#79: Marvin Gaye 'Sexual Healing'

Marvin Gaye was first known as a sensitive singer, then a political singer, then a sexy singer. The progression from political to sexy was not as abrupt as it may initially seem, since Marvin had racked up many admirers since the day he debuted on Motown's label. And the more Marvin revealed his vulnerability, the more admirers he gained. So after singing about the despair he felt about inner city life ("Inner City Blues") and the dissolution of his marriage (Here My Dear), Marvin must have decided it was time to brazenly sing about sex in a no-holds-barred way, at least for 1982, the year "Sexual Healing" was released. Ask your mother, aunt, sister, or cousin, and they'll all tell you just how much they were fiending for some Marvin when "Sexual Healing" was released. So much so that "Sexual Healing" was the longest running #1 song of the entire decade. Sexuality was something that Marvin had always grappled with, especially being a preacher's son. But not only was Marvin able to instill sexuality into our national anthem, but he did it with just a touch of raunch and sweetness. And just as he reworked Francis Scott Key's tome into a lustful tale of stars burning bright, so was he able to sing of needing sexual healing when he got that inescapable feeling.


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