There was plenty going on in 1970s America, and Marvin Gaye’s soulful “What’s Going On” tapped right into it. Inspired by tales of the Vietnam War brought back by his brother Frankie, Gaye wrote the lines, “Brother, brother, brother/ There’s far too many of you dying.” The title track of his 1971 concept album offered its own prescription, proclaiming, “War is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate.” Motown didn’t want to release Gaye’s self-produced album, which addressed a variety of societal troubles as well as the war; the singer responded that he would not record anything else for the label unless it let it go. The disc was a hit. Sadly, Gaye’s own life was anything but peaceful. The man who sang, “Father, father, we don’t need to escalate,” was fatally shot by his own father in 1984.