What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye (What’s Going On, 1971)
Marvin Gaye – My Last Chance (1972)
“My Last Chance” was first in production during the 1970 Hitsville sessions during the singer’s period of protest against his record label for not wanting to release the “What’s Going On” single.
Marvin revisited the track in 1972 in which this version was recorded. Still pretty much a demo, Marvin later presented the record in a very different format for The Miracles, who had recruited Billy Griffin to replace Smokey Robinson as Robinson departed for a solo career. The song was released as the ballad “I Love You Secretly” on their album, Renaissance, fully written and produced by Marvin. The track could be interpreted as either a message of interracial love or same sex romance, but it was left up to be interpreted by the public when it came out in 1973.
A remixed version of the song was released as a promotional single in 1991 by Motown. This version was later issued on the compilation, 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Very Best of Marvin Gaye, Vol. 2 (The ‘70s)
Make me wanna holler, throw up both my hands!
Marvin performing at the Chicago Amphitheater, 1974
The man was so creative. He would hear his patterns and before he finished hearing his patterns he would already have words to go with them. The toys we had to work with were amazing. To see this genius working on these new state-of-the-art instruments at that time was amazing. His ego wouldn’t let him do anything wrong. He really knew what he was doing. I know that sounds kind of jumbled, but it’s an experience I will never forget. He would play and play and sing and sing then all of sudden he would be doing vocals and he would ask me, “How does that sound?” I told him, “Marvin, you know how it sounds.” He said, “Is it flat or sharp?” It hit me all of sudden that I’m telling this major superstar if I like his lines or not. – Gordon Banks on Marvin Gaye’s recording process during the making of his final album, Midnight Love
Above: Marvin in the studio with engineer Mike Butcher in Ohain’s Studio Katy, 1982