Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven't heard of. This week we look at Number 1's, a collection of hits from Marvin Gaye that cracked the Billboard 200 for this first time last week, and whether a certain lawsuit involving a certain Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams single had something to do with it.
Week of 03/20/2015
WHO: Marvin Gaye
WHAT: Number 1's
Every once in a while, the Back of The Billboards segment gets a collection that's far from a new release. This week we're checking out Number 1's, a greatest hits collection featuring the work of soul icon Marvin Gaye, which was actually dropped during 2007.
It probably doesn't take too much imagination to figure out why the compilation is cracking the Billboard 200 just now. Just as awards ceremonies such as The Grammys and The Academy Awards bring new waves of sales to those who perform and win prizes during the program, it would seem lawsuits can bring a healthy boost of publicity, and therefore sales, as well. Last week marked the first week of sales following the announcement of the "Blurred Lines" verdict—a lawsuit between Gaye's estate and songwriters Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over the similarities between the aforementioned single and the soul vocalist's "Got To Give It Up." Two albums that didn't get a boost from the big news? Williams' G I R L and Thicke's Blurred Lines.
The song that kicked off the controversy, Gaye's "Got To Give It Up, Pt. 1," is featured prominently...the second track on this 17-song set. The title is somewhat misleading, as only the first 13 singles on the album ever reached no. 1 on the R&B charts...but we're not complaining to get a few more hits for good measure.
If you need a healthy spoonful of Gaye to add to your collection, this album will make for a healthy appetizer. Devoted fans need not rush to pick this one up, however.