What's Going On

Label
Universal Music (Pty) Ltd.
Release date
20 Jan 2003
Running length
11 tracks
Running time
37:26

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 What's Going On 4:00 411,930
2 What's Happening Brother 2:44 127,258
3 Flyin' High (in the Friendly Sky) 3:50 76,035
4 Save the Children 4:02 96,491
5 God Is Love 2:15 122,976
6 Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) 2:33 222,414
7 Right On 7:33 91,245
8 Wholy Holy 3:08 83,332
9 Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) 4:57 173,305
11 Sad Tomorrows 2:24 8,368

About this album

The first Marvin Gaye album credited as produced solely by the artist himself, What’s Going On is a unified concept album consisting of nine songs, most of which lead into the next. It has also been categorized as a song cycle; the album ends on a reprise of the album’s opening theme. The album is told from the point of view of a Vietnam War veteran returning to the country he had been fighting for, and seeing nothing but injustice, suffering and hatred.

What’s Going On was the first album on which Motown Records’ main studio band, the group of session musicians known as the Funk Brothers, received an official credit. The album features introspective lyrics and socially-conscious themes about drug abuse, poverty, and the Vietnam War. What’s Going On was both an immediate commercial and critical success and has endured as a classic of early-1970s soul.

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