Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On

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Let's Get It On
Let's Get It On.jpg
Studio album by Marvin Gaye
Released August 28, 1973
Recorded June 1, 1970 – April 11, 1972
Hitsville U.S.A. Golden World
(Detroit, Michigan)
February 1 – July 26, 1973
Hitsville West
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre Soul, funk
Length 31:36
Label Tamla
Producer Marvin Gaye, Ed Townsend
Marvin Gaye chronology
Trouble Man
Let's Get It On
Diana & Marvin
Singles from Let's Get It On
  1. "Let's Get It On"
    Released: June 15, 1973
  2. "Come Get to This"
    Released: October 11, 1973
  3. "You Sure Love To Ball"
    Released: January 2, 1974


  "Let's Get It On" is the thirteenth studio album by American recording artist Marvin Gaye, released August 28, 1973, on Tamla Recordings. Recording sessions for the album took place during June 1970 to July 1973 at Hitsville U.S.A. and Golden World Studio in Detroit, and at Hitsville West in Los Angeles. Serving as Gaye's first venture into the funk genre and romance-themed music, Let's Get It On incorporates smooth soul, doo-wop, and quiet storm. It has been noted by critics for its sexually suggestive lyrics, and was cited by one writer as "one of the most sexually charged albums ever recorded".

Following the breakthrough success of his socially conscious album "Whats Going On" (1971), Let's Get It On helped establish Gaye as a sex icon and furthered his mainstream appeal. It produced three singles—the title track, "Come Get to This", and "You Sure Love to Ball"—that attained Billboard chart success. Let's Get It On became the most commercially successful album of Gaye's recording career, and it further expanded his creative control during his tenure with Motown. Its sexual balladry, multi-tracking of Gaye's vocals, and seductive, funk sound influenced later R&B artists and production.

The album has been regarded by many music writers and critics as a landmark recording in soul music. It furthered funk music's popularity during the 1970s, and its smooth soul sound marked a change for his record label's previous success with the "Motown Sound" formula. "Let's Get It On" has been ranked on many critics and publications' lists of the best albums of all time. In 2001, it was reissued by Motown Records as a two-disc deluxe edition release.


Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars
Chicago Tribune 4/4 stars
Creem A−
Q 5/5 stars
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars
Virgin Encyclopedia 5/5 stars

"Let's Get It On" received positive reviews from music critics. Billboard called it "fine in terms of vocal attack and material [...] touches on the excellent in terms of instrumental support", while citing the title track and "Distant Lover" as the album's best recordings. Jon Landau of Rolling Stone found Gaye's performance on-par with that of "What's Going On" and wrote that "he continues to transmit that same degree of intensity, sending out near cosmic overtones while eloquently phrasing the sometimes simplistic lyrics". Although he viewed that it "lacks that album's series of highpoints", Landau commented that "it ebbs and flows, occasionally threatening to spend itself on an insufficiency of ideas, but always retrieved, just in time, by Gaye's performance. From first note to last, he keeps pushing and shoving, and if he sometimes takes one step back for every two ahead, he gets there just the same — and with style and spirit to spare". In Creem magazine, Robert Christgau called the album "post-Al-Green "What's Going On", which means it's about fucking rather than the human condition, thank the wholly holey". He found its title track to be "as much a masterpiece as 'Inner City Blues" and quipped, "this album prolongs its seductive groove to an appropriate thirty minutes plus".

Since its initial reception, "Let's Get It On" has been viewed by writers as a milestone in soul music. In The Best Rock 'n' Roll Records of All Time, Jimmy Guterman writes that the album was "a bit more conventional musically (soul crossing into mild funk) and much more focused lyrically than its predecessor, What's Going On". Chicago Tribune writer Greg Cot commended Gaye for using "the multi-tracked vocals perfected on ‍ '​What's Going On‍  '​, this time to convey his most intimate desires", commenting that "while the album is replete with erotic imagery, both implied and explicit, it is also as much preoccupied with distance and unfulfilled need". Jason Ankeny of Allmusic called it "a record unparalleled in its sheer sensuality and carnal energy", writing that "Gaye's passions reach their boiling point [...] With each performance laced with innuendo, each lyric a come-on, and each rhythm throbbing with lust, perhaps no other record has ever achieved the kind of sheer erotic force of Let's Get It On". Ankeny also dubbed it "one of the most sexually charged albums ever recorded." Allmusic's Lindsey Planer cites it as a "hedonistic R&B masterpiece." BBC Music's Daryl Easlea found Gaye "in supreme command of his material", and viewed it as "much more than an album about simple lust", but an "iconic, rapturous work".



Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On

U.K. Tamla Motown STMA 8013 (1973)

Album produced by Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend.

The vinyl record has remained in excellent condition.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

There is a "factory sample" sticker on the records centre label.

The albums gatefold cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minor ring wear.

The album cover maintains a strong hinge and spine.

For full track listing see Own tab.

Browse this category: Funk-Soul & Motown Albums