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Motown's most versatile vocalist, Marvin Gaye essayed everything from fistfuls of future soul standards and hit duets with four different women (Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Tammi Terrell, and Diana Ross), to dark, brooding voodoo grooves ("I Heard It Though the Grapevine"), all of which are collected in the first 27 songs on this two-CD set. Then he got even more successful making the kind of records he wanted to make, waxing socio-political (the title track from the epochal What's Going On album), scoring blaxploitation films ("Trouble Man"), and getting real interested in sex ("Let's Get It On," "I Want You," "Got to Give It Up"). All this-and more-make up the 20 tunes on the second disc. Motown. 1995.

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Balancing raw power with shades of vulnerability, Gaye rose to the top of Motown's roster without the benefit of a supporting vocal group. Whether singing love songs or social commentary, Gaye's voice displays an earnestness and sincerity that are a soul singer's most potent weapons. Among these 47 hits are his memorable duets with Mary Wells, Kim Weston, and Tammi Terrell along with Motown staples such as "Can I Get a Witness," "How Sweet It Is," "Ain't That Peculiar," and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." This 2 CD set also covers socially conscious 1970s originals such as "What's Going On," "Mercy, Mercy Me," and "Inner City Blues." Only his last hit, "Sexual Healing," is left out. --Marc Greilsamer

Anthology The Best Of Mar