You’re The Man (song)

You’re The Man visual representation

You’re The Man‘ by Marvin Gaye is not just a song but a stirring political statement set to the rhythms of funk. Released in 1972, this track was a bold departure from the love songs typical of the era, reflecting Gaye’s growing involvement in social and political issues.

The song was composed in the midst of the turbulent 1972 presidential election, a time marked by widespread social change and political upheaval. The song, blending funk influences with Gaye’s impassioned vocals, was a direct response to the political landscape, showcasing the artist’s profound evolution.

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    1. Marvin’s Version

    2. ‘You’re The Man’ was a groundbreaking track for Marvin Gaye, marking a significant shift in his musical direction. The song, co-written with Kenneth Stover and produced by Gaye himself, was recorded in Hollywood’s Hitsville West in the spring of 1972.

      This song was a response to the political climate of the time, particularly the 1972 presidential election, and addressed the challenges facing the United States. Gaye expressed his disillusionment with the political system through lyrics that criticized politicians and called for change.

      The song reached #7 on the R&B charts and #50 on the pop charts, reflecting its impact among R&B audiences more than pop listeners. This divergence in reception underscored the song’s provocative nature and its alignment with the social consciousness of the R&B audience. In ‘You’re The Man‘, Gaye utilized multi-tracked vocals, with his falsetto and tenor voices intertwining to create a rich, layered sound.

      The song also included a progressive lyric suggesting the election of a female president, a response to Shirley Chisholm’s candidacy that year. However, the song’s limited commercial success and fears of backlash led to the shelving of the album ‘You’re the Man’, prompting Gaye to focus on different themes in his subsequent works.

    3. Other Notable Versions

    4. While ‘You’re The Man‘ remains closely associated with Marvin Gaye, its influence extended to other artists. The rap group Digable Planets paid homage to Gaye and this song with their tribute track ‘Marvin, You’re the Man‘ on the 1994 album ‘Inner City Blues: The Music of Marvin Gaye‘.

      This tribute highlights the enduring impact of Gaye’s music and his influence on genres beyond soul and R&B. The song’s message and musical innovation continue to inspire artists across different musical landscapes, demonstrating its lasting legacy in the world of music.

    5. Trivia

    6. ‘You’re The Man’ has seen various releases and reissues since its original debut. For many years, the song was available only on the original monophonic single and the 1974 ‘Marvin Gaye Anthology’. However, over the years, Motown has included the song in several compilations, such as ‘The Best of Marvin Gaye’ and ‘The Very Best of Marvin Gaye’.

      These compilations often feature the two parts of the song edited together to create a single track. The 2001 Deluxe Edition of ‘Let’s Get It On‘ included two alternate versions of ‘You’re The Man,’ offering fans a glimpse into the different takes and arrangements that Gaye experimented with during the recording process. This song’s evolution and multiple versions underscore its significance in Gaye’s discography and its role as a powerful statement in his musical journey.

    7. Lyrics

    8. Talkin’, talkin’ to the people
      Tryin’ to get them to go your way
      Tellin’ lies, not to worry
      That we won’t be led astray
      So blind, unsignified
      Your opponents always lying
      Think about the mistakes you make
      I believe America’s at stake
      You know, busin’, busin’ is the issue
      If you have a plan wager
      If you have a plan
      If you’ve got a master plan
      Got to vote for you
      Hey hey, got to vote for you
      You’re the man

      We don’t wanna hear no more lies
      About how you planned a compromise
      We want our dollar value increased
      Employment to rise
      The nation’s taxation
      Is causin’ all, all this inflation
      Don’t give us no V sign
      Turn around and rob the people blind
      Economics is the issue
      Do you have a plan wager?
      ‘Cause if you’ve got a master plan
      Got to vote for you
      You’re the man

      (8 times, over scat singing):
      Don’t you understand?
      There’s misery in the land
      (One version fades out during this; read further for a longer version)

      People marching on Washington
      Better hear what they have to say
      ‘Cause the tables just might turn against you, brother
      Set around Election Day
      Politics and hypocrites
      Is turning us all into lunatics
      Can you take the guns from our sons?
      Right all the wrongs this administration has done?
      Peace and freedom is the issue
      Do you have a plan wager?
      If you’ve got a plan
      If you’ve got a master plan
      Got to vote for you
      Hey hey, got to vote for you
      ‘Cause you’re the man

      (repeat and fade):
      Got to vote for you

      Marvin Gaye & Kenneth Stover, 1972

    posted by admin    December 19, 2023    December 29, 2023