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Welcome to Music Friday when we feature awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, a soulful Marvin Gaye compares his girlfriend’s greatness to precious gems in his memorable hit from the late 1960s, “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby.”
Gaye portrays a man who is so obsessed with the love of his life that he “ain’t got time for nothing else.” He sings, “The diamonds and pearls in the world / Could never match her worth, no no / She’s some kind of wonderful, people tell ya / I got heaven right here on earth.”
Written by Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong and Janie Bradford, “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” was first recorded by The Temptations in 1966, but attained huge commercial success when Gaye released his rendition three years later.
The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, sold more than 1.5 million copies and was the top R&B single of 1969. “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” became Gaye’s second biggest hit of the 1960s, trailing only his iconic “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” — another Whitfield/Strong collaboration — which ascended to #1 on the charts in 1968 and sold more than 4 million singles.
Born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. in 1939, in Washington, DC, the singer co-founded a local doo-wop group, the Marquees, which later became the Moonglows. When the Moonglows’ tour arrived in Detroit, Motown executives noticed Gaye’s talent and signed him to a deal.
Proclaimed the Prince of Motown and Prince of Soul, Gaye enjoyed a stellar career that flourished throughout the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. Gaye’s life came to a tragic end on April 1, 1984, only one day before his 45th birthday. At the height of his success, Gaye was senselessly shot to death by his father after an argument.
Although he’s been gone for more than 38 years, Gaye’s music and influence lives on. After his death, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame and was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
We hope you enjoy the audio clip of Gaye performing “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…
“Too Busy Thinking About My Baby”Written by Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong and Janie Bradford. Performed by Marvin Gaye.
Ah-ah-aaah, oh yeah… Oh listen to me people
I ain’t got time to think about moneyOr what it can buyAnd I ain’t got time to sit down and wonderWhat makes a birdie fly
And I don’t have the time to think aboutWhat makes a flower growAnd I’ve never given a second thoughtTo where the rivers flow
Too busy thinking about my babyAnd I ain’t got time for nothing else
Said, I ain’t got time to discuss the weatherHow long it’s gonna lastAnd I ain’t got time to do no studiesOnce I get out of classTellin ya I’m just a fellowSaid I got a one track mindAnd when it comes to thinking about anything but my babyI just don’t have any time
The diamonds and pearls in the worldCould never match her worth, no noShe’s some kind of wonderful, people tell yaI got heaven right here on EarthI’m just a fellowWith a one, one track mindAnd when it comes to thinkin’ about anything but my babyI just don’t have any time
Credit: photo by-J. Edward Bailey, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.