Posts tagged with ‘Jackie Jermaine

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“Lookin’ Through The Windows (Live at the Forum)” – Jackson 5

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

Today’s Forum story:

 “Ben” was the Jackson story of summer 1972 – for a solo Michael. Jermaine also had his solo debut, with “That’s The Way Love Goes,” taken from his self-titled LP, which was promoted ahead of the group and Michael on Soul Train in October. (Look for the clip – check the huge sign hanging over the bandstand.) The “other” single was this one, released June 23, 1972, and, while seemingly forgotten now, it was a top 5 Soul chart and top 20 Pop chart hit. The J5 performed “Windows” on TV in July, then again about two weeks after the Forum show they appeared on the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.

 Clifton Davis, who had previously delivered “Never Can Say Goodbye,” wrote “Windows.” The original recording had an unusual arrangement – complete with a percussive riff subconsciously lifted from Isaac Hayes’ “Shaft” that the J5 rhythm section had no trouble recreating onstage. The brothers also brilliantly handled the sophisticated vocal arrangement laid out on the original by John Bahler. John and his brother Tom, who later wrote MJ’s “She’s Out Of My Life,” often helped out with vocal arrangements in the group’s latter Motown days.

 Suzee Ikeda, A&R assistant to producer Hal Davis, remembered how Michael, Jermaine, Marlon, Tito and Jackie enjoyed recording the studio vocals, even cutting the lead and backgrounds in the same afternoon. “They were so happy and inspired, they finished it in one of the fastest vocal sessions I can recall,” she said.

Friday: MJ does JB

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"Ben (Live at the Forum)" - Michael Jackson (J5)

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

Today’s Forum story:

  By the late August 1972 show at the L.A. Forum, Michael Jackson had three solo hits, all taken from his debut LP: “Got To Be There,” “Rockin’ Robin” and “I Wanna Be Where You Are,” which MJ announced at the show as “released as a single right now,” although by then it was on its way down the charts. The hot new Jackson family record at the time was “Ben,” the theme song to a movie about a rat and the title track to Michael’s second solo album.

 “Ben” in every way it should not have worked. But Michael made it work; his sincerity and soul permeated the record - a testament to his instincts and art.

 Then there is this live version from the Forum. The first half has no background vocals – and this being a J5 show from early in the decade, no strings, horns or video screens, either. Just MJ backed by the sparest arrangement and, except for the occasional scream (“Sing It, Michael!”), a hushed crowd. Bared, Michael is tentative at first, then more confident, and by the time his brothers join him in harmony, you just may forget about the studio version.

Wednesday: ‘Look’ for the other J5 single from summer ’72