About the song
If you are a fan of soul music, you probably know the song “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye. But do you know the history behind this classic tune? In this blog post, we will explore the conception, release and reception of this song, as well as some of the controversies and influences it has generated over the years.
“Let’s Get It On” was co-written by Marvin Gaye and producer Ed Townsend, who had a hit in 1958 with “For Your Love”. The song was originally inspired by Townsend’s recovery from alcoholism and his desire to start a new life. However, when Gaye met Janis Hunter, who would become his second wife, he changed the lyrics to reflect his passionate feelings for her. The song became a plea for sexual liberation and a celebration of love.
The song was recorded on March 22, 1973, at Hitsville West in Los Angeles, California. It featured romantic and sexual lyricism and funk instrumentation by The Funk Brothers, Motown’s house band. The song was the title track of Gaye’s 1973 album of the same name, which was also produced by Gaye and Townsend. The album marked a departure from Gaye’s previous socially conscious work, such as What’s Going On (1971), and focused more on his personal and intimate life.
“Let’s Get It On” was released as a single on June 15, 1973, and became Gaye’s most successful single for Motown and one of his most well-known songs. It topped the Billboard Pop Singles chart for two weeks and the Billboard Soul Singles chart for eight weeks. It also made history as Motown’s most successful release in the United States to that date and the second most successful song of 1973 (behind Tony Orlando & Dawn’s “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree”). The song helped cement Gaye’s reputation as one of the greatest singers of baby-making music and a sex symbol during its initial popularity.