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Essential Jacksons Original recording remastered

4 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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The Essential Jacksons
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 9, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Different label (Columbia), different name (The Jacksons), more hits! Here are the 14 biggest: Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground); Enjoy Yourself (extended version); State of Shock (with Mick Jagger); Lovely One; Show You the Way to Go , and more, even a live version of Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough from the 1981 U.S. tour!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0001I2CFM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,034 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Jackson 5 Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Overshadowed by brother Michael's solo career and best known for their career establishing, oft-packaged tenure at Motown (1969-1975), the Jackson brothers made some fine music for the Epic label from 1976-1989. Surprisingly, their Epic hits had not been anthologized until this new 14-track Essential set.
Having lost their Jackson 5 moniker and brother Jermaine to a solo career when they left Motown, the newly christened Jacksons - with youngest brother Randy now in the fold - were assigned to legendary Philly soul writer-producers Gamble & Huff for their first two Epic albums The Jacksons (1976) and Goin' Places (1977). These albums showcased a significant maturation in the group's sound, led by their more intricate harmonies. But aside from the snappy "Enjoy Yourself," the hits ("Show You The Way To Go," "Goin' Places," and "Find Me A Girl") are indistinctive pleasantries that could have just as easily been performed by Gamble & Huff's primary act, The O'Jays.
Starting with their third Epic album Destiny in 1978, the Jacksons - especially Michael, Jackie, and Randy - began writing and producing their own material. Destiny was, amazingly, a vast improvement over the Gamble & Huff albums. Its two hit singles "Blame It On The Boogie" and "Shake You Body" (Down To The Ground)" stand among the most potent hits of the disco era, highlighted by Michael's sunny lead vocals, smooth backgrounds from the brothers, and a supple bass line. Unlike most dance hits from the late '70s, these recordings still sound fresh today.
Michael followed up Destiny with his megastar-making solo vehicle Off The Wall in 1979. The confidence brought on by that project's success was immediately evident when he re-teamed with his brothers for Triumph in 1981.
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3 Comments 22 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on March 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
On the positive side, it's great to have a hits compilation on the Jacksons. I've wanted this collection to come out for so long. It was scheduled and cancelled at least four times. I'm thrilled that it finally happened.
I wanted to give the collection 5 stars, but...
The tracklist is weak. The absence of Torture is a major oversight. The live Don't Stop Til You Get Enough is barely listenable, while the exceptional Jackson 5 Medley from the same live album would have been more appropriate and still fit, but it too was omitted.
There are no liner notes. A poem by Jermaine from the 2300 Jackson Street album has been included here. But what about something new? The Jacksons great story? Not here.
However, my biggest complaint is that the mastering is poor. Were these songs mastered from the original masters or from the poorly sounding CDs issued over 10 years ago? The songs don't sound clean, while the original albums on vinyl sound wonderful. Of course, the actual albums on CD need an overhaul too, but that's another topic.
Sony, please do the right thing and try this one again. We've waited so long, and the Jacksons deserve their due.
If you don't have the Jacksons on CD, get this collection, they're great songs. However beware, it's far from perfect.
Comment 13 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
The Essential Jacksons "essentially" cheats both The Jacksons and their fans of so much I can't believe it! The songs here are good; but there's too much missing--this should have been a much more extensive two CD set. However the sound quality is good and what we do get is very good material. The artwork is nicely done.

"Enjoy Yourself" is an excellent number that has that funky `70s sound that still makes me want to dance today! The Jacksons sing this very well and "Enjoy Yourself" makes a great starter song for this album. Awesome! "Show You The Way To Go" slows down the pace a bit but it also has a disco flavor to it; I can't quite verbalize it but the song works very well. Michael's voice is in excellent form and "Show You The Way To Go" is a fine song. "Goin' Places" really has a great beat; I like "Goin' Places" with its rapid fire beat and The Jacksons sing this without a superfluous note. Michael sings the main lyrics of the song while his brothers back him up very, very well. Wow, these young men had talent!

"Blame It On The Boogie" is one of my very favorite tunes by The Jackson; Michael and his brothers perform this with all their hearts and souls. "Blame It On The Boogie" has a melody that is infectious and catchy--you'll want to hear this tune several times over! I really like "Blame It On The Boogie." "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)" was a major hit for The Jackson; and thank goodness they had the wisdom to include this song here! "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)" has a beat that is perfect for dancing and I love it! "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)" is a major highlight of this album.

"Can You Feel It" is one of those tunes that once you hear it you can never forget it.
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3 Comments 18 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Even as a huge fan of the Jacksons, I bought this with some hesitancy. First, I had all the tracks (in older, non-remastered versions, but still had them) and the only new music to my ears was the extra 30 seconds of "Enjoy Yourself" ad-libs. And second, I wondered about the title. Sure, the Jacksons made some very good and influential music post-Motown, but was there enough "Essential" music to fill a whole disc? In my mind, the "Essentials" would include every charting hit, as well as any album tracks that help showcase muscial growth or influence. In this case, including one or two of the Jacksons' first self-penned songs ("Blue Away," "Style of Life," "Different Kind of Lady," or "Do What You Wanna") would have been interesting and important. There was plenty of room on the disc for adding a song or two. One of the biggest gems on the disc is "Find me a Girl." What a perfect display of Michael's soulfulness and vocal mastery. Including only the two singles from "Destiny" is a shame, as that album was really their breakthrough into adult success and had several great dance-funk tunes that set the Jacksons apart from the cookie-cutter disco crowd. Leaving off "Torture" and "Body" (both top 40 hits) from the "Victory" album, while inserting the live version of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" seems to lean this set toward Michael and not the group. In essence, this set doesn't seem to find its goal. It's not a greatest hits collection, as some of their hits are not here while some of their flops are; and as I have stated, it doesn't successfully cover all of what I would call their "Essential" music.
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