Marvin Gaye was a legendary American singer and songwriter who also moved into record producing during his short-lived career. Gaye released 25 albums instrumental in the Motown movement that began in music during the 1960s era. He was one of the biggest names on the scene. He died just short of his 45th birthday as the result of an altercation with his father. His father shot and killed him, but his music lives on through the albums he left behind. Here are all 25 of his albums ranked in order of their popularity by fans and critics.
25. “The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye”
This album came out in 1961. The only review site to include it in Gaye’s greatest albums was Ranker placing it in the 20th position. Although not one of his top ten or even top twenty mentions by other critics, we pulled it into the bottom spot, but not because it’s bad. It’s an exceptional effort including the tracks “Easy Living,” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” and many other romantic songs in the jazz, soul, and R&B genres.
24. “Here My Dear”
Here My Dear” dropped in 1978. His ex-wife Anna Gordy helped him to write many of the songs on the previous album. She was older than Marvin, with ties to Motown royalty. After a bitter divorce and legal suit, they awarded half the profits from this album to Anna in a settlement that took years to resolve. He released this album in a double-disc version. He included allusions to the resentments he felt from that time in his life. Marvin dedicated the title of one track to her, naming the song “Anna’s Song,” according to the Great Albums. Again, not one of his best productions, but it received attention the year of its release because fans loved anything, Marvin Gaye.
23. “I Want You”
“I Want You” came out in 1976. The titular song received a whopping 58 million views on YouTube. Tracks from the album released during a high point of his career include “Come Live With Me Angel,” “After the Dance,” and many other soulful and romantic songs.
22. “Trouble Man”
“Trouble Man” came out in 1972. According to The Greatest Albums, it was the soundtrack to a film. Unfortunately, the flick didn’t get off the ground with the audience. It’s not a bad album, but it didn’t go anywhere, much like the film.
21. “In The Groove”
“In The Groove” came out in 1968. The album was a solid project that included one of the biggest hits of the 1960s era from Gaye, titled “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.” It was a popular song that received a lot of airplay. The popularity of the tune endured for decades. This track was the best song on the album, but it was a splendid effort with a few filler songs that could have been better regarding content and dynamics.
20. “When I’m Alone I Cry”
The two best tracks are “I Was Telling Her About You” and “You’ve Changed.” this is one of the top twenty albums ever released by the legend. The album is romantic but also goes into some other issues. Some songs highlight the misery that people go through when a relationship goes sour. It’s a balanced album and an exceptional effort that came out in 1964.
19. “Midnight Love”
“Midnight Love” came out in 1982. The album contains a few of his most popular hits, including “Sexual Healing,” and “Rockin’ After Midnight.” It’s one of his most classic R&B albums that was popular during the 1980s period. The album sold so many copies that it went platinum three times in the United States and hit gold in the United Kingdom, according to Wikipedia.
18. “That’s The Way Love Is”
“That’s The Way Love Is,” came out in 1970 when Marvin Gaye was establishing himself in the Motown Scene and becoming one of the legends of R&B and Soul genres. He was a dominant figure. The album featured some of his biggest hits of the ’70s including “So Long,” and “Yesterday.”
17. “Romantically Yours”
“Romantically Yours” was released in 1985, after the death of the artist under the Columbia Records label. The album didn’t chart but it was a bittersweet release that was at least memorable for true Marvin Gaye fans. He produced the album with notable tracks “Happy Go Lucky,” and “I Won’t Cry Anymore,” which were both haunting for fans feeling the loss.
16. “A Tribute to the Great Nat King Cole”
“A Tribute to the Great Nat King Cole” is an album that came out in 1965. It dropped under the Tamla label showcasing Gaye’s soulful and jazzy talents in a traditional pop format. It included some of Nat King Cole’s most famous songs including “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” and “To the Ends of the Earth. The best song on this project was “Unforgettable,” which is a classic Nat King Cole song that Gaye executed well.
15. “Hello Broadway”
“Hello Broadway” was posthumously released in 1991. The album featured some of the best recordings of Gaye’s Soul genre of all time, including the classic “Hello Broadway,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” and “On the Street Where You Live.” It also included “People,” and the album served as a sort of tribute to the late legendary soul and R&B singer.
14. “Dream of a Lifetime”
“Dream of a Lifetime” dropped in 1985. It included several of the late artist’s top hits including “Sanctified Lady,” “Symphony,” and several others. The album peaked at number eight on R&B charts in the United States, gaining popularity in the wake of the loss of a beloved artist taken too soon from his adoring fanbase.
13. “That Stubborn Kinda Fellow”
“That Stubborn Kinda Fellow” is one of Marvin Gaye’s earliest albums. It came out in 1963 under the Tamla label with a combination of rock, soul, and R&B for a lovely blend of the genres with a good variety of songs that became a favorite of fans. The titular song along with “Pride and Joy,” and “Soldier’s Plea” were favorites during 1963. Although this album didn’t chart it was popular and it still gets played on YouTube.
12. “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You”
This album was released during a time when Marvin Gaye was in the process of establishing himself in the music industry. He already released a few hit singles and “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” made it to the R&B charts in the United States. It peaked at the number four position.
“Vulnerable” was released in 1997 as a posthumous album. It was a compilation of some of his most beloved songs including “She Needs Me,” and “I Won’t Cry Anymore.” Motown Records released it under their label to satisfy the longings of Marvin’s fan base that needed a little reminder of the pleasures of listening to good jazz, soul, and R&B compilations.
10. “Live At The London Palladium”
“Live at the London Palladium came out in March of 1977 under the Tamla label. It charted at number one in R&B charts in the United States. The overall ranking for the album in the U.S. was number 3. It was also popular in other parts of the world. It is one of the most popular choices for smooth listening.
“MPG” came out in 1969, at the tail end of the 1960s era. It featured some of his beloved soul and psychedelic soul tunes along with a decent balance of R&B songs. The best tracks include “This Magic Moment,” which has appeared in numerous television commercials, and “That’s the Way Love Is.
8. “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
The titular song to this album is one of Marvin Gaye’s more popular songs. The album dropped in 1968 when Gaye was at an apex in his career. He was on his way to becoming a legend. The album came out under the Tamla label in the soul category featuring the titular song along with “It’s Love I Need,” and “There Goes My Baby.”
7. “Live in Montreux”
This popular live performance was re-released in May of 2003 under the Eagle label. The album brought back some of the finest moments of Marvin Gaye’s 1980 performance live in Amsterdam. The second release of the album was a welcome edition for fans who enjoy remembering his smooth and diverse vocals.
6. “You’re The Man”
This LP was released in March of 2019 under the Tamla label. It was one of the best compilations of Marvin’s songs from the original release, serving as yet another tribute to the artist. It sparked a resurgence of interest in the music, although the album didn’t chart.
5. “Marvin Gaye’s Greatest Hits”
This album was released in 1976. It charted in the United States with a peak position of number seventeen. It landed in the 44th spot of all albums, which was worth talking about. The album went platinum with its sales in the United States.
4. “Diana and Marvin”
This album was the result of pairing two superstars in the pop, and R&B genres together. The album was released in 1973 under the Motown label. It is a compilation of duets between the two that was nothing short of magical.
3. “In Our Lifetime”
“In Our Lifetime” dropped in 1981. When it first came out it was not as well-received as they hoped for. In time, it came to be recognized as a masterpiece of funk. The album reached number 6 for its overall ranking in US charts.
2. “What’s Going On”
“What’s Going On” came out in 1971. Like the 1973 album “Let’s Get It On,” This album also soared in popularity, reaching number one in US R&B charts. Its overall placement for the year was number 6 of all albums. This is a short album of just over 35 minutes.
1. “Let’s Get It On”
“Let’s Get It On” is one of the top five albums chosen by critics and fans alike wherever you look. The titular song was one of the biggest hits of Marvin’s career. The album dropped in 1973 during a time when Gaye was releasing one hit song after another. One of his biggest hits from the year was “Distant Lover,” along with “If I Should Die Tonight.”The album charted at number one in US R&B charts and achieved an overall ranking of number two.