Category: the jackson 5

On this day in music history: May 15, 1975 – &…

On this day in music history: May 15, 1975 – “Moving Violation”, the ninth studio album by The Jackson 5 is released. Produced by Hal Davis, Brian Holland, Mel Larson and Jerry Marcellino, it is recorded at the Motown Recording Studio in Hollywood, CA from October 1974 – March 1975. After scoring their first major hit in nearly three years with “Dancing Machine”, The Jackson 5 follow it with what turns out to be their final album on Motown. Feeling creatively stifled by the label by being prohibited from writing and producing their own music, the group leave the label shortly after its release for Epic Records. Legal wrangling among the two sides results in Motown claiming ownership of “The Jackson 5” name and trademark. In spite of this, the album shows the group transitioning from a kid group into young men with a more adult sound. It spins off only one single, the double A-sided hit “Forever Came Today” (#6 R&B, #60 Pop) b/w “All I Do Is Think Of You” (#50 R&B). The latter is covered by R&B vocal group Troop who hit #1 on the R&B singles chart with their version in June of 1990. The track “Body Language” is originally scheduled as the follow up single, but its release is cancelled after the group make it known that they are leaving Motown. Originally released on CD in the mid 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as a two-fer CD in 2001 with their previous album “Dancing Machine”. It is reissued again in 2010 as a stand alone CD with one bonus track added (the Disc-O-Tech remix of “Forever Came Today”). “Moving Violation” peaks at number six on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number thirty six on the Top 200.

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On this day in music history: May 8, 1970 – “A…

On this day in music history: May 8, 1970 – “ABC”, the second studio album by The Jackson 5 is released. Produced by The Corporation and Hal Davis, it is recorded at The Sound Factory and Hitsville USA West in Hollywood, CA from August 1969 – March 1970. Issued only five months after their debut album, it is a mixture of original songs written for the group as well as covers of songs originally recorded by Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Delfonics, and Funkadelic. It spins off two singles including “The Love You Save” and the title track (both #1 R&B and Pop). In time it is widely regarded as the groups best album, selling over five million copies worldwide. The albums iconic cover art (photographed by Paul Slaughter and Joseph Hernandez) features a shot of the group taken at the beach in Malibu, CA posing with oversized letters spelling out the album title. The final image airbrushes out the original background, placing it against a solid blue background. The back cover features a photo college of the group. Originally released on CD in the mid 80’s, it is remastered and issued in 1998. The vinyl LP, out of print for more than twenty years, it is reissued on 180 gram vinyl as part of Universal Music Group’s “Back To Black” vinyl series in Europe in 2009. “ABC” spend twelve weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart and peaking at number four on the Top 200.

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On this day in music history: May 1, 1971 – &l…

On this day in music history: May 1, 1971 – “Never Can Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5 hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 3 weeks, also peaking at #2 for 3 weeks on May 8, 1971. Written by Clifton Davis, it is the fifth R&B chart topper for the superstar family group. The track is cut at the Sound Factory in Hollywood, CA in June of 1970 with Bob West (bass), Art Wright and David T. Walker (guitars), Joe Sample (keyboards) and Gene Pello (drums). Yet another departure from their trademark “bubblegum” uptempo pop/soul sound, it is “more adult” in nature than their previous hits. During the vocal recording session, the then eleven year old Michael while looking over the lyrics to the song asks the producer Hal Davis the meaning of the word “anguish”. Davis quickly explains, then Michael nods and picks up where he had stopped singing. Released on March 16, 1971 (four weeks ahead of the album), it is the first single from The Jackson 5’s fifth album “Maybe Tomorrow”. “Never Can Say Goodbye” becomes the group’s sixth consecutive million selling single in the US. The song is covered by a number of different artists over years, most notably by Isaac Hayes whose version is released only a few months after the The Jackson 5’s. Gloria Gaynor record “Goodbye” in a dramatically revamped disco version that also becomes an instant classic, peaking at #9 on the Hot 100 and topping the Billboard Club Play chart. UK synth pop duo The Communards record a Hi-NRG dance version of the song in 1987 based on the Gloria Gaynor arrangement of the song, taking it #4 on the UK singles chart, and #2 on the US Club Play chart.

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On this day in music history: April 12, 1971 -…

On this day in music history: April 12, 1971 – “Maybe Tomorrow”, the fifth album by The Jackson 5 is released. Produced by The Corporation and Hal Davis, is recorded at The Sound Factory and Hitsville USA West in Hollywood, CA from February – August 1970 and September 1970 – February 1971. Following the huge success of the previous year, The Jackson 5 return with the first of three albums they release during 1971. The new album is their fifth full length release in just fifteen months, spinning off two singles including “Never Can Say Goodbye” (#1 R&B, #2 Pop) and the title track (#3 R&B, #20 Pop). The title track “Maybe Tomorrow” is originally intended for entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., who is briefly signed to Motown’s short lived Ecology Records imprint. When Davis’ schedule does not allow him time to record the song, it is given to The Jackson 5 instead, who cut it in February of 1971. A number of other songs on the album including “She’s Good”, “The Wall”, “My Little Baby” and “I Will Find A Way” also become fan favorites. The album track “It’s Great To Be Here” becomes a staple in Hip Hop (in the 90’s and beyond), with its opening break being sampled many times, as well as the title track. Originally released on CD in the mid 80’s, it is remastered as a 2-fer disc, paired with “Third Album” in the US and UK in 2000. The album is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in Europe in 2009. “Maybe Tomorrow” spends six weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number eleven on the Top 200.

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On this day in music history: April 4, 1970 – …

On this day in music history: April 4, 1970 – “ABC” by The Jackson 5 hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 4 weeks, also topping the Hot 100 for 2 weeks on April 25, 1970. Written and produced by The Corporation, it is the second consecutive chart topping single for the Gary, IN based family group fronted by lead singer Michael Jackson. The basic track for “ABC” is recorded in December 1969 at The Sound Factory in Hollywood, CA. When they begin formulating the follow up , the writers form the basis for “ABC” out of the chorus section of “I Want You Back”. Recorded with the same group of musicians (including Wilton Felder (bass), Gene Pello (drums), David T. Walker, Louie Shelton, and Don Peake (guitars) ), the track is cut live in a single take. The single sells over a million copies in under twelve days, eventually selling over 2.2 million copies. To commemorate this achievement, Motown Records re-services DJ’s with another promotional 45 pressing of “ABC” pressed on clear gold vinyl, and packaged in a title sleeve. These 45’s become highly sought after by collectors, and are among the rarest Jackson 5 promotional items. An alternate mix of the track (with a slightly longer running time and different vocals not included in the original mono and stereo mixes) appear on the Japanese quadraphonic stereo LP of the groups first “Greatest Hits” album released in 1975. “ABC” also makes Billboard chart history as one of the shortest song titles to top the charts. One of The Jackson 5’s most popular and beloved songs, “ABC” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2017, becoming the group’s third single (after “I Want You Back” and “I’ll Be There”) to receive that honor.

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On this day in music history: March 16, 1971 -…

On this day in music history: March 16, 1971 – “Never Can Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5 is released. Written by Clifton Davis, it is the sixth single release for the superstar family vocal group. With the Jackson 5’s career in full swing having scored two consecutive chart toppers, and about to land their third by the Summer of 1970, Motown continues to search for top notch material for the group to record. Producer Hal Davis finds “Never Can Say Goodbye” when he overhears songwriter Clifton Davis (no relation), auditioning the song for potential music publishers. Davis likes the song and offers to record it immediately. It is recorded in June 1970 at Hitsville West in Los Angeles, CA, with the producer quickly assembling the musicians for the session which include David T. Walker, Art Wright (guitars), Joe Sample (keyboards), Bob West (bass), and Gene Pello (drums). The song is shelved for several months by Motown’s A&R department who feels the song is “too mature” for the young group. One day, a frustrated Davis is overheard by Berry Gordy blasting the song in his office. Gordy quickly sanctions its release upon hearing it. “Never Can Say Goodbye” spends three weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B singles chart, and three weeks at number two on the Hot 100 in May of 1971.

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On this day in music history: March 11, 1969 -…

On this day in music history: March 11, 1969 – The Jackson 5 officially sign with Motown Records. Having begun negotiations several months before, the label buys the group out of their contract with local Gary, IN label Steeltown Records. Shortly afterward, the Jacksons move from Gary, Indiana to Los Angeles, California, to start intensive rehearsals and enter the studio to begin recording with producer Bobby Taylor, the man who brought them to Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr.’s attention. By the Summer of 1969, the group begin recording sessions, mostly cutting cover material until Gordy replaces Taylor with The Corporation (Deke Richards, Freddie Perren, Fonce Mizell, and Gordy himself), who are responsible for many of The Jackson 5’s hits. Within less than a year, the group have landed the first of four consecutive chart topping singles on the pop and R&B singles charts.

On this day in music history: January 10, 1970…

On this day in music history: January 10, 1970 – “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 4 weeks, also topping the Hot 100 for 1 week on January 31, 1970. Written and produced by The Corporation, it is the first of four consecutive chart topping singles for the five brothers from Gary, IN. The track is recorded at The Sound Factory in Hollywood, CA in August 1969, and features Wilton Felder (bass), David T. Walker, Louie Shelton, and Don Peake (guitars), Gene Pello (drums), Joe Sample & Freddie Perren (keyboards) and Sandra Crouch (tambourine). After the records’ release in October of 1969, the group begin the task of promoting their debut single for Motown. Their first nationally televised appearance being on The Hollywood Palace" variety series the same month. Their second live television performance on The Ed Sullivan Show on December 14, 1969, plays a vital role in giving the record the final push needed to send it on its way to the top of the R&B and pop singles charts. In time, “I Want You Back” is regarded as a landmark release in the history of Motown, and one of the greatest pop singles of all time. Its enduring popularity and influence is further confirmed when it is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999, The Jackson 5’s first record to receive that honor. “I Want You Back” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: January 7, 1971 …

On this day in music history: January 7, 1971 – “Mama’s Pearl” by The Jackson 5 is released. Written and produced by The Corporation, it is the fifth consecutive top five single for the five brothers from Gary, IN. Issued as the second single from their third LP “Third Album”, “Pearl” is originally intended to be the follow up to the Jackson 5’s third number one hit “The Love You Save”, but is initially passed over in favor of “I’ll Be There”. Written mostly by Freddie Perren and Fonce Mizell of The Corporation, in its first draft the song has a much different concept. Originally titled “Guess Who’s Making Whoopie (With Your Girlfriend)”, some of the original lyrics include a refrain stating “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine”. Chief Corporation songwriter Deke Richards, knowing that it won’t work with The Jackson 5’s wholesome image, works with his songwriting partners to come up with an entirely new title and lyrics. Re-titled “Mama’s Pearl”, the songs’ narrative is about a boy who knows a girl he likes is mutually attracted to him, but is too shy to reveal her true feelings. He urges her to come out of her shell and become his girlfriend. Label chief Berry Gordy approves of the revamped song, and producers head for the studio to cut it. The track is recorded at Motown’s Hitsville West Studio in Los Angeles in July of 1970. Before it is released as a single, the group re-record the lead and background vocals, improving upon the first version released on the album. “Mama’s Pearl” peaks at #2 on both the Billboard R&B and Hot 100 on February 27, 1971. Ironically, it is held off the top of the pop charts by The Osmonds “One Bad Apple”, a song written for the Jacksons but is rejected by Motown as being “too juvenile”. A stereo mix of “Pearl” with the re-recorded vocals first appears on The Jackson 5’s “Greatest Hits” album released in December of 1971 as well as their 1976 “Anthology” compilation. This version also makes its CD debut on the “Jackson 5 Anthology” in 1986, and is included on “The Jacksons Story” compilation in 2004. The song is also featured in an episode of the group’s Saturday morning cartoon series “The Jackson 5ive”. The episode titled “A Rare Pearl” (originally airing on January 15, 1972) centers around the Jacksons pursuit of a beautiful flight attendant named Jacqueline Pearl, after meeting her on an airplane. To thwart the brothers, she has her football jock older brother pose as her mother to scare them into leaving her alone, after following her home. The rejected original version “Guess Who’s Making Whoopie” later surfaces on the compilation “Come And Get It: Rare Pearls” in 2012. The single’s B-side “Darling Dear”, another track from “Third Album”, featuring a virtuoso performance by Funk Brothers bassist James Jamerson, also becomes a favorite of Jackson 5 fans.

On this day in music history: December 20, 197…

On this day in music history: December 20, 1971 – “Greatest Hits” by The Jackson 5 is released. Produced by The Corporation, Hal Davis and Bobby Taylor, it is recorded at The Sound Factory, Hitsville USA West Studios in Hollywood, CA and Motown Studio A in Detroit, MI from July 1969 – October 1971. The eleven song LP is the first hits compilation of the groups’ work released on Motown Records from 1969 to 1971. It also features the newly recorded track “Sugar Daddy” (#3 R&B, #10 Pop) which becomes another million selling single for the superstar family group. Original LP pressings also contain a stereo mix of the single “Mama’s Pearl” featuring the re-recorded vocals used for the mono single version. However, at some point, this version is replaced by the original LP version from the “Third Album” on later re-pressings. The LP’s cover art features a portrait of the Jacksons with initial pressings featuring embossing on the portrait’s frame and is perforated so that it can be punched out of the cover and framed. “Greatest Hits” is also issued as a quadraphonic stereo LP in 1975 (in Japan only), featuring noticeably different mixes of the tracks. Highly sought after by collectors, copies of this very rare version can sell for up to $500 today. The compilation goes in and out of print over the years as more comprehensive collections of the groups’ hits are issued in its place. It is remastered and reissued on CD one final time in 1998 before being deleted again in the mid 2000’s. “Greatest Hits” peaks at number two on the Billboard R&B album chart, number twelve on the Top 200, selling over four million copies in the US alone.