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“Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”, often shortened to “Inner City Blues”, is a song by Marvin Gaye, released as the third and final single from and the climactic song of his 1971 landmark album, What’s Going On. Written by Gaye and James Nyx Jr., the song depicts the ghettos and bleak economic situations of inner-city America, and the emotional effects these have on inhabitants.
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Composition and lyrics
In 1998, co-writer James Nyx Jr. recalled, “Marvin had a good tune, sort of blues-like, but didn’t have any words for it. We started putting some stuff in there about how rough things were around town. We laughed about putting lyrics in about high taxes, ’cause both of us owed a lot. And we talked about how the government would send guys to the moon, but not help folks in the ghetto. But we still didn’t have a name, or really a good idea of the song. Then, I was home reading the paper one morning, and saw a headline that said something about the ‘inner city’ of Detroit. And I said, ‘Damn, that’s it. ‘Inner City Blues.’ “


Recording:
The song was recorded in a mellow funk style with Gaye playing piano. Several of the Funk Brothers also contributed, including Eddie “Bongo” Brown, and bassist Bob Babbitt.
In its unedited version as it appears on the album, the final minute of the song (and of the LP) is a reprise to the theme of “What’s Going On”, the album’s first song, then segues into a dark ending. This final minute was cut off of the single version, as well as other sections of the song so the single edit runs under three minutes—this edit appears on subsequent reissues of the LP.

Explore the music of Marvin Gaye: https://lnk.to/g24lE For more Marvin Gaye news and merchandise: Classic Motown Website: https://lnk.to/ClassicMotownWS Classic Motown Store: https://lnk.to/ClassicMotownST Music video by Marvin Gaye performing Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler). (C) 1971 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

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