There was a moment in Marvin Gaye’s musical career where he lost confidence in his artistic ability, due to drugs, a failed second marriage,depression and a dispute wth Motown Records.
To save himself, at the suggestion of a longtime friend he moved to Belgium. That suggestion helped him kick his addiction to Cocaine. Marvin throughout his musical career had used Marijuana, but at some point he had progressed to the heavier drug. In fact, it has been suggested that it was one of the reasons he and Diana Ross could not get along.
During his stay in Ostend, Belgium he was struggling financially. To help him out, his friend Freddy Coursaert arranged a month’s tour of the United Kingdom. The shows were a success and Marvin started to get back his confidence.
It was while he was in Ostend, that our next song was written.
Now,, why the title “Sexual Healing?” There are several stories, that while in Belgium, Marvin became curious about Sado-Masochism and someone suggested he needed sexual healing. That story has been disputed.
Another version is that a music critic made the statement that Marvin was not only sexy, but his music was also healing, which gave Marvin the idea to write the words to the song.
That same critic David Ritz, would sue Marvin for credit on the song. At one point he also claims to have written the words and Marvin the created the melody. Several people close to Marvin including the co-writer have disputed that claim. They have admitted that he should be credited with coming up with the title but that is it. He eventually did settle with Marvin’s Estate for recognition but the law suit was eventually kicked out of court for lack of evidence.
Let’s listen to Marvin Gaye with “Sexual Healing.”