Got To Give It Up

Album: Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye (1977)
Charted: 7 1
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Songfacts®:

  • Gaye wrote and produced "Got to Give It Up" with engineer/producer Art Stewart. It was originally a 12-minute song included as the final side of his 1977 live double-album Marvin Gaye Live at the London Palladium. A single version was edited down to 4 minutes, and it topped the American Pop, R&B and Dance singles charts. It replaced Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" on the Billboard Hot 100 but was overtaken a week later by Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)."
  • By the mid-'70s, Gaye and his labelmates at Motown were feeling the pressure to record dance-floor friendly hits as disco was on the rise. Gaye resisted until he had an idea to parody the genre. "Got to Give It Up" was originally titled "Dancing Lady" as a response to Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady."
  • Gaye sang both lead and background on this and also played the keyboards. Frank Beverly of Maze supplied the percussion and on backing vocals were Marvin's future second wife Janis Hunter and his brother Frankie Gaye. His little sister, Zeola Gaye, can also be heard on the track.
  • In 1996, Aaliyah covered this on her album One In A Million. Her version samples Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and features rapper Slick Rick.
  • This was used in the films Boogie Nights (1998), Practical Magic (1999), Summer Of Sam (1999) and Charlie's Angels (2000).
  • Gaye went for a loose and casual party atmosphere on this track, and included the sounds of people talking in the studio in the mix. Some of the unusual sounds on the recording include Gaye (an accomplished drummer) banging on a half-filled grapefruit juice bottle, and percussionist Jack Ashford playing a homemade instrument he called a "Hotel Sheet," which was a piece of polystyrene he would shake to produce the wobbly sound.
  • This song was the subject of a landmark court case filed by Marvin Gaye's estate in 2013 against the writers of Robin Thicke's hit "Blurred Lines." Gaye's family argued that "Blurred Lines" sounded too similar to "Got To Give It Up," and in 2015 a jury agreed, awarding a stunning $7.3 million in damages. Gaye, who died in 1984, left the copyrights to his songs to his children, so the beneficiaries in the case are his kids Marvin III, Frankie and Nona. (Nona is a musician - she had a minor hit in 1992 with a song called "I'm Overjoyed").
  • Gaye likely influenced The Jacksons' 1979 hit "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)
    " with his ad-libbed refrain:

    Let's dance, let's shout (shout)
    Gettin' funky's what it's all about

Comments: 7

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenAll that chatter in the background always reminds me of "The In Crowd" or "Soul Finger."
  • Markantney from BiloxiMar 2018

    Dayle, if you're a certain age (see "OLD":)) and heard the extended versions of songs, typically that's what you prefer but if you don't have a history with the Extended Version, you'll probably prefer the shorter version(s). Extended versions normally just have the verses repeated slightly different than the initial verses, with a little more instrument breaks. Backintheday, the extended version were what was used in the "Da Clubs", "Discos", and "Street and House Parties. I am that certain age (see "OLD") so I only buy extended versions.
  • Dayle Vickery from Orange Park, FlI want to download this song (and yes, I'm paying for it!) but what's the difference between the 4 min song and the other one I've seen that's 6 mins called GOT TO GIVE IT UP PART 1" - what's the difference?
  • Don from B G, KyJustin Timberlake does a great cover of this song on the 2008 FASHION ROCKS show. Youtube has it up.
  • Don from B G, Ky"Got To Give It Up Part 1", as sung by Marvin Gaye, is in the movie soundtrack of the film BARBERSHOP (2002). Also, Justin Timberlake did a nice cover version of this song at some televised event. I think it was FASHION ROCKS 5 in 2008.
  • John from Nashville, TnMarvin Gaye didn't want to record a disco song, but did so to please the top brass at Motown. Gaye made the song autobiographical because he said that he'll give the people what they want on his terms.
  • Marina from Seattle, WaGreat song...and Aaliyah's cover version is actually quite good too.
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