Two 1970 smash LPs on one CD! Bonus track: CD debut of Oh, I've Been Bless'd from the first LP sessions!
Gary, Indiana, brothers the Jackson 5 scored pop and R&B No. 1's with their first four singles for Motown, three of which are collected here. The mythical claim that Diana Ross
discovered the Jacksons might have helped gain attention, but their talent clearly spoke for itself. A quartet of writer-producers, including company head Berry Gordy, devised a sound that melded the new funk with smooth soul. "I Want You Back," "ABC," and "The Love You Save" were influenced by Sly and the Family Stone
while proving their own new, terrific thing. Both kids and adults embraced it: that 11-year-old Michael
was a precocious talent amid a strong group dynamic made the 5 undeniable.
After the quickly assembled debut LP carrying the Ross credit, their identity as an album act was solidified by 1970's ABC, which found them thoroughly convincing on everything from school-days riffs like the title tune to a cover of Funkadelic's "I'll Bet You." The idea of a group "growing" from disc to disc may be clichéd, but this CD shows it was both literally and figuratively true in the Jackson 5's case. The rare outtake "Oh, I've Been Bless'd" is included as a bonus track. --Rickey Wright