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In the Groove (aka I Heard It Through the Grapevine) (Tamla, 1968)

In the Groove was American soul singer Marvin Gaye’s 8th studio album. His last solo album had been 1966’s Moods of Marvin Gaye. Since, he had released a duet album with Kim Weston, Take Two and a duet album with Tammi Terrell, United. Gaye was having a pretty good career to this point; his biggest hit was arguably How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) in 1964. The duet albums began to elevate his profile immensely. It Takes Two, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Your Precious Love, You’re All I Need to Get By, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing and If This World Were Mine added to his hits. It was In the Groove which would pave the way for Gaye’s dominance of soul in the 1970s.

When Motown boss Berry Gordy first heard I Heard it Through the Grapevine he turned it down, feeling the song “wasn’t a hit.” Berry eventually agreed to put Grapevine on the album but insisted other songs be released. But radio deejays began playing Grapevine. In October 1968, Gordy (who essentially almost had no choice but to) released Grapevine as a single and it blew up. It went to the top of the Hot 100 and the Hot-Selling Soul Singles chart. In 1969, Grapevine hit number one in the UK. Grapevine was Gaye’s first international hit. Motown re-released the album, this time named I Heard it Through the Grapevine!.

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