You can blame Clare Grogan for this one.

I recall reading somewhere that she had said Sexual Healing was one of her favourite records.  It turns out, thanks to the wonder of t’internet, that it was actually in the pop magazine Smash Hits:-

I was, as I’ve admitted on many an occasion, besotted by the pop star back in the early 80s.  Glasgow wasn’t that happening a city back then that folk like Clare, or indeed any of our resident pop stars, could find their own hideaway bars. There were probably only about three or four in the city centre that weren’t the traditional ‘old man boozers’ and we all knew where we were likely to bump into them.

There were also a couple of bars attached to hotels in which they would make an occasional appearance.  One of these was ‘The Devil’s Elbow’ which was part of what was then the North British Hotel, owned and run by British Rail as it was attached to Queen Street station, one of the city’s two remaining termini.  The Devil’s Elbow had a jukebox, but it wasn’t very good, being for the most part dealing in nostalgia along with some current chart hits.   Sexual Healing was on the jukebox.  I always put in some coins so that it would play, merely in the hope that Clare might drop in while it was airing.  She never did……

I was sure the song was a #1 hit back in the day, and at very worst, Top 3.  Turns out that it stalled at #4 in November 1982.  I also always thought it was a spring/summer hit, but I guess that’s just the times of year when I’d most be in The Devil’s Elbow.

Incidentally, the wiki page (I know!!!!!) states that the final two lines of the song have Marvin Gaye singing:-

“please don’t procrastinate, it’s not good to masturbate.”

I have no idea if this is true as the 7″ version fades out as he sings ‘please don’t…….’.  The next word could well be ‘procrastinate’…………

mp3: Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing

The b-side of the version that arrived in the Discogs bundle was an instrumental.  Tough, if you hate the tune:-

mp3: Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing (instrumental)



  1. I too wish Spanday Ballet’s True never existed or is that a typo?

    I own What’s Going On (CD) which is a decent LP but not the show stopper I had expected – my loss I expect. It is essential that records like this exist (politically/socially) and on that basis alone I understand the passion for it and it’s impact. Very much the sort of thing you find here. To think it was his 11th studio LP (Wikipedia)?

    Sexual Healing made no impression.

    Was one of these bars that the “stars’ frequented the Mars Bar?

  2. The Devil’s Elbow!
    I’d completely forgotten about that pub which is strange given the amount of time I spent there!

  3. Didn’t Top Of The Pops and Radio 1 at the time only refer to and introduce it as ‘Healing’, even though the full title is liberally sung throughout? Strange times, if true. Good though Marvin’s song is, it cannot compare to Anita Lane’s cover version, ten years later. I’m also a big fan of Go Home Productions’ ‘Sexual High’, mashing up this song with Radiohead’s ‘High And Dry’, even if Gaye’s sped up vocals make him sound a little like a chipmunk at times.

  4. What’s Going On is one of the best albums ever released. Period. 🙂
    Sexual Healing was OK on the dance floor but maybe not a career high…

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