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I Want You, while it was a Top Ten smash for Marvin Gaye in 1976, is not as generally as well-known as its predecessors for several reasons. First, it marked a sharp change in direction, leaving his trademark Motown soul for lush, funky, breezy disco. Secondly, its subject matter is as close to explicit as pop records got in 1976. Third, Gaye hadn't recorded in nearly three years and critics were onto something else -- exactly what, in retrospect is anybody's guess. The entire album has been referenced by everyone from Mary J. Blige to D'Angelo to Chico DeBarge and even Todd Rundgren, who performed the title track live regularly. By the time it is over, the listener should be a blissed-out, brimming container for amorous hunger. I Want You and its companion, Ware's Musical Massage, are the pre-eminent early disco concept albums. They are adult albums about intimacy, sensuality, and commitment, and decades later they still reverberate with class, sincerity, grace, intense focus, and astonishingly good taste. I Want You is as necessary as anything Gaye ever recorded.