Friday, May 08, 2009

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.

2. "I'll Bet You"
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 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.

3. "Blame It On the Boogie"
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)


this wheel's on fire said...

good choices!! loving these lists. keep 'em coming!

Keith said...

Hey Molly. It's been great seeing so many posts from you. I love the Jackson 5. They have so many pop classics.

Dooder City said...

love blame it on the boogie...tonight i listened to on one of my mixes 'never can say goodbye'

Eddie said...

I remember listening to the Jackson 5 when I was a child. Although I was still a bit young, my sister used to dance to their music by bobbing up and down to the rhythm.

I can't help but stare at little Michael's face and wonder what ever happened to that little boy to become so disturbed and self-deprecating. It's all good though, I still care for Michael.

I leave you with a tasteless joke that I can't help but chuckle about when I hear it...

Why was Michael Jackson caught wandering around the local Walmart?

He heard that they had boys pants half off...

(chuckle chuckle)

copperoranges said...

i love the phrase "no dice."

okay .. thinking .. i want to know your top 5 ... elvis songs? lol. i'm not even sure if you like elvis!

definitely keep the top 5 coming! you're like a late night dj pullin' the smooooooth and classic b-sides and rarities.

Twobreadsplease said...

Jackson 5 were sooo good. x

Mimi said...

LOVE the Jackson 5, how can anyone NOT like 'em? So catchy you cant help but sing along


Mimi said...

P. S. Maybe a Stevie Wonder next, its hard though I love so many of his songs!

Eyeliah @ said...

Ack, I don't know how I could pick my five faves for anything. Loving these lists!

Sadako said...

Also loved this list! Jackson 5 were awesome.

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

sorry to trash your comments. Yeah, I am SO not a Jessica Biel fan - but she's got some seriously long legs and the striptease is perdy awesome ... love the one where she splashs hot wax. And Whitaker is AWESOME!!! Just watched Ghost Dog: the way of the samurai


These are great choices! I would add "One More Chance" & "Who's Loving You". There was something very special about The Jackson 5 as a group. Loved the brothers harmonies, individual vocal riffs, and interplay musically between Michael & Jermaine!
My favorite photo of the group is that Ebony Sept. 1970 cover! I must have bought at least 3 copies of that issue when it originally came out in August of that year!

Bill said...

Hi Molly,
I got here from a search for that phrase, "Stop, The life you save may be your own." I think it from a safe driving campaign having to do with stopping on yellow traffic lights rather than seatbelts but I really don't remember. I like the Jackson 5, especially "Rockin' Robin." I'm not much into Funk but I love 60s rock like the Doors and Jefferson Airplane. I have a tiny Garage Rock label,, drop by sometime, you may like the music we have there!