Marvin Gaye ‎– What's Going On

Tamla ‎– TS310
Vinyl, LP, Album



Original release with gatefold cover
© 1971 Motown Record Corporation, Detroit, Michigan 48201

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (A-side label): TS 310 HS-1867
  • Matrix / Runout (B-side label): TS 310 HS-1868
  • Matrix / Runout (A-side runout, stamped): A4RS-2682-2-D
  • Matrix / Runout (A-side runout, etched): JC [dh] 1-S TS-310 HS1867
  • Matrix / Runout (B-side runout, stamped): A4RS-2684-2-D
  • Matrix / Runout (B-side runout, etched): JC [dh] 2-S TS-310 HS1868

Other Versions (5 of 198) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
TS-310, TS310 Marvin Gaye What's Going On(LP, Album, Gat) Tamla, Tamla TS-310, TS310 US 1971 Sell This Version
12/24024 Marvin Gaye Mercy, Mercy Me(LP, Album, RE) Platinum (2) 12/24024 Germany 1985 Sell This Version
LI-60136 Marvin Gaye What's Going On(LP, Album, RE) Motown LI-60136 Spain 1984 Sell This Version
0600753279557 Marvin Gaye What's Going On(2xCD, Album, Dlx, RE, RM) Motown, Tamla 0600753279557 Europe 2010 Sell This Version
5300221, 530 022-1 Marvin Gaye What's Going On(LP, Album, RE, Gat) Tamla, Tamla 5300221, 530 022-1 US 2012 Sell This Version


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December 24, 2008
This is such a beautiful album with a worthwile message for humankind. Marvin's voice is just so heavinly, and along with Stevie Wonder, one of the few voices out there in the world of music, that makes the ears go all spritual in harmony.

The message is still relevent today, as it was and before the album came out. The concept of Peace, Unity and Hapiness is expressed here through the lyrics, and also the musicianship of the Funk Brothers.

Absoulutely wonderful.


January 28, 2005
edited over 13 years ago

This is without a doubt the greatest Soul and R&B album in music history, a must-have masterpiece that should be in every record collection. Yes "Sgt. Pepper" was influential, but "What's Going On" was a different kind of influence. Not to open your mind to drugs, and new experiences, but to open your mind to love and peace. Sly & The Family Stone might have psychedelicized soul music, but Marvin Gaye personalized it, and he literally poured out every emotion onto this record.

Although the powers-that-were Motown didn't even want to release the record, the unexpected success of What's Going On, issued in 1971, inspired Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, and just about every other black artist on the planet to take greater responsibility for their music and its meaning. Gaye co-wrote the songs and produced the album, flavoring it with layer upon layer of his own multi-tracked vocals, oceans of hand percussion, strings, flutes, and jazzy horn solos. Spacey and loose as a spliff-fueled Sunday afternoon jam in the park, the nine songs all played like a hit single. There are no pauses between the track, the rhythm section just keeps going & flowing and the whole record pushes forward as a real soultrain, weaving songs seamlessy each into another.

I originally bought this album once upon a time because it featured three of Gaye's biggest hits [the title track, "Mercy Mercy Me”, and "Inner City Blues"(Make Me Wanna Holler)] all under one cover. However, from the very first time that I listened to the album, the fact that those three songs were included on it became an afterthought in light of the album as a whole. The album is unquestionably an entity in and of itself. Headlines from the early 70’s (the ecology, drug addiction, poverty, the plight of the Vietnam veterans) weave together the backdrop for this album but the album's underlying theme is always one of a hope for a better tomorrow.

Listen to it if you don’t know it yet, I'm pretty sure that you’ll be extremely satisfied. Don't just listen to it though, LISTEN to it! (or make love on it :)

If one day I would be condemned to spend the rest of my days alone on a deserted island and I could take just one record with me, this would be it, without any doubt.