You're The Man is the first-ever planned "lost" Tamla/Motown album from Marvin Gaye. Fifteen of the album's seventeen tracks are on vinyl for the first time and three tracks are newly mixed by SaLaAM ReMi. The album also includes the rare long LP version of Gaye's cancelled Christmas single from '72, as well as an unreleased vault mix of its instrumental B-side, and a new essay by Marvin's biographer, David Ritz. While the tracks have been issued on various collections and deluxe editions, this is the first time they have been placed in their proper context. You're The Man was the album that was proposed to follow-up the monumental What's Going On, and it contains all of Marvin's solo and non-soundtrack recordings from 1972 (his next two albums in quick succession: Trouble Man and Let's Get It On). The release of You're The Man will coincide with the 60th anniversary of Motown and Marvin Gaye's 80th Birthday (April 2).
In 1972, Marvin Gaye was on top: or so it seemed. "What's Going On," "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," and "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)," the three singles from his universally acclaimed album What's Going On, had each hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart (since renamed Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs) and Top 10 Pop the year before. His new single, "You're The Man" – a percolating, sarcastic riff on political non-action issued as the U.S. presidential campaign was kicking off – reached No. 7 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart. He saw Motown schedule a You're The Man album (catalog number Tamla 316). But when the lead single didn't cross over Pop, stalling at No. 50, Marvin retreated. Ambivalent about recording, stubborn about moving to Los Angeles with Berry Gordy and Motown, Marvin by his actions proclaimed no more new Marvin Gaye music.
However, in this singular and transitional year for the late music legend, Gaye recorded more than an album's worth of music in Detroit and L.A. He produced himself, creating a suite of aching ballads; he worked with songwriters-becoming-producers Willie Hutch, then known mainly for the Jackson 5 smash "I'll Be There," but soon to be lauded for his film scores to The Mack and Foxy Brown; and with Pam Sawyer and Gloria Jones, whose "Piece of Clay" for Marvin decades later became a smash in the 1995 film Phenomenon. He cut two sought-after tracks with Freddie Perren and Fonce Mizell, half of the hit-making machine behind the Jackson 5; he got together with Hal Davis, who was preparing a Marvin Gaye-Diana Ross album, to cut another topical gem, "The World Is Rated X." And Marvin funneled his anger over the Vietnam War, and his brother's experiences there, into a sequel of sorts to "What's Going On," the poetic holiday ballad, "I Want To Come Home For Christmas." He even re-cut "You're The Man" as an eerie funk jam, perhaps for the LP as a bookend to the single.
None of these tracks or any other on the LP, except the single, were issued at the time. Three tracks from the album are newly mixed by SaLaAM ReMi, the songwriter and producer long associated with Nas, the Fugees, and Amy Winehouse: "My Last Chance," "Symphony," and "I'd Give My Life For You." Also included is the rare, long LP version of Gaye's cancelled 1972 Christmas single, plus an unreleased vault mix of its instrumental B-side. Over the years, songs from You're The Man have been included on several CD releases but 15 of the album's 17 tracks have not been released on vinyl until now.
• Gatefold 2LP-set
• Shelved follow-up to What's Going On
• 15 of the album's 17 tracks making their first appearance on vinyl
• Includes songwriting-production work from Willie Hutch, Paw Sawyer, Gloria Jones, Freddie Perren, Fonce Mizell & Hal Davis
• 3 tracks newly mixed by SaLaAM ReMi: "My Last Chance," "Symphony," and "I'd Give My Life For You"
• Rare, long LP version of Gaye's cancelled 1972 Christmas single, plus an unreleased vault mix of its instrumental B-side
• New liner notes by Marvin Gaye biographer David Ritz