Song: "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby"
Writers: Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong and Janie Bradford
Original Performers: The Temptations
Album: Gettin' Ready
Original Release: June 15, 1966
To love soul music is to love Marvin Gaye, the second-most important musician born in Washington D.C. (after Duke Ellington). Possessing one of the most captivating voices in the history of popular music, Marvin rose up through the ranks at Motown as a session musician before scoring a few hit duets and, of course, his breakthrough solo smash, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." In the '70s, his concept albums What's Goin' On and Let's Get It On were classics of the era, must-haves in any respectable music collection. His 1982 comeback, "Sexual Healing", is undoubtedly one of the sexiest songs of all-time. His life story is tragic but his musical legacy is rock solid.
For all this lush greatness, the Marvin Gaye song I have the most affection for is a fairly simple one. "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" was a recycled Temptations song and essentially an attempt to quickly cash in on the success of "Grapevine." The recording may not seem like much compared to his classics but I think it exhibits the full range of Marvin's vocal gifts as few others do. I especially love the "some kinda wonderful" verse.
Here's the Temptations original, so different: