Q - 7/95, p.1415 Stars
- Indispensable - "...These are some of the most beautiful moments in the history of soul."
Q - p.1304 stars out of 5
- "Marvin Gaye made some of the most life-affirming music ever recorded....Twenty years after his death, the full reach of Gaye's genius is revealed on THE MASTER."
Uncut - 8/00, p.905 stars out of 5
- "...Songs of social comment, sexual desire and spiritual desperation so powerful that they left most of the competition stalled at the lights..."
Village Voice (2/20/96) - Tied for #3 on the Reissues list of Village Voice's 1995 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.
Mojo (Publisher) - 7/95, p.111
"...Handsome 4-CD digest of the man's magnificent work....[Marvin Gaye] became...an inimitable voice capable of touching anybody, anywhere....There's a universe in every note."
NME (Magazine) - 6/3/95, p.4810 (out of 10)
- "...A dream package...flush with myriad unreleased tracks, and enhanced with exemplary digital remastering from original sources...the most all-encompassing and astutely assessed compilation of his work currently available..."
THE MASTER (1961-1984) features an 89-song overview of Marvin Gaye's career, including 18 previously unreleased tracks as well as various rarities. The package contains a 68-page booklet with photos.
Personnel includes: Marvin Gaye (vocals, keyboards, drums, percussion); Tammi Terrell, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Mary Wells, Kim Weston (vocals); Gordon Banks, Ray Parker, Jr. (guitar); Joel Peskin (saxophone); Nolan Smith, Dr. George Shaw, Ray Brown (trumpet); Sidney Muldrew (French horn); Sonny Burke (piano, Fender Rhodes); Joe Sample (piano); Joe Hunter, Richard "Popcorn" Wylie (keyboards); Elmira Collins (vibraphone); Chuck Rainey, Wilton Felder (bass); Bugsy Wilcox, Preston Wilcox (drums); Gary Jones (percussion, congas).
Producers include: William "Mickey" Stevenson, Norman Whitfield, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Clarence Paul.
Compilation producer: Amy Herot.
Includes liner notes by David Ritz.
Personnel: Marvin Gaye (piano, keyboards, drums, percussion); Martha & the Vandellas (vocals); Dave Hamilton (guitar, vibraphone); David T. Walker, Dennis Coffey, Eddie Willis, Robert White , Lewis Shelton, Gordon Banks, Curtis Anthony Nolen, Wali Ali, Larry Veeder, Jay Graydon, Melvin "Wah Wah" Ragin, Ray Parker, Jr., Joe Messina, Johnny McGhee (guitar); Carole Crosby (harp); Gordon Staples (violin, strings); Virginia Halfmann, Beatriz Budinszky, James Waring, Alvin Score, Rick Margitza, Felix Resnick (violin); David Ireland, Edouard Kesner, Meyer Shapiro, Nathan Gordon (viola); Thaddeus Markiewicz, Italo Babini (cello); Detroit Symphony Orchestra (strings); William Perich, Danya Hartwick (flute); Larry Nozero (saxophone, soprano saxophone); Angelo Carlisi (saxophone, alto saxophone); Fernando Harkness, Wild Bill Moore (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Danny Turner , Andrew "Mike" Terry, Eugene BeeBee Moore, Ronnie Wakefield, Lanny Austin, Ernie Rodgers, Lefty Edwards, Bernie Peacock, Eli Fontaine, Henry Cosby, Kasuku Mafia, Thomas "Beans" Bowles, Joel Peskin, Ted Buckner (saxophone); Ernie Fields Jr., Eli Fountain (alto saxophone); George Benson , Charles Owen (tenor saxophone); Tate Houston (baritone saxophone); Kenny Mason, Floyd Jones , Eddie Jones , George Shaw , Russell Conway, Billy Horner, John Wilson , Don Slaughter, Herbie Williams, John Trudell, Maurice Davis , Marcus Belgrave, Nolan Andrew Smith, Ray Brown (trumpet); Sidney Muldrow, Sidney Muldrew (French horn); George Bohannon, Zinovi Bistritzky, Patrick Lanier, Jimmy Wilkins, Bill Johnson , Don White , Bob Cousar, Paul Riser, Carl Raetz (trombone); John Barnes, Sonny Burke , Jerry Peters (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Joe Sample, Marvin Jenkins (piano); Johnny Griffith (celesta, keyboards); James Gittens (keyboards, vibraphone); Raymond Crossley, Earl Vanduke, Popcorn Wylie, Ted Sheely, William Bryant, Ivy Jo Hunter (keyboards); Jack Ashford (vibraphone, tambourine, percussion); Elmira Collins, Jack Brokensha (vibraphone, percussion); Victor Feldman, Emil Richards (vibraphone); Max Janowsky (upright bass); Eddie "Bongo" Brown (drums, congas, bongos, percussion); Paul Humphries, Frederick Waits, Clifford Mack, Bugsy Wilcox, George McGregor, Preston Wilcox, James Gadson, Andrew Smith , Benny Benjamin, Chet Forest , Richard "Pistol" Allen, Uriel Jones (drums); Earl DeRouen, Bobbye Hall (congas, bongos); Gary Jones (congas, percussion); John Arnold , Son Ship, Sunship, Gary Coleman (percussion); Jan Hunter, Lem Barney, Elgie Stover, Frankie Gaye, Bobby Rodgers, The Andantes (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: David Ritz.
Unknown Contributor Role: Emil Richards.
Arrangers: David Blumberg; Dale Oehler; Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson ; Gene Page; Marvin Gaye; Paul Riser; Rene Hall; Bob Gaudio; David Van De Pitte.
Stevie Wonder is an unarguable genius. That allowed, a credible case can still be made that the late Marvin Gaye was, pound for pound, the single most talented artist to have come to prominence at Motown Records in the '60s. Gaye, in fact, could do it all. He was a formidable songwriter, a supremely funky studio drummer, a highly charismatic performer, and, of course, an amazingly expressive singer, equally at home with the R&B and soul numbers that made his name as with the earlier pop standards he loved equally.
This four-CD set is the definitive Marvin Gaye anthology, providing a fully rounded overview of his career, from the great early blues and gospel based hits to the sensual crooning of his final days and everything in between. THE MASTER is also fleshed out with 18 revelatory unreleased tracks, both studio and live (trust us: you have to hear his in-concert version of "The Star Spangled Banner" to believe it).