Song Of The Day - 26 Mar 2009: You


29. Mär. 2009, 1:34

Marvin Gaye / You / In The Groove (1) / Aug 1968

MUS1030 Music Journal* 6: Reflecting his marital and label struggles, Marvin’s sound begins to turn darker than the sophisticated soul of his earlier releases.

Following his previous album (Moods of Marvin Gaye, 1966), Marvin Gaye entered his era of successful duets with R&B singers such as Kim Weston and Tammi Terrell. During that time, the accounting/legal dispute between Motown and the songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland erupted, with the departure of H-D-H by early 1968.

More critical for Marvin, however, were troubles in his personal life. Marvin's marriage to Anna Gordy was becoming more strained, and his personal disagreements with her brother, Motown CEO Berry Gordy, strained his relationship with the label. Life on the road was becoming so difficult that Marvin began to dislike performing live. Perhaps most distressing to him, duet partner Tammi Terrell was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the end of 1967.

Marvin had not been particularly dependent upon H-D-H, having worked with a number of songwriters and having begun to pen his own songs. Marvin and his newest partners began to arrange songs which reflected Marvin’s state of mind and drew upon his experiences of frustration. “You” is the first single to be released from the resulting album, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, and perhaps even more reflective of darker moods than the later #1 hit title track.

“You” is classic 4/4 soul, more heavily influenced by rhythm & blues (with emphasis on blues) than by gospel, and with a grooving backbeat. The lyrics deal with a man’s yearning for a lover he can’t have outside of secret trysts, not only because they are otherwise involved, but also because she is at a higher station in life than he. He vows to one day make a break and make her his. The song is written in five verses, with three slightly different bridges following verses two, four, and five, and a backing vocal break after bridge two. A fade-out outro closes.

The instrumentation for this single is provided by The Funk Brothers, Motown’s classic session musicians. Specifically, the standard guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums are present. Less typically, but critical to the sound of this song, is a subtle flute line that is present just behind the vocals, suggesting whispers of the two lovers. Marvin is backed by a full chorus of male vocals (The Originals) and female vocals (The Andantes) that echo his urgent, yearning voice.

Lyrics to “You”

INTRO (2-bar instrumental)

VERSE 1(each verse 8 bars)
You, you I see in my mirror in the mornin'
Instead of seein' me
I see you, I see your face
And inside me is a growing need for your embrace

In the light of day, though our faces meet
Someone there might see so we never speak
Till the dark of night, while the moon is new
When we whisper words of love in our secret rendezvous

BRIDGE 1(each bridge 4 bars)
Though it’s wrong I know
Girl, I love you so
Yes I need you
I need you, baby

Oh you, my sweetest joy, you can afford the best of life
I'm just a heartbreakin' boy
Oh, you've given your love to me
Girl, I can't let you hurt yourself by being seen with me

We're worlds apart, so close yet we’re apart
So we must hide the love we're feelin' in our hearts
We meet in shadows, your friends must never know
That we are lovers, darlin' although it hurts me so

For your sake no one must see
The press of love you're givin' me
But oh, I need you baby

BREAK (backing vocals): You, you, you (× 4)

One day I'll make the break, my love will start to shine
I can tell the world that you are mine, all mine
Till then we must go on the way we have before
And never let it show without each other's souls

I'll never one-way track
'Cause there's no turnin' back
Oh, I need you baby

OUTRO (fading out):
You, you I see, oh, in my mirror in the mornin'
Instead of seein' me…I see you

\m/ (ò_ó) \m/

*See the first music journal entry for backstory behind these.


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