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View Full Version : Serious topic: Lil' MJ solo records in Motown (early solo years)



Timmy84
31-10-2007, 02:22 AM
Ok, for those that want an escape from Neverland leasing/comeback needing topics, I have to wonder about what you guys are thinking:

Over the years, I keep hearing some fans say that the first solo albums to be associated with Michael Jackson's name were "not" really "his solo albums" but much less "Jackson 5 albums with Michael's name in front of it".

It can be very easy to denounce it but in all honesty, Michael's debut as a soloist in late 1971 is the main reason why Mike got inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

And he's always influential from his teenage years work as he is from his adult work. But for those that don't think otherwise, why do you NOT think these albums represent Michael?

For those that don't know, this was the total of records Mike released while on the Motown label:

1972: Got to Be There
1972: Ben
1973: Music & Me
1975: Forever, Michael
1976: The Best of Michael Jackson
1981: One Day in Your Life (mixture of compilations and "newer" tracks)
1984: Farewell My Summer Love (look up before)

I still feel in some ways that Michael's solo Motown years have been overlooked because he didn't "put input" into it.

His work from 1971-75 can easily make him one of the greatest singers of all time (and this has nothing to do with "pop" and "R&B").

Anyway, talk amongst yourselves. ;)

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 02:26 AM
Also (I know I'm gonna get it but whatever) but I feel his Motown years showcased his influences more so and how he emulated them even before he became MICHAEL JACKSON, you can tell Michael was going places when he did songs within minutes of reading the lyric sheet like "One Day in Your Life" for example. That was a fascinating story that I read about it. :D

To be honest, I consider Michael the bastard child of Joe Tex, David Ruffin, Marvin Gaye, Mavis Staples, James Brown, Jackie Wilson and Sammy Davis all rolled up into one person.

DirrtyDiana69
31-10-2007, 02:39 AM
Also (I know I'm gonna get it but whatever) but I feel his Motown years showcased his influences more so and how he emulated them even before he became MICHAEL JACKSON, you can tell Michael was going places when he did songs within minutes of reading the lyric sheet like "One Day in Your Life" for example. That was a fascinating story that I read about it. :D

To be honest, I consider Michael the bastard child of Joe Tex, David Ruffin, Marvin Gaye, Mavis Staples, James Brown, Jackie Wilson and Sammy Davis all rolled up into one person.[/b]

Before MJ was The KOP, he was a soul man! If he had kept on singing soul/r&b I think he could have easily been hung alongside all those artists you mentioned. Michael recorded some great stuff before "Off The Wall" but those albums are often overlooked among fans and the public alike for some reason which is too bad because there are some real gems on his earlier albums. I love songs like "Cinderella Stay Awhile", "Aint No Sunshine", "All The Things You Are", "With A Child's Heart", "Got To Be There", etc. And although quite a few songs on those albums were covers, I think he did them justice, I even prefer his version of certain songs (i.e. his cover of The Stylistic's "People Make The World Go 'Round" is better than the orignal to me).

I get what some people are saying when they say that Mike's early solo albums were really more like J5 albums though and i'm sure a good case could be made for that, but for me personally that's not the case. I think his solo albums had their own unique sound. I def. see those albums as Michael albums and not J5. I look at them being seperate.

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 02:45 AM
Yep, and most of the stuff on Michael's solo albums were pretty much ballads or intensely soulful stuff ("Ain't No Sunshine", "Everybody's Somebody's Fool", "Got to Be There", "Ben", "Music & Me", "I'll Come Home to You", "Dear, Michael", "One Day in Your Life", etc.) while most of the J5 material were uptempo funky stuff that reflected the group. I think the only reason people claim it was J5-esque because Michael recorded with the Corporation, the same musicians that did J5's work did Michael's (and Jermaine's early solo Motown) work and Michael's voice with background singers assigned to sound like they were his brothers when in MANY cases they weren't.

Truth is though, I feel Michael had more soul in his teenage body than most singers twice his age. You know he never went through the stuff he was singing, but when he sung, it was almost as if you wanted to tap Michael on the shoulder and say "it's okay, little man".

Actually, I would've loved it if Michael did Donny Hathaway's records back then. I think he could be as convincing as he was when he covered Stevie, the Tempts and Marvin. :)

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 02:49 AM
Even in his "formative" years, I feel he was already "there", you know? He did more things musically than most teen idols his age did. Since of course he had to work twice as hard but you work at what you got. It would thrill me if he sung his old Motown stuff in concert one day and no NOT the Jackson 5 records, his solo stuff too.

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 02:50 AM
Also his version of "With a Child's Heart" is LEGENDARY!

*~MJ Loves MJ~*
31-10-2007, 02:59 AM
Beautiful points Timmy and Diana. I agree, those were amoung the best years of Michael's musical development. It's where he came from and what made him the artist that he is today. Very few artists can say that their careers or experience has touched so many genres of music. I often wondered why these early works are also not as revered as they should be.

Michael truly has the musical expertese that is given to only a chosen few. :yes:

BTW, I love that song, 'One Day in Your Life.' :heart:

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 03:03 AM
And also I think it's one of his greatest periods because of how he transitioned from boy soprano to his trademark tenor. ;)

Musically I dig most of the songs' arrangements, I loved the introductions to "Ain't No Sunshine" and "I Wanna Be Where You Are" for example! Especially the latter song with its staccato keyboard riff!

*~MJ Loves MJ~*
31-10-2007, 03:17 AM
YES!! I can't believe the notes that he hit in 'I Wanna Be Where You Are,' it's amazing. You can tell where he gets his passion from today while he sings!

I have to say though that if I have that one favorite all-time song, it would be, 'Happy.' I LOVE that song. They reasons, I love the way that he builds-up the strength as the song progresses. It just gets more powerful and fuller as he approaches the end of the song, and he's still able to maintain the molody and not be overbearing. You get a real sense of his urgency as he sings, and the narrative is great, you actually can see the story unfolding.

Wow.....you've started a great topic Tim! :lol: :yes:

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 03:25 AM
Thanx. We all need a break from the other threads. :lol:

GiveintomeMJ
31-10-2007, 03:26 AM
definately a great topic Timmy! i agree w/what u've said so far :) i remember when i first started exploring the early years of MJ way back when and was absolutely sucked into the beauty of the songs and wondered why they didn't get talked about more... but yet all the fans i knew agreed w/me. for a good year i think all i listened to was mj pre-off the wall.

if u haven't heard the albums timmy's talkin bout plz go out and pick em up... :)

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 03:28 AM
Yep, he released some beautiful material back then. ^_^ Even if you don't get the albums, the songs are probably posted on YouTube somewhere. :D

TheChosenOne
31-10-2007, 03:30 AM
Timmy84, when I discovered Michael in 1983 I had to do my research about his musical past. I knew of him but there was alot of stuff that I did not connect with him. I got a copy of Music and Me and it absolutely blew me away. His voice was so confident for someone so young. I loved Morning Glow, With A Child's Heart, Happy, Johnny Raven, Too Young and the title track.

You're right - he was already 'there'. I would have too young to appreciate it back in the early 70s but I definitely appreciate it now.

One Day In Your Life is my fave MJ tune. As a child I felt the pain, the longing, all the emotion in that song. A local journalist considers it the best vocal performance on a song EVER in terms of truthfulness and intensity.

Ben and Got To Be There are classics.

I think Michael's work with Motown laid the foundation for his later solo work.

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 03:35 AM
It did. I always considered him as AMONG Motown's main men alongside Marvin, Stevie, Rick, Eddie Kendricks (post-Temptations) and Smokey. And like Smokey (as we all know), he was as good solo as he was with a group and I hate that he's often left off sometimes as a Motown artist because he was in more ways than one.

Motown released an Anthology set of most of Michael's solo material featuring SOME J5 work but I think the album will give you a good outlook of why Michael was adored as he is now. Michael's transition is similar to Stevie's in the sense both of them gradually went from teen stars to pop legends. :)

KOPV
31-10-2007, 03:36 AM
well, peopel consider off the wall his "first solo' album.. Not as a literal term but it was his first MAJOR solo album.

1972: Got to Be There
1972: Ben
1973: Music & Me
1975: Forever, Michael
1976: The Best of Michael Jackson
1981: One Day in Your Life (mixture of compilations and "newer" tracks)
1984: Farewell My Summer Love (look up before)

All of these were not full albums.. They are singles. ALSO, it was his first work away from Joseph being a maneger, the control he had over the music.. It was the first full album that was HIM..

I get what you are saying, that sometimes bugs me to. But I end up saying the same thing they do, because I get it.. I guess loL!

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 03:39 AM
:lol: I know ODIYL and FMSL weren't "full" albums but he released four full-length studio releases while in MOTOWN. I'm just saying. :lol:

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 03:40 AM
"Off the Wall" was his first ADULT solo album, I've always said that. :lol: But there was a reason for a 30th anniversary celebration concert because that's how long he's been doing it solo and it's now about to be 37 years in November '08.

*~MJ Loves MJ~*
31-10-2007, 04:16 AM
Awww...I was born is 1972, January 17th to be exact. I wonder what month Michael's album came out? Humm.. :huh:

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 04:35 AM
If I'm not mistaken, MJ's first solo album, Got To Be There, was released on February 13, 1972. :)

Wikipedia said 1971. :lol: I forgot what date, lol. But the album came before single on the Wikipedia page. :lol:

*~MJ Loves MJ~*
31-10-2007, 04:44 AM
Oh cool, thanks. :flowers:

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 05:55 AM
You're very welcome. :flowers:

CarinaT
31-10-2007, 07:55 AM
I LOVE his early solo years...
Everyone MUST have this album especially -
http://www.cmt.com/shared/media/images/amg_covers/200/drd300/d373/d37395251n0.jpg

The way he sings 'Ain't No Sunshine' like a hurt old man...etc.
Also, the essay in the booklet of that album above is wonderful. :D

whitesocksdancer
31-10-2007, 12:55 PM
Interesting

Silouette
31-10-2007, 01:27 PM
This is blue light in the basement stuff. I Love it Timmy!

Nothing to add 'cept that WITH A CHILD'S HEART will water your eyes
as well as send a shiver down your spine

Boy, how I remember the MOTOWN days! B)
I'd rather talk about the music ANY day!

KOPV
31-10-2007, 02:06 PM
I would like to know what MJ was wearing, what he looked like, what he was doing on the DAY I was born. June 17th 1985.. What does wikkepedia say about that?? lol! just kidding.

But I really have always wondered.

floacism
31-10-2007, 02:48 PM
I like this thread! I can always count on you to bring the flava Timmy :)

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 03:54 PM
I like this thread! I can always count on you to bring the flava Timmy :)[/b]

:kickass:

THE JACKSONOLOGIST
31-10-2007, 06:09 PM
He wasn't doing anything on my birthday as he still had one year, one month and one day yet to be born!

Ticie,
The JACKSONOLOGIST

CherubimII
31-10-2007, 06:17 PM
IF you want to be in Heaven listen to Michael Jackson sing these beautiful songs... :artist: :trytobeangel

1972: Got to Be There
1972: Ben
1973: Music & Me
1981: One Day in Your Life
1984: Farewell My Summer Love
also
Never Can Say Goodbye
and
I'll Be There

Thanks for the reminder, Chaos.

I will add "Who's Loving You" to the List.

SeanK
31-10-2007, 07:13 PM
I agree with this subject totally. I have alwasy been dissapointed, especially when I look back through vintage Jacksons performaces... why do we, even as fans celebrate only the post Thriller MJ... when totality wise... he has always evolved and been groundbreaking from a small child and sexy symbol teen to the genius we recognize today. He is so much more than Thriller, Bad, Off The Wall, Dangerous and Invincible. He's all that and more. I wish people and fans included focussed on the whole picture one day. It would be totally osmosis for anyone to not like or at least consider the magic of his abilities then.

Timmy84
31-10-2007, 08:50 PM
I agree with this subject totally. I have alwasy been dissapointed, especially when I look back through vintage Jacksons performaces... why do we, even as fans celebrate only the post Thriller MJ... when totality wise... he has always evolved and been groundbreaking from a small child and sexy symbol teen to the genius we recognize today. He is so much more than Thriller, Bad, Off The Wall, Dangerous and Invincible. He's all that and more. I wish people and fans included focussed on the whole picture one day. It would be totally osmosis for anyone to not like or at least consider the magic of his abilities then.[/b]

:yes: He's a legend for a good reason. His career stretch back years and there are performances from back then that showcase PROOF. People who followed Michael from the Jackson 5 on up to Off the Wall were already throwing the "legend" status at him.

Datsymay
31-10-2007, 10:02 PM
Michael Jackson became a legend the forst time he sang ''I'll be there".

Chaos
31-10-2007, 11:40 PM
I never saw what the big deal was about Who's Loving you before when I first had it, now that I give it some thought and consider that this is an 11 year old singing it really makes you go WOW :o

Timmy84
01-11-2007, 12:01 AM
I never saw what the big deal was about Who's Loving you before when I first had it, now that I give it some thought and consider that this is an 11 year old singing it really makes you go WOW :o[/b]

Don't it! :D

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 12:04 AM
Yeah Chaos, when you consider his age for those Motown performances, he was a prodigy without doubt.

Chaos
01-11-2007, 12:04 AM
Don't it! :D[/b]
no it dont (I just said that to fit in)











:yes:



















no but seriously, I do think that they overlook how great this guy was as a kid, I dont think there is act out there today from any of these people from the past ten years that was on Michaels level when he was just a kid, talent wise he allways had it going for him!

Timmy84
01-11-2007, 12:11 AM
He couldn't deny that talent if he tried to. For that, I'm glad he came out as early as he did at 11 years of age.

Chaos
01-11-2007, 12:13 AM
He couldn't deny that talent if he tried to. For that, I'm glad he came out as early as he did at 11 years of age.[/b]
IMAGINE if he didnt, that would be awful because he sang some of his best songs around the j5 days in my opinion!

My Girl and Ain no sunshine were awesome songs! the guy is so good that he makes it seem effortless!

Timmy84
01-11-2007, 01:19 AM
IMAGINE if he didnt, that would be awful because he sang some of his best songs around the j5 days in my opinion!

My Girl and Ain no sunshine were awesome songs! the guy is so good that he makes it seem effortless![/b]

Exactly! I couldn't really change nothing about what has happened in Michael's career and the bottom line I think he wouldn't change it either.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

TheChosenOne
01-11-2007, 04:38 AM
Back in the 70s people were talking about Michael. I remember hearing family members discussing him with a kind of excitement that was infectious. They knew that he was something special. My mom loved Ben and we rocked that Christmas album like there was no tomorrow - especially Little Drummer Boy. Nobody sings that song like Michael. I can't help saying he had that indefinable quality that just said 'star'.

He just sounded so assured, so comfortable. He knew he was going places.

BONGANI
13-11-2007, 02:21 PM
I like earlier songs like WE'RE ALMOST THERE, because Michael's adult voice started manifesting itself in those tracks.Honestly I still have to grow into his stuff as a 14 year old and downwards.With the exception of WHO'S LOVIN YOU, I don't know but there's something about that song and the way he's singing it.How the hell did that little boy learn to emote like that? I appreciated his ability to emote more when I saw a 16 year old Chris Brown trying to emote on his song SAY GOODBYE, he looks so funny trying and I sympathise with him because emoting is not easy.Then I think of how 11 year old Michael easily did it even though he did not nkow what the hell he was singing about.You gotta appreciate Michael, you really have to..

troubleman84
13-11-2007, 03:42 PM
But that's the beauty of it. Michael KNEW he was too young to be singing about love and love lost and all of that but he FELT it and vocally he was always much older than he seemed. That's why there's a paradox to how he carried on with life as he got older and started to feel like a kid at heart that needed love. It made for an interesting combination. That's what makes his earlier solo records special for me, that's why I made this topic so people could understand where Mike was coming from at the time.

rickd
15-11-2007, 03:05 AM
TMan this is an awesome thread :)

troubleman84
15-11-2007, 03:27 AM
Thanks, Rick! :D

DuranDuran
25-08-2019, 07:44 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPI05LiJ1qM

Michaels Lover
26-08-2019, 01:42 AM
Nice thread, I agree with everything. Especially this:

I agree with this subject totally. I have alwasy been dissapointed, especially when I look back through vintage Jacksons performaces... why do we, even as fans celebrate only the post Thriller MJ... when totality wise... he has always evolved and been groundbreaking from a small child and sexy symbol teen to the genius we recognize today. He is so much more than Thriller, Bad, Off The Wall, Dangerous and Invincible. He's all that and more. I wish people and fans included focussed on the whole picture one day. It would be totally osmosis for anyone to not like or at least consider the magic of his abilities then.