More than a decade before, in late-1969, the newly-minted Jackson 5 – 11-year old Michael, 12-year old Marlon, 15-year old Jermaine, 16-year old Tito, and 18-year old Jackie – ignited a string of hits at Motown with their historic first four consecutive #1 R&B and #1 pop hits. They became a core group at the label, staying inside the Top 10 for nearly five years. But as they grew older – into their teens for Michael and Marlon, and out of their teens for the others – they grew restless with the Motown songwriters and assembly-line production, and began a campaign to change.
In 1976, they finally realized a long-term goal to part company with Motown and join the CBS Records Epic label, though they had to relinquish the name Jackson 5, thus becoming The Jacksons. Michael and Jermaine had both started recording as solo artists; Michael chose to stay with his brothers, while Jermaine remained at Motown, replaced by youngest member Randy.
By the time Epic assigned the Jacksons to Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International wing, and they released their first new music in late 1976, Randy was 17, Michael was 18, Marlon was 19, Tito was 23, and Jackie was 25. Their self-titled debut album was a classic G&H PIR production, but only included two original compositions by the brothers. Still, the album was certified gold on the strength of two Top 10 R&B singles written by Gamble & Huff. Their second PIR album, 1977′s Goin’ Places fared less well, though it again included two original Jacksons compositions, and introduced some guitar work by Tito, and Randy on percussion.
All were experienced musicians by this time, and had observed the industry’s top producers at work for nearly a decade. The decision to take over full rein of their own production and songwriting (and rev-up their presence as musicians) was an ambitious one – but yielded immediate success with DESTINY, a level of success surpassed two years later by TRIUMPH.
The Jacksons Discography
Triumph by The Jacksons
Destiny by The Jacksons