Leon Ware’s Influence on Marvin Gaye


Last night on PBS, "Marvin Gaye: What's Going On" aired as part of its American Masters series. The documentary focused on Marvin's life, especially his emergence as a politically conscious soul singer. Gaye, a multi-instrumentalist and composer, often arranged and produced all of his own music, but there was a figure the documentary briefly focused on that is of particular interest. Leon Ware, a singer/songwriter who has written hits for the Isley Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, and The Jackson 5, also is responsible for Marvin's "I Want You." Persuaded by Berry Gordy to give songs he intended for himself to Marvin in exchange for producing him, Leon allowed Marvin to eventually make this song as closely associated with Marvin as "What's Going On." Also on Marvin's I Want You album are "Come Live With Me Angel" and "I Wanna Be Where You Are." Below are the Leon Ware originals from his album Musical Massage
Leon Ware feat. Minnie Ripperton: "Comfort AKA (Come Live With Me, Angel)"

Leon Ware: "I Wanna Be Where You Are"

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7 Responses

  1. Hot damn that album cover is dope. That is sooo '70s sexy.
    OK, let me listen to the songs now.

  2. Never knew that Minnie Riperton did vocals for this.Learn something new I tell ya.Didn't get a chance to see the documentary...TIVO!

  3. My jam from this album is "Instant Love" ... Minnie's vocals on that one are flawless and sexy. This album is classic.

  4. The album cover is hot - and so is the title. Musical Massage...I think I have one of those just about every day.
    I like the originals. Once Marvin puts his stink on something though, it's hard to imagine anyone else ever thought to touch it. Just like Luther.
    I thought the doc was well done. Learned some things about him that I didn't know. Troubled man indeed.

  5. I've been putting folks on to Leon Ware for a minute now. I learned about this kat a few years ago while searching for Minnie Ripperton songs that I'd never heard, on iTunes. This album popped up, I scanned it then downloaded it immediately. The history is pretty deep. Especially the fact that Berry Gordy basically wanted Leon Ware to pass this entire album over to Marvin Gaye, but of course he refused. You can only imagine the direction music would have gone in provided that actually happened. Quite frankly, the music that we now listen to would be different. History would not be the same honestly just by Marvin Gaye recording and releasing this project.
    Some other things to note. One of the songs on the album was sampled for a Camron song. Bobby Womack was also a contributor to the music on this album.
    I love when I find records like this serendipitously.

  6. Damn the song! who is baby doll on the cover and how do I reach her via phone, email or SMS? 🙂 this album cover is the shit, I gotta make this a screen saver or put it on a business card:)

  7. yeah that album cover is crazy, i love it. i swear listening to those 2 songs gave me chills!


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