Leon Ware vs. Marvin Gaye

You might be aware of the story behind Marvin Gaye's 1976 album I Want You. A young producer Leon Ware had been writing excellent stuff for his first solo album but when Motown executive Barry Gordy heard the material he "persuaded" Ware to give the songs to Gaye.

I don't know the full story behind this but later Leon Ware released a solo album, Musical Massage. The album is full of amazing, soul tracks but commercially it failed. The rumor has it that Ware should have given also these songs to Gaye but he refused so Motown subsidiary Gordy didn't promote his album at all. Nice way of rewarding loyal employees.

Musical Massage (1976) was re-issued in 2001. This issue contains Leon's original versions of Comfort (a.k.a. Come Live With Me Angel), recorded with Minnie Riperton and I Wanna Be Where You Are, both done by Marvin Gaye on I Want You.

Hopefully you don't get me wrong here. I'm not underestimating Gaye's visionary and style. I just want to give Leon Ware the credit he definitely deserves.

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