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Producers include: Marvin Gaye, Ivy Joe Hunter, Stevie Wonder, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier.
All tracks have been digitally remastered using 24-bit technology.
Personnel: Marvin Gaye (vocals); Hank Dixon (tenor); Walter Gaines (baritone).
Audio Remasterer: Jeff Willens.
Liner Note Author: Adam White.
Recording information: 1968-1970.
Arrangers: Gene Page; H.B. Barnum; Marvin Gaye; Paul Riser; Tom Baird; David Van De Pitte.
The Very Best of the Originals includes their hits from the late '60s through the mid-'70s, along with some LP cuts, B-sides, and unreleased tracks. The first six songs were produced or co-produced by Marvin Gaye in 1969 and 1970 (including the hits "Baby I'm for Real" and "The Bells"). These have been sometimes cited as forerunners to his What's Going On album, but it would be wrong to view them as a What's Going On supplement. They're in much more of a lush, group vocal, sweet soul style, although some traces of ideas Gaye would play with in the early '70s are present, particularly in the way the background voices weave around each other. The one previously unreleased Gaye production, "Just to Keep You Satisfied," would be reworked, with the same backing track and backing vocals but with a different lead vocal and lyrics, on Gaye's Let's Get It On album. The rest of the tracks are largely in a competent sweet soul mold, also including "Suspicion," a previously unreleased Holland-Dozier-Holland number from 1966 with a more up-tempo sound; "Game Called Love," a 1974 cut composed and produced by Stevie Wonder; and "Down to Love Town," a 1976 disco smash. ~ Richie Unterberger