SANTA MONICA, CA. (Universal Music
Enterprises) - Nearly 40 years after Marvin Gaye
completed a triumphant engagement at New York City's legendary Copacabana club, the missing tapes from the performance are being released commercially for the first time in the single CD set, "Marvin Gaye At The Copa," available exclusively from the Hip-O Select label at www.hip-oselect.com.
"The Copa performance showcases a side of Marvin that was rarely displayed to the public," says Harry Weinger, VP of A&R for Universal Music Enterprises, who produced the set. "Although he had always shown affection for pop standards, his commercial success came from a different direction. I think this album is going to put his artistry in a whole new light."
Reviews at the time of the performance were positive, and Gaye was compared favorably to the greats of the era.
"Along with stage presence," exulted Don Ovens in Billboard, "Gaye displayed many of the fine performing qualities reminiscent of the late Nat King Cole." "(Gaye) literally thrilled the overflow crowd," The Amsterdam News noted, saying, "he provided an evening's entertainment that even an avid rock 'n' roller or a more conservative music lover would enjoy. (His stage presence) ... was reminiscent of the manner of the late great Sam Cooke."
The Supremes, led by Diana Ross, had been the first Motown act to perform at the famed nightclub, and they released an album recorded there in late 1965. Gaye had been anointed as next in a line of Motown stars slotted to appear there. Although his Copa set was scheduled for release in January 1967, it was pulled at the last minute by Motown founder Berry Gordy, and lay dormant in the Motown vaults until its rediscovery earlier this year. Painstakingly mixed by legendary producer and mix engineer Tom Moulton, and assembled using the best takes from the August 1966 recordings, this is a set that any pop standards or soul music fan will want to own.
"We may wonder why it never came out," Weinger says. "But we do know that instead of its release, Marvin turned to making classic duets with partner Tammi Terrell, and soon completed what would become his landmark single, 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine.' 'At The Copa' is the missing piece in a vast and impressive catalog."
"Marvin Gaye At The Copa" is not available in stores. This luxuriously-packaged compact disc, with a detailed essay by author Ben Edmonds, is available for sale only at www.hip-oselect.com.
I Concentrate On You
Just In Time
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
Motown Medley 1: Can I Get A Witness/You're A Wonderful One/Stubborn Kind Of Fellow/Baby Don't Do It/Try It Baby/One More Heartache
Laia Ladaia (Reza)
The Song Is You
Ain't That Peculiar
Every Once In A While
The Shadow Of Your Smile
Pride And Joy
This Could Be The Start Of Something Big
Strangers In The Night
Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)
Motown Medley 2: I'll Be Doggone/I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)/Uptight (Everything's Alright)/Hitch Hike
"MARVIN GAYE At The Copa" will be released on May 6, 2005.