which makes this an easy listening album. If you are looking for the ultimate mood music, this album is a sure bet....
threechildrenfor More than 1 year ago
marvin gaye to me was very soulful and sexy. he'd make a crowd feel his music deep inside of the heart. i always felt very sexy and touched with all of his music. his music was so meaningful. he'd be on stage and you always felt like he gave a part of his heart to you. his back ground singers made marvin gaye sparkle. to me no other singer made me feel as sexy and alive. to loose such a soulful spirited singer was devastating and no one can replace that spirit. so i'm sure marvin is greatly missed. a lot of people probably share my enthusiasum about the late great MARVIN GAYE. it is essential for me to keep me some marvin gaye music. i simply just love the man and all that he accomplished during his life time. melva
Guest More than 1 year ago
Marvin Gaye is by far the greatest. I look up to him musicly. He knew how to hit you with what ever he felt. I Want You is no exception. I think this is his best work ever. The lyrics are so vivid with smooth music playing behind. Everytime I write a song or music I try to do it at the same level of power. This album is great for anyone trying to set the mood for love and for the real fans it is good to listen to the alternate versions it will take you back to when you first fell in love with Marvin's music.