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"You jive him and he'll wash you away." "Trouble Man" is today's SoundTRAX selection

Marvin Gaye and actor Robert Hooks are pictured on the "Trouble Man" soundtrack.
20th Century Fox
"Trouble Man"

"Trouble Man" was the name of the 1972 blaxploitation film and Marvin Gaye's 12th studio album.

Another entry for Black History Month, and in my useless opinion, one that once again falls into the category of the soundtrack being superior to the film.

But in all fairness, when Marvin Gaye is in charge of the music, its easy to be biased.

Trouble Man was released in 1972 and starred Robert Hooks as a character named, yep, "Mr. T." Mr. T. is an extremely well-dressed private detective (there's a description you don't often hear) who gets framed for a crime he didn't commit.

Sidenote: for those old enough to remember the TV show Hogan's Heroes and the character James "Kinch" Kinchloe played by Ivan Dixon, you might be surprised to know that Dixon made his directorial debut with Trouble Man after he left the series. He would also go on to direct episodes of classic TV shows like The Waltons, Starsky & Hutch, The Rockford Files, The Bionic Woman, and Wonder Woman, to name a few.

But back to the music.

The Trouble Man soundtrack became Marvin Gaye's 12th studio album and was the first album he ever wrote and produced all by himself. And since it followed the politically-conscious What's Going On, Gaye wanted the opportunity to do something a little more experimental and contemporary.

Most critics were divided on the film, but relatively united in their praise of Gaye's contribution, both his instrumentals and the six tunes featuring his voice.

So for today's SoundTRAX selection I'm going with a song Gaye did multiple versions of for the album, but none compare to the official theme song.

From Trouble Man it's Marvin Gaye with the title track.

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10 a.m.

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