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Marvin Gaye 1974 concert

Marvin Gaye 1974 concert

May 17, 1974: Marvin Gaye in concert at the Forum.

In the Monday, May 20, 1974 Los Angeles Times, columnist Dennis Hunt writes:

To see singer Marvin Gaye in concert, it is not obvious that he has an intense fear of performing which kept him away from concerts for several years. He has appeared in a few concerts since he decided to return to performing about six months ago. His concert at the Inglewood Forum on Friday night will probably be instrumental in helping him totally conquer those fears.

It was a magnificent show. The Forum was completely filled and the audience was ecstatic about the affable soul singer. Gaye radiated such geniality and joyousness that, coupled with the splendor of the music, his performance was irresistible. In that hour he could have easily won over his most severe detractors.

Gaye, who has a soft tenor voice that frequently shifts into falsetto, began shakily. This was partly due to nervousness and partly because his opening number – “The Trouble Man Theme,” which he composed – was a difficult one. The song, which is a complex jazz-soul piece, is full of tricky vocal passages. Despite some rocky moments, the number was effective.

While he was singing the next two songs his jitters evaporated, allowing his skill and charisma to take charge. The excellence snowballed during such great Gaye songs as “Inner City Blues,” “Mercy, Mercy, Me” and “How Sweet It Is,” and peaked with the closing numbers, “Let’s Get It On” and “What’s Going On,” probably the best songs in his outstanding repertoire…

This photo by former staff photographer Tony Barnard accompanied Hunt’s column in the May 20, 1974, Los Angeles Times.

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