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The Theology of “Sexual Healing”: Marvin Gaye

The Theology of “Sexual Healing”: Marvin Gaye ffle Theology ol 11Sexu11I Healing": Marvin Gaye Orea Tones Shot to death by his father on the day before his forty-fifth birthday in 1984 singer and performing artist Marvin Gaye was a troubled man who lived a tormented life. As reflected in his albums Let's Get It On (1973) and I Want You (1976) and in his hit single "Sexual Healing" ( 1982) part of his disenchantment was that he was literally possessed by the sensation of transcendence and escape that sexual ecstasy brought him. It was a hedonistic addition he attempted to give ulti­ mate meaning, as evidenced by his inscription of a T. S. Eliot apho­ rism on the sleeve of his Let's Get It On album: "Birth, copulation and death, that's all the facts, when you get down to brass tacks." Between his birth and death, copulation was more than a fact of life for Gaye, it was of urgent value. But as reflected in his What's Going On album (1971) his social awakening during the late sixties and early seventies also led him to address some of the paramount con­ cerns of society: war, human divisiveness, careless brutality, unem­ ployment, impoverishment, and ecological pollution. There http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

The Theology of “Sexual Healing”: Marvin Gaye

Black Sacred Music , Volume 3 (2) – Sep 1, 1989

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Copyright
Copyright © 1989 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-3.2.68
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ffle Theology ol 11Sexu11I Healing": Marvin Gaye Orea Tones Shot to death by his father on the day before his forty-fifth birthday in 1984 singer and performing artist Marvin Gaye was a troubled man who lived a tormented life. As reflected in his albums Let's Get It On (1973) and I Want You (1976) and in his hit single "Sexual Healing" ( 1982) part of his disenchantment was that he was literally possessed by the sensation of transcendence and escape that sexual ecstasy brought him. It was a hedonistic addition he attempted to give ulti­ mate meaning, as evidenced by his inscription of a T. S. Eliot apho­ rism on the sleeve of his Let's Get It On album: "Birth, copulation and death, that's all the facts, when you get down to brass tacks." Between his birth and death, copulation was more than a fact of life for Gaye, it was of urgent value. But as reflected in his What's Going On album (1971) his social awakening during the late sixties and early seventies also led him to address some of the paramount con­ cerns of society: war, human divisiveness, careless brutality, unem­ ployment, impoverishment, and ecological pollution. There

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1989

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