Titled Funky Nation: The Detroit Instrumentals, the album was recorded in 1971 during the period when Gaye refused to tour in support of his absolute classic What’s Going On.
As New Musical Express reports, it is released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the title track from What’s Going On, the 14-track, funk-driven collection of instrumentals hears Gaye joined by the late Hamilton Bohannon on drums, Ray Parker Jr. (17-years-old at the time), Wah Wah Watson, and Leroy Emmanuel on guitars, as well as a 20-year-old Michael Henderson on bass.
While some of the tracks have been heard on prior special editions of Gaye albums – and the full collection was featured in the Super Deluxe 40th-anniversary edition of What’s Going On – this is the first time Funky Nation has been released digitally as a standalone.
At the same time, the stories about several Marvin Gaye biopics are continuing to leak out. Lenny Kravitz seems to be involved in the making of those, at least at one point. Cameron Crowe, Jamie Foxx, Scott Rudin, and Dr. Dre have all reportedly been attached to projects telling the story of the late Motown icon at various points, although none have materialized as yet. According to Kravitz, he signed up to play the soul legend in one of these projects in 2012, only to drop out three months later.