Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye

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"Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye (1973)

"Let's Get It On" was Marvin Gaye's most successful singles in his recording career on Motown-subsidiary label Tamla Records.

A clear break from his previous three-minute dance-rock singles, the title track of Gaye's landmark 1973 album of the same name featured romantic and sexual lyricism and funk instrumentation by the legendary back-up band, The Funk Brothers.  During its initial popularity, its sexually explicit content  give Gaye a reputation as a sex icon.

"Let's Get It On" was Gaye's plea for sexual liberation. Co-written by attorney, songwriter, and producer Ed Townsend, when he originally conceived the composition it was written with a religious theme as Townsend had recently been released from a rehab facility for alcoholism. Gaye changed the lyrics and meaning to make it more political- which Townsend objected to as he wrote it from the perspective of love and sex.

Gaye transformed it into an soulful emotional centerpiece backed by multi-tracked background vocals as well as the funky guitar arrangements which Gaye himself came up with. His smooth opening has made the track instantly recognizable as his sparks of enthusiasm easily shines through.

Called "a masterpiece of erotic persuasion",  Gaye said that he didn't want "Let's Get It On" tot "advocate promiscuity" but also said he had a hunch the song might have "some aphrodisiac power."

Reviewers were blown away by the song, with comments such as "The best overtly sensual music anyone in rock has ever made,"  "The sexiest record Motown has ever produced." "Irresistible." "Pure eroticism," "Another magnum opus." and "One of the most joyous celebrations of sex ever recorded."

Music critic Jon Landau commented:

"It begins with three great wah-wah notes that herald the arrival of a vintage Fifties melody. But while the song centers around classically simple chord changes, the arrangement centers around a slightly eccentric rhythm pattern that deepens the song's power while covering it with a contemporary veneer."

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