On the Motown roster, Marvin Gaye was far more than a singer - he was also a songwriter and drummer. Early on, Gaye wrote his own songs, including "Pride and Joy" and "Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
," and had an interest in recording standards (he wanted to become "the black Frank Sinatra").
Mickey Stevenson, who was head of A&R at Motown, convinced Gaye to go in another direction as a singer, recording more R&B material. Robinson wrote this song specifically for Gaye, but Marvin put his own spin on it. Said Smokey, "When I showed him the song, he began to sing it like I had never imagined it being sung."