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Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye (by David Ritz, Michael Joseph £6.95)

Brian Case, Melody Maker, 7 September 1985

BIOGRAPHER RITZ, who was collaborating on a life of Marvin Gaye with the soul singer when events overtook him, was certainly in the cat-bird seat compared to the competition. Divided Soul has to be the definitive epitaph. Added to the advantage of knowing Gaye intimately, his family and friends, Ritz has an enviable breadth of understanding of black culture. Some might object to the jumble of mythological and metaphysical parallels invoked — Oedipus, Apollo, Dionysius, and the hellish red Faustian cover photo — but Ritz's classical reach obviously tickled Gaye and drew a response.

Total word count of piece: 668

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