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Showing posts from October, 2008

Goin' Places

We've just gone through their eponymous album-The Jacksons. Now we shall bring our attention to the boys second Philly-LP: "Goin' Places".

Goin' Places
 Whereas the last record had "Enjoy Yourself" to look forward to, "Goin' Places" will tell you The Jacksons are ready to be anchored! I swear, the eponymous track will have you tapping your foot to the rhythm! "Different Kind of Lady" immerses you into the watershed world of Disco fit for an android! "Heaven Knows I Love You, Girl" will sure send a tingle down your spin. The rest are more or less fillers.

 All in all, "Goin' Places", Different Kind of Lady", "Heaven Knows I Love You, Girl", and "Find Me A Girl" are the only numbers that stand out on this LP.

1. Music's Takin' Over

2. Goin' Places

3. Different Kind of Lady

4. Even Though You're Gone

5. Jump For Joy

6. Heaven Knows I Love You, Girl

7. Man Of War

8. Do What Yo…

Time For Another MJ 411!

Let's take a break and look at what is happening in Michael Jackson's world.

King Of Pop

 King of Pop-A fan composed greatest-hits compilation run by Sony reached the top 10 spot. Thanks in part to X-Factor! But not to be rehashed, here's the source.
-BBC News-King of Pop

 As of now, there are still national editions waiting to be launched! When all is said and done, an international compilation will climax[Update: all versions have been launched. Sadly they overlooked North America]!

To quench your curiosity, listen to a snippet of "Thriller Megamix".

Michael Jackson, What's In The Bag? Mr. Jackson gave a serendipitous visit to a souvenir shop bearing his identity! well, at least a signature album name. So what's in the bag?

A toy airplane(commemorating "Off The Wall".

A few skin care spa products.

 Made of metal, this model antique just might be for a sick child he's attending or for his own little ones. It might just be another way to comp…

"The Jacksons" Album

The LP kicks off on an optimistic level. Despite a little fall-out on Motown. With CBS, The Jacksons experimented with Philly music-A subspecies of Soul with a little bit of Disco and R&B intertwined.

 Particularly evident, Michael Jackson's tenor-strung vocals have fully blossomed into adulthood-And would wind up almost getting patented by the time Thriller came around!

The Jacksons Album Review
 Other then the classic Disco vibe of "Enjoy Yourself"(an electrifying dance hit), Leon Huff and Kenneth Gamble lead the group on the verge of mediocrity. The tunes are alright. Though don't expect much more then a few Philly-Soul Ballads and Funkazoid innuendos.

 Again, if it wasn't for "Enjoy Yourself", the album would be nothing more then shooting a few darts in the dark. Clearly Philly-Soul does not work for them.

1. Enjoy Yourself

2. Think Happy

3. Good Times

4. Keep On Dancing

5. Blues Away

6. Show You The Way To Go

7. Living Together

8. Strength of One Ma…

The Wiz

Before "The Jacksons" officially moved on in 1976, Michael Jackson was invited to a Hollywood rendition to a Broadway musical "The Wiz". In turn a Funky adaptation to "The Wizard of Oz".
Allow me to compare and contrast the two versions.

Both involve an innocent setting.Following "The Yellow Brick Road" was essential to find Dorothy's way home.
Dorothy unknowingly destroys the wicked witch of the east.Both witches from the west are allergic to water(what a world).Both wizards demand the death of the wicked witch of the west.The two versions have a good witch of the north(does anybody have a clue about The Witch of The South?)Both Dorothy's click their heels and chant "There's no place like home".

One was based in Kansas. The other in Harlem, NYC.The 1939 adaptation gets her picked up by a twister and thrown to Munchkin Land. The Funketized rendition has a snowstorm transport her to an alternative Univ…

The Jacksons Variety Show

To compete with other 70's sitcoms("The Osman's", "The Brady Bunch", etc.), CBS hosted a brand new line-up of the Jackson family. Simply called "The Jacksons Variety Show". Becoming the very first sitcom solely run by African Americans(and sibling on top of that).

 Though Michael(now 18) was against the idea, the program still managed to spin-off their new image as "The Jacksons". Most prominently "Enjoy Yourself".

 The show only lasted for two seasons long but received special guest appearances like Sonny Bono, David Letterman, and Muhammad Ali among many others.

 For the first time, Janet, Latoya, and Rebbie would get a taste of showbiz. Even vouching to sign-up as a singing trio afterwords. However, irreconcilable differences forced them in pursuing other ventures. As for Jermaine, a solo career with Motown was in the works.
Here are a few clips from the show...


 Next, Michael Jackson receives an irresistible of…

The Era of "The Jacksons"

And now, we will enter into a new phase into Michael Jackson's career-Commonly known as The Jacksons Era. Mainly from 1976-78 but I'll throw in "Triumph" and "Victory" for you all.

The Jacksons Era
 The Jackson Five left Motown for CBS in 1976. Consequently forced to abandon the logo, Michael brought up the notion of simply referring to themselves as "The Jacksons". This went over well with their father and legendary producer Leon Huff. So much so, even their next LP was named after them. After a follow with "Goin' Places", an even greater bargain soon caught Joe's eye.

 Epic Records promised these boys even more control and free rein in their creativity. "Destiny", "Triumph", and "Victory" conceived as a result. Shooting them to the pinnacle of their career!

The Jacksons Variety Show
 CBS orchestrated a sit com-The Jacksons Variety Show. Based on all siblings except Jermaine(Who lagged behind with Haz…

More Outtakes From Michael Jackson's Beginnings

And now, here are some underground tracks from the J5 and/or Michael Jackson. Between 1971-75. For those of you who are new, read up on their outtakes spanning from 1966-70 on my prier posting "Outtakes From The Jackson 5 Era".

1)Papa Was A Rollin' Stone

2)A Fool For You

3)Ask The Lonely

4)We Can Have Fun

5)Guess Who's Making Whoopie With Your Girlfriend-A demo version to their #2 hit "Mama's Pearle" for the "Third Album". The lyrics were substantially changed due to efforts to keep the kids squeaky clean. Listen to the un-altered version Here.

6)You Ain't Giving Me What I Want(So I'm Taking It All Back)

7)Can't Get Ready For Losing You

8)Your The Only One
Jackie Jackson leads the other four on the outtake eventually chosen for his debut solo album. Listen to a sneak peek right here.

Your The Only One

9)Coming Home

10)Everybody Is A Star

11)I Hear A Symphony-It was little Michael who actually suggested they do a male counterpart to "I H…

Outtakes From The Jackson 5 Era

Today, I want to guide you through some rare outtakes. Spanning the recordings between 1966-70. Jointly known as Michael's "Jackson Five Era".

1)I've Gotta Be Me

2)Lavender Blue

3)You Can't Hurry Love

4)It's Your Thing

5)Reach Out(I'll Be There)

6)Sunny Boy

7)To Sir With Love

8)After The Storm

9)Come And Get It

10)If I Can't(Nobody Can)

11)If You Want Heaven

12)Paper Doll

13)That's How Love Is

14)She Say She Want

15)Keep Off The Grass

I Can't Get You Off My Mind(1968)
 Join me next time for the remaining Jackson Five outtakes from 1971-75.

Jackson 5 "A Fool For You"

A remake to a Ray Charles classic from 1958. It featured as a single from his record "Ray Charles At New Port" in 1958(listen to his version Here).

 O.K. comparing the two, I'd have to say Michael infuses a lot more soul. However, Ray Charles is still a classic.
This was meant to feature on a Michael Jackson solo.

A Fool For You Lyrics
I know you told me
Such a long time ago
Well, you didn't, you didn't want me around, baby yeah, hey, hey
You didn't love me no more
But I know something, yeah
That makes me be
I just want to say, yeah
I just want to say, yeah
I've been a fool for you, baby (I've been a fool so long)
I've been a fool for you, baby, yeah
Oh. it's not your clothes
It's not your, it's not your walk
It's not your easy, yeah, yeah,yeah, yeah, yeah
It's not your, it's not your easy baby talk,yeah, yeah, oh
I know something, it must be something, yeah
Ooh, oh, that makes me feel
Oh, that makes me feel
That I've been a fool for you, …

MJ "To Make My Father Proud"

We conclude "Farewell My Summer Love" with another Motown-manufactured Bubblegum Soul piece. Not real at all. What I mean is his father was harsh on Michael. So I highly doubt pleasing Joseph was his highest ambition. Or maybe it was out of compulsion(*Note* I'm not saying he didn't respect his father).

This song was originally sung by Frankie Valli(which you can listen to Here).

- Michael Jackson Lyrics

MJ "Here I Am Come And Take Me"

Originally Al Green composed this tune in 1973 for his album "Call Me". As was so often in those days, Motown asked teen-aged Michael Jackson to do his own remake. He agreed. Yet the Farewell My Summer Love project was abandoned until the Summer of 1985. When Michael Jackson shot up into the stratosphere with Thriller!
To listen to the original, Click Here.


Farewell My Summer Love-The Single

The titled track and single of his last unofficial Motown solo-Farewell My Summer Love. Whoever remastered this shelved classic did a darn good job! Some actually thought it was a new Michael Jackson song in 1985.

- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Girl Your So Together

The third and final single to Farewell My Summer Love. It enjoyed modest success in the U.K. Maybe Motown overdubbed the track with an 80'd plastic cover. Or more so, people were focused on the here and now-Michael's golden Era!

- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Motown Want's A Piece of The Thriller Pie

Thriller transformed Michael Jackson into an 80's equivalent to Elvis Presley!A brand new throne had been carved-out for him-That of The King of Pop!

 To cash in on the crop, Motown strategically threw together a handful of outtakes. Songs originally planned to compile an album shelved during "The Jackson Five's" transition to CBS. Motown further promoted "Farewell My Summer Love" with a 45 by the same name along with a few B-Sides, "Girl Your So Together" and "Touch The One You Love". Berry was determined to grab a second helping from Mr. Jackson's success(not ill-willed). Before selling the label come 1987.

Farewell My Summer Love
 The record starts on a spree of three catchy sing-a-longs(one being that oft' overused cover "You Really Got A Hold On Me"). But then the record slumps back into slightly above average pop songs. Although "Farewell My Summer Love" and "To Make My Father Proud(originally by Frank…

Forever, Michael

We will now evaluate Michael Jackson's forth and final solo LP from Motown. If your new here, I encourage you to go check out what we've already covered. Let's see, "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", "Ben", and last but not least "Music and Me". Now, let's turn our ears over to his last official Motown LP-"Forever, Michael".

Forever, Michael
 You can definably sense it. Michael Jackson's vocals are fully matured and ripe to start a new chapter in his life. Excluding "One Day In Your Life's" hearty medley and "Dapper Dan's" Funky Soul, there's not much more to offer the…

Just A Little Bit of You

The forth single to come flying off of Forever, Michael. Reaching #23 on The Pop Singles Chart.

 When will Motown ever learn Bubblegum music was stomped out a few years back? Regardless, I think he did alright. But I bet Mr. Jackson wasn't too thrilled on covering old-fashioned love songs.

Michael Jackson Lyrics

One Day In Your Life

In 1981, Motown re-issued a U.K. single "One Day In Your Life" from the album Forever, Michael after the buzz of "Off The Wall. The single didn't far well back here in The States. However, Michael enjoyed his first #1 hit in the U.K(as a solo). Becoming the 6th best-selling single for the year 1981!

 And we can't forget how this gem shines fourth from his album. I have a good feeling that harmonica was what partly inspired Mr. Jackson to create Streetwalker. But then again, he mentioned to Teddy Riley that a black man with a harmonica is ignorant. He might've been referring to a common stereotype at the time(late 80's).

- Michael Jackson Lyrics

We're Almost There

"We're Almost There topped out at #54 for Michael Jackson from his last official LP with them-Forever, Michael.

 We start the A-side off on some Soul. With a little Ballad mingled in there. At this point, Michael transcends his style to a more Disco/Soul mantra.

- Michael Jackson Lyrics

J5 "Papa Was A Rolling Stone"

The original was sung and recorded by The Undisputed Truth(listen Here). It was later popularized by The Temptations and much later George Michael.

 In 1973, The Jackson Five recorded their own version which remains sealed in Motown's vaults to this day. Yet a few live editions do exist from Japan and The Jacksons Variety Show. Later Bill Wolf created his own version with Michael singing back-ups(listen Here).

Jackson 5 - Papa Was A Rolling Stone lyrics

It was the third of September
That day I'll always remember, yes I will
Cause that was the day my daddy died
I never got a chance to see him
Never heard nothin' but bad things about him
Mama, I'm depending on you to tell me the tuth
And Mama just hung her head and said, Son

Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died
All he left us was alone
Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died
All he left us was alone

Hey, Mama, is it true what they say
That Papa never…

Music And Me Single

The titled track and single to Michael Jackson's album Music And Me. How true are the words and the music. Ever since the tender age of five, Michael Jackson and music have always had a mutual connection with each other.
Very touching and nostalgic. Almost brought a tear to my eye.

- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Morning Glow

One of my favorite tracks from Music And Me. Michael basks in the beauty and splendor of the first gleams of dawn(known affectionately as "the break of dawn").

- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Johnny Raven

From the album Music And Me a crackling adolescent mid-tempo Soul-"Johnny Raven". Michael Jackson thinks he's that man-A famous boxer back in the day. And a darn good one at that!
The tune itself is splendid and reveals Jackson's very first voice crackles.

- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Michael Jackson "Doggin' Around"

Michael Jackson does a classic 50's Rockn' Roll rendition for his third solo album Music And Me.
Plates are turned on the other side. Michael reinterprets a tune from the 50's era-Jackie Wilson's "Doggin' Around" to be precise(listen Here). Quite possibly an inspiration for 1987's "Leave Me Alone".
How appropriate for Gordy to give this golden nugget to Little Michael!

You better stop
Your doggin' around
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
'Cause if you don't stop
I'm gonna have to put you down

I can't take it much longer
My heart's getting weak
It's not getting any stronger
You keep me so upset
My head's in a whirl
But if you wanna be, yeah
Be my girl

You better stop
Your doggin' around
You know what I'm talkin' about
Yeah, yeah, yeah
If you don't stop
I'm gonna have to put you down
Baby, yes I do, yes I do
Gonna, gonna put you down
You're doggin' me (repeat)
I'm gonna have to put you down

Yes you do, you…

Michael Jackson "Too Young"

From his album Music And Me, Michael Jackson delivers another timeless classic! "Too Young"-Originally sung by Nat King Cole(listen over Here) and again covered by numerous artists. I love Michael's buoyant voice and the chorus is splendid! I'd say both did a superb job!
I think Singers And Standards perfectly match Michael in his prepubescent years.

- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Michael Jackson-Happy

Michael Jackson's single "Happy" was only promoted in Australia. All part of promoting his third solo album Music And Me. The song is a theme on the film "Lady Sings The Blues".

 His heart was definitely in this! I just love how Michael uses word-play(Happy is, Sad is) to convey a message.

- Michael Jackson Lyrics

MJ Cover "With A Child's Heart"

From the Motown record Music and Me comes a soliloquy rendition on which Michael Jackson surly captures the innocence, free-reign ecstasy found on "With A Child's Heart".

 Taken from Stevie Wonder's 1966 back-side to "Nothing's too Good For My Baby"(from his album "Uptight, Plain Outta Sight"). Given a choice between the two, I'd surly pick Michael's. However, I still give credit to Wonder as the first(listen to it right Here).

- Michael Jackson Lyrics