Distant Lover (Live from Oakland) – Marvin Gaye (1974, 20th Century Masters)
Much more so in its live version did this lovelorn song find its mark over the more buttoned-up studio version from his 1973 LP “Let’s Get It On”. It’s been well-documented over the years that Marvin Gaye was one horny guy.
At this point he’d moved on from his first wife, Motown-grand-puba Berry Gordy’s sister Anna and onto practical jailbait Janis Hunter. Having met the 17-year old girl while recording the aforementioned LP, he took his show on the road and serenaded her throughout the tour, this particular song being one of his favorite vessels to utilize. From his wavering falsetto to the back-up singers adding some more depth, the live version of “Distant Lover” became a stone-cold soul classic.
Me and Marvin
Being a fan of Marvin Gaye and Motown I loved the aching and yearning for his beloved on this song and just got swept up in the passion. When he hits the “Something I Wanna Say!” at the 3:07 mark and pleads his case for her to come back home until the songs conclusion it’s pure magic and shows Gaye at his Love Man peak. I can only imagine that women all over Planet Earth wished that Gaye was crooning these randy, yearning sentiments their way. This song was a forerunner to artists like Prince and R. Kelly attempting similar things (witness ‘Adore’), but never quite being as awesome as this was/is.