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Thread: The Jacksons after leaving Motown

   
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    Default The Jacksons after leaving Motown

    They wanted more involvement in the creation of the music/albums so they left Motown. They signed with Epic under the promise that they would get more creative freedom. Yet it still took 2 full years before they actually got that freedom. They must have been very disappointed initially! They only got to do 2 tracks on their own for the first 2 albums, both albums weren't big successes yet by the time they got to make Destiny they got full creative freedom.

    Given their age and their sense of adventure (musically) I take it all brothers were working on their own music from at least 1974 onwards, I reckon there must still be quite a bit of material left unreleased/unknown to this date. Why didn't Epic trust them to release their own material in 76/77?

    Was this in the contract or did they somehow prove the bosses that they were capable of producing their own material (from 78 onwards) despite the lack of success of the former 2 albums.

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    Default Re: The Jacksons after leaving Motown

    Gamble & Huff were proven hitmakers, mainly on R&B radio. But some of their productions crossed over to Top 40 like The O'Jays. If you look at the original pressing of those 2 albums, they were actually on Gamble & Huff's label Philadelphia International and not Epic directly. All of the acts on that label were produced by them or their staff producers like Bunny Sigler, Norman Harris, McFadden & Whitehead, etc. I don't think any of the acts on PI produced their own records, or very few did. Gamble & Huff's sound was an influence on the disco sound starting to get mainstream recognition around that time. It's also very common in R&B as a genre to use outside producers and/or writers.

    Also, R&B during that time did not get the same amount of promotion from major labels as rock music did. So of course it wasn't going to be as successful as rock. R&B/funk was primarily marketed to black audiences. R&B had to crossover. In general it wouldn't automatically get pop airplay. By the time Destiny came out disco had really blown up to mainstream audiences because of the Saturday Night Fever movie. It got to the point where there were disco albums by Ethel Merman and Mickey Mouse and a song like Disco Duck went to #1.

    I have a feeling that if Destiny had came out in 1976 it probably wouldn't have done as well either. So it was partly timing. It had been awhile since The Jacksons had a pop hit when they signed to CBS Records, since Motown was not really doing a lot of promotion the later J5 records. Motown in general wasn't crossing over like they did in the 1960s, except for Stevie Wonder & Marvin Gaye. The Commodores were starting to. So the brothers were kinda starting over from scratch, especially since on many of their Motown hits Mike had the kid voice. Not that many kid or teen acts still get radio airplay as adults or after a voice change. So there was that, no matter who wrote or produced the songs.

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    Default Re: The Jacksons after leaving Motown

    Thanks but that doesn't really answer my question. The question is were they not trusted yet to produce their own material for the 1976 album or were they simply not ready yet?

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    Default Re: The Jacksons after leaving Motown

    Quote Originally Posted by JichaelMackson View Post
    Thanks but that doesn't really answer my question. The question is were they not trusted yet to produce their own material for the 1976 album or were they simply not ready yet?
    Actually I did when I said most acts on the Philadelphia International did not self produce. So why would Gamble & Huff make an exception for a new signing? PI was similar to Motown in how they usually produced records. The brothers had no track record of writing or producing. They wrote & produced a single in 1974 for a girl group called MDLT Willis. It did not do well and the rest of the songs they recorded did not get released. So it's doubtful that a major record company like CBS would just let them produce right off the bat. First they were assigned to CBS' R&B label Philadelphia International and not one of their main labels like Columbia or Epic. Destiny was the first album actually on Epic. I remember reading somewhere that they were going to drop the group if the 3rd album did not become successful. It was in a magazine or book, maybe Walter Yetnikoff's. Not sure, it was a long time ago when I read it.

    You can hear the MDLT songs on the 2nd page of this thread: Productions & Guest Appearances

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    Default Re: The Jacksons after leaving Motown

    But was it always on the cards they would get to do Destiny all by themselves? They must have gotten some guarantees before signing for PI/Epic, that eventually their time would come?
    After going places which flopped badly in both singles and album charts why would PI/epic trust the Jacksons to do everything by themselves for Destiny?

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    Default Re: The Jacksons after leaving Motown

    Quote Originally Posted by JichaelMackson View Post
    But was it always on the cards they would get to do Destiny all by themselves? They must have gotten some guarantees before signing for PI/Epic, that eventually their time would come?

    After going places which flopped badly in both singles and album charts why would PI/epic trust the Jacksons to do everything by themselves for Destiny?
    Technically, they didn't do it by themselves. There was a guy named Bobby Colomby overseeing the Destiny sessions. Bobby was a member of the band Blood Sweat & Tears.

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    Default Re: The Jacksons after leaving Motown

    You have a lot of music knowledge. I'd love to get some music recommendations from you. I'm obsessed by music myself, all kinds of genres have my interest.

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