Saturday, November 14, 2009

ALBUM REVIEW: Marvin Gaye - The Real Thing - In Performance 1964-1981 DVD

By Payo W Perry

For far too long there has been a rarity associated with footage of Marvin Gaye on DVD. Of the recent releases however "Real Thing: In Performance 1964-1981" is on of the best and features some really great Marvin Gaye performances for all fans to sit back and enjoy. It's a 16 track compilation and very well put together especially with its re-mastered sound quality and comprehensive colour booklet.

The DVD begins at the very beginning of Marvin's career from Motown and follows his development as a singer, performer and artist right throughout the decades. From the 1960's we get "Hitch Hike", "Can I Get a Witness" and "Ain't That Peculiar" and it's so interesting to see his performances in front of totally white audiences and go-go girl teenagers. By the end you're left in little doubt of how incredibly expressive and pure the voice of Marvin Gaye was.

The DVD does not rely on the TV sound recordings but rather uses the digitally re-mastered audio from the original sound recordings. This makes the sound quality gorgeous especially when played through a quality hi-fi system. The live performances start kicking in at around track 8 with "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" from 1969 and together with "Lets Get It On" they provide highlight points for the entire DVD.

Intertwined throughout the film are interviews with Marvin on various TV shows and this helps to bring the music out and help put the periods of his career into context. I would highly recommend this DVD as essential viewing for anyone who likes Marvin Gaye. You'll watch it time and again I'm sure.

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