On this day in music history: November 11, 1981 – “The Jacksons Live!” by The Jacksons is released. Produced by The Jacksons, it is recorded at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, NY, Providence Civic Center in Providence, RI, The Omni in Atlanta, GA, and Madison Square Garden in New York City on August 16, July 22, August 2, and August 18, 19, 1981. Recorded during their “Triumph Tour” of North America in 1981, the album is compiled from tour stops in Buffalo, NY, Providence, RI, Atlanta, GA and New York City, NY. The fourteen track two LP set includes live versions of Jacksons, Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson solo material. The Jacksons are backed by a solid rhythm section that includes Jonathan Moffett (drums), David Williams (guitar), Mike McKinney (bass), Bill Wolfer (keyboards), Alan “Funt” Prater, Broderick “Mac” McMorris, Cloris Grimes and Wesley Phillips (horns). The show is choreographed by Michael, Marlon and Jackie, and features visual illusions created by magician and illusionist Doug Henning. Many of the shows on the tour are professionally filmed for future use, but to date have never been legitimately released. Though clips from various performances have circulated as bootlegs among fans for many years. The tracks “Things I Do For You” b/w “Working Day And Night” are issued as a commercial single in February of 1982. The Jackson 5 medley titled “ Medley: a. I Want You Back, b. ABC, c. The Love You Save” (b/w the live performance version of “Rock With You”), is serviced as a promotional single to radio, and becomes an airplay favorite on R&B stations. The original vinyl LP comes packaged in a gatefold sleeve, with full color inner sleeves featuring various live performance photos of the group. Later vinyl re-pressings omit these custom sleeves, and the regular domestic CD reissue re-print these images inside the booklet in black & white rather than in color. To date, the album has yet to be reissued in any form by Sony Legacy. In spite of the original master tapes being remastered by Joseph Palmaccio nearly a decade before now. “The Jacksons Live!” peaks at number ten on the Billboard R&B album chart, number thirty on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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