Billboard #1 Hits: #428: “Got To Give It Up”- Marvin Gaye. June 25, 1977. #1 1 week in Billboard Hot 100.

  • Single: “Got To Give It Up”- Marvin Gaye
  • Record Company- Tamla
  • Genre: Soul, Disco
  • Written by Marvin Gaye
  • Time: 4:12
  • B-side:”Got To Give It Up Part II”
  • Album-Live At The London Palladium
  • Grade: A
  • Peaked at #1 1 week in Billboard Hot 100. #7 in UK Singles Chart.

Disco was the popular new music genre in the mid-70’s- it was selling big and Marvin Gaye’s record company ask him for a disco record- and this was his response. I have never thought of this as a disco song but the elements of disco are certainly there. The song would go to #1 in Billboard’s Pop 100, Soul and Disco singles charts. Marvin was still riding high in popularity during this era but 1976 was a rough year for him, he was being sued by former band members and his marriage was ending- and he was being accused of failure to pay child support for his son. It was an ugly divorce- with his first wife- who happened to be the bosses sister. The record company kept pressuring Gaye to record a disco song- and he was reluctant. He wasn’t a fan of the music citing it’s lack of substance. Marvin wasn’t going to be recording any disco. At this time the record company had come up with the song ‘Love Hangover” and debated giving it to Marvin or Diana Ross to record. The song went to Ross and it would go to #1. Marvin was working on his divorce album Here My Dear but finally gave in and wrote this song parodying a disco setting. “Got To Give It Up” was written as an answer song to Johnny Taylor’s #1 hit “Disco Lady.” A key to the song to me is the chatter that Gaye added to create a party scene. “Got To Give It Up” would become Gaye’s third and final #1 hit.

“Got To Give It Up” turned out to be an influential song- Michael Jackson was influenced by it to write The Jacksons- “Shake Your Body {Down To The Ground}” and his own “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough.” Then in 2013 this song was back in the news when Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines” was the subject of a lawsuit for nicking the song- and a jury awarded Gaye’s children over $5 million dollars and Gaye was credited as the songwriter of the song [and of Weird Al’s parody “Word Crimes.”

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