Hump Day Slow Jam of the Week: Marvin Gaye, "Sexual Healing"


The Singer: Marvin Gaye needs no introduction. The man basically perfected the Slow Jam with "Let's Get It On" and contributed more to the body of soul music than anyone before or after. This week's jam may not have the clout of "Let's Get It On," but it remains a classic.

The Song: Built on a Roland TR-808 drum machine beat, "Sexual Healing" signaled a new direction in Gaye's music: not only was he being more forthright in his lyrics, he was embracing new technology to make his music. Aside from the guitars (which were played by Gordon Banks), Gaye played and programmed every note of "Sexual Healing." Released in  1982, the song was Gaye's debut on Columbia Records (he had split with Motown the year before). His death in 1984 was a profound loss, and "Sexual Healing" hints at what Gaye could have accomplished with the advent of synths, samplers and other electronic gear.

The Video: The video above is still-screen with audio due to the fact that the original video is unable to be embedded (watch it here, though).

Hipster Cachet: The song fades out before Marvin's final couplet: "Please don't procrastinate / It's not good to masturbate." What is the hipster lifestyle if not one long, continuous wank? 

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.