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Marvin Gaye's Star Spangled Banner



(YouTube Link)

Although Carrie Underwood did a fine job singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, this offering by Marvin Gaye at the 1983 NBA All-Star game will never be topped.


Yeah, george. It's downright sacrilegious. The only people who get to play around with our precious national anthem are country music stars who want to throw in some electric guitar and gravelly undertones.

Now get off my lawn!
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This is my video. I posted it on youtube a few years ago after discovering it in a box of old marvin gaye beta tapes that a record company sent me for a compilation job I was hired to do. How random to have it pop up on Neatorama, one of my favourite daily websites...
hope you enjoy it!
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Always hated the American National Anthem.(I'm Canadian) that is till today. That actually brought a tear to my eye! lol. Really very moving and beautiful. Incredible. I loved it! Awesome! Truly awesome. And my new favorite song!
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Have to disagree about Carrie Underwood. She hit, and I mean hit, a few notes that were off just enough to make your fillings hurt. But this is singing, not shouting. Genius.
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I think, Gaye, and Underwood, along with all the singers that add notes to the Anthem, are only trying to show their voice range, Why can't they just sing it like it is written. I would rather hear a Band play the anthem then some of these that come out to jive up the anthem, its a disgrace.
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This would make my old high school band director cringe. He always insisted that since the National Anthem was composed as an up tempo march, it should be preformed that way.

If it is over a minute long, you are going way too slow.

and I agree with him. Although Marvin was an amazing singer, the National Anthem isn't something you should just take creative liberties with.
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Thanks Marvin, but thanks to Jose Feliciano first.

Marvin couldn't have done it without Jose Feliciano's 1968 personalization of the Star Spangled Banner coming long before.

Even before Jimi Hendrix.

His changes were quite simple, but for the time, extremely unexpected and unappreciated.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6394213

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrY9RVfVkws
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Nice history snip, Michael. I really like this quote from your link:
"Since that game, singers have taken more artistic liberties with the anthem. Some versions have succeeded; others have failed miserably."

Dang, too bad the video is him talking over his controversial rendition. :)
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Just in case you missed it, the full audio Feliciano version is posted there with the NPR story, but I thought the context was every bit as interesting as the version of the song.
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Interesting fact: According to the music-themed Uncle John's Bathroom Reader I'm currently making my way through, that was the first video ever aired on either VH1 or MTV2 (can't remember which).
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