Podcast: The Jacksons Dynasty

Celebrating five decades since The Jackson 5 burst onto the scene, Shaun Ponsonby uses Planet Slop’s Glorified Jukebox to navigate the musical evolution of The Jacksons.

By Shaun Ponsonby
Sun 10 June, 2018

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Jacksons.

It is easy to dismiss any Jackson who isn’t Michael as a hanger on, somebody with little to no talent who found themselves in showbusiness by proxy.

Au contraire!

In fact, between them the Jackson family have been amongst the most vital architects of popular culture. As kids, the Jackson 5 became the template for boybands for the rest of time, and were the first black faces on teen magazines and merchandise.

Jermaine may not have been as big as his younger brother, but he was the first black teen sex symbol and helped launch the careers of superstars like Whitney Houston and smaller R&B bands such as Switch and DeBarge. Janet Jackson – a superstar almost to match Michael – helped create the sound of black music for a decade. Tito’s sons 3T were the second biggest selling group of their day, behind only The Spice Girls. Even LaToya, against all the odds, became one of the biggest gay icons in the world.

And of course, there is Michael. Thriller being the biggest selling album of all time would be impressive no matter what. But that it was released during a major industry slump, and when there were virtually no hits by black artists due to the still-recent anti-disco backlash, it becomes even more astonishing a feat.

This is what fascinates me about this family. They have had a hand in shaping popular culture, and breaking down barriers that would still have existed had they not come along. Both collectively and apart.

I started putting these shows together for local radio station KCC Live. I wanted to use Planet Slop‘s Glorified Jukebox to play the hits and personal favourites, of course. Not to mention rarities and demos. But I also wanted to try to paint a picture through the music they have made.

The shows are split into five parts, and are presented in extended versions to what was originally broadcast:

Part 1: ABC (1967-1976)
Part 2: Triumph (1976-1981)
Part 3: Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (1982-1986)
Part 4: Rhythm Nation (1987-1994)
Part 5: This Is It (1995-2017)

The Jacksons don’t stop at Michael, or even Janet. Hopefully, this five part series manages to underline this. Through this entire series, you can almost trace black popular music and beyond for an astonishing 50 years, from Motown and bubblegum pop, through Philadelphia International, disco, those blockbuster albums of the 80s, New Jack Swing, hip hop and R&B.

There are a few songs added from around the fringes they were working in to provide context, but ultimately this is the music made by a poor, African American family from Gary, Indiana who ended up becoming worldwide icons.

Part 1: ABC (1967-1975)

1. Michael Jackson (The Mitchell Bros feat. Calvin Harris) [Dressed For The Occasion, 2007]
2. My Girl (Jackson 5) [Home Recording, 1967]*
3. Big Boy (Jackson 5) [Single, 1968]
4. We Don’t Have To Be Over 21 (To Fall In Love) (Jackson 5) [Single, 1968]
5. Does Your Mama Know About Me? (Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers) [Single, 1968]
6. Why Do Fools Fall In Love? (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers) [The Teenagers Featuring Frankie Lymon, 1956]
7. I Want You Back (Jackson 5) [Diana Ross Presents… , 1969]
8. Feelin’ Alright (Jackson 5 feat. Diana Ross) [Diana! Soundtrack, 1971]*
9. Who’s Lovin’ You [Live] (Jackson 5) [Live At The Forum 1970, 2010]
10. ABC (Jackson 5) [ABC, 1970]
11. Easy Love (Sigala) [Single, 2015]
12. The Love You Save (Jackson 5) [ABC, 1970]
13. I’ll Be There (Jackson 5) [Third Album, 1970]
14. I’ll Bet You (Funkadelic) [Funkadelic, 1970]
15. 2-4-6-8 (Jackson 5) [ABC, 1970]
16. Goin’ Back To Indiana [Live] (Jackson 5) [Live At The Forum 1970, 2010]
17. Mama’s Pearl (Jackson 5) [Third Album, 1970]
18. Never Can Say Goodbye (Jackson 5) [Maybe Tomorrow, 1971]*
19. Never Can Say Goodbye (Gloria Gaynor) [Never Can Say Goodbye, 1974]*
20. Puppy Love (Donny Osmond) [Portrait of Donny, 1972]*
21. Got To Be There (Michael Jackson) [Got To Be There, 1972]
22. Sugar Daddy (Jackson 5) [Greatest Hits, 1971]
23. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Jackson 5) [Jackson 5 Christmas Album, 1970]
24. Rockin’ Robin (Michael Jackson) [Got To Be There, 1972]
25. That’s How Love Goes (Jermaine Jackson) [Jermaine, 1972]
26. I Lost My Love In The Big City (Jermaine Jackson) [Jermaine, 1972]
27. Maybe Tomorrow (Jackson 5) [Maybe Tomorrow, 1971]
28. Take Me In Your Arms (Jermaine Jackson) [Jermaine, 1972]
29. I Wanna Be Where You Are (Michael Jackson) [Got To Be There, 1972]
30. Love Don’t Wanna Leave (Jackie Jackson) [Jackie Jackson, 1973]
31. Daddy’s Home (Jermaine Jackson) [Jermaine, 1972]
32. Lookin’ Through The Windows (Jackson 5) [Lookin’ Through The Windows, 1972]
33. Doctor My Eyes (Jackson Browne) [Jackson Browne, 1972]*
34. Doctor My Eyes (Jackson 5) [Lookin’ Through The Windows, 1972]*
35. Corner of the Sky (Jackson 5) [Skywriter, 1973]
36. Ben (Michael Jackson) [Ben, 1972]
37. Music and Me (Michael Jackson) [Music and Me, 1973]
38. Dancing Machine (Jackson 5) [GIT: Get It Together, 1973]
39. I Am Love (Jackson 5) [Dancing Machine, 1974]
40. One Day In Your Life (Michael Jackson) [Forever Michael, 1975]
41. We’re Here To Entertain You (Jackson 5) [Joyful Jukebox Music, 1976]

Part 2: Triumph (1976-1981)

1. Enjoy Yourself (The Jacksons) [The Jacksons, 1976]
2. Love Train (The O’ Jays) [Back Stabbers, 1972]
3. Show You The Way To Go (The Jacksons) [The Jacksons, 1976]
4. Blues Away (The Jacksons) [The Jacksons, 1976]
5. Goin’ Places (The Jacksons) [Goin’ Places, 1977]
6. Shake A Body (The Jacksons) [Demo, 1978]
7. Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) (The Jacksons) [Destiny, 1978]
8. Blame It On The Boogie (Mick Jackson) [Single, 1978]*
9. Blame It On The Boogie (The Jacksons) [Destiny, 1978]
10. Let’s Be Young Tonight (Jermaine Jackson) [My Name Is Jermaine, 1976]
11. Things I Do For You (The Jacksons) [Destiny, 1978]
12. Destiny (The Jacksons) [Destiny, 1978]
13. Castles of Sand (Jermaine Jackson) [Frontiers, 1978]
14. There’ll Never Be (Switch) [Switch, 1978]
15. You Can’t Win (Michael Jackson) [The Wiz soundtrack, 1978]
16. Ease On Down The Road (Michael Jackson & Diana Ross) [The Wiz soundtrack, 1978]
17. The Dude (Quincy Jones) [The Dude, 1981]*
18. Off The Wall (Michael Jackson) [Off The Wall, 1979]
19. The Groove Line (Heatwave) [Central Heating, 1978]
20. Rock With You (Michael Jackson) [The Reflex Revision, 2014]
21. Let’s Get Serious (Jermaine Jackson) [Let’s Get Serious, 1980]
22. I Can’t Help It (Esperanza Spalding) [Radio Music Society, 2012]
23. Girlfriend (Wings) [London Town, 1978]
24. Sunset Driver (Michael Jackson) [Demo, 1979]
25. Workin’ Day & Night (Michael Jackson) [Off The Wall, 1979]
26. She’s Out of My Life (Michael Jackson) [Demo, 1979]
27. Can You Feel It? (The Jacksons) [Triumph, 1980]
28. Lovely One (The Jacksons) [Triumph, 1980]
29. Night Time Lover (LaToya Jackson) [LaToya Jackson, 1980]
30. This Place Hotel (The Jacksons) [Triumph, 1980]
31. Walk Right Now (The Jacksons) [Triumph, 1980]
32. Camp Kutchi KaiKai (LaToya Jackson) [My Special Love, 1981]
33. You Like Me, Don’t You? (Jermaine Jackson) [Jermaine, 1980]
34. Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough [Live] (The Jacksons) [The Jacksons Live, 1981]

Part 3: Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (1982-1986)

1. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (Michael Jackson) [Thriller, 1982]
2. Don’t Stop The Music (Rihanna) [Good Girl Gone Bad, 2007]*
3. Girl Is Mine (Michael Jackson) [Demo, 1982]
4. Let Me Tickle Your Fancy (Jermaine Jackson feat. Devo) [Let Me Tickle Your Fancy, 1982]
5. Someone In The Dark (Michael Jackson) [The ET Storybook, 1982]*
6. Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) [Thriller, 1982]
7. PYT (Pretty Young Thing) (Michael Jackson) [Thriller, 1982]
8. Young Love (Janet Jackson) [Janet Jackson, 1982]
9. Muscles (Diana Ross) [Silk Electric, 1982]
10. Beat It (Michael Jackson) [Demo, 1982]
11. Beat It (Michael Jackson) [Thriller, 1982]
12. Thriller (Michael Jackson) [Thriller, 1982]
13. Got The Hots (Michael Jackson) [Thriller outtake, 1982]
14. Candy Girl (New Edition) [Candy Girl, 1983]
15. Rhythm of the Night (DeBarge) [Rhythm of the Night, 1985]
16. Human Nature (Michael Jackson) [Thriller, 1982]
17. Dynamite (Jermaine Jackson) [Dynamite, 1984]
18. Do What You Do (Jermaine Jackson) [Dynamite, 1984]
19. Sweetest Sweetest (Jermaine Jackson) [Dynamite, 1984]
20. Torture (The Jacksons) [Victory, 1984]
21. Body (The Jacksons) [Victory, 1984]
22. Be Not Always (The Jacksons) [Victory, 1984]*
23. Wait (The Jacksons) [Victory, 1984]
24. Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming (Jermaine Jackson feat. Michael Jackson)
25. Take Good Care of My Heart (Jermaine Jackson feat. Whitney Houston) [Dynamite, 1984/Whitney Houston, 1985]
26. Farewell My Summer Love (Michael Jackson) [Farewell My Summer Love, 1984]
27. Centipede (Rebbie Jackson) [Centipede, 1984]
28. Don’t Stand Another Chance (Janet Jackson) [Dream Street, 1984]
29. Hot Potato (LaToya Jackson) [Heart Don’t Lie, 1984]
30. State of Shock (The Jacksons feat. Mick Jagger) [Victory, 1984]
31. Say Say Say (Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson) [Pipes of Peace, 1983]
32. There Must Be More To Life Than This (Queen feat. Michael Jackson) [Studio outtake, appeared on Queen Forever, 2014]
33. We Are The World (Michael Jackson) [Demo, 1985]
34. Somebody’s Watching Me (Rockwell) [Somebody’s Watching Me, 1984]
35. When The Rain Begins To Fall (Jermaine Jackson feat. Pia Zadora) [Voyage of the Rock Aliens soundtrack, 1984]
36. What Have You Done For Me Lately? (Janet Jackson)[Control, 1986]
37. Control (Janet Jackson)[Control, 1986]
38. Nasty (Janet Jackson)[Control, 1986]
39. Let’s Wait a While (Janet Jackson)[Control, 1986]
40. We Are Here To Change The World (Michael Jackson) [From Captain Eo, 1986]
41. When I Think of You (Janet Jackson)[Control, 1986]

Part 4: Rhythm Nation (1987-1994)

1. Bad (Michael Jackson) [Bad, 1987]
2. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (Michael Jackson feat. Siedah Garrett) [Bad, 1987]
3. Diamonds (Herb Alpert feat. Janet Jackson) [Keep Your Eye On Me, 1987]
4. Streetwalker (Michael Jackson) [Bad outtake, 1987]
5. The Way You Make Me Feel (Michael Jackson) [Bad, 1987]
6. Don’t Go (Marlon Jackson) [Baby Tonight, 1987]
7. Al Capone (Michael Jackson) [Early version of Smooth Criminal, 1986]*
8. Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson) [Bad, 1987]
9. Reggae Night (Jimmy Cliff) [The Power and the Glory, 1983]
10. (Ain’t Nobody Loves You) Like I Do (LaToya Jackson) [LaToya, 1987]
11. Leave Me Alone (Michael Jackson) [Bad, 1987]
12. Dirty Diana [Live] (Michael Jackson) [Live At Wembley 1988, 2012]
13. Rhythm Nation (Janet Jackson) [Rhythm Nation 1814, 1989]
14. Miss You Much (Janet Jackson) [Rhythm Nation 1814, 1989]
15. You’re Gonna Get Rocked (LaToya Jackson) [LaToya, 1987]
16. 2300 Jackson Street (The Jacksons) [2300 Jackson Street, 1989]
17. Nothin’ (That Compares 2 U) (The Jacksons) [2300 Jackson Street, 1989]
18. Escapade (Janet Jackson) [Rhythm Nation 1814, 1989]
19. Perpetrators (Randy & The Gypsys) [Randy & The Gypsys, 1989]
20. Don’t Take It Personal (Jermaine Jackson) [Don’t Take It Personal, 1989]
21. Stay (Jackie Jackson) [Be The One, 1989]
22. Black Cat (Janet Jackson) [Rhythm Nation 1814, 1989]
23. Alright (Janet Jackson feat. Heavy D) [Rhythm Nation 1814, 1989]
24. I Know You Got Soul (Eric B & Rakim)[Paid In Full, 1987]
25. OPP (Naughty By Nature) [Naughty By Nature, 1991]
26. Love Song For Kids (Randy Jackson & Janet Jackson) [Demo, 1989]
27. Love Will Never Do (Without You) (Janet Jackson) [Rhythm Nation 1814, 1989]
28. Word To The Badd! (Jermaine Jackson) [You Said, 1991]
29. Dangerous (Michael Jackson) [Early Version, 1990]
30. Remember The Time (Michael Jackson) [Dangerous, 1991]
31. Black Or White (Michael Jackson) [Dangerous, 1991]
32. The Best Things In Life Are Free (Janet Jackson, Luther Vandross, Bell Biv DeVoe & Ralph Tresvant) [Mo Money soundtrack, 1992]
33. In The Closet (Michael Jackson) [Dangerous, 1991]
34. That’s The Way Love Goes (Janet Jackson) [janet., 1993]
35. Heal The World (Michael Jackson) [Dangerous, 1991]*
36. Who Is It? (Michael Jackson) [Dangerous, 1991]
37. Give In To Me (Michael Jackson) [Dangerous, 1991]
38. Again (Janet Jackson) [janet., 1993]
39. If (Janet Jackson) [janet., 1993]
40. Do The Bartman (The Simpsons) [The Simpsons Sing The Blues, 1992]
41. Whoops Now (Janet Jackson) [janet., 1993]

Part 5: This Is It (1995-2017)

1. They Don’t Care About Us (Michael Jackson) [HIStory: Past, Present and Future – Book 1, 1995]
2. Scream (Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson) [HIStory: Past, Present and Future – Book 1, 1995]
3. Runaway (Janet Jackson) [Design of a Decade, 1996]
4. Anything (3T) [Brotherhood, 1995]
5. You Are Not Alone (Michael Jackson) [HIStory: Past, Present and Future – Book 1, 1995]
6. Stranger In Moscow (Michael Jackson) [HIStory: Past, Present and Future – Book 1, 1995]
7. Why (3T feat. Michael Jackson) [Brotherhood, 1995]
8. Earth Song (Michael Jackson) [HIStory: Past, Present and Future – Book 1, 1995]
9. Got Til It’s Gone (Janet Jackson feat. Q-Tip and Joni Mitchell) [The Velvet Rope, 1997]
10. HIStory (Tony Moran’s HIStory Lesson) (Michael Jackson) [Blood On The Dancefloor: HIStory In The Mix, 1997]
11. Blood On The Dancefloor (Michael Jackson) [Blood On The Dancefloor: HIStory In The Mix, 1997]
12. Morphine (Michael Jackson) [Blood On The Dancefloor: HIStory In The Mix, 1997]
13. Go Deep (Janet Jackson) [The Velvet Rope, 1997]
14. Together Again (Janet Jackson) [The Velvet Rope, 1997]
15. Fly Away (Rebbie Jackson) [Yours Faithfully…, 1998]
16. Smooth Criminal (Alien Ant Farm) [Anthology, 2001]
17. You Rock My World (Michael Jackson) [Invincible, 2001]
18. Butterflies (Michael Jackson) [Invincible, 2001]
19. I Want You Back [Live] (The Jacksons) [Live at Madison Square Garden, 2001]
20. Whatever Happens (Michael Jackson feat. Carlos Santana) [Invincible, 2001]
21. All For You (Janet Jackson) [All For You, 2001]
22. All Nite (Don’t Stop) (Janet Jackson) [Damita Jo, 2004]
23. Sex Appeal (3T) [Identity, 2004]
24. Just Wanna Dance (LaToya Jackson) [Starting Over, 2004]*
25. This Is It (Michael Jackson) [This Is It, 2009]
26. Hold My Hand (Michael Jackson & Akon) [Michael, 2010]
27. Love Never Felt So Good (Michael Jackson) [Xscape, 2014]
28. That’s How I Feel (Dealz)[Single, 2011]
29. Feel Like Dancin’ (RuPaul feat. LaToya Jackson) [Born Naked iTunes edition, 2014]*
30. No Sleeep (Janet Jackson) [Unbreakable, 2015]
31. Get It Baby (Tito Jackson feat. Big Daddy Kane) [Tito Time, 2017]
32. Man In The Mirror (Michael Jackson) [Bad, 1987]

*Denotes that only an excerpt of the song is played.