Marvin Says: Heal Thyself

Aug 20, 2012 | 1572 Views | 1 Comment

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 5.45.37 PMSinger/songwriter Marvin Gaye was one of Motown’s greatest recording artists, releasing two groundbreaking concept albums in the early 1970s: “What’s Going On” and “Sexual Healing.”

After seeing the soul man’s large collection of pornography, Rolling Stone critic David Ritz suggested that Gaye needed some “sexual healing.” This comment inspired the title of one of Marvin’s biggest hits. He and Odell Brown are credited as the song’s writers, with Ritz receiving a “special thanks” credit. But that wasn’t enough for Ritz. He allegedly wanted $10,000 for his contribution, and ended up suing Marvin for songwriting credit. The singer was shot and killed by his father on April 1, 1984, a day before his 35th birthday, so the suit was never settled. Eventually, Ritz did end up getting partial writing credit.

“Sexual Healing,” released in 1982, is No. 233 on the Rolling Stone list of its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Here’s Marvin gettin’ some healing:

© Dana Spiardi, Aug 20, 2012



  1. Dave says:

    April 3rd, 2015 at 11:45 am (#)

    Wow, can’t believe he won that suit. Surprised that didn’t spur thousands of others. Ideas for songs come from all over; questionable precedent set there.
    I’m partial to Let’s Get It On, It’s in my top ten songs of all time. Hope it made the Stone’s list.

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