The Singer: We featured the peerless Marvin Gaye a few weeks ago with his uber-slow jam "Let's Get It On." There's not much more to say about him that you don't already know: he's as good of an artist as this country has produced. And in honor of Earth Day, we again highlight Gaye and his call to global awareness.
The Song: One of the first and most enduring songs about eco-consciousness in pop music history, "Mercy Mercy Me" takes a personal, emotional appeal in discussing environmental disasters. The song was one of the big singles from Gaye's game-changing What's Going On, along with the title track and "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)."
The Video: Today's clip is audio-only, with a still-screen of the What's Going On album cover, but dig this live version from the 1980 Montreux Jazz Festival, which segues into the album's title track.
Hipster Cachet: "Mercy Mercy Me" has been covered by the likes of Robert Palmer and Philly Soul group the Three Degrees. This stutter-step version by the Strokes features Eddie Vedder on vocals and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme on drums. Soft rock superstars Hall & Oates give a slightly maudlin reading of the song this live clip from Japan: