In Our Lifetime (Marvin Gaye Album) - Release


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When In Our Lifetime was finally issued in recording stores on January 15, 1981, Marvin was angry over its rush release. Gaye later said, "How could they embarrass me like that? I was humilated. They also added guitar licks and bass lines. How dare they second guess my artistic decisions? Can you imagine saying to an artist, say Picasso, 'Okay Pablo, you've been fooling with this picture long enough. We'll take this unfinished canvas and add a leg here, an arm there. You might be the artist, but you're behind schedule, so we'll finish this painting for you. If you don't like the results, Pablo, baby, that's tough!' I was heartbroken. I was deeply hurt. Motown went behind my back. That's something I'll never forgive or forget." Upon hearing it, he said the label had reedited the album without his rightful permission in which Motown admitted to try to make the album commercially viable. However, sales for the album were low despite its critical success producing a sole R&B hit with "Praise" and peaking at number thirty-two on the Billboard Top 200 album charts. After its release, Marvin asked to be let go from his contract.

It was finally granted after CBS Records' urban division president Larkin Arnold bought Marvin out of his Motown contract, thus ending the singer's 21-year relationship with the company in 1982 (Gaye then eventually recorded his final album, Midnight Love, in Belgium).

Over the years, the album was forgotten until the album was re-released by Motown on compact disc in 1994 to coincide with the tenth anniversary of Marvin's death, including the song "Ego Tripping Out" as part of the track listing.

On June 19, 2007, twenty-six years after the album's release, Hip-O Records re-released the album as an expanded edition which included not only the album as it was in its original release but also included alternate cuts from different studio recordings from London's Air and Odyssey Studios, featuring the original 1979 single of "Ego Tripping Out" including an alternate cut from the "In Our Lifetime" sessions.

The second disc released what was from the "Love Man" sessions with instrumental productions that were included in "Lifetime" under different lyrics and different titles. The reissue restored the question mark at the end of the title and was limited to 5,000 copies.

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