The misadventures of three black teens, Roger, Dwayne and Rerun, in 1970s L.A.
Runtime: None minutes
What's Happening!! - What's Going On (Marvin Gaye album) - Netflix
What's Going On is the eleventh studio album by soul musician Marvin Gaye, released May 21, 1971, on the Motown-subsidiary label Tamla Records. Recording sessions took place in June 1970 and March–May 1971 at Hitsville U.S.A., Golden World and United Sound Studios in Detroit and at The Sound Factory in West Hollywood, California. What's Going On was the first Marvin Gaye album for which Gaye is credited as producer and Motown Records' main studio band, the session musicians known as the Funk Brothers, received a credit. What's Going On is a concept album consisting of nine songs, most of which segue into the next. It has been categorized as a song cycle; the album ends with a reprise of the album's opening theme. The story is told from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran returning to the country he had been fighting for, and seeing only hatred, suffering, and injustice. Gaye's introspective lyrics discuss themes of drug abuse, poverty, and the Vietnam War. He has also been credited with promoting awareness of global warming before the public outcry against it had become prominent. What's Going On was an immediate success, both commercially and critically. Having endured as a classic of 1970s soul, a deluxe edition set was released on February 27, 2001, and featured a recording of a May 1972 concert shot at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center. Worldwide surveys of critics, musicians, and the general public have shown that What's Going On is regarded as one of the landmark recordings in pop music history, and one of the greatest albums of the 20th century. The album was ranked number six both on Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, and in the magazine's update nine years later.
What's Happening!! - Composition - Netflix
“What's Going On” features soulful, passionate vocals and multi-tracked background singing, both by Gaye. The song had strong jazz, gospel, classical music orchestration, and arrangements. The song also featured major seventh and minor seventh chords, which was then unusual for pop music at the time. Reviewer Eric Henderson of Slant stated the song had an “understandably mournful tone” in response to the fallout of the late 1960s counterculture movements. Henderson also wrote that “Gaye's choice to emphasize humanity at its most charitable rather than paint bleak pictures of destruction and disillusionment is characteristic of the album that follows.” This is immediately followed in segue flow by the second track, “What's Happening Brother”, a song Gaye dedicated to his brother Frankie, in which Gaye wrote to explain the disillusionment of war veterans who returned to civilian life and their disconnect from pop culture. “Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky)”, which took its title from a United Airlines tag, “fly the friendly skies”, dealt with dependence on heroin. The lyric, “I know, I'm hooked my friend, to the boy, who makes slaves out of men”, references heroin as “boy”, which was slang for the drug. “Save the Children” was an emotional plea to help disadvantaged children, warning, “who really cares/who's willing to try/to save a world/that is destined to die?”, later crying out, “save the babies”. A truncated version of “God Is Love” follows “Save the Children” and makes references to God. “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” was another emotional plea, this time to the environment. Funk Brother musician Earl Van Dyke once mentioned that Berry Gordy didn't know of the word “ecology” and had to be told what it was. The song featured a memorable tenor saxophone riff from Detroit music legend Wild Bill Moore. “Right On” was a lengthy seven-minute jam influenced by funk rock and Latin soul rhythms that focused on Gaye's own divided soul in which Gaye later pleaded in falsetto, “if you let me, I will take you to live where love is King” after complying that “true love can conquer hate every time”. “Wholy Holy” follows “God Is Love” as an emotional gospel plea advising people to “come together” to “proclaim love [as our] salvation”. The final track, “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”, focuses on urban poverty, backed by a minimalist, dark blues-oriented funk vibe, with its bass riffs composed and performed by Bob Babbitt, who also performed on “Mercy Mercy Me” (Jamerson played on the rest of the album). The entire album's stylistic use of a song cycle gave it a cohesive feel and was one of R&B's first concept albums, described as “a groundbreaking experiment in collating a pseudo-classical suite of free-flowing songs.”
What's Happening!! - References - Netflix