Soundtrack of My Life: “When Did You Stop Loving Me…” by Marvin Gaye
Never before has pain sounded so pretty. Released as part of a divorce settlement, Marvin Gaye’s “Here, My Dear” chronicles the end of his marriage to Motown founder Berry Gordy’s sister Anna. Since she was receiving half of the royalties from this album, Gaye dedicated it to her. With tracks like “Anna’s Song,” “You Can Leave But It’s Going to Cost You,” and the one I’m sharing here, this is a confessional concept album documenting a troubled time in his life.
‘Somebody tell me please/Why do I have to pay attorney fees?’ is a modernist trope that ranks with any of Elvis Costello’s”
Bitterness has never sounded so beautiful. In essence, “Here, My Dear” is one massive, passive-aggressive F-U. If Anna Gordy wanted the proceeds from his next album, Gaye was damn sure going to give it to her and give it to her good.
The emotional swings occur instantly within the same verse, illustrating how love, betrayal, resentment, anger, jealousy, and insecurity get tossed into a tornado of feelings that seemingly cannot co-exist, and yet they do:
One thing I can promise, friend: I’ll never be back again
But I’m not really bitter babe
I wish you all the luck and all the love in the world,
good love in the world (good luck in the world)
But I know you’ll never be satisfied
No, you still want me standin’ by your side