My rating of the Jackson 5 and solo members albums

zinniabooklover

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I just find it incredibly disturbing that such inappropriate and in some cases, immoral material would be given to a child to sing. some I can overlook. others are glaringly obvious.
I have the same problem. There are some songs I simply cannot listen to. Some are songs I have always known - Who's Lovin' You is the obvious one to mention. Spectacular performance from Michael and no-one else has ever come close to his stunning brilliance on this song but I can't listen anymore.

Others are songs I've only come to know in recent years - usually because they are album tracks so I didn't know about them. Some of them are really good songs but the lyrics are too much for me. It's not that I've heard anything explicit. The songs are very much of their time so there's nothing vulgar or gross about the stuff he had to sing. But I still feel very strongly that some of the lyrics he had to sing were inappropriate and I can't cope.

I also find it depressing to hear young Michael singing dreary ballads that he clearly lacked the life experience for. ones that portrayed him as an ‘old soul’. I prefer original songs that were created specifically for him to relate to.
There are definitely a few songs where his performance is fine but there is something missing which makes for an unsatisfying listening experience. And I think you're right - it's the relevant life experience that is the missing ingredient.

Still, as you say, there is plenty of material. There's a lot for me to enjoy.
 

zinniabooklover

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most of the others were either before his time, or completely inappropriate.

which brings me to touch from ‘skywriter’. Michael in particular had no business singing that - especially at that age. it’s actually queasy.
I agree. The lyrics from 'Touch' don't sit well with me. So I avoid it. Can't listen to 'You've changed' either. Good song, especially the Motown version, but I just can't be doing with it because of the lyrics.
 

zinniabooklover

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ABC (recorded 1969/1970, released 1970)
A classic in every way. The heavyweights are all in the middle as the album fizzles out slowly during the last 3 tracks. The feeling is that Mike had even more vocals than on the first album, though Jermaine still has his share. Reached nr 4 on the main chart and 12 weeks nr 1 on the black/urban chart.
Overall rating A

1) The Love You Save
RATING B
You gave it a 'B' rating?

'B'????????

😢
 
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filmandmusic

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@zinniabooklover I rated abc and i want you back an A out of courtesy but to be honest these 3 tracks I have heard so many times in each concert that I am actually sick of them. He did the same old medley since 1973 and it went virtually unchanged till 2009. I cannot cope with it anymore lol
So of the 4 classics TLYS is my least favorite even if there is nothing wrong with it. It is also the most “ forgotten” track of the 4 these days. There are dozens of great choices for a Motown medley, if I have to hear the medley one more time I’ll jump off a cliff.
 

zinniabooklover

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@zinniabooklover I rated abc and i want you back an A out of courtesy but to be honest these 3 tracks I have heard so many times in each concert that I am actually sick of them. He did the same old medley since 1973 and it went virtually unchanged till 2009. I cannot cope with it anymore lol
So of the 4 classics TLYS is my least favorite even if there is nothing wrong with it. It is also the most “ forgotten” track of the 4 these days. There are dozens of great choices for a Motown medley, if I have to hear the medley one more time I’ll jump off a cliff.
Oh no, there's no argument about these points you're making here. I haven't even heard the medley as many times as you have and, quite frankly, I can't stand it. Every time you make this point I'm cheering in my head.

No, my melodramatic tears were for TLYS just as a stand-alone song cos it's one of my faves. I just love every single thing about it but, more than anything, I love the wildness. Of all the J5 songs I've heard it's the only one I can think of that has an almost chaotic edge to it. I don't mean 'chaotic' in a bad way. Not as in, badly played or crap or anything like that. I just mean, there's something wild and free and exciting about the energy of this one. The vocals, the back and forth between Michael and Jermaine. The way the excitement builds throughout the song. All those layers. The percussion. The strings!!!!!! Tito's vocal 'bass line' at the beginning. OMG!!!!!!!! It's just one of those songs that used to explode out of the radio which, OK, OK, I know it sounds like a story from the fossil age, lol. What can I say? That's how we used to get our music and there were certain songs that just kinda came at you out of the radio and it was, I dunno, like a physical thing. TLYS was one of those songs.

I can't really explain it cos I don't have your ability to really capture what it is about a song that I love. I posted the Ed Sullivan Show performance because that *visually* captures what I'd like to say about the song and why I love it so much. It's probably worth pointing out that, although I love the song to death, I don't actually play it that often. Maybe that helps? Although I think it's more to do with, it's almost too intense for me, all that wildness, so I have to ration it.

So I totally get what you're saying, I really do. Of the first 4 singles they did, TLYS was always my fave back in the day. Was always gutted it didn't go Top 5. It peaked at no. 7, IIRC, which is fine but, nah, should have gone higher. Can't understand why that didn't happen. The other 3 I don't listen to. Perfectly decent songs but they don't have much to offer me.

But I'll always stand up for TLYS cos it just ... god, my head is exploding with the frustration of not being able to explain myself, lol.
 

zinniabooklover

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So of the 4 classics TLYS is my least favorite even if there is nothing wrong with it ... if I have to hear the medley one more time I’ll jump off a cliff.
Guess I'd better not post that 18m compilation video of TLYS, lol. Don't wanna push you over the edge. We need you here on the board. :D
 

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@zinniabooklover I give it that, the back and forth between Jermaine and Michael is really cool. But they did that in a lot of songs. Another that springs to mind is "standing in the shadows of love". I love this song as it had a different structure than the first couple of hits which all seemed to be reimagining of I want you back in terms of structure and build up.
 

zinniabooklover

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@zinniabooklover I give it that, the back and forth between Jermaine and Michael is really cool. But they did that in a lot of songs.
Yep, totally agree with this.

Another that springs to mind is "standing in the shadows of love". I love this song as it had a different structure than the first couple of hits
This one doesn't work for me cos it kinda drags too much and gives me too much time to think about the 4 Tops version. Levi's vocals are epic. All that pain. The torment. No-one could follow that. Tbf, it's a song that needs an adult vocal, imo. Michael did a fine job, just wasn't the right age.

There are little touches here and there that are good. Tito's bass vocal right at the end there. A lovely bit of guitar at the beginning. Cos I did go and check it out. This is what happens. You'll say something about J5 / Jacksons / Michael and it does get me intrigued. I have to go and remind myself.

But, overall, this J5 version doesn't really capture me. Instrumentally, the 4 Tops version has so much more going on, imo. Full disclosure, I don't have a lot of time for cover versions. I know it was a big thing at Tamla, getting several groups to cover the same song, so I understand what's going on. I guess it also gave Tamla time to figure out what worked best for the group but, nah, it's not really for me. I wouldn't want a world where we didn't have cover versions at all cos we'd lose so many classics but most of them don't seem to give me anything special.

which all seemed to be reimagining of I want you back in terms of structure and build up.
Very true. Which is probably why I have let the others go so easily. TLYS was the one that captured me. I agree the structure is nothing new but it has an edge and a wildness that the others lack, imo. The energy driving through this one sets it apart from the others.
 
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filmandmusic

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I don’t I know the four tops version. I was meaning to look into their discography but there is just so much to discover, sometimes it drives me nuts lol
But it is a great song so I’m probably going to like it whoever sings it.
I used to hate covers but not anymore especially not when they try something different. There is this artist called mark kozelek who made acoustic ballads out of AC/DC songs. He changed them so much that they’re basically rewritten lol
That guy also covered I’ll be there in the same trademark somber style as he did with the AC/DC covers.

Great artist but since LN he has been vocal in a negative way about MJ so I have a hard time listening to him these days though I still do occasionally.
Anyway ever since he had been called out for inappropriate behavior with women. Karma is a bitch 😎
 

zinniabooklover

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I don’t I know the four tops version. I was meaning to look into their discography but there is just so much to discover, sometimes it drives me nuts lol
But it is a great song so I’m probably going to like it whoever sings it.
I used to hate covers but not anymore especially not when they try something different. There is this artist called mark kozelek who made acoustic ballads out of AC/DC songs. He changed them so much that they’re basically rewritten lol
That guy also covered I’ll be there in the same trademark somber style as he did with the AC/DC covers.

Great artist but since LN he has been vocal in a negative way about MJ so I have a hard time listening to him these days though I still do occasionally.
Anyway ever since he had been called out for inappropriate behavior with women. Karma is a bitch 😎
Hey there, f&m. I'm just here posting stuff to mark the death of Lamont Dozier. 😢 I'm truly gutted.

Anyway. 4 Tops version of 'Standing in the Shadows of Love' - hopefully you've checked it out by now but, if not, I do highly recommend it. Came out in 1967, IIRC. Smash hit. Brilliant. Awesome. Heart wrenching. If you haven't seen them, I also highly recommend the 2 songs I just posted. 'You Keep Runnin' Away' - for the harmonies alone. It's a killer. Their harmonies were always to die for. Also posted a video for 'Reach Out I'll Be There'. I have no words. Another awesome one is 'If I Were A Carpenter'. I kind of assumed you would already know all these songs but, if you haven't had time to check them out, I really think you should. Levi Stubbs' voice is a miracle, imo.

That Kozelek guy sounds interesting but, if he's been a d##k about Michael he can whistle for it. He's just not getting any of my attention.

It is interesting when a cover version is really different from the original. Chris Cornell doing Billie Jean (or Billie Eilish, for that matter, doing Bad). Nazareth doing Joni Mitchell's This Flight Tonight. Jimi doing All Along The Watchtower. There are some awesome cover versions out there, for sure.
 

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@zinniabooklover I haven’t heard it,yet, I literally posted that reply 10 min ago 🤣
I am familiar with reach out and surely a couple of others songs as they still get some radioplay on the station I listen to. I will give the videos a spin later today unless I have melted into a puddle of sweat by then.

Maybe you can throw around more names of the soul/r&b/ funk scene for me? Really digging that kind of music these days.
Mj, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Prince I am very familiar with. I already have on my list Smokey Robinson, Four Tops, Rick James, Temptati9ns, Commodores, Sam & Dave,… These guys I only know a handful of singles about. But this is all just scratching the surface right…
 

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@zinniabooklover I haven’t heard it,yet, I literally posted that reply 10 min ago 🤣
I am familiar with reach out and surely a couple of others songs as they still get some radioplay on the station I listen to.
Exactly. Took it for granted you would have heard at least some of their big hits. I posted 'You Keep Runnin Away' on 'what are you listening to?' so maybe start with that one. It was a big hit and yet gets strangely overlooked compared to the others. Never got nearly as much radio play. So maybe that one will be less familiar to you.

I will give the videos a spin later today unless I have melted into a puddle of sweat by then.
The humidity. It's getting worse. Fed-up. 🙁

Maybe you can throw around more names of the soul/r&b/ funk scene for me? Really digging that kind of music these days.
Mj, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Prince I am very familiar with. I already have on my list Smokey Robinson, Four Tops, Rick James, Temptati9ns, Commodores, Sam & Dave,… These guys I only know a handful of singles about. But this is all just scratching the surface right…
Well, we already covered Sam & Dave and you've seen that their discography isn't so big. Stevie and Marvin are easy to check out, obvs.

When you say you have Smokey on your list, that's just to check for stuff you might have missed, right? Cos obviously you are familiar with the big hits? I already posted, ages ago, 'Goin' to a Go-Go'. If you don't know that one, please, please check it out. You can't really go wrong with early Smokey / Miracles. In my bookmarks I have a live version of 'Go-Go' which I'm not necessarily recommending over the studio version (both are essential, imo) but, if you're interested, I can post it. Either version. Also have an AWESOME live version of 'You've Really Got A Hold On Me'. If you don't know that one (you probably do, it was a smash hit) I'll post it although not sure where. Don't want to derail your thread. But if you haven't seen it I'm sure you'll love it. Screaming fans. It's tailor made for you, lol.
 

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@zinniabooklover
whatever just post it here, I don’t care 😃 screaming fans you say? That’s my thing! I know the song in Michael’s version, great song. I also know the original of course.
I am familiar with his album ”quiet storm” which I find fantastic!

I also forgot to mention funkadelic. I know a couple of albums they did, all great. Of The temptations I know the albums all directions and sky’s the limit. Love them both big time!

Generally speaking yes I have knowledge of most of the big hits of those eras but we’re basically talking about the big guns here. I’m sure there must be great forgotten bands as well, maybe you know something that I surely never heard before!
Except for Sam and Dave, bar soul man I didn’t know anything lol
 

zinniabooklover

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@zinniabooklover
whatever just post it here, I don’t care 😃 screaming fans you say? That’s my thing! I know the song in Michael’s version, great song. I also know the original of course.
I am familiar with his album ”quiet storm” which I find fantastic!

I also forgot to mention funkadelic. I know a couple of albums they did, all great. Of The temptations I know the albums all directions and sky’s the limit. Love them both big time!

Generally speaking yes I have knowledge of most of the big hits of those eras but we’re basically talking about the big guns here. I’m sure there must be great forgotten bands as well, maybe you know something that I surely never heard before!
Except for Sam and Dave, bar soul man I didn’t know anything lol
f&m, I'll have to work through your post bit by bit. In the meantime, you opened the floodgates, man!

Actually, I'm going to be ever so restrained. I have at least 4 versions of Smokey / MIracles doing You Really Got A Hold On Me. I'm only gonna post 2. Cos I'm so well-behaved, lol.
 

zinniabooklover

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Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. 'You Really Got A Hold On Me' 1964

Live vocals, obvs. I think I oversold this one to you re screaming fans. You can hear them all the way through but you only see one shot, right at the end. Typical 1960's audience, mostly white, very well-behaved. There's no crowd surges or anything wild going on.

This is my absolute fave live version of this song. Smokey has one of the sexiest voices I've ever heard, possibly the sexiest ever. It just slays me. Fabulous performances from him and the boys.
 

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Next up, Motortown Revue at the Apollo Theatre, 1963.
Smokey / Miracles. You Really Got A Hold On Me and then segue into Bring It On Home To Me

I'm posting this one cos it's awesome, obvs, but also because with this one you get Claudette putting in an appearance. She always seemed to keep a low profile. Also, they segue from the first song into the second and then back again. I dislike medleys but this segue is a beautiful thing to witness. Smokey is on FIRE!!!
 

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Motortown Revue again. This time I'm posting the whole thing but your time stamp is 21m. That's for Little Stevie. Possibly 12 years old at the time but, hey, this is Motown so maybe he was really only 11. Or maybe he was 13. Who knows? Either way, he was still Little Stevie.

We used to see him on tv as Little Stevie and he was always amazing but I don't think I've seen anything as affecting as this. His performance is a little unpolished, as you might expect, but it is still awesome. He plays bongoes, harmonica, sings. He is unbelievable. It's approx 7 minutes long. You can see the brass section! :D

When he finishes and stands there, beaming at the crowd ... if you can look at his little smiling face and not burst into tears ... well ... let's just wait and see.
 

filmandmusic

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I actually prefer the apollo performance, maybe because the sound is better. I am clearly more familiar with 70s Smokey, this kind of music is very different.
So one thing I see time and time again, those black artists really sell a performance, they are always moving something, most artist were so stiff but not soul men.
Also I had no idea white people were so crazy about black artists in the 60s though I shouldn’t be surprised because Motown songs dominated the pop charts.
It must have been the most exciting time in terms of music imo from roughly late 50s to early 70s
Absolutely love watching pop history unfold here!

Purely in terms of voices and stage presence I have seen nobody better than Jackie Wilson so far (not counting Michael)
 

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Stevie lol, so young, I don’ t hear anything of his adult voice here. I have to say never been a fan of “fingertips”. I think it is one of the weirdest US nr 1 hits in history. It is like one of those ” band moments” in concert where the main artists lets his backing band shine a bit. Imo nothing here suggest he would be making about 4 or 5 stone cold classic albums later on.
He is killing it on harmonica though no doubt. Amazing artist
 

zinniabooklover

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I actually prefer the apollo performance, maybe because the sound is better.
It's a photo finish between them. I always say I prefer the other version then I watch the Apollo version and I change my mind, lol. Any time I watch Smokey live I'm gone.

I am clearly more familiar with 70s Smokey, this kind of music is very different.
He was great in the 70's, no question, but for me it's all about the 60's. He had everything.

So one thing I see time and time again, those black artists really sell a performance, they are always moving something, most artist were so stiff but not soul men.
Exactly. The soul just moves through them. They have to move, they have to let it out.

Also I had no idea white people were so crazy about black artists in the 60s though I shouldn’t be surprised because Motown songs dominated the pop charts.
Well exactly. The Black population of the US or UK wasn't big enough to get those songs into the Top 5 in the mainstream charts. It's a numbers game. And it wasn't just Motown. Stax. Atlantic. RCA. Lot of good stuff in the 50's and 60's.

It must have been the most exciting time in terms of music imo from roughly late 50s to early 70s
I'm totally biased cos that's my era but, yeah, I'm convinced that was THE best time. That's why I'd love to talk to Michael about all of this. He would have been listening to all of this stuff. This was his time so he grew up with all this. He would have known it better than I did cos he was immersed in the music business. I'd love to know what he thought of Percy Sledge.

Oh! Percy Sledge!

Absolutely love watching pop history unfold here!

Purely in terms of voices and stage presence I have seen nobody better than Jackie Wilson so far (not counting Michael)
Mate, if Jackie Wilson is the standard we're working with, I may as well give up right now, lol. :ROFLMAO:
 

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This is my favorite song of all time as an album version. I just love ballads, love songs.
This live version kills the vibe of the album track a bit with the laughing but it is the only live version I know.

And I know you hate disco but got to give it up is my 2nd favorite song of all time

I haven’t mentioned Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers and Roy Orbison yet, love these guys

Super song and super concert. At 1.40 I ascend to heaven
 
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zinniabooklover

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This is my favorite song of all time as an album version. I just love ballads, love songs.
This live version kills the vibe of the album track a bit with the laughing but it is the only live version I know.
Love me some Al Green. Ngl, he's not my fave but, yeah, that voice! Oh man!!!!!

Here's a bit from yesterday's Guardian piece on Lamont Dozier:

"But Dozier became disillusioned: he claimed the Holland brothers passed on the chance to sign both Funkadelic and Al Green, and their rejection of the latter pre-empted his decision to leave ..."
Guardian Wed 10 August 2022 Page. 9 / G2 section
(not sure why Alexis Petridis has written 'pre-empted' when he surely means 'prompted' but, no matter)

And I know you hate disco but got to give it up is my 2nd favorite song of all time
From the same Guardian piece, there is this, talking about H - D - H:

"Their relationship with Marvin Gaye was also frequently volatile, the singer feeling provoked by the trio deliberately writing songs in a key he felt was too high for him, in order, Dozier said, 'to be a little more imaginative, reach up to a falsetto' "
Guardian, 10/08/22 Page 8

I haven’t mentioned Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers and Roy Orbison yet, love these guys
I love, love, love all these guys. Roy Orbison was a BIG part of my 60's thing (along with Gene Pitney). I just recently bought a second-hand copy of his biography. Curtis Mayfield, I was just listening to earlier today and persuading myself NOT to post him in your thread since I wasn't sure what your thoughts would be. Many people don't like his voice, presumably because it's kind of high compared to most Black male singers. Or maybe some other reason. I dunno, but he's strangely underrated, I find. Weird. I always loved him. Bill - one of the best voices ever. My 1970's would have been weird and pathetic without Bill's voice being there.

I LOVE these guys!!!!!!

Super song and super concert. At 1.40 I ascend to heaven
The weird thing about Roy is he can do all that stuff, all that big melodramatic stuff but he just kind of stands there and you don't see any effort or, I dunno, just anything. It's like he's just speaking rather than producing that enormous voice. I can't explain myself properly. Doesn't matter. I love the voice.

It's over, it's over, it's over ...

IT'S OVER ... duh duh duh dudda dudda dudda duhhhhhhh!!!!!!
 
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zinniabooklover

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Here he is. My man! Lovely Curtis. Live vocals, obvs. Because he had the coolest voice.
 

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Man, I am really derailing your thread. I will try to rein myself in tomorrow. There is a Roy Orbison thread but it's so short. So I have to put this here. Just have to. He did this in ONE TAKE.
 

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You really need to listen to the whole Roy Orbison “ a black and white night live“ album or dvd. It was done during his late 80s resurgence. He sings almost all his hits. I love how he builds many of them up to a climax. He was very original in the 60s.
Thanks for those Guardian pieces, that was interesting.
 

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You really need to listen to the whole Roy Orbison “ a black and white night live“ album or dvd.
Oh, I have.

It was done during his late 80s resurgence. He sings almost all his hits. I love how he builds many of them up to a climax.
Mm, his specialty.

He was very original in the 60s.
There was no-one like him. Still isn't.

Thanks for those Guardian pieces, that was interesting.
Don't forget, you can read the Guardian for free online if you want to read the rest of the article.
 

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THE THIRD ALBUM (recorded and released 1970)
Stellar continuation for the J5, like ABC this is very much a group effort and their most poppy sounding album yet. Reached nr 4 in the US. Overall rating B

11) Darling Dear
Maybe the best track on the album, another ballad with an awesome bass sound and lovely lyrics, Mike on lead, also part of the setlist.
Should have been a lead single really "don't be shy or love will pass you by" truer lyrics don't exist
RATING A
Bought 'bassplayer' magazine today, they have a Top 100 bass parts feature. 'I Want You Back' (Wilton Felder on bass) came in at no.28.

'Darling Dear' got an honourable mention. James Jamerson! :D
 

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Bought 'bassplayer' magazine today, they have a Top 100 bass parts feature. 'I Want You Back' (Wilton Felder on bass) came in at no.28.

'Darling Dear' got an honourable mention. James Jamerson! :D
There’s a bunch of videos on youtube with regular mortals playing that bass part. Apparently Jermaine played it faultless live.
The thing with the bass is you never really notice it until you have listened to a song dozens of times and preferably with a headset
 
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