409 plays

J5funk

“It’s Your Thing (Live at the Forum)” – Jackson 5

Excerpt from Live at the Forum – Disc 1 (1970)

Today’s Forum Story:

 In 1970, with Jacksonmania exploding, the group had to tour, although the need to get out on the road overwhelmed the actual material available to perform – by the spring of 1970 the J5 had, what, two albums? So their set list, highlighted by already classic hits, was filled out with not just album tracks but quite a few cover tunes they hadn’t released themselves, including this one, a No. 1 smash by the Isley Brothers from the year before. The clip starts just after the first bit of stage dialogue, where MJ has been cracking on the musicians. (That’s Marlon with Michael.)

 The Isley’s original version had peaked in April-May 1969. That is just about the time the J5 were beginning their first recording dates at Motown Records, in Detroit, at Studio A, under the watchful eye of their Motown tutor Bobby Taylor and with the Funk Brothers backing them up.  (“It’s Your Thing,” coincidentally, was by all accounts a response to the restrictive atmosphere the Isleys felt they were under while signed to Motown.) The song became part of the J5’s repertoire, a showcase for Michael and Marlon to dance and jive on stage; they were seen performing the song in August ’69 during the (rarely) televised Miss Black America pageant.

 Bobby Taylor, seemingly ousted from the group’s production team by that time, returned to an L.A. studio in Feb. 1970 to produce a studio version of “It’s Your Thing” – a super funky cut that, despite being in the Jackson 5’s stage show for a while, stayed in the vault for 25 years. And this live version is being heard for the first time in 40 years!

Tomorrow: MJ channels Bill Withers in a stunning moment from the album

589 plays

"I’ll Be There (Live at the Forum)" - Jackson 5

Excerpt from Live at the Forum - Disc 2 (1972)

THANK YOU, Michael.

465 plays

MJclowning

“ABC (Live at the Forum)” – Jackson 5

Excerpt from Live at the Forum – Disc 1 (1970)

 Today’s Forum story:

“ABC” had peaked at No. 1 about two months prior to the first Forum show.

Once again, MJ’s interplay with Jermaine is dynamite. Tito’s guitar lines, funky.

And just listen to that young man’s delight.

Not much more to say.

Tomorrow: “Just call my name…”

429 plays

“Mama’s Pearl (Live In Indiana)” – Jackson 5

Excerpt of bonus track from Live at the Forum – Disc 1

Today’s Forum story: 

 We’re taking you to the year between the two Forum shows, to May 29, 1971, when the Jackson 5 returned to Indiana to record a concert for use in their TV special. The group by then was too big to play Gary, their hometown, so the concert was staged at the Coliseum in Indianapolis. (Not the Market Square Arena, as printed online and in the CD booklet; the MSA wasn’t opened until ‘74.)

 And the show wasn’t exactly scheduled so the group could rehearse and savor the moment: it was sandwiched in-between gigs in Philadelphia and Oklahoma City.

 Motown used about half the live concert for the TV special’s soundtrack album; the other half consisted of skits and song rehearsals from the studio version of the special, which aired September 16th. The Jacksons’ mini-series from 1992 used “Who’s Lovin’ You” from the Indiana concert, but the producers overdubbed a new rhythm section; the original performance was added to the album’s CD reissue.

 Today’s clip is from another previously unheard track from the concert - the full version of “Mama’s Pearl,” which was added as a bonus track to Disc 1 since there was only a portion of the song in the Forum 1972 show medley.

  Extra stuff for fans – the original set list for the Indiana show. Tracks not in italics were not originally issued on the soundtrack:

Opening/Stand!-I Want To Take You Higher-I Want You Back-ABC-Feelin’ Alright-Who’s Lovin’ You-Mama’s Pearl-I Found That Girl [interrupted by surging fans]-Never Can Say Goodbye-Walk On-The Love You Save-Introduction/Goin’ Back To Indiana

(It’s possible “IWYB/ABC” was used for the mini-series as well, again with overdubbed bass & drums.)

Tomorrow: “A-B-C, one time in a row”

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We want to spread the word that Jackson 5 - Live at the Forum is available and “soooo good.”  HELP US GET ON THE DIRECTORY PAGE by recommending this blog for TUMBLR TUESDAY.

Here’s How:

1. Subscribe to Us

2. Click on THIS LINK

3. Select “Musicians”

4. Choose the “j5live” Blog

5. REBLOG this post so your friends can do the same.

THANK YOU!

389 plays

“Medley: I Want You Back/ABC/Mama’s Pearl (Live at the Forum)” – Jackson 5

Excerpt from Live at the Forum Disc 2 (1972)

Today’s Forum story:

It’s amazing to hear in both Forum shows that, after an opening number, the Jackson 5 slammed right into “I Want You Back.” Most groups had to hold back the big hit, but not the J5; with so many great songs there was no need – even in the 1970 show, when more than half of the set list was cover songs. They still had “ABC” and “The Love You Save” in their back pocket.

By ’72 they had to compress three hits into a medley, similar to the way they were doing the songs on TV, as heard on the Unreleased Masters collection. But for the Forum they swapped out “The Love You Save” – saving it for the finale again – for “Mama’s Pearl.” Both segments of the medley are highlighted today; love the interplay between MJ and Jermaine.

All these years later, the excitement is still right there.

Tomorrow: A healthy snippet of “Mama’s Pearl,” on its own, from Indiana.

501 plays

“Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin (Live at the Forum)” – Jackson 5

Excerpt from Live at  the Forum Disc 1 (1970)

Today’s Forum story:

 Motown star Diana Ross officially introduced the Jackson 5 to the press in August 1969, and presented them at the Forum on August 16, when the J5 opened for the Supremes – the photo above is from that show. She hosted the variety show Hollywood Palace when the J5 made their national TV debut in October. Her name headlined their debut album, on the eve of her heralded solo breakaway.

 J5 fans know that she didn’t “discover” the Jackson 5; Gladys Knight was the one who from the road called Motown first. But it was Bobby Taylor, a Motown songwriter and producer, and lead singer of the Vancouvers, who drove the brothers, the band and Papa Joe Jackson to Hitsville in the summer of 1968. More on him in another post.

 Miss Ross, however, surely helped launch the Jackson 5’s career in a big way. She was back at the Forum on June 20, 1970, this time as an honored guest in the crowd, sitting with Berry Gordy and Corporation™ team leader Deke Richards. In the intro to this song – another Sly & The Family Stone cover – Michael points out Diana in the crowd; this clip from later in the tune spotlights the beautiful Jackson family harmonies singing in tribute. (We also get that funky funky band. Check this track on the full disc for solos by Johnny, Ronnie, Jermaine and Tito, each called out by MJ, who does his best James Brown imitation.)

Tomorrow: A medley of hits from the ‘72 show.

555 plays

MJ1970

"The Love You Save (Live at the Forum)" - Jackson 5

Excerpt from Live at the Forum Disc 1 (1970)

Today’s Forum story:

40 years ago today… THIS WAS IT.

Saturday, June 20, 1970, the Jackson 5 were headlining the Forum in Inglewood, CA.

 They were the biggest band in the land. “The Love You Save,” their third single, was starting a six-week run at No. 1 on the R&B charts and was about to knock The Beatles’ “The Long And Winding Road” out of No. 1 Pop – just like “ABC” had bumped “Let It Be.” Forum emcee Rick Holmes made note of this in his introduction. (He didn’t quite get it right, but what would you do with 18,000+ screaming fans waiting for you to shut up?)

 Motown had taken its time with a J5 tour, building the anticipation to see them live. The group first appeared as Motown headliners in Philadelphia May 2. They didn’t perform on stage again until June 19, the night before the Forum, at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. They did The Ed Sullivan Show in-between, on May 10.

 For several chaotic minutes the Forum show had technical difficulties, which we’ll discuss in a future post, but once the brothers got in gear everyone went crazy - and this audio clip from near the end of the show is what it sounded like just before the crowd rushed forward, rows of chairs came crashing down and the J5 fled the stage.

 (Motown Trivia: Lionel Richie turned 21 on this day in 1970.)

Tomorrow: MJ acknowledges Diana Ross in the crowd


590 plays

J5@Forum1972

"Got To Be There (Live at the Forum)" - Michael Jackson (Jackson 5)

Excerpt from Live at the Forum Disc 2 (1972) 

Today’s Forum story:

 At the 1972 Forum show, Saturday night, August 26, 1972, Michael was three days from his 14th birthday. Motown had launched him as a solo artist the year before and he already had three hit singles on his own; by this concert "Ben" was the current release. He gets a significant solo spot in the show, made all the sweeter with his brothers’ harmonies backing him up on each song.

 This spectacular version of “Got To Be There” is one of six solo MJ songs on the album. Man, he gets up there strong. We’ll bring you more snippets from his solo set in the coming days.

 (On the disc, wait till you hear the band’s segue into Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend.” Tight!)

Tomorrow: Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the record-breaking Forum show.

495 plays

"Sugar Daddy (Live at the Forum)" - Jackson 5

Excerpt from Live at the Forum Disc 2 (1972)

Today’s Forum Story:

The Jackson 5 show at the Forum in 1970 – our Disc 1 – was a record-breaker for the arena, an eye-opener, a signal that Jacksonmania was real. At the time the guys had had three quick No. 1’s and a few album favorites, but by 1972 – our Disc 2 – the J5 were established stars with a boatload of hits.

One after the other those many hits flowed in the show, and today’s track is a juicy snippet of “Sugar Daddy”; it’s the first-ever live version of the song on record. Great arrangement of the track from their Greatest Hits album, bringing serious soul to the bubblegum, with MJ rockin’ the mic for all he’s worth.

A note about the Forum opening acts: In 1970, Ike & Tina Turner and Rare Earth were advertised as the other acts on the Forum bill, same as the previous show in San Francisco. But Ike & Tina didn’t make it and Jerry Butler filled in. The Undisputed Truth opened the bill in 1972, a fact inadvertently left out of the CD liner notes. Let’s take a moment to give that group some props and wish lead singer Joe Harris a Happy Birthday today.  

Saturday: Hear Michael solo, three days before he turned 14.

Sunday: The 40th anniversary of the 1970 show. 

(An NBA Finals-Jackson 5 Live connection: Elgin Baylor, a star forward for the L.A. Lakers, produced the J5’s 1970 Forum show; the concert was six weeks from the Lakers’ loss in that year’s NBA Finals. Back in ‘62 Baylor had scored 41 points in the first Lakers-Celtics Game 7, another losing effort. Baylor holds the NBA Finals single-game scoring record, 61 points, in that series’ Game 5.)