Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas with the Jackson 5 (1970)

In 1970, the Jackson 5 (Michael, Jermaine, Marlon, Jackie, and Tito) released what has turned out to be a classic Christmas album: "Jackson 5 Christmas Album." Already riding the crest of a string of hits, the Jackson 5 hit this one out of the proverbial park with updated interpretations of some old and some new Christmas themed songs. The beauty of the album lies in its simplicity and timeless aura.

All were in their early to late teens; check out the tight harmonies of the Jackson 5. You can hear the talent of Jermaine Jackson as he is replaced on this album as lead singer by a much more confident and savvy younger brother by the name of Michael. Yeah, THAT Michael Jackson! He takes each song and applies a signature sound that can be felt to this day in his music.

I still get a laugh at how Marlon and Michael needed to have their hair picked out on the album cover! And then I remember how tough it was for my parents to keep my afro right when I was a little boy.

One should also note because they were Jehovah Witnesses, the Jackson 5 did not celebrate Christmas! All of the songs are secular in nature with no religious overtones. None mention the birth of Jesus Christ... except for a veiled reference to bringing gifts in "The Little Drummer Boy."

The album appeared at Christmas time in plezWorld in 1970 and has been a fixture in my music rotation during Holidays for almost 40 years! I can put that album on right now to the listening pleasure of my wife, the seven-year old SugarPlum, and me. That's what I call timeless!

Album Playlist
  1. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (Blane/Martin) – 5:19
  2. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (Coots/Gillespie) – 2:24
  3. "The Christmas Song" (Torme/Wells) – 5:11
  4. "Up on the Housetop" – 3:16
  5. "Frosty the Snowman" (Nelson/Rollins) – 2:39
  6. "The Little Drummer Boy" (Davis/Onorati/Simeone) – 3:15
  7. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Marks) – 2:32
  8. "Christmas Won't Be the Same This Year" (Sawyer/Ware) – 2:31
  9. "Give Love on Christmas Day" (Gordy/Mizell/Perren/Richards) – 2:44
  10. "Someday at Christmas" (Miller/Wells) – 2:44
  11. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (Connors) – 3:01

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Enjoy a few selections that I found on YouTube:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Jackson 5

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town - Jackson 5

Frosty the Snowman - Jackson 5

Give Love On Christmas Day - Jackson 5

Christmas Won't Be The Same This Year - Jackson 5

Someday at Christmas - Jackson 5

Little Christmas Tree - Michael Jackson (solo)

This song is not on the "Jackson 5 Christmas Album"

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plez sez: Merry Christmas, Ya'll!

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David Sullivan said...

That was quite the walk down memory lane!

ng2000 said...

Valuable resource of Michael Jackson news summaries...