Saturday, August 31, 2013

Jackson 5 Lookin' Through the Window 1972 Live TOTP

It's been a looooong time comin' and we'll take whatever we can get!!! I really like this one!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Snapshot of History

732toni recently bought a bunch of Joe Jackson's stuff in an auction, and is now re-selling it all, piece by piece, on eBay. The most interesting piece in the bunch so far is this old -- really old -- family snapshot of the Jackson 5 performing.

It can be yours for $1,149.00 (plus $40 postage -- go figure). I don't feel a need to own it, but I do feel a need to look at it and discuss it here. (View the slightly larger and enhanced quality version from MJPhotosCollectors below)

I have never seen this photo before, but I have seen others where they are wearing these same stage costumes and are about the same size. They wore these outfits for the Roosevelt High School Talent Show in Gary:

I don't know if anyone has ever been able to track down the exact date of that legendary talent show, but one of the things that is most interesting about Joe's snapshot is that it actually has a date on the photo's edge: FEB 1966. Since I was around back then, I know that the dates like this on photos were not necessarily the date the photo was taken but rather, the date it was developed. So this photo might have been taken earlier than February of 1966, but it wouldn't have been taken any later than that. (Some families waited for months to get photos developed because you didn't take your pictures in to the shop until all the photos on the roll of 12 or 24 or 36 were used up. That's why all my family's Christmas photos were usually dated April of the following year and included photos from my brother's birthday, my birthday, and Easter.)

The Jackson 5 performing at Roosevelt High School with Michael at the right on bongo drums
I would guess the snapshot was taken after the talent show because Jermaine didn't have a bass yet when they performed at Roosevelt High. In fact, he was the group's lead singer and Michael was part of the group's percussion section that included Marlon on tambourine and Michael on bongo drums.  In the first  snapshot, Michael and Jermaine look like they were sharing vocals, but we'll never know if they were harmonizing or if one was singing lead and the other was singing backing vocals. What we do know is that Michael had moved up from being the group's bongo player.

Other than the date, the next best thing about this photo is that it's in color. Who knew that their cummerbunds were pink? 

The snapshot doesn't offer any real clues about where this performance is taking place. It doesn't look like a nightclub or a school. The floor, walls, and recessed ceiling all look institutional, like this may have been a VFW Hall or some sort of similar venue. The wall behind them looks like it has a sliding plywood panel of some sort or a portable backdrop. I am perplexed by the curtains, the long flowered drapes not quite covering some big turquoise-colored boxy thing. And there, right in the lower right corner, is what looks like an antique Louis XVI side table, sort of like this one  (which you can get on eBay right now for $975):

But on closer inspection, I think it might just be a regular old stand of some sort where the Jacksons have placed Michael's bongo drums.
I know the snapshot is a blurry and it's hard to tell, but a set of bongo drums certainly makes more sense than a Louis XVI table. And for J5 fans, it's a much more satisfying speculation -- even though Michael was starting to take on some vocals at this point, it's nice to know that he was still keeping the bongos handy. Just in case the singing thing didn't work out.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My review of Rare Pearls

I will always be thankful for any new material released on the J5! I'm a huge fan and love the impact these kids had on the world. Over the years, we've heard there were some 469 songs recorded w/ Motown. I hope that number is inaccurate...we want more, no doubt! However, I purchased the collection yesterday and have finished listening. I'm very confident my thoughts may change over time, in my opinion here's my analysis.

Disc 1
1. (We're The) Music Makers - No

2. If The Shoe Don't Fit – OK, good bounce

3. Come And Get It (Love's On The Fire) – No. A bit reminiscent of Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love”…there is a distinct guitar lick in the J5’s intro (:00 -:06) mark that can be found in Redbone just before the 1:07 mark. Redbone pay up!

4. I Got A Sure Thing – very mature selection for the 5ive, although Michael exudes a deep soul during the chorus. 

5. After You Leave Girl – this track reminds me of The Four Tops, “Wish I Didn’t Love You So” from their Now LP

6. Mama Told Me Not To Come – funny, a true experiment. 

7. Iddinit – clever track, like the horns. Potential b-side.

8. Since I Lost My Baby – nice piece of work. Jermaine’s husky soul in the early years is priceless.

9. Keep An Eye – good exchange between MJ and Jermaine, not much else to go on.

10. Movin' – goin’ nowhere.

11. Feelin' Alright studio version- a highlight for me. Excellent cover. Would’ve been a great add to the ABC lp.

12. You Better Watch Out – not much here, lacks punch. 

13. I'm Your Sunny One (He's My Sunny Boy) – MJ rides the rhythm on this one! Another track that should’ve made an LP.

14. Someone's Standing In My Love Light – MJ and his mimic of Levi Stubbs, a “7 Rooms of Gloom” feel. Not bad, I like it.

Disc 2
1. If You Want Heaven – I like this one, wish they would’ve not cut the fade so soon. The Four Tops “Same ‘Ol Song”.

2. You Can't Hurry Love – not sure where this one fits.

3. Keep Off The Grass – cute lyrics, not much else. 

4. Going My Way – Jermaine takes charge on this one, voice is more mature. Possibly a nice add to his solo LP or the Lookin’ Through The Windows LP.

5. Makin' Life A Little Easier For You – a good hand clappin’ track.

6. Up On The Roof – A happy-go-lucky type of track. 

7. If I Can't Nobody Can – Another highlight for me. 1972…? Hmm…MJ’s voice sounds like ’73 era. Would’ve been a great lead single from the Skywriter LP.

8. Our Love – doesn’t grab me, however could’ve been a filler on Jermaine’s self-titled LP in ’72. 

9. I Can't Get Enough Of You – a great foot stomper.

10. Cupid – a no brainer Valentine’s Day release. Joyful Jukebox Music.

11. Let's Go Back To Day One – I don’t know, I feel like Jermaine should’ve sung this one.

12. Would Ya Would Ya Baby – clever, could’ve been a great song in concert. Soul clap!

13. Love Trip – I’m waiting for Michael to say “Euphoria” on this one. Very mellow and dreamy track.

14. Label Me Love – I actually LOVE this one! Should’ve been released on Skywriter or re-recorded in late ’74, early ’75 for MJ’s Forever, Michael LP.

15. Jumbo Sam – Was there indecision between this one and The Boogie Man?

Bonus Tracks
16. That's How Love Is original complete version – this one will have to grow on me.

17. If I Have To Move A Mountain original complete version –Very nice, either one could’ve been on the LTTW LP.

18. Mama's Pearl demo ("Guess Who's Making Whoopee") – the beat alone is killer!!!