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Showing posts from September, 2008

Music and Me

Following up on our series with The Jackson 5 Era, we've thus covered "Big Boy", "Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5", "ABC", "The Third Album", "The Jackson 5 Christmas Album", "Maybe Tomorrow", "Lookin' Through The Windows", "Skywriter", "G.I.T. Get It Together", "Dancing Machine", "Moving Violation", "Got To Be There", and finally "Ben". Now, let me give you an exposition of Michael Jackson's third solo LP, "Music and Me".

Music and Me
 Like a mother with her children, Motown did not want to let go of Michael's boyishness. But as they say, "Autumn leaves must fall".

 But they couldn't comprehend his vocals were in the process of being molded into something spectacular! Kind of like giving up something good for something better. Which is precisely what you'll see here.

 You'll find a mix of tenor and soprano th…

What Goes Around Comes Around

On track 7 of Ben, Michael Jackson's old girl must learn the hard way of paying it forward.

 Michael want's to teach a thing or two about cause and effect. "What a man soweth, that he shall also reapeth"(Gal. 6:17). "What goes around comes around. What comes up must come down"-Budda.



- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Michael Jackson My Girl

We start with a Michael Jackson reinterpretation from "The Temptations"(listen over Here) on his album Ben-"My Girl" which earned them a big break during the Christmas of '64.

 Michael inserts a little more rhythm & heritage into his cover. Not to put down "The Temptations" in any way. Around my neck of the woods, they tend to repeat it on the oldie stations on a perpetual loop. So I may be a little biased.



- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Ben-The Single

From the title album Ben comes Michael Jackson's first #1 hit. Also a soundtrack to a horror flick way before the days he ever mingled with zombies!

 A boy befriends some rodent-A seemingly evil leader of a rat pack. Who has it in for human flesh. But when a friendship envelopes(something the rat intensely longed for), he miraculously changes his ways for the better.
I just love his strong vocals. Reminds me of when I was a boy.

Ben-A Comprehensive Walkthrough

So far, we've already gone through Big Boy, Diana-Ross-Presents-Jackson-5, ABC, Third Album, Maybe Tomorrow, Lookin' Through The Windows, Skywriter, G.I.T. Get It Together, Moving Violation, and his very first solo album-Got To Be There. We will now be thumbing through the contents of Michael Jackson's "Ben" album.

Ben Album
 The record sets-out on a mutual bonding with a killer rat. Who in Michael's eyes is a misunderstood deprived rodent. The amazing dexterity and passionate delivery proves "Ben" a sincere Love Song.

 The rest of the album features outstanding covers by Stevie Wonder("Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day"), The Heartbeats("Everybody's Somebody's Fool"), The Stylistics("People Make The World Go Round"), and even Brenda Holloway("You Can Cry On My Shoulder") and The Temptations("My Girl"). "My Girl's" soulful remake and "People Make The World Go Round's" utter…

Michael Jackson "Rochin' Robin"

Michael Jackson worked with Willie Hutch to revive an old classic by Booby Day called "Rockin' Robin(listen to it Here). On his very first Motown solo Got To Be There. Beginning Side-B on a fresh and exiting cover. With plenty of youthful energy and vigor. Coinciding with Donnie Osborne's "Puppy Love"(also a revived oldie). Both were child-stars. Both performed songs about animals. As a matter of fact, disgruntled disc jockeys roared "no more animal songs until they hire someone to clean the floors in the studio!"
Still, no one had a clue of what Mr. Jackson would be 10 years from now.



- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Got To Be There-The Single

What a great way to wrap up the A-side to "Got To Be There". His very first single debut as a solo performer. October 7th, 1971. Thirty years later he was to perform in Madison Square Garden only to be postponed by the infamous 9/11 attacks at ground zero.
Never will I forget that day.

 Michael's powerful delivery and heartfelt passion are indisputably the reason "Got To Be There" went to #1! One thing I give credit to Mr. Jackson. He knows how to be relevant!



- Michael Jackson Lyrics

I Wanna Be Where You Are

"I Wanna Be Where You Are" is a U.S. only single off of his first solo album-Got To Be There. The song was written by Warren and Diana Ross's younger brother T-Boy Ross. This Ballad became Michael Jackson's third Top 40 in a row! Scoring #5 for The R&B Singles Charts.



- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Michael Jackson "Ain't No Sunshine"

A single only found in the U.K. The song opens up Michael Jackson's debut album Got To Be There.

 In pure electrifying innocence, Michael opens with a sweet rendition of Bill Withers "Ain't No Sunshine". A classic if not over-covered Techno/Dance hit with a little bit of Soul. I'd say both are brilliant in their own rights. But Willie's by far is much more nostalgic(you can listen to it Here).



- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Got To Be There

We've already covered all 9 Jackson 5 albums. Starting with Big Boy, Diana-Ross-Presents-Jackson-5, ABC, The Third Album, "The Jackson 5 Christmas Album", Maybe Tomorrow, Lookin' Through The Windows, Skywriter, Get It Together, and Moving Violation.

 Our next series will focus on Michael Jackson's early solo career with four albums from Motown. First, we'll be looking at "got To Be There". Released in early 1972.

Got To Be There
 After the Jackson Five dwindled a bit, Berry Gordy seeing potential, gave Michael Jackson a shot as a solo. With energetic dexterity and vocal flexibility, this little "Smooth Criminal" sure pulled it off with "Got To Be There".

 Whoever thought it smart to leave out "I Hear A Symphony"(another Supreme cover) must be kicking themselves right now! Michael's pure and unadulterated touch make this a rare jewel to be possessed!

 "Ain't No Sunshine", "Got To Be There" and …

Time Explosion

"Moving Violation" comes to a resolution on a Jazzy note satirizing Motown's indifference to the plight of The Jackson Five. So off they go to CBC cause "Time waits for no one".

 I am in love with the song! It's great how one can use his/her imagination to compose such an awesome tune!



Lyrics
Jackson 5
Time is going faster everyday
There's a time explosion
Gotta make the most of love today
There's a time explosion

Tito
Moving in perpetual motion

Jermaine
Don't you leave your brother behind

Tito
Think that means our love and emotion

Michael
Slow it down and take your time

Jermaine
Life is tough but you can make it (make it)
If love is just a chance
You got to take it

Jackson 5
Time Explosion
There's a time explosion

(6x repeat)
Tic toc tic tic toc ti

Time is going faster everyday
There's a time explosion
Gotta make the most of love today
There's a time explosion

Tito
Baby let the pendulum swing

Jermaine
I wanna take you flying high

Tito
The hands of time will be our…

Call of The Wild

A high rhythm accolade from the album Moving Violation. Originally meant to feature as a B-Side on "Body Language". A now defunct J5 single What a shame.



Lyrics
Jackson 5
Call of the wild
Call of the wild
Call of the wild

Jermaine
People tell me this
And people that me that

Michael
Ooo, everybody thinks they know
Where it's at

Jermaine
Life is getting harder
And it's tearing me down

Michael
It's time to pack my bags
I'm gonna leave this town

Jackson 5
The call of the wild is calling me
The wilderness is beckoning me
The call of the wild is calling me
Where nature moves over the free

Call of the wild
Call of the wild
Call of the wild

Jermaine
People quibbling' this
And people quibbling' that

Michael
The ones with the money
Just keep on getting that

Jermaine
There ain't no solitude
The quiets getting loud

Michael
Any place you want to go
Gotta fight right through the crowd

Jackson 5
The call of the wild is calling me
The wilderness is beckoning me
The call of the wild is calling me
Where n…

All I Do Is Think Of You

Michael Jackson vocals are pure, raw, and downright authentic and crispy! Clearly Michael Jackson's voice was becoming a sensation! "All I Do Is Think of You" can be found on #7 of Moving Violation

 This song can also be found on the back side to their single "Forever Came Today". Which gained so much airplay, the track became a radio hit in it's own right!



- Jackson 5 Lyrics

Honey Love

"Honey Love" wraps up side-A(of Moving Violation) on a futuristic spacey note. I wonder if "Honey Chile" had anything to do with it?



Lyrics
Ooh, Ah
Baby, you got honey love
It's sweeter than candy
You got honey love
I've got to have it, that honey love
Sweeter than candy, that honey love
I keep on yearning all in my sleep
You've got me burning for that sweet treat
Baby, you got honey love
Sweeter than candy, that honey love
Keep on making, that honey love
Keep on shaking, that honey love
Keep on making, that honey love
Making this right
I'll keep taking, that honey love
Oh I can't believe love can be so neat
Oh, your sweet love, girl, just can't be beat
Baby, you got honey love
It's sweeter than candy, that honey love
Honey love, honey love, honey love, honey love
Let's get down, down, down, down
Let's get down, down, down, down
That honey love
I must be dreaming
Oh baby
Girl, you got me screaming
Honey, oh honey
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah
Come on baby
Com…

J5 Cover-"Forever Came Today"

The Jackson Five borrowed a fresh late 60's tune from Diana Ross's archives to feature on their final Motown LP Moving Violation. Thus christening a Soulful 1968 number into a more peppy Disco rhythm just eight years later(click Here to listen on the former version). Michael & Jermaine arrayed it with something altogether different. Switching back and fourth on leads. Inserting Funky riffs and grooves which would later become prominent on Michael Jackson's Off The Wall album.

Listen to the Disco-Tech Version Here.



Lyrics | Forever Came Today lyrics

Moving Violation

If you've missed out on my past critiques, be sure to visit their Steeltown record "Big Boy", followed with a plethora of Motown labels "Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5", "ABC", "The Third Album", "The Jackson 5 Christmas Album", "Maybe Tomorrow", "Lookin' Through The Windows", "skywriter", "GIT: Get It Together", and "Dancing Machine". Now for our final Jackson Five reassessment, I give you "Moving Violation".

Moving Violation Review

 The Jackson Five wave farewell on their last Motown record "Moving Violation". From a more Funkier Discosque interpretation of "Forever Came Today" to the all-out imaginative ode to time "Time Explosion", The LP in many ways supersedes their last effort!

 Although it took them three records to get it right, "Moving Violation" just goes to prove The Jackson 5 are ready to translate into the age of …

Dancing Machine

So far, our Jackson Five journey has taken us through "Big Boy", "Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5", "ABC", "The Third Album", "The Jackson 5 Christmas Album", "Lookin'Through The Windows", "Skywriter", "GIT: Get It Together", and now may I present to you "Dancing Machine"!

Dancing Machine Review
 After the singles success, The Jackson Five briefly had a small comeback! Unfortunately, the outdated material Motown was throwing at them caused the boys to lose flavor with the pubic once more. Finally, their father had it up to here. Once again, he was window-shopping, looking for a new label.

 Only three tracks stand out on this album. Michael's fully matured vocal for"What You Don't Know" and "The Mirrors of My Mind" are quaint if not enjoyable. The extravagant remix to "Dancing Machine" is the only number pullings it's weight on this LP.

 Those previo…

Whatever You Got, I Want

"Whatever You Got, I Want" debuted off The Jackson Five LP Dancing Machine. Other then a raw guitar riff, I wasn't impressed with the single.
The song was written by The Marcello Brothers with Larson.



- Jackson 5 Lyrics

I Am Love

"I Am Love is a top 20 hit off of The Jackson Five LP Dancing Machine. Released in 1975.

 During the 1970's a lot of bands would break a track into two parts-A slow and fast side. The Temptations were famous on pioneering this feat. I wasn't all that impressed with "I Am Love" other then it's rugged synthesizer and spacey keyboards.



- Jackson 5 Lyrics

Dancing Machine Single

Finally, Get It Together closes on a high-tempo groovy note! we come to the jelly of the record! Michael Jackson(then only 15) introduces "The Robot" to the viewing public(click Here to watch it live). This would only be a foretaste of what was to come on Motown's 25th Anniversary. An unforgettable experience!


Dancing Machine - Jackson 5

- Jackson 5 Lyrics

It's Too late To Change The Time

From The J5 comes a rather intriguing B-Side to "Dancing Machine" off the album Get It Together.

 How appropriate this is for 1973. The 60's are gone, "The Beatles" have broken up, now Motown's losing steam. The mom 'n pop shops gave way to grocery stores. crime was only on the increase.
But as they say, your mind will always be the same.



- Jackson 5 Lyrics

J5 "Hum Along and Dance"

The A-Side of Get It Together closes on a note of regurgitation(taking something already done before. Then maybe add a sound hear or there. But lacking uniqueness). Now mind you, I think they did wonderful. Just nothing new.

 "The Temptations" were the first to ones on this Motown label. On their 1970 "Psychedelic Shack" album(click Here for a sample). Then Norman & Berry(original composers) gave it to "Rare Earth"(go Here for their sample) and finally "The Jackson 5" on a more Funkadelic vibe in 1973.
The lyrics are very simple and to the point.

"Ain't no words to this song.
You just dance and hum along.
Ain't no words to this song.
You just dance and hum along."

Additional vocals include, "We ain't got time to write" "Take a stroll through your mind" and "get it Tito!"