don't blame it on the sunshine, don't blame it on the moonlight, don't blame it on the good times...blame it on the boogie
I know it might be a bold statement, but I think I'd consider the Jackson 5 to be the greatest pop group of all time. In terms of what pop music is generally considered to be, nobody does it like them.
On top of their musical talents, they were extremely snappy dressers. When shopping for menswear for my online vintage store, I often ask myself, "Would the Jackson 5 wear this?" If not, no dice.
So, without further ado, I bring you
My Top 5 Favourite Jackson 5 Songs:
1. "The Love You Save"
Everybody knows I'm a very loyal Michael Jackson fan, but what makes a lot of Jackson 5 songs for me is Jermaine. I love his voice and it can feel like a cool drink of water after the scorching(ly awesome) sun that is Michael's more high-pitched voice. They go together beautifully. Jermaine really steals the show around the 2 minute mark, and then again at 2:43.
It took me literally about 4 years to understand what they meant by "Stop, the love you save may be your own", until somebody finally explained to me that it was a play on a seatbelt campaign of the time that used the slogan, "Stop, the life you save may be your own." Ahh....gotcha.
When I first heard George Clinton had written a song for the Jackson 5, I was a little bit frightened. It was too good to be true...how could so many forces of excellence bind together without diminishing in awesomeness. Once again, I played the fool: I always forget that, in the immortal words of T-Pain, "Greatness plus greatness equals great greatness", and that "too much of a good thing" is a myth. Both the Jackson 5 version and the Funkadelic version are fantastic, but as a long time Jackson family, uh, interest-taker, it was fun to hear all the boys take their turns on lead vocals.
And, it must be pointed out, once again, Jermaine's voice is like a beautiful ray of sunshine through a cloudy day.
Okay, I know technically this is The Jacksons, but I love this song so much I had to throw it on here. One of the best dancing songs I've ever heard, it also features a more mature-sounding Michael...1978 to be exact, so he was 20.
Plus anybody who knows anything about MJ's personal life knows that it's ironic for him to be complaining that his girlfriend is "always dancing/and it wouldn't be a bad thing/but I don't get no lovin'/And that's no lie".
Still, you can hardly blame the girl with a bassline like this.
4. "The Life of the Party"
Another late-era Jackson 5, this ridiculously fun track is, as promised, an excellent party track. I always end up liking disco a lot more than I think I do, and I've been dancing around my kitchen to this one on a daily basis the past month. This one also reinforces my theory that Michael Jackson is the best ad-libber to ever live, though I gotta admit, it's weird hearing him call a girl a "sexy mama" - we all know MJ ain't like that.
And, as usual, Jermaine adds a lot with his more gospel-style voice.
5. "I Want You Back"
Ha, you thought you were gonna make it through the list without "I Want You Back" didn't you? No such luck...I know I've been bestowing superlatives on the Jacksons left and right, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't suspect that this song might be the greatest pop song of all time. Top 5, at least. My only complaint?
Not enough Jermaine.
(Click on the link to hear the songs in their entirety)