Marvin Gaye ‎– Trouble Man

Tamla ‎– T 322L, Tamla ‎– T-322L
Vinyl, LP, Album, Hollywood

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Main Theme From Trouble Man Part 2
Arranged By – Dale Oehler
A2 "T" Plays It Cool
Arranged By – Jerry Long
A3 Poor Abbey Walsh
Arranged By – Bob Ragland, Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken
A4 Break In (Police Shoot Big)
A5 Cleo's Apartment
Arranged By – Bob Ragland
A6 Trouble Man
Arranged By – Dale Oehler
A7 Theme From Trouble Man
Arranged By – Bob RaglandArranged By [Horns] – James Carmichael*
B1 "T" Stands For Trouble
Arranged By – J.J. Johnson
B2 Main Theme From Trouble Man Part 1
Arranged By [Horns, Rhythm] – Dale OehlerArranged By [Strings] – Gene Page
B3 Life Is A Gamble
Arranged By – Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken
B4 Deep-In-It
Arranged By – Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken
B5 Don't Mess With Mister "T"
Arranged By – Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken
B6 There Goes Mister "T"
Arranged By – Jack Hayes, Leo Shuken

Companies, etc.



This release has a unique half gatefold sleeve

Original soundtrack for the 1972 film "Trouble Man", directed by Ivan Dixon and starring Robert Hooks.
Except for the tracks A6, B3, B5 and B6 the album is mostly instrumental.

All selections published by Jobete Music Co., Inc. & Twentieth Century Music Corp., admin. by EMI April Music, Inc., (ASCAP), copyright 1972.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side A): HS 2013-1 B5RS 8386 T-322L 1233213 H
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side B): HS 2014-2 B5RS 8387 T-322L 1233213 H
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side A variant): HS 2013-1 B5RS 8386 T-322L 1233213 A2
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side B variant): HS 2014-2 B5RS 8387 T-322L 1233213-1 B1

Other Versions (5 of 53) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
T 322L Marvin Gaye Trouble Man(LP, Album, Ltd, RE, 180) Tamla T 322L US Unknown Sell This Version
530 884-2 Marvin Gaye Trouble Man(CD, Album, RE, RM) Motown 530 884-2 Europe 1998 Sell This Version
T322L, T 322L Marvin Gaye Trouble Man(LP, Album, Hol) Tamla, Tamla T322L, T 322L US 1972 Sell This Version
T 322L Marvin Gaye Trouble Man(LP, Album, RE) Tamla T 322L US Unknown Sell This Version
POCT-1899 Marvin Gaye Trouble Man(CD, Album, RE) Motown POCT-1899 Japan 1994 Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 8 Reviews

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January 22, 2019
edited 3 months ago
Next to Whats Going On this album is my favorite Marvin album. But why there's nearly no vocals?
Because it highlights his brilliance as a musician at the keys, arrangements and commandeering an incredible session of top notch musicians.
Marvin is at the Rhodes and at the Moog tho I think it sounds like an ARP synth but nevertheless Gaye is using all the tools he can to muster up mood for the film(of which Ill probably never see). The music is warm, melancholy as only Marvin can conjure up and best of all so smooth you can slice thru solid steel with the grooves the musicians pontificate thru their instruments! Seriously this is from what 1972 and today is a gift for all curious hungry ears to appreciate! Simply brilliant!


April 21, 2018
Marvin Gaye - "Trouble Man" on Motown

With the massive commercial success of Isaac Hayes' "Shaft" and Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly", record companies and movie studios alike were in a mad rush to churn out soundtrack music by every major black artist. Just about any and everyone you can name got in on the business, some results proving more memorable than others. Marvin Gaye's sole entry into the field was 1972's "Trouble Man", and as usual, Gaye did not follow the crowd, instead fashioning one of the most unique soundtracks to come out of the "blaxploitation" genre. Gaye sidesteps all of the now stereotypical wah guitar laden tricks that became all too common, and delivered a lush and sophisticated soundscape different than anything else in his discography.

The focus here is not on Gaye's immense talent as a vocalist, but his undeniable gifts as a composer of the highest order - he wrote, conducted, and produced nearly every note of this highly intricate and heavily arranged score, as well as contributing some fantastic keyboard playing. It's a true testament to his depth as an artist, so much beyond the title of a pop singer. Unlike "Superfly", which is a song cycle tailored to that film's plot, the pieces Gaye wrote for "Trouble Man" are much more incidental music meant to enhance and intensify the film's scenes. He clearly took the role seriously, and opted not to just create a "Marvin Gaye album", instead taking cue from other popular film composers such as Lalo Schifrin, Jerry Goldstein, and Ennio Morricone. It's a record that is best taken as a whole, as its individual pieces morph and fit together like one big puzzle.

The record opens with it's main theme, one that gets recycled in bits and pieces throughout, and also provides the backdrop for the album's title track. Here the track is left instrumental with a tenor sax taking most of the spotlight, and some tasty piano filling in the spaces. Horn and string stabs introduce one of the album's most exciting tunes, "T Plays It Cool", which utilizes a very early example of a looped drum break, rippling synthesizers, shimmering electric piano, and more tenor saxophone. It's arguable the LP's funkiest track, and sounds years ahead of its time. "Poor Abbey Walsh" starts as a sparse melancholy lament with a mournful saxophone playing over the piano and an emotive swirling string arrangement, and turns decidedly dark and tense midway through before giving way to Gaye layering some cool vocals over a shifting backdrop. That track eases into "The Break In", a jerky piece with a syncopated bass and piano figure that dissolves and reforms only to dissolve again into the moody "Cleo's Apartment". That tune finds Gaye delivering some fine doowop harmonies supported by a slow burn groove built on jazzy changes with piano, handclaps, bongos, and the tight swing of the drums and bass.

The title track is really the LP's only full on vocal track and was a hit for Gaye, well surpassing the minimal commercial success of the film itself. Again, Gaye bucks convention, as I'm sure this bluesy big band affair sounded a bit out of place in the funk heavy landscape of 1972. An almost menacing swaggering groove, the song opens with an ominous burst of dark strings and swinging drums before the bass shuffle settles behind with Gaye's falsetto riding on top. The lyric "there's only three things for sure - taxes, death, and trouble - this I know," proved to be somewhat prophetic for Gaye's own personal life which was riddled with enough drama to warrant its own film (why hasn't this happened yet?!).

Side 2 opens with another take on the main theme, this time the changes arranged as a ballad featuring only strings and horns and crying saxophone. "T Stands for Trouble" is about as close as Gaye comes to giving us the usual blaxploitation formula, as the song opens with low end jabs from the piano, tympani, and horns while bongo drums and a muted guitar click along furiously. About a third of the way in, the band drops fully in and lays down some tight funk featuring the saxophone and plenty of tasteful synthesizer playing. This is followed by yet another reading on the main theme, again focusing in on the strings, saxophone, and synths, followed by "Deep In It", a short freeform piece with a heavy vibe and lots of synth noodling. "Don't Mess With Mister T" again builds on the groove of the main theme, while "There Goes Mister T" rounds out the album with a tune that is the epitome of what you'd expect to hear over a closing credits sequence with the hero walking slowly into the black of night. The final song provides a good example of Gaye's genius ability of combining seemingly disparate stylistic influences - he mingles a warbling Moog synth into a bluesy backdrop of slinky saxophones and muted trumpets slightly reminiscent of Duke Ellington, then brings back the main theme piano figure augmented by layers of his voice, strings and horns building into an abrupt and startling climactic ending.

Fans of Marvin Gaye the vocalist could be disappointed by this one if they listen expecting to hear "What's Going On" or "Let's Get It On". But when taken on its own terms, "Trouble Man" offers us a rare glimpse into one of the most brilliant musical minds of our time.


November 16, 2015
my favourite album. but it has to be raining to play it.


April 10, 2015
This is my fav blaxploitation soundtrack of all time .... and I believe it's the only Marvin Gaye album where every single track was written by him, with no shared credits. I've seen the film, it's poor and not a patch on the album. That said, we should be thankful for the film because without it, this marvellous album would not exist.


January 11, 2015
edited over 4 years ago
Hey, if Ike could do "Shaft", and Curtis could do "Superfly", why couldn't Marvin do "Trouble Man?" It's a classic(I haven't seen the movie though). The music is stunning, with Marvin expanding his landscape of produtions, and showing the public how serious of a musician he really is. Now do you all understand why I love '70's music so much. To me, it was the only era where an artist like Marvin could get away with doing something like this. Let Usher, Ne-Yo, or even John legend try to do something like this. I think they could, but the public would nail them to the wall for it! Sad!


June 6, 2014
If you like fat drums this is the album to get. The drum fills on "T" Plays It Cool absolutely kill it! A brilliant moody soundtrack from the master, only a couple of vocal tracks, mainly this is dark moody jazz. It practically invents trip hop and acts such as Massive Attack and labels like Mo' Wax owe this a huge debt. Marvin was a session drummer at Motown before becoming a star and even plays on "Dancing in the Street", so his albums always had exquisitely recorded drums. If it was just drums however it would be a sampling curio and nothing more but the whole album shimmers with strings, brass and the usual magnificent ensemble playing of the Funk Brothers.

In my mind this is a greater album than Shaft and a very close behind Super Fly as the number 1 Blaxploitation soundtrack.

frank @ london school of sound