“Sexual Healing” is one of American singer Marvin Gaye’s most infamous tracks. Released as the second track on his seventeenth studio album “Midnight Love”, which was released in 1982. “Sexual Healing” was written by Gaye and American jazz organist Odell Brown, with Gaye also producing the song.
“Sexual Healing” is a post-disco soul song about healing through intimacy, and more specifically sex. “Sexual Healing” was recorded in Ostend in Belgium in 1982, and represented Gaye’s comeback to music. Gaye had been living in Belgium to escape two divorces, numerous tax scandals, a debilitating cocaine addiction and attempting to overcome his depression. Gaye later returned back to America, where “Sexual Healing” had reignited Gaye’s career. Sadly, Gaye died two years later, when his father Marvin Gay Sr. shot Gaye; it was widely known that Gay Sr. never approved of his son’s music. He was also a Christian minister.
The music video for “Sexual Healing” was released in 1982, but uploaded to Marvin Gaye’s official YouTube channel on the 7th December 2013. Gaye is shown in a smoky underground nightclub with four female dancers behind him, mixed in with shots of Gaye getting a physical exam from a female doctor. The doctor drinks a potion titled “Midnight Love Potion”, leading her to fall in love with Gaye. The end of video shows Gaye and the doctor leaving the nightclub together after finishing his set. As of late June 2020, the video has 110 mllion views and 673 thousand likes.
Release Date: 30th September 1982
Songwriter/s: Marvin Gaye, Odell Brown & David Ritz
Producer: Marvin Gaye
Label/s: Columbia/CVS Records
Music Video Release Date: 1982
Chart Rankings, Certifications, Awards & Accolades: In its year of release, “Sexual Healing” hit the peak chart positions of #4 in Australia, #2 in Belgium, #1 in Canada, #17 in France, #23 in Germany, #7 in Ireland, #37 in Italy, #3 in the Netherlands, #1 in New Zealand, #17 in Sweden, #4 in the UK Singles Chart, #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100, #34 on the US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, #12 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, and #5 on the US Cash Box chart. The track is certified Gold in Canada, Denmark and the UK; and Gold in the US. At the 1983 Grammy Awards, the song won two Grammys: the Best Make R&B Vocal Performance and the Best R&B Instrumental Performance. In their end-year lists of 1982, Rolling Stone, NME and The Village Voice all listed “Sexual Healing” as one of the “songs of the year”.
The lyrics to “Sexual Healing” can be accessed here: LINK