The Jackson 5 are an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana. Formed in 1964 under the name the Jackson Brothers, the founding members were Jackie, Tito and Jermaine. Marlon and Michael would later join, and the band's name would be changed to The Jackson 5. After participating in talent shows and the chitlin' circuit, they entered the professional music scene in 1967 as The Jackson Five, signing with Steeltown Records and releasing two singles. In 1969, they left Steeltown Records in order to sign with Motown. They were among the first groups of black American performers to attain a crossover following. ... N'joy
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The Jackson 5 were one of the biggest phenomenons in pop music during the early '70s, and the last great group to come out of the Motown hitmaking machine before Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder shifted the label's focus to more individual visions. The Jackson 5's infectious brand of funky pop-soul was a definite departure from the typically smooth, elegant Motown sound, as befitting the group's youth and the dawn of a new decade. That youth, coupled with the merchandising juggernaut that sprang up behind them, inevitably got them tagged a bubblegum group. But they were far more talented musically than that label would suggest, especially lead singer Michael, and their material, while sunny and upbeat, didn't pander to its audience. Solo careers and overexposure gradually weakened The Jackson 5, but their best music still holds up surprisingly well as some of the most vibrant mainstream pop/R&B of its era.
Originally, The Jackson 5 were composed of brothers Jackie (born Sigmund Jackson, May 4, 1951), Tito (guitar, born Toriano Jackson, October 15, 1953), Jermaine (bass, lead vocals, born December 11, 1954), Marlon (born March 12, 1957), and Michael (lead vocals, born August 29, 1958). By all accounts, the Jackson family's upbringing in Gary, IN, was strict; their mother Katherine was a devout Jehovah's Witness, and their father Joe was a stern, temperamental disciplinarian. Allowed few outside interests, the boys gravitated to music, which was in their blood -- prior to his job as a crane operator for a steel company, Joe had played guitar in an R&B group called the Falcons (not the same group that launched Wilson Pickett's career). One night, Joe discovered that Jackie, Tito, and Jermaine had been playing his treasured old guitar without permission; though initially furious, he quickly discovered that his sons had genuine talent, and began to conceive of a family singing group that might eventually get them out of their tough working-class life in Gary. The eldest three sons began performing around the area together in 1962, teamed with two cousins (Johnny Jackson and Ronnie Rancifer), who were replaced by Marlon and five-year-old Michael. Supervised by Joe, who became their manager and began working only part-time, the group practiced and rehearsed often, and improved as dancers, singers, and instrumentalists at a rapid rate. In particular, Michael proved himself a dynamic performer, soon replacing Jermaine as the featured lead vocalist, and establishing himself as a nimble dancer able to mimic talents like James Brown. At first, the group was known as Ripples & Waves Plus Michael, then the Jackson Brothers, and finally The Jackson 5.
In 1966, The Jackson 5 won an important local talent competition with a Michael-led rendition of the Temptations' "My Girl." Their father, who had been chauffeuring them to out-of-state performances, also booked their first paid professional gigs that year. In 1967, the group won an amateur talent competition at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater, where they earned an influential fan in Gladys Knight (probably the first person to recommend the group to Motown). At the end of the year, The Jackson 5 made their first studio recordings for the small Gary-based Steeltown label, and their single "Big Boy" became something of a local hit. Championed again to Motown by Bobby Taylor, a member of the Vancouvers who'd seen the group in Chicago, and Diana Ross, The Jackson 5 finally got a chance to audition for the label in the summer of 1968. Desperately needing new blood, an impressed Berry Gordy signed the group and flew them out to his new headquarters in Los Angeles, where he and his assistants groomed them to be the label's next breakout stars. Having lost his famed Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team, Gordy formed a new partnership with Freddie Perren, Fonce Mizell, and Deke Richards dubbed the Corporation, which set about crafting material for the group.
In August 1969, shortly before Michael turned 11, The Jackson 5 opened for Diana Ross at the L.A. Forum, and in December, they issued their debut album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5. On October 7, 1969, The Jackson 5 released their first single, "I Want You Back," a Corporation composition that had originally been intended for Gladys Knight. It was an instant smash, hitting number one on both the pop and R&B charts. So did their next two singles, "ABC" and "The Love You Save" (both from their second album, ABC), which solidified the group's so-called bubblegum-soul sound and certified them as pop sensations. Third Album was released before year's end, spawning the hit ballad "I'll Be There," which not only proved that the group (and lead singer Michael) were more mature and versatile than their bright, bouncy initial singles let on, but also made them the first group in pop history to have their first four singles hit number one. It also became the best-selling single in Motown history, spending a stellar five weeks at number one. And it had still been less than a year since the group's national debut.
A virtual Jackson 5 cottage industry sprang up in the wake of their success, producing everything from dolls to a cartoon show on -- what else? -- the ABC network (during the summer of 1971). Younger and younger listeners were brought into the fold, adding to an already broad appeal that transcended color lines, and the record label that once billed itself as "the Sound of Young America" could once again lay legitimate claim to the title. Meanwhile, following their four straight number ones, The Jackson 5 opened 1971 with a pair of number two hits, "Mama's Pearl" and the ballad "Never Can Say Goodbye"; "Maybe Tomorrow" was their first single not to make the pop Top Ten, though it still reached the R&B Top Five. That year, Motown executives began grooming Michael and Jermaine for solo careers that would run concurrently with The Jackson 5. Michael was the first to debut on his own (toward the end of 1971), and was an instant success; his first two singles, "Got to Be There" and "Rockin' Robin," both made the Top Five, and later in 1972 he scored his first pop number one with "Ben." Jermaine debuted at the end of 1972, and his first single, "Daddy's Home," reached the Top Ten, though the follow-ups didn't sustain the momentum as well as Michael.
In the meantime, the fantastically hyped Jackson 5 craze was beginning to cool down. Their prolific LP release schedule slowed a bit, and while their singles continued to perform reliably well on the R&B charts, they were no longer a sure-fire bet for the pop Top Ten. After a relatively lengthy drought, The Jackson 5 scored what would be their last major smash for Motown, the 1974 number two hit "Dancing Machine," a nod to the emerging sound of disco (it also topped the R&B charts). The group's frustrations with Motown had been building -- not only did the label seem less interested in their career, but they still refused to allow the Jacksons to write or choose their own material, or play their own instruments on their records. Finally, in early 1976, they left Motown to sign with Epic. When the legal battles finally ended, Motown won a breach-of-contract settlement and retained rights to the Jackson 5 name, forcing the group to become the Jacksons. They also lost Jermaine, whose marriage to Berry Gordy's daughter Hazel made it extremely impractical for him to join his brothers. He was replaced by younger brother Randy (born Steven Randall Jackson, October 29, 1961), who had been appearing (unofficially) with the group as a percussionist for some time.
In 1997, The Jackson 5 were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
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Ever the savvy multimedia imprint, Motown Records prepared this long-player to coincide with the Jackson 5's hourlong Goin' Back to Indiana prime time ABC-TV special in September of 1971. With the exception of a few skits -- featuring the likes of Bobby Darin as a used car salesman and Diana Ross, who is credited simply as "the Pregnant Lady" -- the album includes some of the less visually dependent material. The first half of the program was a buildup to the "homecoming" concert. That Gary, IN, performance was held on May 29, 1971, and highlights were excerpted in the final portion of the television show. The long-player replicates that concept, with side one boasting guest shots from Bill Cosby as roving reporter Scoopp Newsworthy and Tommy Smothers as "the Crimson Ghost," an adversary for Tito Jackson's race-car fantasy sequence. Perhaps most impressive is the all-star basketball "dream team" with Elgin Baylor, Ben Davison, Elvin Hayes, and Bill Russell. The latter can be heard during the recitation of "The Day Basketball Was Saved" as the NBA legends go head to head with the Jacksons. Although not documented in front of an audience, the "rehearsal" versions of "I Want You Back" and "Maybe Tomorrow" sport fresh lead vocals over the top of the familiar instrumental backing. Every one of the live cuts crackles with practically palpable energy, especially the covers of Sly & the Family Stone's "Stand!," the reworking of Dave Mason's "Feelin' Alright," and the piledriving title track, "Goin' Back to Indiana."
Jackson 5 - Goin' Back To Indiana (flac 237mb)
01 (Bill Cosby - Tommy Smothers Intro) - I Want You Back 4:14
02 Maybe Tomorrow 4:15
03 The Day Basketball Was Saved 7:59
04 Stand 4:15
05 I Want To Take You Higher 2:13
06 Feelin' Alright 4:12
07 Medley: Walk On / The Love You Save 4:59
08 Goin' Back To Indiana 4:44
Jackson 5 - Goin' Back To Indiana (ogg 81mb)
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A new phase in the Jackson Five's career began with Lookin' Through the Windows (1972), the quintet's seventh release since 1969. The album came out in the wake of the stop-gap Goin' Back to Indiana (1971) from the Jackson 5's hour-long ABC-TV network special of the same name. Their previous studio outing Maybe Tomorrow (1971) had proven to be the last created under the primary direction of Bobby Taylor, Deke Richards (guitar), Freddie Perren (keyboard), Fonce Mizell (keyboards) and Motown co-founder Berry Gordy, who were collectively credited as the Corporation. So this effort is padded with a few scraps from their tenure, such as the breezy "To Know," sounding like a mixture of Stevie Wonder and the Philly soul stylings of the O'Jays -- as well as the charming but unremarkable "If I Have to Move a Mountain"." The highlight from that cache is the funky "Don't Let Your Baby Catch You," bearing a propulsive groove would have effortlessly translated to Michael Jackson's post-Motown career. The LP spawned two R&B/pop crossovers. The first, an update of Thurston Harris' "Little Bitty Pretty One" features several different Jacksons on lead with an arrangement that immediately recalls Michael's solo cover of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin." Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, Michael's 45 climbed to the number two pop position less than a month before the Jackson Five landed in the Top 15 with their remake. While on the subject of outsourced musical influences, the introductory orchestration to the Clifton Davis-penned title track indicates an undeniable and pronounced nod to Isaac Hayes' "(Theme From) Shaft." They also commit a bouncy interpretation of Jackson Browne's "Doctor My Eyes." Meanwhile, the combo had to look no further than the copious Motown back catalog for their impressive opener, "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" -- a selection initially brought to significance by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell some four years earlier.
Jackson 5 - Lookin' Through The Windows (flac 268mb)
01 Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing 2:29
02 Lookin' Through The Windows 3:41
03 Don't Let Your Baby Catch You 3:15
04 To Know 3:24
05 Doctor My Eyes 3:16
06 Little Bitty Pretty One 2:50
07 E-Ne-Me-Ne-Mi-Ne-Moe (The Choice Is Yours To Pull) 2:51
08 If I Have To Move A Mountain 3:21
09 Don't Want To See Tomorrow 2:46
10 Children Of The Light 2:29
11 I Can Only Give You Love 2:47
12 Love Song 3:27
13 Who's Lovin' You (Live) 5:34
Jackson 5 - Lookin' Through The Windows (ogg 98mb)
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The Jackson 5 slipped a bit with this album, although they still had two pop and R&B hits. But it wasn't anywhere near as dominant or popular an album as their earlier ones and wound up being one of their final three releases for Motown. They later did some recording with Stevie Wonder, Michael cut some solo material, and everyone except Jermaine headed for Columbia.
The Jackson 5 - Skywriter (flac 197mb)
01 Skywriter 3:11
02 Hallelujah Day 2:50
03 The Boogie Man 2:58
04 Touch 3:01
05 Corner Of The Sky 3:31
06 I Can't Quit Your Love 3:16
07 Uppermost 2:29
08 World Of Sunshine 2:47
09 Ooh, I'd Love To Be With You 2:50
10 You Made Me What I Am 3:00
The Jackson 5 - Skywriter (ogg 70mb)
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Available outside North America since the mid-'70s, In Japan! makes its debut thanks to the audio archivists at Hip-O Select. The online sonic shop went as far as re-creating the original gatefold album jacket -- in miniature of course -- and a 16-panel fold-out replicating the Japanese insert. Still known as the Jackson 5, Marlon, Tito, Randy, Jackie and Michael took to the stage of Osaka's Koseinenkin Hall in support of their most recent release Skywriter (1973) -- yet the extracts from the show on this title are filled primarily with familiar tunes not only from the quintet's sizable songbook of hits, but also selections gleaned from Michael Jackson's and Jermaine Jackson's respective solo catalogs. In fact, both brothers come out stronger than the collective ensemble with Michael performing "I Want to Be Where You Are," "Got to Be There" and "Ben," while Jermaine provides persuasive renderings of his early platters "That's How Love Goes," as well as covers of Shep & the Limelites' "Daddy's Home" and Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar." The show kicks off with sturdy, though unremarkable stabs at the Rare Earth side "We're Gonna Have a Good Time," followed by a half-hearted "Lookin' Through the Windows". It doesn't take long before they are able to turn the beat around on the inspired interpretation of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition," which many may find worth the price of admission in and of itself. They similarly barrel into a propelling and hearty spin of the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," commencing with an eerily portentous siren during the prelude. Even as the version of "Never Can Say Goodbye" is among this set's zeniths, it is likewise the sole entry from the Jackson 5's extraordinary run of best-selling and chart-topping R&B/pop crossover smashes. Those omissions are not entirely unexpected, as they had come a great distance from the catchy bubblegum of "ABC," "I Want You Back," and "The Love You Save," maturing into decidedly more demanding roles within the band -- especially Jermaine and Michael, whose respective stars would continue their ascent during the ensuing decades.
Jackson 5 - In Japan ! (flac 325mb)
01 Introduction / We're Gonna Have A Good Time 3:40
02 Lookin' Through The Windows 3:53
03 Got To Be There 3:44
04 I Want You Back / ABC / The Love You Save 2:59
05 Daddy's Home 5:23
06 Superstition 3:17
07 Ben 2:54
08 Papa Was A Rollin' Stone 4:00
09 That's How Love Goes 4:46
10 Never Can Say Goodbye 2:21
11 Ain't That Peculiar 5:28
12 I Wanna Be Where You Are 6:32
Jackson 5 - In Japan ! (ogg 127mb)
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