Marvin Gaye’s second major work of the 70s is also one of his most famous. Let’s Get It On, eight sensual songs about the act of love, has, for many listeners, come to define Gaye’s popular persona as soul music’s premier love man.
Let’s Get It On appeared after a period of doubt and anxiety about where his career was going following the critical and commercial success of 1971’s What’s Going On, an album full of his eco-cosmic concerns. A dalliance with out-and-out political protest faltered, and after his jazzy Trouble Man soundtrack, Gaye returned to the studio. Besotted with his new young girlfriend Janis Hunter, he let his emotions run riot and created a work that was to update the 60s heartthrob role he’d so unwillingly played at Motown.