Marvin Gaye - What's Going On - DETROIT MIX

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mal, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist Thread Starter

    I got into this version of the album back in 2005 after finally picking up the Deluxe Edition CD set:

    Anyone who is at all interested in this album and hasn't heard this previously unreleased earlier mix needs to GET IT NOW.

    Same goes for anyone on the fence about this album as I was for years. I mean, I could hear something in there but I found the originally released mix a bit swamped with reverb and somehow a bit blurry for want of a better expression. I remember reading about Marvin's two-vocal technique on "What's Goin' On" but never really got what was so special about it until I heard the original (and unreleased until the DE came out) mix he made back in Detroit in 1971. Suddenly it all makes sense - two distinct vocals! It's as if you have two records playing at once yet the combination is better than either one would be on its own. Of course, I always love "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)" but I hated the mellotron or whatever it is right at the end - it always ruined a great track for me. Well, guess what? Marvin's original mix had that part mixed out for the last few notes on the end of the track - that was just left in on the LA re-mix!

    I gather that Marvin was very happy (brought to tears no less) with the remix that Larry Miles put together in a single afternoon in LA (see here for Bob Ohlsson's first hand account) - still, I much prefer Marvin's original Detroit mix.

    The segue between "God Is Love" and "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)" on the Detroit mix is one of the most perfect musical moments I've ever heard. On the LA mix it just seems almost randomly placed in comparison. Overall, the sound on the Detroit mix is just so tight and rhythmic that it flows beautifully. I find the LA mix to be softened to the point where it washes over you without really getting under your skin. Maybe people like the easy going nature of the LA mix but for me the Detroit mix is one of the most astonishing achievements in the history of recorded music.

    Do yourself a favour and check out the Detroit mix and let me know what you think.

    Everything is everything......

    art, jvcforce, SteveFff and 4 others like this.
  2. RoyalScam

    RoyalScam Luckless Pedestrian

    It is, indeed, a beautiful mix and a great alternative.

    The thing I really enjoy about these Universal Deluxe Editions are the alternate mixes we get to hear.

    The Marley Catch A Fire original Jamaican mix is a REVELATION compared to the Rabbit-ized overdubbed version we all know. And Chic's original mix of Diana Ross' Diana, similar to the Gaye Detroit Mix, is a much drier, rougher, raw-er offering that I prefer to the slicker released mix.

    And we wouldn't have these without this series. Hopefully they continue.
    fourfeathers likes this.
  3. houston

    houston Forum Resident

    Dallas, Texas, USA
    You didn't say, but I presume you are happy with the mastering of both the Detroit and L.A. mix, right? because my reluctance to buy Motown/Universal cd's naturally extends to Marvin's output
  4. Chris M

    Chris M Senior Member

    Baton Rouge, LA
    The mastering of the Detroit mix shouldn't be an issue as there are no other masterings available. Ditto for the live stuff on Disc 2.
  5. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist Thread Starter

    Oh yeah - should have said that this is one Kevin Reeves job that I can actually really enjoy listening to. For the LA mix I prefer the 1993 Lurssen mastering but then again i don't really like the mix that much anyway! For the Detroit mix, as Chris says, we only have one choice - still, I think Reeves did a fine job with it even in the absense of an alternative to compare it to.

  6. imagnrywar

    imagnrywar Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    i agree with you competely, Mal. i hardly ever listen to the album as originally released anymore, it's just not as good as the Detroit mix. "blurry" is a good way to describe the released version.
  7. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist Thread Starter

    To give credit where it is due (and having just found my DE in my disorganised room) the Detroit mix was apparently made by Steve Smith at the Motown mix room on Woodward Avenue, Detroit on April 5th 1971.

    Anyone know anything about Steve Smith? Presumably Marvin was around to supervise this mix?.....

    For completeness, the details of the LA mix are as follows: mixed by Lawrence Miles at Motown Studios (aka "Hitsville West"), Los Angeles on May 6th 1971.

  8. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Frankfurt, Germany
    I prefer the album the way Marvin intended it to be heard, i.e. the L.A. mix.
    Crimson jon and dalem5467 like this.

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    listened to this mix today and whoa, its all that you say. Really glad its now easily available for all to listen to....

    all the Marvin Deluxe editions I've gotten have been money well spent....
  10. -Alan

    -Alan Forum Resident

    Connecticut, USA
  11. elektrikjester

    elektrikjester Forum Resident

    Marietta, Georgia
    Let me just give my plug for the Detroit mix of "Inner City Blues." To me, it uses the stereo stage in the best way possible, especially regarding the presentation of Marvin's voice(s) and the percussion, which is just awesome.

    If you're wanting to really get into this mix, may I recommend you try it with headphones? It really is nifty how the elements of these songs are presented. Less of unified sound than the official mix, but that allows you to appreciate each of the song's individual components.
  12. rcdupre

    rcdupre Flying is Trying is Dying

    I love 'em both, but any mix of this album would be great, IMO..
  13. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Forum Resident

    My lab
    Here, here. Gorgeous mix. The Detroit mix is nice but doesn't move me as much. I put it on when I need to (pun not intended) mix things up a bit. I listen to this album 100 times a year so it's nice to have some variety.
  14. Maggie

    Maggie funky but chic

    Toronto, Canada
    A bit off topic, but


    It's right there on the jacket!!

    This most definitely ain't nothin' but a g thang, but every g is sacred. Peace out.
  15. Grant

    Grant Just me

    United States
    Hi Mal,

    I'm glad you are with me on this! The Detroit mix is stellar in every way! The sound quality is fantastic, quite audiophile. It's what Marvin intended!
  16. rob68

    rob68 all points West

    So does the Detroit mix have all different vocal takes? I always assumed just the music was different/grittier.
  17. BreakOnThrough

    BreakOnThrough New Member

    Rhode Island
    What annoys me is adding the question mark. He ain't askin', he's preachin'! :D
    coniferouspine and fr in sc like this.
  18. Grant

    Grant Just me

    United States
    The vocals are different in a lot of places. The vocals are layered, and, marvin does duets with himself that are just something you gotta hear!

    And, the music is different.

    The title track is totally rearranged and mixed differently. The first two tracks are like being in a party setting. The party chatter link the two tracks together.
  19. Grant

    Grant Just me

    United States
    It's verbal short hand...or laziness. The only people I know who enunciate every vowel, consonant, and syllable are linguists and pretentious English teachers.:D
  20. ManFromCouv

    ManFromCouv Employee #3541

    We're All Rednecks On This Bus. :)
    fr in sc likes this.
  21. JohnBeas

    JohnBeas Forum Resident

    Another thing to recommend this release is the live 1972 performance - I really love this concert!
  22. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist Thread Starter

    Point taken :thumbsup:

    Gorts - please reinstate the "g" in the album title in both the thread title and in the body of my first post.



    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    i guess for me its because its how i 'hear" the word "goin". I hear him singing that word without the "g", more than I hear him singing the "g" so thats how i refer to it. I was quite surprised to see its really "going" this mind has done selective editing my whole life on this, makes me wanna holla....
    George P likes this.
  24. Maggie

    Maggie funky but chic

    Toronto, Canada
    AAARRRGGHH!! It's "Make Me Wanna Holler"!!!

    fr in sc likes this.
  25. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    Thanks for the reminders

Share This Page