It was his first single since his exit from his long-term record label Motown earlier in the year, following the release of the In Our Lifetime album the previous year. People described it as "America's hottest pop-culture turn-on since Olivia Newton-John suggested she wanted to get ' Physical '. In the winter of , Marvin Gaye had relocated to Ostend, Belgium , following the end of a European tour amid financial difficulties with the Internal Revenue Service and the end of his second marriage. Struggling with depression and cocaine addiction , Gaye had agreed to move to Ostend on the advice of longtime resident Freddy Cousaert. While in Ostend, Gaye began to curb his drug use and recover from his depression, partaking in Ostend's beaches. Gaye also began cutting ties with his longtime recording label, Motown , following the release of In Our Lifetime , an album the musician did not declare to be finished.