Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On

I never checked the statistics…but I have to think there had to be a baby explosion nine months after “Let’s Get It On” was released in 1973. Anyone born in 1974 may owe their very existence to this song.

This song’s co-writer Ed Townsend also produced the album with Marvin and co-wrote the three other songs on the first side of the disc, including “Keep Gettin’ It On.” He wrote with Marvin again on songs for Marvin’s 1978 album Here, My Dear.

This song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, The guitar and voice are excellent in this song. There is no guessing what this song is about.

Marvin Gaye:  “I can’t see anything wrong with sex between consenting anybodies. I think we make far too much of it. After all, one’s genitals are just one important part of the magnificent human body … I contend that SEX IS SEX and LOVE IS LOVE. When combined, they work well together, if two people are of about the same mind. But they are really two discrete needs and should be treated as such. Time and space will not permit me to expound further, especially in the area of the psyche. I don’t believe in overly moralistic philosophies. Have your sex, it can be exciting if you’re lucky. I hope the music that I present here makes you lucky.”

Jon Landau (former rock critic and current manager of Bruce Springsteen) “Let’s Get It On” is a classic Motown single, endlessly repeatable and always enjoyable. It begins with three great wah-wah notes that herald the arrival of a vintage Fifties melody. But while the song centers around classically simple chord changes, the arrangement centers around a slightly eccentric rhythm pattern that deepens the song’s power while covering it with a contemporary veneer. Above all, it has Marvin Gaye’s best singing at its center, fine background voices on the side, and a long, moody fade-out that challenges you not to play the cut again.

From Songfacts

Originally written by 1950s one-hit-wonder Ed Townsend (“For Your Love” in 1958), the song originally addressed the author’s desire to get on with life after beating alcoholism. Marvin Gaye completely changed the lyrics (and meaning) to the song after meeting Janis Hunter, the woman who would become his second wife. The song helped cement Gaye’s reputation as one of the greatest singers of baby-making music. Songwriting credits on the song went to both Gaye and Townsend. 

“Let’s Get It On” was the title track of Gaye’s 1973 album. 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”).

This song has appeared in a variety of TV shows, movies, and commercials, often for comic effect to imply an imminent romantic encounter. Some of the media uses include the TV shows The Simpsons, The Sopranos, Scrubs, House, Ugly Betty, Charmed, Spin City and The King of Queens.

Movie uses include Into the Night (1985), Queens Logic (1991), The Inkwell (1994), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), High Fidelity (2000), Crossroads (2002), Something’s Gotta Give (2003), Mr. 3000 (2004), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), The Change-Up (2011), and The Dictator (2012).

Let’s Get It On

I’ve been really tryin’, baby
Tryin’ to hold back this feeling for so long
And if you feel like I feel, baby
Then, c’mon, oh, c’mon

Let’s get it on
Ah, baby, let’s get it on
Let’s love, baby
Let’s get it on, sugar
Let’s get it on

We’re all sensitive people
With so much to give
Understand me, sugar
Since we’ve got to be here
Let’s live
I love you

There’s nothing wrong with me
Loving you, baby no no
And giving yourself to me can never be wrong
If the love is true, oh baby

Ooh don’t you know how sweet and wonderful life can be ooh
I’m asking you baby to get it on with me ooh ooh
I ain’t gonna worry
I ain’t gonna push, won’t push you baby
So c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, baby
Stop beatin’ ’round the bush, hey

Let’s get it on
Let’s get it on
You know what I’m talkin’ ’bout
C’mon, baby
Let your love come out
If you believe in love
Let’s get it on
Let’s get it on, baby
This minute, oh yeah
Let’s get it on
Please, please get it on

I know and you know what I’ve been dreaming of, don’t you baby?
My whole body makes that feelin’ of love, I’m happy
I ain’t gonna worry, no I ain’t gonna push
I won’t push you baby, woo

C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, darlin’
Stop beatin’ ’round the bush
Oh, gonna get it on
Threatenin’ you, baby
I wanna get it on
You don’t have to worry that it’s wrong
If the spirit moves ya
Let me groove ya good
Let your love come down
Oh, get it on

C’mon, baby
Do you know the meaning?
I’ve been sanctified
Girl, you give me good feeling
I’ve been sanctified

Oh dear I, baby
Nothing wrong with love
If you want to love me just let your self go
Oh baby, let’s get it on

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

23 thoughts on “Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On”

  1. Same reaction as Hans…Jack did a fine version of it in ‘High Fidelity’. Definitely one of the bestter unabashed songs about sex . I couldn’t find how well it did in Canada, but though I remember it a little from the ’70s I don’t think it was a significant hit there. Although, it might have been a huge seller but just boycotted on AM radio because of its suggestiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a history buff, have an ungodly amount of bookmarks and play with boolean searches, frequently. *sigh* I have no life…

        Yes, you did. I wouldn’t have thought of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That I don’t doubt. I’m a storehouse of usueless info…I love useless trivia.


      3. No you have better info…you have battles and stuff…. I have why Mary Ann is hotter than Ginger.


      4. This didn’t show up…I didn’t like history because they never made it to the sixties and seventies hardly at all…of course in high school we were so close they may not have bothered.


  2. Your first paragraph is funny…and probably true! Ha! This song is such a staple of the mobile DJ industry that sometimes I forget how great it really is. Gaye was a great artist–and like so many other greats, he is tragic too. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean. I listened to it for the first time…really listened… in a long time last night. The whole package is great.

      Liked by 1 person

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