Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5: The Motown Years (Motown/Universal)

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The Jackson 5: I Am Love (Parts 1 and 2)
Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5: The Motown Years (Motown/Universal)

Presumably scheduled for the Motown 50th anniversary rather than Recent Events, this three-disc collection soaks up 32 tracks of Michael Jackson with the 5, and on the third disc 16 outings under his own name.

Aside from it being a typically cheap product in its packaging etc (no liner notes), this is a fair-enough overview but serves to remind of two things: what a precocious talent Jackson was, and how he was often obliged to sing material that was lyrically far too mature for him. Which may explain why Ben, sung to a rat, was his most popular song from this era. A kid singing Forever Came Today and so on just doesn't quite sound convincing.

Great pre-disco soul-dance and ballads for the most part however (the more rock tracks are a bit suss), although there is a very good case to be made that the Jackson 5 (which had Michael as a kind of in-house guest) really hit their peak when they left Motown, became simply The Jacksons and delivered the Destiny, Triumph and Victory albums for Sony from the close of the Seventies to the mid-Eighties.

But that, for the moment, is an unaddressed part of their career which now seems predicated on the legacy of their late brother and how much can by milked from that source. 

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jess hoani - Aug 3, 2009

michael jackson is the best dancer ever its dum now hes gone he waz the man i miss him so much i wish he was still alive he looks so cute as a young boy he waz my idol love you michael jackson

Gavin Hancock - Dec 13, 2011

Two discs more of Jackson 5/Motown Michael than even dedicated fans would need. Just grab the double disc "The Very Best Of The Jacksons" (the one with the white, black and red cover) and you're set...it covers the Jackson 5/Jacksons from go to whoa plus has Michael's solo Motown hits.

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