Thursday, 4 December 2014

ADVENT CALENDAR: Dec 4th - Marvin Gaye - 'I Want To Come Home For Christmas'

Absolutely blissful track from the timeless soul legend. Here's an interesting story from the song's Wikipedia entry: "I Want to Come Home for Christmas" is a holiday song recorded and released by Marvin Gaye in 1972. The song was co-written by Gaye and Forest Hairston and was released, first on a Motown Christmas album, while a fuller version was released on a posthumous Marvin compilation titled, The Marvin Gaye Collection 18 years later. The idea of the song came to Forest Hairston after seeing pictures of people tying yellow ribbons around trees for Vietnam War troops who were forced to be prisoners of war or P.O.W. Hairston hadn't finished writing the song when Marvin Gaye, who he had become friends with, happened to stop by his house. When Gaye asked Hairston what he was working on, he said he was "messing with a song" in tribute to the Vietnam troops. Gaye had mentioned to Hairston that he wanted to have a holiday song of his own and asked Hairston to play him a bit of it. Gaye stopped him mid-track and began to work more on the track with him, adding in melody and harmony parts.

Gaye later took Hairston's track and went to the Motown Recording Studios in Los Angeles, otherwise known as Hitsville West, and produced the track himself. Gaye finished the recording in one take and after it was recorded on tape, returned to Hairston's apartment and slipped the tape in Hairston's recorder. When Hairston heard it, he immediately hugged Gaye complimenting his talents, to which Gaye laughed. Gaye struggled to get the song released as a single for Vietnam troops with Motown. Initially the label refused to release it though it was unclear whether it was due to the sensitive nature of the song. Nonetheless, the song was issued on a Motown Christmas album in 1972 along with other Christmas songs recorded by other Motown artists and was eventually released as a single as it made several RandB radio stations, it failed to chart."

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