The Jackson 5 Thread

DangerousGal91

You know I'm bad 😎
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
747
Points
93
Location
The Neverlands 😉
Country
Netherlands
Well based on his "Dating Game" appearance and some articles when he was like 13-14 asking him about what he likes in girls, I am guessing there was a pre-teen market there with Michael. But it makes sense that he was the least sought after during J5 times since he was literal freaking child lol. But children get crushes on children, so it makes sense.

What a weird thing to even be discussing haha. Sorry all!
Haha not weird IMO, we're just discussing Michael and his brothers' appeal back in the olden days. I can speak for myself that I had my first crushes at around 10-11 or so, it's not like we're being weird about it.

And I mean, to reference more recent times, when Justin Bieber was 14 he also had a lot of preteen fangirls. Like, a lot. I think it's a bit of a similar thing to Michael's appeal back then (and no, I'm not implying JB is on the same level as an artist lol, you know what I mean).
 

staywild23

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2022
Messages
3,495
Points
113
Country
United-States
Haha not weird IMO, we're just discussing Michael and his brothers' appeal back in the olden days. I can speak for myself that I had my first crushes at around 10-11 or so, it's not like we're being weird about it.
I've had very, very few celebrity crushes (which is probably surprising given my level of insanity). But when I was 9-10 I had a massive (yet incredibly fleeting) crush on Leonardo DiCaprio on Growing Pains. He was like 16 I think. This was during the Titanic era and I was not even interested in him as Jack Dawson in comparison to his teen self. So cute to remember this lol.

And I mean, to reference more recent times, when Justin Bieber was 14 he also had a lot of preteen fangirls. Like, a lot. I think it's a bit of a similar thing to Michael's appeal back then (and no, I'm not implying JB is on the same level as an artist lol, you know what I mean).
Great point! I forgot about Biebs lol. I know what you mean though. He was pretty big at a very young age. I think it's an apt comparison in that way!
 

DuranDuran

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
11,637
Points
113
Really surprised some of these songs weren't higher on the charts too!
A lot of these were big R&B hits, but they just didn't get a lot of crossover Top 40 airplay. Staring in the mid-1970s, Motown artists in general started to get less pop airplay. Some left and went to other labels. I don't know what country you're in, but the USA has a lot of different radio formats, then and now. The Hot 100 chart is considered the mainstream pop chart, but there's other radio formats/charts for people who like a particular type of music like R&B, adult contemporary, Album Oriented Rock (AOR), country, easy listening, alternative rock, etc. In the 1970s pop radio would play different genres mixed together. You could hear The Carpenters, War, Boston, KC & The Sunshine Band, Pink Floyd, Paul Simon, Donna Summer, Stevie Wonder, Herb Alpert, & Kenny Rogers all on the same Top 40 station. But you wouldn't hear Boston on an R&B station, they might play some Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan songs though.
 

staywild23

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2022
Messages
3,495
Points
113
Country
United-States
A lot of these were big R&B hits, but they just didn't get a lot of crossover Top 40 airplay. Staring in the mid-1970s, Motown artists in general started to get less pop airplay. Some left and went to other labels. I don't know what country you're in, but the USA has a lot of different radio formats, then and now. The Hot 100 chart is considered the mainstream pop chart, but there's other radio formats/charts for people who like a particular type of music like R&B, adult contemporary, Album Oriented Rock (AOR), country, easy listening, alternative rock, etc. In the 1970s pop radio would play different genres mixed together. You could hear The Carpenters, War, Boston, KC & The Sunshine Band, Pink Floyd, Paul Simon, Donna Summer, Stevie Wonder, Herb Alpert, & Kenny Rogers all on the same Top 40 station. But you wouldn't hear Boston on an R&B station, they might play some Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan songs though.
I'm in the US 😊 thank you for breaking this down though! Just curious... do you know anything of the cultural/industry context for why Motown artists got less mainstream play in the mid-70s? I've always wondered what happened with Motown, but I don't know a lot about it.

Also, it is so wild to read a list of all those major artists and compare that to now. I don't want to start a war about today's music just not being as good (because I'm sure plenty of people will disagree with me) but I think it used to mean a lot more and be a lot harder to get a #1 song or album for *a lot* of reasons. So that alone kind of puts in perspective why some amazing songs didn't break the top 10 sometimes.
 

filmandmusic

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
2,614
Points
113
I think the entire roster of J5 singles scored extraordinary. All of their singles were top 10 in the r&b market and top 40 in the pop charts meaning every single one of them crossed over.

The Jacksons singles did have some surprises for sure. Can you feel it, blame it on the boogie, goin places and walk right now flopped. That really is not a lot in a career of over a decade. This then was countered with 3 of those 4 songs becoming top 10 in the UK. So overall you could say there were barely any flops at all.
 

DangerousGal91

You know I'm bad 😎
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
747
Points
93
Location
The Neverlands 😉
Country
Netherlands
I'm in the US 😊 thank you for breaking this down though! Just curious... do you know anything of the cultural/industry context for why Motown artists got less mainstream play in the mid-70s? I've always wondered what happened with Motown, but I don't know a lot about it.
Well, from what I've read as a non-American, part of the reason had to do with the artists being black, and there was this radio segregation thing going on at the time (not necessarily talking about radio formats by themselves, since that wasn't their (entire) intended purpose, but it's tangentially related). For another point of reference, what is now known as the Hot R&B/Hip-hop chart used to be known as the Black chart. Yeah...

Now, over here in European countries, while radio formats are  kind of a thing, we never racially segregated like this; my parents grew up with The Jackson 5 everywhere. And why do you think Donna Summer got her start over here in Europe? Why we loved disco so much while America derided it? Same thing. Not saying racial issues weren't a thing here, just very different.
 
Last edited:

staywild23

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2022
Messages
3,495
Points
113
Country
United-States
Well, from what I've read as a non-American, part of the reason had to do with the artists being black, and there was this radio segregation thing going on at the time (not necessarily talking about radio formats by themselves, since that wasn't their (entire) intended purpose, but it's tangentially related). For another point of reference, what is now known as the Hot R&B/Hip-hop chart used to be known as the Black chart. Yeah...
I knew about the differentiation with charts and whatnot. But what I am wondering is why Motown artists would have done so well in Pop charts, but then declined in the 70s. Was something going on at Motown? Was the racial element worsened in some way through changes in the industry at large? Like, what led to that decline? I'm wondering if, as I've heard before, Motown didn't compensate artists well and so the big names left for companies that would and then Motown had less "power" on the charts? Like I said, I'm not knowledgeable about Motown as a business, really. I know what the J5 left, but I'm not sure about the context around the rest of it.

I can also Google this and learn more myself, but figured I'd ask here since so many people have been reading up on this stuff for years!
 

staywild23

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2022
Messages
3,495
Points
113
Country
United-States
I think the entire roster of J5 singles scored extraordinary. All of their singles were top 10 in the r&b market and top 40 in the pop charts meaning every single one of them crossed over.

The Jacksons singles did have some surprises for sure. Can you feel it, blame it on the boogie, goin places and walk right now flopped. That really is not a lot in a career of over a decade. This then was countered with 3 of those 4 songs becoming top 10 in the UK. So overall you could say there were barely any flops at all.

PETALS SHOULD HAVE BEEN A #1 SINGLE!! 😂
 

DangerousGal91

You know I'm bad 😎
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
747
Points
93
Location
The Neverlands 😉
Country
Netherlands
I knew about the differentiation with charts and whatnot. But what I am wondering is why Motown artists would have done so well in Pop charts, but then declined in the 70s. Was something going on at Motown? Was the racial element worsened in some way through changes in the industry at large? Like, what led to that decline? I'm wondering if, as I've heard before, Motown didn't compensate artists well and so the big names left for companies that would and then Motown had less "power" on the charts? Like I said, I'm not knowledgeable about Motown as a business, really. I know what the J5 left, but I'm not sure about the context around the rest of it.

I can also Google this and learn more myself, but figured I'd ask here since so many people have been reading up on this stuff for years!
You're probably also correct, yeah. 🤔 I know Motown wasn't a member of RIAA for a long time either, and then there's also the lack of creative control they gave many of their artists, their over-focus on singles over albums... Though I'm not sure which of those are related. I did also read somewhere that segregation on the radio got worse in the '70s, compared to the' 60s.
 

zinniabooklover

Proud Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
Messages
8,686
Points
113
I knew about the differentiation with charts and whatnot. But what I am wondering is why Motown artists would have done so well in Pop charts, but then declined in the 70s. Was something going on at Motown? Was the racial element worsened in some way through changes in the industry at large? Like, what led to that decline? I'm wondering if, as I've heard before, Motown didn't compensate artists well and so the big names left for companies that would and then Motown had less "power" on the charts? Like I said, I'm not knowledgeable about Motown as a business, really. I know what the J5 left, but I'm not sure about the context around the rest of it.
I don't think it's that big of a deal, tbh. The commercial peak for Motown was the early to mid-60's and had already started to wane by late 60's, certainly by early 70's, notwithstanding the success of J5 and the continuing success of the Temps and others. Albums were becoming more dominant as rock bands kind of were taking over more and more. By the mid-70's disco was huge which wasn't a Motown thing. R&B was getting bigger all the time, imo. Tastes change, audiences move on. Stevie Wonder managed to wrangle quite a bit of autonomy and control over his own career - and Smokey always had it, of course - but most Motown artists didn't have that. In the era of rock bands and the massive rise of the singer - songwriter the Motown artists were always gonna start straining at the leash. And not just the performing artists. Holland Dozier Holland left Motown in 1968. The Corporation were the songwriting team that Berry Gordy put together to do songs for J5 - since HDH had left - but they disbanded in 1972, IIRC. Certainly artists such as the Supremes carried on having massive hits even after HDH left but all of this fracturing is symptomatic of changing attitudes towards the Motown way of doing things.
 

staywild23

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2022
Messages
3,495
Points
113
Country
United-States
I don't think it's that big of a deal, tbh. The commercial peak for Motown was the early to mid-60's and had already started to wane by late 60's, certainly by early 70's, notwithstanding the success of J5 and the continuing success of the Temps and others. Albums were becoming more dominant as rock bands kind of were taking over more and more. By the mid-70's disco was huge which wasn't a Motown thing. R&B was getting bigger all the time, imo. Tastes change, audiences move on. Stevie Wonder managed to wrangle quite a bit of autonomy and control over his own career - and Smokey always had it, of course - but most Motown artists didn't have that. In the era of rock bands and the massive rise of the singer - songwriter the Motown artists were always gonna start straining at the leash. And not just the performing artists. Holland Dozier Holland left Motown in 1968. The Corporation were the songwriting team that Berry Gordy put together to do songs for J5 - since HDH had left - but they disbanded in 1972, IIRC. Certainly artists such as the Supremes carried on having massive hits even after HDH left but all of this fracturing is symptomatic of changing attitudes towards the Motown way of doing things.
This is the kind of cultural context I was talking about!! Thank you for explaining this. It makes a lot of sense when laid out like this. It can be hard for me sometimes to remember just how vast the musical landscape once was. It's easy when you're looking back on a time you didn't live through and honestly just don't have a lot of knowledge of to not see things so opaquely. So thank you for this! Seriously, very helpful!
 

DuranDuran

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
11,637
Points
113
You're probably also correct, yeah. 🤔 I know Motown wasn't a member of RIAA for a long time either, and then there's also the lack of creative control they gave many of their artists, their over-focus on singles over albums.
That doesn't really have anything to do with it. Whitney Houston had little if any control of her music, but she was one of the most popular singers of the 1980s & 1990s. A lot of Whitney's stuff was songs & producers that Clive Davis found for her and/or remakes of lesser known songs. Whitney's music was designed to be pop hits, her music was not like Millie Jackson's or Teena Marie's. Whitney did not have to crossover, she was pushed to Top 40 pop stations from her debut single.

Even in the 1960s, most of the artists on Motown didn't crossover, they mainly pushed a few acts heavily like The Supremes and Diana Ross in particular. Notice after she left, the group didn't get the same amount of promotion, but Gordy was behind trying to make Diana a movie star in the 1970s. It was also said that Gordy attempting to break into Hollywood took his attention from running the label. He had other people in charge of that. R&B/soul in general did not get pop crossover. 1960s Motown was an exception and Stax Records to a lesser extent. Stax music was usually less polished than Motown and more southern. But other Black music labels like Chess & Vee Jay was primarily had the Chitlin' Circuit audience. It was rumored that Motown had mob backing in the 1960s to get their records a lot of airplay. Berry Gordy always denied it. The entertainment industry of that time (including Hollywood movie studios) often had mafia ties, especially the popular clubs and record distribution companies. It was no big secret that the Rat Pack guys was working in mob owned clubs and/or working directly for them, especially Frank Sinatra.
 

filmandmusic

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
2,614
Points
113
MJ’s spinning in the 70s was unreal. It is like he was one of those old toys who had to be wound up with a small lever and when you let go it started doing what it was supposed to do for example spinning or driving.
It is so precise and fast it gives the illusion that he is spinning dozens of rounds with seemingly minimal effort.
His dancing in the 70s is underappreciated, he was constantly on the move, hopping around to the beat and this with live vocals on the tours.
 

zinniabooklover

Proud Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
Messages
8,686
Points
113
I only came across this performance a few months ago and I absolutely love it. Michael’s spins during this performance are my favourites. :love:
MJ’s spinning in the 70s was unreal. It is like he was one of those old toys who had to be wound up with a small lever and when you let go it started doing what it was supposed to do for example spinning or driving.
It is so precise and fast it gives the illusion that he is spinning dozens of rounds with seemingly minimal effort.
His dancing in the 70s is underappreciated, he was constantly on the move, hopping around to the beat and this with live vocals on the tours.
For me, it's more like he's an ice skater. It's not a great analogy, in many ways, bc he's not on a slippery surface and he doesn't have to perform in front of a panel of judges, lol. But ice skaters, when they do a spin, they are supposed to stay on the spot as much as they can. A skater can do a really great spin but also travel off the spot slightly. It doesn't look rubbish, visually, but when they manage to stay *on* the spot, it does look extra awesome.

Obviously, it's much easier for Michael to stay on the spot but, even so, when he does so, it looks fabulous. I find his spinning to be very artistic. I love the way he uses his feet. I love the way he never does it too much or for too long. There's a beautiful, smooth flow to it which you see in ice skating but not often in dance, imo. Wonderful. 🥰
 
Last edited:

Lacra

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
194
Points
63
I know this is totally off topic, but Michael loved him and you mentioned ICE SKATING. So in my defense, in my head it was on topic 🤭

 

zinniabooklover

Proud Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
Messages
8,686
Points
113
I know this is totally off topic, but Michael loved him and you mentioned ICE SKATING. So in my defense, in my head it was on topic 🤭


This was awesome! Loved every second of it. He was such a consummate performer. No wonder Michael loved him. Mm, talking of love, check out the mutual love and adoration going on in one of my top fave photos. Off-topic but I can't resist!


tumblr_mebqv3GRUc1rlol2bo1_500.jpg
 

Nite Line

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
2,628
Points
113
For me, it's more like he's an ice skater. It's not a great analogy, in many ways, bc he's not on a slippery surface and he doesn't have to perform in front of a panel of judges, lol. But ice skaters, when they do a spin, they are supposed to stay on the spot as much as they can. A skater can do a really great spin but also travel off the spot slightly. It doesn't look rubbish, visually, but when they manage to stay *on* the spot, it does look extra awesome.

Obviously, it's much easier for Michael to stay on the spot but, even so, when he does so, it looks fabulous. I find his spinning to be very artistic. I love the way he uses his feet. I love the way he never does it too much or for too long. There's a beautiful, smooth flow to it which you see in ice skating but not often in dance, imo. Wonderful. 🥰
In my opinion, Michael's spins were his most impressive and hardest dance move to execute. I have seen so many Michael Jackson impersonators and while I have seen many execute the moonwalk and Michael's other dance moves perfectly, I have never seen anyone execute the spin as effortlessly as Michael did.
 

wonderouzmj

Proud Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
2,007
Points
113
In my opinion, Michael's spins were his most impressive and hardest dance move to execute. I have seen so many Michael Jackson impersonators and while I have seen many execute the moonwalk and Michael's other dance moves perfectly, I have never seen anyone execute the spin as effortlessly as Michael did.
(Cough cough)
 
Top