Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – United

ARTIST: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell  220px-Marvinunited
TITLE: United
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: #69, #7 R&B
SINGLES: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (#19 US, #3 US R&B, #80 UK), Your Precious Love (#5 US, #2 US R&B), If I Could Build My Whole World Around You (#10 US, #2 US R&B, #41 UK), If This World Were Mine (#68 US, #27 US R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably Not.
LINEUP: Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, the Funk Brothers.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: One of the greatest soul duos releases a hot album of duets that show off the best of both performers.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Starting off with the definitive version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (sorry Diana Ross fans), and rolling through 11 more productions rolled off the Motown machine, Gaye and Terrell come up with a great duet sound and chemistry that is hard to top.

Gaye and Terrell, one laid back and one street-wise, bring out the best in each other. Gaye hated performing as well, but with Terrell he’d gladly go on stage or on television.

As usual with Motown records, some of the song choices are sub-par (gotta get that publishing money), or ill-suited to the performers (“Somethin’ Stupid” doesn’t work), but there’s a lot of good stuff that does. This is one Motown release that the entire album makes sense to grab, instead of singles.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Two tracks were originally Terrell solo cuts that were left in the can, but the producers added Gaye on via overdubs.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: A-: It’s probably one of the most consistent Motown albums of the 60’s in terms of song choice and performance.

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