1. Monologue (0:33)
2. We Don't Have To Be Over 21 (2:14)
3. You've Changed (2:35)
4. Big Boy (2:59)
5. Michael The Lover (2:22)
6. Jam Session (3:44)
7. My Girl (2:31)
8. Soul Jerk (2:00)
9. Under The Boardwalk (2:40)
10. Saturday Night At The Movies (1:55)
11. Tracks Of My Tears (2:31)
12. Lonely Heart (1:12)
13. Stormy Monday (2:39)
Released: July 21, 2009
Label: S.D.E.G./J5 Music
This recording features a very young (pre-Motown) Michael Jackson with his brothers performing a dozen classic Soul/R&B tunes with a very recognizable hint of their future success.
Drummer Johnny Jackson was not a blood relative of the Jackson 5 but often referred to as their 'cousin' who was present for their earliest Steeltown recordings in Gary, Indiana.
When the Jackson family moved to Los Angeles, he went with them, was signed along with them to Motown and was on their earliest recordings for that label.
It wasn’t until late 1969 that the Jackson 5 burst into the hearts and living rooms of America with the smash-hit singles “I Want You Back” and “ABC.”
But the band of brothers had already been practicing for three years before releasing those Motown tracks. Although this early material isn’t as clean and polished as the group’s later work, it does offer the rare opportunity to appreciate the raw talent Jermaine, Tito, Marlon, Jackie and, of course, Michael (along with their drummer, Johnny) brought to the table.
In addition to the band’s first singles, including “We Don’t Have to Be Over 21″ and “Big Boy,” the compilation documents an all-Jackson jam session and opens with a James Brown-worthy mini-monologue, replete with the boastings of high-voiced brothers of various ages.
There’s also a zany, curious confection called “Michael the Lover,” that retells its hero’s fictional encounter with an admirer (you know, kind of like “Billie Jean”).
Most pleasing of all are the covers, from an innocent “My Girl” to a tinny, tropical-flavored “Under the Boardwalk.”
No one who listened to 10-year-old Michael sing his heart out on these tracks would be surprised that he grew up to become the King of Pop.
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