Motown/UMe has released a vinyl reissue of Marvin Gaye’s eighth album, 1968’s I Heard It Through the Grapevine, to commemorate its legendary title song’s 50th anniversary. Motown Records had originally released the album as In the Groove in August 1968, before changing its name following the sensational success of Gaye’s take on the Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong song. It was also his first solo studio album release in more than two years.
When Gaye first released “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” it was buried on In the Groove‘s first side and thought of as little more than filler – a cover version of the Gladys Knight & the Pips hit from a year earlier. However, the radio play for the song immediately picked up and by October 30, it rocketed to the top spot of Billboard’s Hot 100 and R&B Singles charts, as well as the UK Singles chart.
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is now widely regarded as one of Gaye’s most famous and beloved songs, and on June 2008, it was also inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame, which recognizes “recordings of lasting and qualitative or historical significance.”
The international success led Motown Records to quickly re-release In the Groove with the title I Heard It Through the Grapevine. Now, to commemorate the song’s 50th anniversary, Motown/UMe has reissued the album in a unique vinyl edition with its I Heard It Through the Grapevine artwork on the outside and the original In the Groove artwork, reproduced on a heavyweight inner sleeve. In addition, the new LP reissue is also available on black vinyl and limited edition Sound of Vinyl exclusive purple “grape” color vinyl.
I Heard It Through the Grapevine is considered as Gaye’s commercial breakthrough as a solo artist, following his success as a duet partner with female R&B singers, such as Kim Weston and Tammi Terrell. In addition to its title track, the album also includes such classics as “Chained,” which peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s R&B charts, and its lead single “You.”
Feature image credit: Motown/UMe
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