Marvin Gaye

How do you follow-up one of the most ambitious and iconic records of all time? If you’re Marvin Gaye, you release a different type of landmark album, but not before tossing away a promising sequel.

Let’s rewind: Marvin Gaye unleashed What’s Going On in 1971 in the midst of a feud with his record label. The concept album pontificated on war, racism and police brutality, and featured three top-ten singles; the whole project eventually ended up on pretty much every “top 100 records of all time” list.

But the soul legend’s label, Motown, initially didn’t want to release a “political” track like “What’s Going On”, and showed no interest in releasing a like-minded follow-up. So Gaye, who had just signed a million-dollar deal, scrapped his planned new record (You’re the Man), opting instead to release a soundtrack (Trouble Man) and, two years later, the more sensual Let’s Get It On.

But time heals all wounds, and Motown will soon release the scrapped You’re the Man project this March 29th, with 15 of the 17 tracks pressed to vinyl for the first time (admittedly, many of the tracks have ended up on different CD compilations). You can currently hear a new mix of the album’s “My Last Chance,” which was recorded in the early ‘70s, revamped for a song by The Miracles and eventually remixed for a 1990 box set.

The release of You’re the Man arrives just days before what would have been the singer’s 80th birthday (he was shot and killed by his father in 1984), as well in time for Motown’s 60th anniversary celebration.

You can order the album here.

Photo: Motown Records