Marvin Gaye / What’s Going On live

First time on vinyl as standalone product • Newly mixed • CD reissue

Universal Music and Motown are to issue What’s Going On Live in October, a live recording of Marvin Gaye‘s classic 1971 album that sat on the shelf for decades.

The concert was recorded on 1 May 1972 in Washington D.C., just short of a year after the album’s original release. Gaye delivers almost the entire record, after a 13 minute ‘Sixities Medley,’ although it’s not performed in sequence and ‘Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)’ wasn’t played at all, for some reason (update: it was played but there was an issue with the recording).

Collectors will recognise this live concert. It was included on the bonus CD in the 2001 deluxe edition of What’s Going On (and subsequently ignored for the 2011 super deluxe), but be aware that this version has been ‘newly mixed’ from the multi-track tapes (by John Morales) and remastered. The old mix of this concert was actually included on the 4LP deluxe edition of What’s Going On issued in 2016, despite label claims that this concert hasn’t been issued on vinyl at all.

Marvin’s biographer David Ritz, contributes new sleeve notes, and both CD and vinyl feature rare photos from the performance.

What’s Going On Live will be issued on 18 October 2019.

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What’s Going On Live 2LP vinyl

LP 1

Side 1

1.  sixties medley / that’s the way love is / you / I heard it through the grapevine / little darling (i need you) / you’re all i need to get by / ain’t nothing like the real thing / your precious love / pride and joy / stubborn kind of fellow

Side 2

1.  right on
2.  whole holy
3.  inner city blues (make me wanna holler)

LP 2

Side 1

1.  what’s going on
2.  what’s happening brother
3.  flyin’ high (in the friendly sky)
4.  save the children
5.  god is love

Side 2

1.  stage dialogue
2.  inner city blue (make me wanna holler) (reprise)
3.  what’s going on (reprise)

What’s Going On Live – CD edition

1.  Sixties Medley / That’s The Way Love Is / You / I Heard It Through The Grapevine / Little Darling (I Need You) / You’re All I Need To Get By / Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing / Your Precious Love / Pride And Joy / Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
2.  Right On
3.  Wholy Holy
4.  Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
5.  What’s Going On
6.  What’s Happening Brother
7.  Flyin’ High (In The Friendly Sky)
8.  Save The Children
9.  God Is Love
10. Stage Dialogue
11. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (Reprise)
12. What’s Going On (Reprise)


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I would have bought this set ONLY if it was color or marbled vinyl … i have the 2001 2CD

Phil Fogel

Damm no Mercy Mercy Me, my favorite Marvin song :( The Canadian price at $24.99 sounds too good to be true for a double vinyl. Does it come with a download code?


I was excited by the headline, but disappointed to read this is the one I already have from the WGO deluxe CD.

No Mercy, Mercy Me but at the end of the set he says he’ll do one more song and I always wondered why he didn’t it because Inner City Blues ends up with three airings in one gig (in one of the versions, he stops despite being a fair bit into the tune, as he is not happy with the tempo and just starts it again). However, the slowed down version of That’s The Way Love Is is amazing. I wish there had been a full length version of that, as opposed to the medley.


Coloured vinyl for me I think, some classic tunes here

Glen Buchanan

I still get shivers every time I listen to What’s Going On. A flawless album from the days when records could really make a statement.


Well, if you can’t trust a record label, who can you trust?


As I don’t have What’s Going On on LP,
I’m going to wait to see if the remix is really different from the 2cd deluxe edition

If it’s wow/better I’ll buy this standalone+an analog press of the studio album

If it’s the same I’ll opt for the 4LP version


On the subject of blatantly giving out wrong info will the UK loose out on:
Germany having 3 for 2 and Italy ‘s 30% off IIRC.

Will the UK qualify for such deals?


Sound of Vinyl has turquoise vinyl edition for GBP 27.99


Mercy, Mercy, Me was played but not recorded. Rolling Stone has the explanation


“Mercy, Mercy Me” was incomplete due to a tape change.

O(+> Peter B

I’m really pleased I have the 2CD deluxe version of What’s Going On that includes this recording, it’s a great companion to the studio album – which of course is one of the greatest albums ever.

Marc Zalcman

Similar to the comments above, I was sure that I had heard it already on vinyl so I checked the most recent re-issue and there it was…Very very poor on the part of the record label.


‘Previously released once on vinyl , 3 years ago’ does not read as well as ‘first time on vinyl’

Donal O'Connell

Hi Paul,

This was included in 4 disc LP box set issued in 2016 – which covered the entire 2 – CD deluxe edition over vinyl.