Music Monday: Marvin GayePosted: April 18, 2011
I wasn’t really into this song when it was a hit for Marvin Gaye in 1977. It’s only now, after rediscovering it, that I can appreciate the message behind the funk. Gaye’s falsetto voice describes a wallflower at a party overcoming his shyness in a social situation to find romance by getting up the courage to dance. Gaye recorded the song somewhat reluctantly at the urging of his record company, Motown, to record a dance hit at the height of the Disco era (label-mate Diana Ross having just had success with her disco number “Love Hangover”). Although it’s more funk than Disco, “Got to Give It Up” was an instant success and went to Number One on the Billboard Charts in June of 1977.
I don’t know what show this performance was recorded from, but it looks like it could be an appearance on “Soul Train.” As a child in 1977, when Soul Train came on it meant that the Saturday morning cartoons were over. But today Gaye’s song lives on to inspire wallflowers everywhere to stop being shy. After all, you got to give it up.