In the annals of baby-makin’ music, few channeled his carnality, his lust, his love for and appreciation of women better than Marvin Gaye. Sure, Barry White made a career of bedroom jams (his voice was not a heat-seeking weapon, though it did help listeners seek heat) and others offered string-laden come-ons that are still played on Quiet Storm shows and channels to this day. But Marvin Gaye was the godfather of such sounds – what others eventually brought to the music were structures and ornamentation built upon the foundation he laid.
Speaking of laid, here are Gaye’s five sexiest jams. Use them with caution and thank us later.
“Let’s Get It On”
The O.G. of sexy jams, this 1973 classic is tailor-made for the foreplay it was so obviously created to inspire (though, depending on the desired length of foreplay one prefers, one might wish to play the 4:44 track on “repeat” one, two, or ten times). From the opening guitar notes to the fadeout that ends the track, “Let’s Get It On” has provided the spark for romantic interludes for generations, losing none of its power over time.
“You Sure Love to Ball”
Flip the Let’s Get It On album to its second side, and this silky-smooth, string-sweetened love jam will fill the room. Part praise for his partner’s lovemaking enthusiasm, part imploring her to continue with that enthusiasm in perpetuity, “You Sure Love to Ball” is heavy-duty and lighter than air, simultaneously. You can almost smell the scented candles burning in the room, as the record is playing.
“I Want You”
The congas and the horn section are subtle enough to influence the overarching rhythm of this slow jam, without pushing it too hard, and that’s just fine. Gaye’s attempt to follow Let’s Get It On with another boudoir soundtrack sounds completely successful; the real test of its greatness is what listeners do while it’s playing.
“Feel All My Love Inside”
This is the prototype for songs like Teddy Pendergrass’ “Turn Off the Lights” - part sexy jam, part instructional manual, as Gaye is very specific about what he and his beloved are doing and will be doing imminently. “I love to hear you, baby, make those sounds,” he sings, while the fair lass is making those sounds. Aspiring lover men might be cautioned against playing this too loudly, for fear of confusing themselves as to where certain sounds in the room are coming from.
He’s all alone and “hot like an oven” – time to make a booty call. This is how one woos a woman, entices her to his living space, where mutual attraction is played out, mutual needs fulfilled. At least, that’s how one did it when one was Marvin Gaye.