Here, My Dear
|Here, My Dear|
|Studio album by Marvin Gaye|
|Released||December 15, 1978|
|Genre||Soul, funk, quiet storm, jazz-funk, disco|
|Producer||Marvin Gaye, Ed Townsend|
|Marvin Gaye chronology|
Here, My Dear is a studio double album by soul musician Marvin Gaye, released December 15, 1978 on Tamla Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at Marvin's Room in Hollywood, California from 1976 to 1977. A deeply personal and controversial album, Here, My Dear is notable for chronicling Gaye's ill-fated first marriage to Anna Gordy.
Here, My Dear was initially a commercial failure, while receiving some critical favor from music writers. However, critical recognition of the album has improved significantly following further examinations by critics and compact disc-reissues. "It's taken me a while," Anna Gordy admitted in later years, "but I've come to appreciate every form of Marvin's music."
By 1976, the relationship between Marvin Gaye and his first wife, Anna Gordy, had become estranged and was far from being repaired. Marvin and Anna often accused each other of infidelity over the years before his relationship with Janis Hunter. Shortly after Marvin and Janis welcomed the second of their two children, Frankie, in November 1975, Anna filed for divorce. At this time, Marvin was running low on money because of extravagant spending to support his lifestyle which included, among other things, a fleet of cars, several homes in and outside the country and an increasing cocaine habit. Marvin's spending habits had made it impossible for the singer to pay Anna money for alimony and child support for the couple's only son, Marvin III. Marvin's attorney Curtis Shaw came up with a solution to Marvin to give half the royalties he would earn from his next project to Anna.
After agreeing to the deal, the singer went into his recording studio in an effort to give Motown a "lazy, bad" album starting sessions in the spring of 1976. However, as Marvin set on making the "lazy" album, the singer's deep emotions and bittersweet feelings for his soon-to-be former wife took over the music. Songs included in the album didn't just deal with the singer's troubling marriage ("I Met a Little Girl", "Anna's Song", "You Can Leave, But It's Going To Cost You") but with other deep issues including anger management ("Anger"), Jesus ("Everybody Needs Love", "Time to Get It Together"), solace ("Sparrow"), space (the loosely funky "A Funky Space Reincarnation") and new love ("Falling In Love", the one song dedicated to Marvin's new wife, Janis). An Allmusic reviewer later wrote of the music:
...the sound of divorce on record — exposed in all of its tender-nerve glory for the world to consume... Gaye viciously cuts with every lyric deeper into an explanation of why the relationship died the way it did... Musically the album retains the high standards Gaye set in the early '70s, but you can hear the agonizing strain of recent events in his voice, to the point where even several vocal overdubs can't save his delivery.—Allmusic
The project was worked on for a year and was initially held back by Marvin, fearing that the project was too personal to be released. However, because of Motown's demands for Marvin to put out an album, as he had often delayed releases and it had been over two years since his last record, the sensually erotic I Want You, the singer decided to put out the album as promised in December 1978.
Release and reception 
|The New York Times||(favorable)|
When Here, My Dear was released in the end of 1978, it was panned by consumers and critics alike, who called the album "bizarre" and "un-commercial". The album's lack of success angered Gaye to the point that he refused to promote it any further. Motown stopped promoting Here, My Dear in early 1979, by which point Gaye had gone into self-imposed exile. Around the same time, Marvin's relationship with second wife, Janis, had also fallen apart and the couple separated sometime in 1979. Upon hearing the album, a visibly upset Anna Gordy considered suing Marvin for invasion of privacy but, according to People magazine, later recanted that decision. In 1994, the album was re-released due to increased attention on Marvin's life to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the singer's untimely death, and reached number-one on Billboard's R&B catalog chart. The original album peaked at number four R&B and number twenty-six pop becoming Gaye's lowest-charting studio album of the 1970s. Initial response to the album was mixed, as most critics described it as weird. However, Gaye's lyrical honesty over the laid back disco grooves of Here, My Dear was praised by many. Robert Christgau, of The Village Voice, wrote of the album:
...this is a fascinating, playable album. Its confessional ranges from naked poetry ("Somebody tell me please/Why do I have to pay attorney fees?" is a modernist trope that ranks with any of Elvis Costello's) to rank jive, because Gaye's self-involvement is so open and unmediated, guileless even at its most insincere, it retains unusual documentary charm. And within the sweet, quiet, seductive, and slightly boring mood Gaye is at such pains to realize, his rhythmic undulations and whisper-to-a-scream timbral shifts can engross the mind, the body, and above all the ear. Definitely a weird one.—Robert Christgau
The album was re-evaluated in the years following its original release, and is today seen as a landmark in Gaye's career. It was voted one of the greatest albums in music history by Mojo Magazine (1995) and Rolling Stone magazine's critics poll (500 Greatest Albums of All-Time) (2003), among others. This reassessment was influenced by the album's subsequent re-release. On February 15, 2008, Hip-O Select reissued Here, My Dear as a two-disc Expanded Edition including a song cut from the original album, "Ain't It Funny How Things Turn Around", which was remixed by funk legend Bootsy Collins. Disc two featured remastered and alternate versions of the songs from the album remixed by contemporary soul producers such as Salaam Remi, Questlove, Prince Paul, DJ Smash and others.
"It doesn't quite get you first time," Jay Kay told Q. "And a lot of the songs are quite similarly paced. It's almost like the same song being subtly changed ten different ways. A lot of it, lyrically, is about the break-up of his relationship. There's a track called 'Anger', which is lyrically really brilliant; and there's a track called 'Time To Get It Together' using, I think, a marimba, and it's just dreamy and lovely. He was a deep man at the time, but I think the charlie was eating him up. It's all about struggling and fighting, and you can feel it."
Track listing 
All songs written by Marvin Gaye except where noted.
Original LP 
- Side one
- "Here, My Dear" – 2:48
- "I Met a Little Girl" – 5:03
- "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You" – 6:17
- "Anger" (Delta Ashby, Gaye, Ed Townsend) – 4:04
- Side two
- "Is That Enough" – 7:47
- "Everybody Needs Love" (Ed Townsend, Gaye) – 5:48
- "Time to Get It Together" – 3:55
- Side three
- "Sparrow" (Ed Townsend, Gaye) – 6:12
- "Anna's Song" – 5:56
- "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (Instrumental)" – 6:03
- Side four
- "A Funky Space Reincarnation" – 8:18
- "You Can Leave, but It's Going to Cost You" – 5:32
- "Falling in Love Again" – 4:39
- "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (Reprise)" – 0:47
2007 expanded edition 
Bonus material for the 2007 Hip-O Select Expanded Edition, with first disc of the original album with bonus tracks and second disc of recordings from the sessions for Here, My Dear.
- Disc one (bonus track)
- "Ain't It Funny (How Things Turn Around)" alternate mix - 4:04
- Mix produced by Bootsy Collins
Chart history 
|1979||"A Funky Space Reincarnation"||Black Singles||23|
- Marvin Gaye - vocals, synthesizer, drums
- Charles Owens - tenor saxophone
- Wally Ali - guitar
- Gordon Banks - guitar
- Frank Blair - bass
- Elmira Collins - percussion
- Ernie Fields, Jr. - alto saxophone
- Fernando Harkness - tenor saxophone
- Gary Jones - percussion
- Nolan Andrew Smith - trumpet
- Bugsy Wilcox - drums
- David Ritz - liner notes
- Michael Bryant - illustrations
- allmusic - Here, My Dear overview
- Mojo, August 1995
- David Ritz (2008), p. 4.
- Theakston, Rob. Review: Here, My Dear. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-05-05.
- Christgau, Robert. Review: Here, My Dear. Blender. Retrieved on 2010-05-05.
- Kot, Greg. "Review: Here, My Dear". Chicago Tribune: 4. July 22, 1994. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
- Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: Here, My Dear". The Village Voice: April 30, 1979. Archived from the original on 2010-05-05.
- Simpson, Dave. Review: Here, My Dear. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-05-05.
- Palmer, Robert. "Review: Here, My Dear". The New York Times: D20. March 25, 1979. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
- Joseph, Mike. Review: Here, My Dear. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2010-05-05.
- Columnist. Review: Here, My Dear. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2010-05-05.
- Columnist. "Review: Here, My Dear". Uncut: 102. 2008.
- Columnist. "Review: Here, My Dear". Vibe: 105. May 1994.
- Robert Christgau: CG: Marvin Gaye
- RS 500 Albums - 462) Here, My Dear
- "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Marvin Gaye, 'Here, My Dear'". Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- Q, December 1999
- Here, My Dear album liner notes by David Ritz & Harry Weinger. UMG Recordings, Inc. 2008.