Members: Sigmund “Jackie” Jackson, Toriano “Tito” Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Michael Jackson & Steven “Randy” Jackson.
Years active: 1965-1989, 2001, 2012-present.
Genres: Pop, R&B, Soul, Funk, Disco & Bubblegum Pop.
Labels: Steeltown, Motown, Philadelphia International Records, Epic & CBS.
The Jacksons is one of the most important musical families in history. We know the rundown of their humble beginnings to stardom so I won’t go too into detail, but we are totally here to talk about their music!
The Jacksons’ contributions to music has always been appreciated in the world of R&B & hip hop!
Albums Released: Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5.
Before signing to Motown, the group was signed to Steeltown Records, & released two records.
The group’s debut album on the Motown label suggested that Diana Ross discovered the group, but had only introduced them to the popular music markets.
It has been stated that Gladys Knight & Bobby Taylor are the people who had a helping hand in helping Motown realize that The Jackson 5 were worth it….Berry Gordy wasn’t interested in signing another kid act after Stevie Wonder.
The group’s national debut single “I Want You Back” was the only single from the record rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 & the Billboard R&B charts.
Albums Released: ABC, Third Album, Jackson 5 Christmas Album, Maybe Tomorrow, Lookin’ Through the Windows, Skywriter, G.I.T.: Get It Together, Dancing Machine, Moving Violation, The Jacksons, Goin’ Places & Destiny.
The Corporation (Berry Gordy, Fonce Mizell, Freddie Perren & Deke Richards) was a songwriting and production team exclusively created for the Jackson 5 to give them the hits they truly deserved since the earlier session weren’t to Berry’s liking. Under the guidance of The Corporation, the group released two more number one singles like “ABC” & “The Love You Save.”
The group’s fourth number one single “I’ll Be There” made them the first act to have their first four singles reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, which no one touched until Mariah Carey..who ironically covered I’ll Be There in 1992.
The Jackson 5 was a huge phenomenon during those days and became a huge marketing focus for Motown, especially with the group’s young fan base. Michael & Jermaine’s solo careers also kicked off during the early 70s.
As the world turned to adore Disco, the group’s biggest disco record at Motown was “Dancing Machine.” It never gets old!
The boys father Joe Jackson was eventually fed up with the label’s effort in providing hit records for the group since their follow up albums and singles weren’t as successful as their first four albums. By 1975, the group announced that they would be departing from Motown because of the lack of creative control and royalties.
Their final album Moving Violation featured a song called “All I Do Is Think of You,” which became a cult favorite and was covered by the new jack swing/R&B group Troop. Their cover became a number one hit on the charts!
The group decided to sign with Epic/CBS Records, with Jermaine deciding to remain with Motown following his marriage to Gordy’s daughter Hazel. Motown sued the group for breach of contract, but allowed them to record for Epic as long as they changed their name since the owned the name. The group renamed themselves The Jacksons.
The Jacksons released their self titled debut album in November of 1976 under the CBS subsidiary Epic Records & Philadelphia International Records.
With the PIR label heads Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff being executive producers to the album, the group entered the world of Philly Soul & Quiet storm. The album contained their first top ten hit in two years “Enjoy Yourself,” but finding their sound as a young adult band was very hard.
Nevertheless, the group was able to record their own material and gave us classics like Show You The Way To Go & Good Times.
The group’s 1978 Destiny album was a commercial success, selling over four million records worldwide. Their label allowed them full artistic control and the album re-established them as a top-selling group.
Albums Released: Triumph, Victory & 2300 Jackson Street.
The group’s fourteenth studio album Triumph is one of my favorite albums! My boys got down.
Michael’s solo career propelled to newer heights after the releases of 1979’s Off The Wall & 1982’s Thriller. Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, & broke racial barriers in pop music.
The group’s final album with Michael as the lead singer was 1984’s Victory. Also, it featured all six brothers recording, & sold over 7 million records worldwide.
The group’s final studio album 2300 Jackson Street featured the entire family (excluding La Toya) on the title track. The group disbanded after this release in 1989.
The Jacksons will go down in history as one of the most powerful families in the world of music. Their music has gone down generations, and rightfully so..cause quality always wins. We miss Michael, but their legacy continues to live on through the surviving brothers. -MJ.