Marvin Gaye I Heard it Through The Grapevine

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Marvin Gaye I Heard it Through The Grapevine

Marvin Gaye's I Heard it Through The Grapevine

R&B

The song “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” credited to Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, went through a lot of churn before Marvin Gaye had his hit with it. Strong, the story goes, was in Chicago and heard the phrase “I heard it through the grapevine.” He came up with the idea about a man whose woman is cheating on him and probably leaving him but he hears about it through secondhand sources — that is, gossip. The Motown executives were not sure the song had hit potential. First, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles recorded it, but that version was not released until their 1968 Special Occasion album. Then, the Isley Brothers recorded it, and that wasn’t released. Gladys Knight and the Pips rocked it and recorded it, and that did well, rising to #2 at the end of 1967.

In 1968, Gaye included it on his In The Groove Album, and Berry Gordy decided to release “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” as a single. It became the definitive version of the song (ever with many covers afterwards). By the end of 1968 and early 1969, it was #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, R&B Singles Chart, and OK Charts. It was #3 in South Africa, #7 in Ireland, and #8 in Canada. Gaye worked very closely with Norman Whitfield, who produced the track, to get a strong performance. He sang a bit higher than his normal range, and the smooth but straining vocal expresses the suffering of the narrator of the song. This was Gaye’s first #1 hit, although he already had 23 Top 40 hits by the time “Grapevine. ” This made him a star. For this track, the lead vocals, of course, are by Marvin Gaye. The background vocals are from The Andantes (that is, Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps). Instrumentation is by the fabulous Motown session musicians the Funk Brothers with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Here are the lyrics to “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye:

“I bet you’re wondering how I knew
’bout your plans to make me blue
With some other guy you knew before
Between the two of us guys you know I love you more
It took me by surprise I must say
When I found out yesterday

Don’t you know that I heard it through the grapevine?
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
Oh and I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey, yeah

Heard it through the grapevine?
Not much longer would you be mine, baby
I know that a man ain’t supposed to cry
But these tears I can’t hold inside
Losin’ you would end my life you see
‘Cause you mean that much to me
You could have told me yourself
That you love someone else

Instead, I heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
And I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey, well

Heard it through the grapevine?
Not much longer would you be mine, baby

People say believe half of what you see
Son, and none of what you hear
But I can’t help bein’ confused
If it’s true, please tell me, dear?
Do you plan to let me go
For the other guy you loved before?

Don’t you know I heard it through the grapevine?
Not much longer would you be mine
Baby, I heard it through the grapevine
Ooh I’m just about to lose my mind
Honey, honey yeah

Heard it through the grapevine?
Not much longer would you be mine, baby

Honey, honey, I know
That you’re letting me go
I said I heard through the grapevine
Ooh heard it through the grapevine”

For another song by Marvin Gaye: “Ain’t That Peculiar.”

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to┬áchill out and listen to the featured song on the┬ástereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ commercial free online songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “I Heard it Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye.

1 Comment

  1. […] If you are interested in reading about and listening to another song by Marvin Gaye, please click here for “I Heard it Through The Grapevine.” […]

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