Like many young suburban white people, my first exposure to these great Motown songs came via The Big Chill soundtrack. That album, which went 6X platinum, was less a document of the film than a Motown greatest hits collection.
These songs stirred the memories of the college friends reunited in that film and likely did the same for countless boomers who watched the film then ran out to buy the soundtrack. For me, too young at the time for some of the film’s more adult moments and likely to be bored by it anyway, I was just thrilled to discover such great new music.
I’m glad I wasn’t a bit older, at an age where I could appreciate and love the film. Because then I might have come to know ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ as the song that played when everybody cleans up the kitchen and not as just a song.
This song, ‘I Heard it Through the Grapevine,’ was always one of my favorites from that soundtrack. Marvin Gaye sings the hell out of it, as he sang the hell out of everything.
About you’re plans to make me blue
With some other guy that you knew before.
Between the two of us guys
You know I love you more.
It took me by surprise I must say,
When I found out yesterday.
Don’t you know that…
I heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine.
Oh I heard it through the grapevine,
Oh and I’m just about to lose my mind.
Honey, honey yeah.
I know that a man ain’t supposed to cry,
But these tears I can’t hold inside.
Losin’ you would end my life you see,
Cause you mean that much to me.
You could have told me yourself
That you love someone else.
People say believe half of what you see,
Son, and none of what you hear.
I can’t help bein’ confused
If it’s true please tell me dear?
Do you plan to let me go
For the other guy you loved before?
Don’t you know…