The Jackson 5 (also spelled The Jackson Five, or The Jackson 5ive), later known as The Jacksons, were an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana. Founding group members Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael formed the group after performing in an early incarnation called The Jackson Brothers, which originally consisted of a trio of the three older brothers. Active from 1964 to 1990, the Jacksons played from a repertoire of R&B, soul, pop and later disco. During their six-and-a-half-year Motown tenure, The Jackson 5 were one of the biggest pop-music phenomena of the 1970s, and the band served as the launching pad for the solo careers of their lead singers Jermaine and Michael, the latter brother later transforming his early Motown solo fame into greater success as an adult artist.
The Jackson 5 were the first act in recording history to have their first four major label singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There") reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Several later singles, among them "Mama's Pearl", "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Dancing Machine", were Top 5 pop hits and number-one hits on the R&B singles chart. Most of the early hits were written and produced by a specialized songwriting team known as "The Corporation"; later Jackson 5 hits were crafted chiefly by Hal Davis, while early Jacksons hits were compiled by the team of Gamble and Huff before The Jacksons began writing and producing themselves in the late 1970s.
Significantly, they were the first black teen idols to appeal equally to white audiences thanks partially to the successful promotional relations skills of Motown Records CEO Berry Gordy. With their departure from Motown to CBS in 1976, The Jacksons were forced to change their name and Jermaine was replaced with younger brother Randy as Jermaine chose to stay at Motown. After two years under the Philadelphia International Records label, they signed with Epic Records and asserted control of their songwriting, production, and image, and their success continued into the 1980s with hits such as "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)", "Lovely One", and "State of Shock". Their 1989 album 2300 Jackson Street was recorded without Michael and Marlon. Michael and Marlon did appear, however, on the title track. The disappointing sales of the album led to the group being dropped by their record label at the end of the year. The group has never formally broken up, but has been dormant since then, although all six brothers performed together at two Michael Jackson tribute concerts in September 2001.
G.I.T.: Get It Together (a.k.a. Get It Together) was the seventh official studio album by The Jackson 5, released in September 1973 for the Motown label.
During the group's last years with Motown, the label struggled to come up with material for the group. As a result, the Jackson 5 fell into a period from 1973 to 1974 where they scored no Top 10 singles. By this point, most of the Jackson 5's members, and their manager/father Joseph Jackson, were vocally complaining about the group's direction, with Michael Jackson becoming the most vocal. The only member not to complain about Motown's handling of the act was Jermaine Jackson, who would marry Motown head Berry Gordy's daughter Hazel three months after the release of the album. G.I.T.: Get It Together would go on to sell over two million copies worldwide.
G.I.T.: Get It Together was the first album to feature Michael Jackson's noticeable growth spurt. Now aged 15 and with a slightly deeper singing voice, the overall sound of the group changed as well. With Michael Jackson now a full-fledged tenor, the young boys who first came on the scene with "I Want You Back" just four years earlier were becoming men. The high notes that only Michael could hit were retired. It was also on this album that Jackson first employed what would later be known as his "vocal hiccup", notably on the song "It's Too Late to Change the Time". As Motown frowned on any sort of control being relinquished to the group, Jackson semi-retired the hiccup until his solo career at Epic Records began in earnest with Off the Wall.
Get It Together was one of the earliest albums to experiment with a pre-disco sound, released at a time before the genre was mainstream. The album was a breakaway from the group's bubblegum soul sound as they came up with a more funk-oriented album similar to The Temptations' Norman Whitfield-produced albums. Two of Whitfield's Temptations songs—"You Need Love Like I Do (Don't You)" and "Hum Along and Dance"— appeared on Get It Together.
The sequence of songs was also carefully arranged for Get It Together. There was no silence separating one song from the other. Each track flowed together thematically, a technique borrowed from Stevie Wonder's landmark album Music of My Mind, released the year prior.
The title track, "Get It Together", was a modest pop hit for the group reaching #28, while the album-closing "Dancing Machine" became a smash pop hit, reaching #2 on the pop chart and briefly restoring the Jackson 5 back to their former success.
Get It Together was also the first Jackson 5 album to feature all five Jackson brothers sharing lead vocals, giving the album a more group unified aura. Tito, in particular, is prominently featured on "Mama I Gotta Brand New Thing (Don't Say No)" and leads the brothers through "Hum Along and Dance". In addition, the album did not feature production or songwriting from any of the now-disbanded Corporation. Motown head Berry Gordy, a member of the Corporation, was busy expanding his Motown empire into movie ventures, mostly starring Diana Ross.
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