Here, My Dear (Tamla, 1978)
Here, My Dear is Marvin Gaye’s fifteenth studio album. It was recorded at his personal recording studio in Los Angeles and focused on the acrimonious divorce from his first wife (and sister of his label’s president Berry Gordy) Anna Gordy Gaye. Upon its initial release, Here, My Dear was considered a commercial and critical failure. Over time and with Gaye’s 1984 death (his father shot and killed him), Here, My Dear has now become hailed as one of Gaye’s best albums. Even Anna admitted in later years (before her death in 2014) that she came around to “appreciate every form of Marvin’s music.”
In November 1975, Anna filed for divorce and sought child support for their adopted son Marvin Gaye III. Gaye soon claimed that he fell behind on payments due to his spending habits. In September 1976, a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to pay alimony. Soon, Gaye went on a European tour. Upon his return, he recorded Got to Give it Up which topped the American chart. Finally in March 1977 Gaye’s attorney convinced him to give up half the royalties from his next album for Motown to Anna. Gaye agreed and their divorce was finalized in June of that year. Gaye figured he would shoot out a quick album and not put too much work into it since Anna would get half the profits anyway. But as he sat down and started conceiving work, he felt he owed the public a better effort. Gaye recorded the album with only engineer Art Stewart to help him. A Funky Space Reincarnation and Anger were singles. Here, My Dear peaked at #26 on the Pop Album chart and #4 on the Black Album chart.
Gaye would go on to marry Janis Hunter in October 1977, divorcing in February 1981. Anna never remarried. They reconciled as friends where she accompanied him to industry events after the 1982 of his comeback album Midnight Oil. It was she (and Marvin Gaye III) who accepted his honor into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in 1987. (Marvin III was actually the son of Gaye and Denise Gordy who was Anna’s niece and 17 at the time of his birth.) Gaye was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2016.