Marvin Gaye - I Want You

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"I Want You", while it was a Top Ten smash for Marvin Gaye in 1976, is not as generally well-known as its predecessors for a number of reasons. It marked a sharp change in direction, leaving his trademark Motown soul for lush, funky, light disco, and its subject matter is as close to explicit as pop records got in 1976. From the Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson string and horn arrangements to Leon Ware's exotic production that relied on keyboards as well as drums and bass as rhythm instruments, "I Want You" was a giant leap for Gaye. The feel of the album is one of late-night parties in basements and small clubs, and the intimacy of the music evokes the image of people getting closer as every hour of a steamy night wears on. By the time it is over, the listener should be a blissed-out container of amorous vibes. "I Want You" is a pre-eminent early disco concept album, an adult record about intimacy, sensuality, and commitment, and decades later it still reverberates with class, sincerity, grace, intense focus, and astonishingly good taste. As necessary as anything Gaye ever recorded.