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PRESS RELEASE | REVIEWS


MARVIN GAYE – THE REAL THING
IN PERFORMANCE 1964 – 1981

DVD FEATURING 25 VINTAGE PERFORMANCES (16 on the U.S. version) FROM TV AND FILM SPANNING THREE DECADES CLASSIC PERFORMANCES AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME ON DVD

LONDON, January 26, 2006 – Reelin’ In The Years Productions and Universal Music Group International are proud to announce the April 3, 2006 worldwide release of Marvin Gaye – The Real Thing In Performance 1964 – 1981 on DVD. Featured for the first time on DVD are 25 classic full-length performances (16 on the U.S. version) from American and European television appearances, spanning three decades. The DVD includes more than two hours of performances by Marvin Gaye, one of Motown’s most influential stars.

Issued with the full cooperation of the Marvin Gaye estate, this is the first official DVD anthology of classic archival television performances by a Motown artist. The DVD includes a wealth of classic performances with re-mastered sound and video plus a host of bonus features.

Marvin Gaye – The Real Thing In Performance 1964 – 1981 begins with Marvin singing one of his earliest hits, “Hitch Hike,” on American Bandstand in 1964; the DVD progresses through the artist’s entire Motown career, including vintage performances of “Pride & Joy,” “Ain’t That Peculiar,” “Can I Get A Witness,” “Let’s Get It On” and a host of others. Further treasures include a beautiful 1967 duet performance of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with Tammi Terrell; a staggering live concert performance of “What’s Going On” and “What’s Happening Brother” from 1972; and an amazing live 1969 performance of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” from the American TV show Hollywood Palace recorded while the song was still No. 1 on the U.S. charts. Interspersed between the songs, Marvin talks about his life and music in interview segments from various TV shows throughout his career.

For Marvin Gaye – The Real Thing In Performance 1964 – 1981, every effort has been made to locate the best possible sound and video; each of the performances, has been re-transferred and re-mastered from the best-quality, original masters (some resting in the television vaults for over 40 years). In the case of lip-sync performances, the original Motown stereo master recordings have been used, replacing the original mono broadcast sound and making for a much more enjoyable viewing and listening experience.

In addition to the television and film performances, the bonus section of the international version of the DVD includes a concert filmed in Belgium in 1981. This historic concert, unseen by the public at large and available for the first time on DVD, includes Marvin reaching back into his classic repertoire with great versions of “I Want You,” “Inner City Blues (Make Me Want To Holler),” How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” “Got To Give It Up”, plus six others.

Marvin Gaye – The Real Thing In Performance 1964 – 1981 also includes a host of unique bonus content, including an audio-only feature of 11 original a cappella (vocal only) performances (7 on the U.S. version) of Marvin’s classic hits discovered in the Motown vaults, and now available on this DVD for the first time anywhere. In addition, viewers have the option to watch these performances while listening to only Marvin Gaye’s original studio vocal master track. Fans will feel as if they’re in the original Motown recording booth with Marvin when they hear his solo vocal masters for “Hitch Hike,” “What’s Going On,” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “Let’s Get It On,” and six more.

Marvin Gaye – The Real Thing In Performance 1964 – 1981 (international version only) also includes a bonus CD featuring a 70 minute stereo concert recorded on Marvin’s 1976 tour of Europe, unheard until now. The DVD/CD set further includes a 24-page booklet with an extensive essay by GRAMMY-award winning writer Rob Bowman, including rare photographs and memorabilia.

 

David Peck of Reelin’ In The Years Productions is available for interviews.

PRESS CONTACT: Phil Galloway, Reelin’ In The Years (U.S.A.)  (619) 281-6725


MARVIN GAYE – THE REAL THING
IN PERFORMANCE 1964 – 1981
DVD (Track List)

    1. Hitch Hike (Filmed In 1964)
    1. Pride And Joy (Filmed In 1965)
    2. Can I Get A Witness (Filmed In 1965)
    3. Pretty Little Baby (Filmed In 1965)
    4. Ain’t That Peculiar (Filmed In 1965)
    5. You’re A Wonderful One (Filmed In 1965)
    6. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (with Tammi Terrell) (Filmed In 1967)
    7. I Heard It Through The Grapevine (1969) (Filmed In 1969)
    8. What’s Going On (Filmed In 1972)
    9. What’s Happening Brother (Filmed In 1972)
    10. Come Get To This (Filmed In 1981)
    11. Let’s Get It On (Filmed In 1981)
    12. Distant Lover (Filmed In 1979)
    13. A Funky Space Reincarnation (Filmed In 1979)
    14. Ego Tripping Out (Filmed In 1979)
    15. Heavy Love Affair (Filmed In 1981)

     

BONUS FEATURES (International Version)

    1981 Concert from Belgium

    Got To Give It Up
    Come Get To This
    Let’s Get It On
    After The Dance
    If This World Were Mine
    Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing
    Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
    How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
    I Want You
    Inner City Blues (Make Me Want To Holler)

    1981 Belgium Television performance of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”

     

    BONUS AUDIO ONLY CD
    Live In Holland 1976

    All The Way ‘Round
    Since I Had You
    Come Get To This
    Let’s Get It On
    Trouble Man
    60s Medley
                Ain’t That Peculiar
                You’re A Wonderful One
                Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
                Pride & Joy
                Little Darlin’
                I Heard It Through The Grapevine
                Hitch Hike
                You
                Too Busy Thinking About My Baby
                How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
    What’s Going On Medley     
    Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)
    God Is Love
                What’s Going On
                Save The Children
    Duet Medley
                You’re All I Need To Get By
                Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing
                Your Precious Love
                It Takes Two
                Ain’t No Mountain  High Enough
    Distant Lover

    Marving gaye DVD cover

 

REVIEWS


Record Collector (UK) -May 2006
5 stars

Stunningly realized and tender tribute, with an astonishing bonus feature

GlobeAmidst the salaciousness and the sadness of Marvin Gaye's career and life, it's easy to forget that he is an artist whose presence and power stand tall and demean the passing of the years into irrelevance. This DVD, the first to be compiled from TV performances, is a superior and loving reappraisal of the reason why Gaye remains so talked about two decades or so after his death—and that's the music. From the early, black & white performances of "Hitch Hike" and "Pride And Joy," through a poignantly joyous "Ain't No Mountain" duet with Tammi Terrell to "Heavy Love Affair," this also serves a greater purpose. It's almost a documentary too: but the import lies in the increasing lines on Gaye's face, the breakdowns in the spine-tingling '72 live versions of "What's Going On" and "What's Happening Brother" and the interviews intercut between the songs—a narrative more eloquent than any amount of editorialised voice-over could ever portray. Add to this a brilliant bonus live concert from Belgium in 1981, a great 1976 audio CD of an unreleased Amsterdam concert, superb liner notes from Rob Bowman, and it's an excellent package. Where it becomes astonishing is with an innovative extra feature, wherby you can hear Gaye's orginal performances—a cappella—of 11 tracks, direct from the original stereo recordings. To be there in the booth with him is beautiful, powerful, and, frankly, a privilege.

—Joe Shooman


Rolling Stone -April 21, 2006

Knowledge
This beautifully packaged set shows the great Marvin Gaye evolving from finger poppin' dandy (lip synching "Hitch Hike" on American Bandstand) to sacred sex god (an undeniable, late-period "Let's Get It On"). The 1972 performance of "What's Going On" with bassist James Jamerson, Eddie 'Bongo' Brown and other Funk Brothers backing a newly-bearded Marvin has gotta be some of the most incredible live footage of any singer, ever.

—Peter Relic


Times of London-Knowledge (UK) -April 16, 2006
5 stars

KnowledgeOf Marvin Gaye's many contradictions, the fact that he was essentially a shy man uncomfortable with live performance seems among the most mystifying when watching this superb collection of rarely seen clips. Even when lip-synching in regulation Motown suit and tie, he is a compelling performer. The extras offer an opportunity to watch some clips while hearing only the original vocal takes, the tracks stripped down to that mesmerising voice in the raw.

DVD Extras:5 stars

—Angus Batey


 

BOSTON GLOBE -April 9, 2006

When Marvin Gaye had it going on

GlobeMarvin Gaye led many lives, as a Motown Records pop/R&B hitmaker, a Vietnam-era protest singer, and then a shtick-filled sex symbol whose indulgences included performing in pajamas on the Boston Common. His extremes are evident in the well-compiled Marvin Gaye: The Real Thing -- in Performance 1964-1981.

It starts with an appearance on American Bandstand, back when host Dick Clark looked like a teenager and the young audience was dressed in coats and ties. Gaye himself was a fashion plate, wearing spiffy suits and tuxes, and these clips are a marvel of nostalgia. He appears mostly on regional programs such as ''The Lloyd Thaxton Show," ''Shivaree," ''Hollywood a Go-Go," and ''Zomerhappening" in Holland and ''The Follies" in Belgium. These are lip-synched performances, since many TV stations didn't have live bands in those days, but they're still a visual treat.

Where the DVD really takes off is with band performances of ''I Heard It Through the Grapevine" on Hollywood Palace in 1969 and two tracks from his protest era (''What's Going On" and ''What's Happening Brother") made for a long-lost documentary, Save the Children. These alone are worth the price of the DVD, as are a number of interspersed interviews from Dinah Shore's Dinah & Friends, in which he talks about singing gospel as a child, and personal issues such as his divorce and his concern over a family member who went to Vietnam. The segments help flesh out this remarkable artist, who was one of the most diverse musical figures of the last few decades.

Extras: A cappella performances of eight tracks and an audio option of switching from the a cappella version to the full studio sound of the Motown originals.

—Steve Morse


MOJO (UK) -May 2006
4 stars

The Wonderful One

MojoDespite the almost blind devotion of his audience, the support of classy backing musicians and consistently strong material, Marvin Gaye rarely felt entirely comfortable with the notion of live performance. He'd sing like an angel, but his unease was often plain to see, be it in a self-conscious dance or a fleeting look that suggested he'd rather be elsewhere.

He often seemed more at ease in the controlled environment of a TV studio as this fascinating and cherishable collection of small screen appearances reveals. After December 1964, when he mimes "Hitch Hike" and appears ill-at-ease doing the dance of that name—he's a natural crooner essaying the movements of a frugger—he's quickly transmogrified into one cool cat, a finger-snapper firing off a series of hits on black-and-white and colour US TV shows, linked by brief snatches of chat, mostly with late '50s hit-maker turned '60 talk show host Dinah Shore. She asks about his father, Gaye gives the gospel background, and cue that "Can I Get A Witness" clip. It works very well, a warming highlight being an al fresco lip-synch with Tammi Terrell, which clearly shows the hot chemistry between the mischievous par.

The real gems here are live performances of "What's Going On" and "What's Happpening Brother" from a 1972 stage set with—see them!—James Jamerson on bass, Eddie "Bongo" Brown, Earl Van Dyke on organ, and other Funk Brothers. Gaye is playing the piano, and thus seated is totally at ease with himself and this very personal and creative music. Snippets of ghetto life cut in to underline the lyrics' sociopolitical weight. His "Love Man" phase, which followed, is served by "Come Get To This" and "Let's Get It On," performed in 1981 in Europe (a fuller version of the Belgian concert comprises the bonus on the DVD), but he lip-synchs "Distant Lover" rather disinterestedly.

Marvin could be a vague, meandering interviewee but the brief exchanges here add substance to our understanding of a complex man. Success, he tells Dick Clark early on, is "20 percent talent, 80 percent luck," perhaps acknowledging the good fortune of being born handsome and marrying the boss' sister. Sixteen years later, life's tribulations have taken their toll but he's reached a balance. "My blessings outweigh all the negative things that have happened in my life," he says. "I know that somebody up there loves me." A lot of people down here loved him too, because ultimately his art far outshone his demons.

—Geoff Brown


Q MAGAZINE (UK) -May 2006

Legendarily troubled soul icon on TV and in concert.

Q CoverMore than two hours long and featuring 25 of Gaye's TV appearances, this is as much footage of the late singer in performance as any fan could desire. The chronological running order charts his slide from the clean cut, confident youngster in the mid-'60s to the vulnerable figure whispering about his love of Belgian pastries in 1981. In between there's a soul masterclass, including a gobsmacking version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine."

—Gareth Grundy

 

 


UNCUT (UK) -May 2006
4 stars

Poignant video portrait of soul legend

UncutThis title is little white lie: many of the 16 Marvin Gaye 'performances' on The Real Thing are actually mimed TV slots. But intercut with sincere chat-show interview clips, it builds a poignant portrait of an artist who remained peculiarly uncomfortable with the artifice of pop presentation.

Gaye's exuberant mid-'60s appearances on American Bandstand are fascinating snapshots from one of the first shows to beam images of black and white teenagers hanging out together onto American TV screens. In front of frugging nerds and stripey-topped cheerleaders, he gamely hams up "Hitch Hike" on a roadside set, looks appropriately blissed-out during "Pride And Joy" and "Can I Get A Witness," and gets upstaged by go-go dancers on "Ain't That Peculiar." "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," an early promo video, features a sublimely flirtatious Tammi Terrell.

The interview segments show a humble, delicate soul on the sofa. There's no sense of trying to shift product or create a personality cult, and Gaye's efforts at honesty are almost painful. "I didn't want to step on any toes particularly," he tells one bleach-blonde host when asked about the politics of What's Going On. "I feel it was very divine—I was in another dimension when we did it." That album is represented by a couple of tracks from a 1972 concert, intercut with an atmospheric montage of street footage.

There's a black hole between 1972 and 1979; Let's Get It On is only represented by an '80s Belgian concert clip. Though there's no "Sexual Healing," the late '70s/early '80s produces a new, even more contradictory Gaye: a Vegas schlockmeister in wide suits and red lamé, but somehow more vulnerable than ever. "I'm just so frustrated right now," he scats during "Let's Get It On", "I just want to show you all of my love." There's no better illustration of the tension between his vision of humankind as fundamentally noble and his deeply tormented personal life.

—Rob Young


DVD REVIEW (UK) -May 2006
4 stars

The soul legend captured live...

DVD ReviewThere's not a lot that hasn't been written about the life and untimely death of Marvin Gaye. Yet, clichéd but true, it's the music Gaye will really be remembered for. This career-spanning collection of remastered television performances is the first of its kind on DVD. Spliced with interviews looking back on his life, it's an illuminating overview of the phases and preoccupations through which Gaye travelled: from lanky, coltish Motown star to bearded, conscientious hipster through to lacivious '80s groover.

Early footage sees a shy Marvin uncomfortable in his skin, his few rhythmic movements strangely Jagger-esque, as he's encircled by gawky teens smacking palms together like wind-up monkeys. A wonderful "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," shot at a chilly fairground, features Tammi Terrell gazing adoringly into his eyes: a telling glimpse of one of pop's greatest partnerships.

In a schmaltzy '70s chat-show segment, Gaye confesses to barely remembering recording his "divine," drug-fuelled opus What's Going On ("I was in another dimension"). Performed with a full band, the partially improvised title track, segueing into the Vietnam-inspired "What's Happening Brother" and intercut with scenes of inner-city life, is just sublime.

Jumping from here to the early '80s, the later clips are sadly, increasingly inferior. "Come Get To This" is unashamedly lust-fuelled, hip-grinding Marvin, filmed during his self-imposed exile in Belgium. "A Funky Space Reincarnation" even sees Marv gone cosmic-disco, prancing amidst a cumulonimbus of dry ice while garbed in a spangly pink number.

The bonus material includes an intimate performance in his unlikey adopted home of Ostende, delivering a belting medley of '60s staples dedicated to Terrell. The live CD is an attractive addition, too.

—Mike Carhart-Harris


MOTOWN TREASURES (UK)-March 2006

Marvin Is The Real Thing
Just where do I begin to review this DVD as there is so much to say about it.

Firstly there are 16 filmed performances recorded mainly for US TV shows obviously all made between 1964 & 1981. It starts with “Hitch Hike” and moves through many of the highlights of Marvin’s career with the likes of “Can I Get A Witness”, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with of course Tammi Terrell, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, “What’s Going On” & “Let’s Get It On”. The picture quality is most impressive with the sound being even more so. The latter is due to all lip-sync performances having had the mono sound broadcasts removed and replaced with the original Motown stereo master recordings. Very clever indeed.

As if all these great performances weren’t enough the DVD also has a bonus concert of Marvin recorded in Belgium in 1981. He sings 11 songs including “I Want You”, “Got To Give It Up” and a solo tribute to Tammi; “If This World Were Mine”, “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” & “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.

Now just when I thought that it was all over there was even more and for me it was a case of leaving the best to last, well almost. Contained in this great DVD is a further bonus of 11 (audio only) a cappella performances of Marvin’s original studio vocal master tracks which were discovered in the Motown vaults. Songs like “You’re A Wonderful One”, my favourite “Pretty Little Baby” and both “Real Thing” & “Mountain” with Tammi that took my breath away as it was just like I was with them in the recording booth.

Still that was not quite all as this amazing DVD comes with two more bonuses. A CD containing an unheard 70 min concert of 25 tracks from Marvin’s 1976 European tour and a 24 page booklet written by GRAMMY- winning writer Rob Bowman.

All that’s left for me to say is that this IS the real thing. PLEASE GET IT!

—John A. Fraser


ECHOES (UK) -April 2006

The Unseen Marvin Gaye
In the first of a two-part feature special, Chris Wells takes an exclusive upfront look at an important new Marvin DVD...and talks to its producer Dave Peck.

It may seem on the weird side now, but back in the pre-internet, pre-star-gossip-as-front-page-news days of the sixties and seventies, Marvin Gaye's UK fans were generally in the dark as to most of his daily doings: we had only his actual music to keep us in touch with Echoes magour hero.

Thus we knew little of his imploding marriage to Anna Gordy, his struggles with her brother to wrest creative control over his music, his affair with and second marriage to Janis Hunter, even his drug usage and tax problems. Moreover, unlike American teens, we almost never got to see him on TV—the only exception being a one-off appearance on Ready Steady Go! in 1965. The first time we witnessed him in full-concert mode was the 1976 Euro tour, which (thankfully for this eager youngster) didn't just stop off in London.

All of which makes much of The Real Thing In Performance 1964-1981 such an eye-stretch: not only do the first 10 performances on this DVD date from either the mid-sixties or early seventies, but most of the songs are inter-cut with snatches of TV interviews that Marvin gave the TV hosts of the time. OK, some of the chat isn't exactly the most insightful conversation you ever heard—several chunks of it come from Dinah Shore's afternoon show, the lightweight approach of which makes even Parky's modern-day grovelling seem like a grilling at Guantanamo—but at least we do get to hear Marvin speak at last (not to mention see how the years and the roller coaster lifestyle affected his looks and demeanour along the way).

But the real highlights of this substantial addition to the Gaye recorded output are the live versions of two cuts from What's Going On—the title track and What's Happening Brother—taken from a largely unknown concert in September 1972, and a 1969 take on "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," sung while the tune was at number one on the U.S. charts. All three reveal Marvin in excellent vocal nick, the latter at least matching the raucous hit version thanks to the addition of a free-style vamp at the end, the former showing Marvin only three-and-a-half years later as a changed man, post-masterwork, and supported onstage by the Funk Brothers. Check out Bongo Brown on percussion and, behind Marv's left ear, the maestro himself, James Jamerson, fingering a typically elegant bass.

A lot of other footage features Marvin lip-synching to his hits—generally the way they worked back then: it was cheaper, with no bands or soundchecks to pay for—but it's still great finally to see how he looked while those tunes were on the charts. DVD producers Reelin' In The Years have taken the wise decision to swap the old mono TV soundtracks for Motown stereo masters, so the sound quality matches the thrill of what you're looking at.

It's funny to think that Marvin himself was insecure about the way he appeared on stage when you see how cool he looked in those sharp suits and watch the easy understatement and style of his moves—especially his relaxed demeanour on "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", where Tammi Terrell does her best to make him laugh with some wonderfully flirtatious glances. It's even funnier to contrast that sixties classic tailoring with the 1979 promo vid for "A Funky Space Reincarnation", where our guy looks nothing less than a complete dick in baco-foil tunic, chest medallion and what look like velvet trackies, whilst trying his damnedest to make something more than banal tripe out of probably the daftest lyric he ever wrote. (What a waste of a great groove!)

Amongst the bonus features are a previously unseen 10-track live concert from 1981, recorded in Belgium and featuring a nicely slowed-down version of "Come Get To This", a confident "Let's Get It On" and a take on "I Want You" that's similar in feel to that unforgettable small combo version on the Marvin Transit Ostend documentary. Another menu includes 11 original a cappella versions of Marv's hits, including "What's Going On," "Grapevine" and "Let's Get It On" where you get to hear the actual studio vocal booth takes sans music (but occasionally with Gaye's own foot-tapping out the time). There's even the facility to match these up to the lip-synch visuals if you feel like it.

Rounding it all off is a 70-minute CD of his '76 European tour and a 24-page booklet that includes an essay by GRAMMY-winning writer Rob Bowman, together with rare photos and Marv memorabilia. As performance videos go, this has quite a lot to keep you occupied.


London Metro (UK) -April 20, 2006
5 stars

KnowledgeEarly TV performances by pop's greatest practitioners were often overwritten in the days when tape was a precious commodity. So the handful of Marvin Gaye's appearances collected on The Real Thing In Performance 1964-1981 are an extra-special treat. They include his first nervous steps as a suited and booted Motown protégé, a rare duet with Tammi Terrell and footage of his 'comeback' performance in 1972, with a heavenly jazz workout inserted into "What's' Going On." Where performances were lip-synched, the origianl master recordings have been substituted. Sprinkled throughout are clips from TV interviews. Although this officially sanctioned DVD steers clear of the seamier side of Gaye's story, a sublimely talented but conflicted man is there for all to see.

—Siobhan Murphy


 

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