Metascore
100

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Aug 2, 2011
    100
    What's Going On was Marvin Gaye's masterwork, the most perfect expression of an artist's hope, anger, and concern ever recorded.
  2. Aug 2, 2011
    95
    For die-hards, the most alluring part of the package may be the second compact disc, which features 18 mostly instrumental demos recorded in Gaye's post-What's Going On honeymoon period, when his vast artistic ambitions and abilities were being embraced by the greater public. These somewhat experimental demos--deep, in-the-pocket funk in the vein of Sly Stone, George Clinton, and Jimi Hendrix--clearly laid the groundwork for much of his subsequent 70s material.
  3. Aug 3, 2011
    100
    Gaye's music was on the move, but it never moved quite like What's Going On: still seraphic, still turbulent. [Aug 2011, p.95]
  4. Aug 9, 2011
    80
    It still sounds fabulous and relevant too, though this Super Deluxe Edition with lots of superfluous add-ons and a super £50-plus price tag to match is surely for completists only. [Aug 2011, p.133]
  5. Aug 4, 2011
    100
    Greatest protest album ever made? Most stirring soul-music symphony? Yes and yes. And then some.
  6. Aug 4, 2011
    90
    An indelible quiet-storm jeremiad.
  7. Aug 2, 2011
    100
    In any form, What's Going On is an album that everyone should have in their collection; no matter how many times you play it, there is always something else to discover.
  8. Aug 2, 2011
    100
    What's Going On is not only a remarkable album, but an opportunity to discover a seminal artist at the peak of his powers; an insight into a true modern genius of pop music.
  9. 100
    His symphonic-soul innovations here would map out the course of much 1970s soul music, while his use of multi-layered vocals – the happy result of an engineer accidentally running two vocal takes in the same mix – added an extra element to Gaye's vocal armoury which he would use extensively throughout the rest of his career.
  10. The most perfect suite of music recorded in my lifetime.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Aug 10, 2011
    8
    I'm gonna get crucified for this, but this album is perhaps a tad overrated - the title track overshadows anything else by a mile, and there is a fair amount that slips into smooth background music. Nevertheless, enormously influential and a landmark release, and everyone should give it a listen as a matter of course. Full Review »
  2. Aug 15, 2011
    10
    In 1972 Marvin Gaye defied the odds. He took a risk which was to generate a political yet, socially conscience album. It was something that was very uncommon in that era, but he accomplish a lot with this album. The album is a classic on a lot of levels especially soul and r&b. Almost 40 yrs later he has earned a top 6 spot on rolling stones 500 best albums of all time and Grammy awards. Reserve this album I promise you will not regret it. Full Review »
  3. Jan 4, 2013
    10
    You can never go wrong with a little Marvin Gaye, reissue or not. This album shows a king at the height of his prime; an athlete at his physical peak. It's also one of the most influential albums all time, perhaps the album that cemented Gaye's place in history. A near perfect classic. Full Review »