Friday, October 24, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 355 - Marvin Gaye - The Last Concert Tour

Album – The Last Concert Tour
Artist – Marvin Gaye
Key Players – Marvin Gaye – vocals.
Produced By - (Compiled by) Marc Fieldstone, Trevor G.Shelton and Gerry Young

Release Date – October 29, 1991

Overview – Recorded during his final tour in the summer of 1983 the red hot Marvin Gaye was back on top. With a top 40 hit “Sexual Healing”Gaye found a resurgence in popularity. Less than a year later he'd be dead, shot by his father after an argument.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The collection opens up with “Introduction”, which is just simply the emcee introducing Marvin to the stage. It rolls right over to “Third World Girl” which has the band in fine form. One immediate thing you'll notice is the quality of the recording. Gaye's vocals seems distorted and “warbly” at times. The packaging indicates that the disc was recorded live to 2 track stereo tape on analog gear etc etc. That being said, in this day and age live stuff can be cleaned up, at least some. The liner notes don't mention band members either. A rough cut brings you to  “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which has a different audio source and sounds a little less noisy. Gaye chats up the audience before hand as the band lays down a funky groove. The bass player later in the track finds the slap/pop and great fills. The version is a bit more gritty than the single most would know, and feels even more full with extended horns. “Come Get To This” is a slower ballad where you could see Gaye shirtless singing to a lady in the audience. Its just paints that picture, even if it never happened you can figure it out what the tune feels like. There is a rough and abrupt change and “God Is My Friend” begins. This is a track where you'd wish it all “sounded” better as its Gaye with a solo piano. What could have been..... “What's Going On” follows. Arguably one of, if not his biggest (or very least most well know) track. The band is locked in and Gaye sounds solid hitting all the vocal marks and is in very fine voice. “Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing” has Gaye taking his time getting started, even offering up a towel he has used to the ravenous female audience. His take on the Ashford and Simpson tune is respectable with his band and backing vocalists. “Your Precious Love” mixes well from the previous with the band still in their pocket ready to rumble forward. Gaye croons calmly and it too then rolls great over to “Love Twins”. Gaye did this song with Donna Summer and mentions her at the start. The bass work is solid and it has that really great groove. The horn section adds a lot, but the bass gets you right there all the time, its a short track that moves right over to “If This World Were Mine”. Gaye does a lot of chatting as “Joy” begins telling the audience about his father being a preacher and watching him be overcome with joy from the lord. This is a track that could really use the clean up. The band is just ripping on this and you can feel the energy, but it still seems compressed. It just needs to be fuller in the mix. The bass line is killer and the sax solo at the end is top notch with the backing vocals really going it just needs that push over the top. The track “Intermission/Interlude” is just that, a jam that must have taken place mid set to allow for a costume change or what have you. “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” is the first song after the intermission track and we are back much like the feel of “Joy” Another of the bigger Gaye songs comes in “Let's Get It On” and from the opening guitar wah wah the audience loses their minds and he has them in the palm of his hand. “Distant Lover” slows it down and “Rockin' After Midnight” rolls right back with the funk feel. The song that brought Gaye back in to the public eye in the 1980s was “Sexual Healing” and as the keyboard pops off the keyboard you can hear the audience swell in anticipation and once Gaye sings “lets get down tonight” the audience goes wild. The version is pretty cut and dry, nothing that was broken out from the radio single,but a track he of course needed to do live. There is some interaction with the audience that one would expect. The collection ends with the track “The Final Chapter” which is the band looping on the hook of Sexual Healing and the emcee imploring the audience to give it up “one more time” for Marvin. There is a series of thank yous and Marvin saying he might be done performing live and giving his life to God. Its not really a song, but a moment in time captured that fades out with the audience and band.

Where are they now? Gaye was murdered by his father on April 1, 1984

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - Its really a live collection of some of his more well known tunes. The downside to this is just the recording quality. It sounds a bit like a bootleg yet it was released by a major label. Cleaned up somehow it might be worth a re-visit, but even with all the hits and Gaye back in the public eye even the most casual of music fans will be put off by the quality of the recording.

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Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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