Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

7. Marvin GayeWhat’s Going On

Marvin had always been – you know, from the very beginning of Motown – our favourite. By the time he got to What’s Going On, it was like, "Okay, he doesn’t even need all the stuff that he was doing on Motown." He was off on his own by the end, in his own league by himself. And he didn’t come back. Stevie didn’t either. Both of them.

I’m from old school. So up until the 1980s, maybe ’88 or something, the music industry was ran with the melody having to be on a lead sheet with the notes on it. And the notes were the part that the singer sang. You didn’t have bass lines on the lead sheet. I doubt if Motown had a lead sheet with that Marvin bass line on it, the one that is supposed to be in ‘Blurred Lines’. To tell the truth. Even though I am close to the family. Jimi Hendrix was one of the few who copyrighted his licks as they were so famous. Not Marvin… they weren’t gonna spend no money on no bass line copyright, because those were the musicians who made those up. The same people who are Marvin’s lawyers, they’ve been suing everybody on behalf of me. And I don’t even agree with them when they’re suing on behalf of me! Because we did not copyright ‘Cosmic Slop’. They sued Dr. Dre for ‘Cosmic Slop’. And sure it’s my line! But I didn’t copyright that! I didn’t copyright ‘Knee Deep’, ‘One Nation…’, none of them! They became famous ’cause people sampled them. I hope that Robin Thicke and Pharrell take it to the Supreme Court, I hope they do.

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