In the legal battles that followed the Jackson 5's departure from Motown for Epic Records in 1976, the Jackson brothers lost the rights to their band name, and were known thereafter as the Jacksons. THE ESSENTIAL JACKSONS compiles the group's biggest hits from their tenure at Epic. Listeners should be forewarned that this compilation does not include material recorded under the name Jackson 5; so fans looking for "I Want You Back" and "I'll Be There" should seek out an earlier hits compilation.
That said, this is an excellent sampler of the group's later incarnation, when their music, more heavily influenced by funk and disco, was polished to a high, danceable sheen. Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff wrote and produced the group's first Epic records, and many tunes, especially the string-sweetened "Show You the Way to Go," reflect a classic Philly soul sound. By 1978's DESTINY, however, the Jacksons were writing and producing their own material, and the infectious singles that resulted ("Blame It on the Boogie" and "Shake Your Body," in particular) are fantastic. The set closes with a live rendition of the Jacksons doing "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" (from Michael's OFF THE WALL).
- Enjoy Yourself (Extended Version)
- Show You The Way To Go
- Goin' Places
- Find Me A Girl
- Blame It On The Boogie
- Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)
- Lovely One
- This Place Hotel
- Can You Feel It
- Walk Right Now
- State Of Shock - (with Mick Jagger)
- 2300 Jackson Street
- Nothin (That Compares 2 U)
- Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - (live, 1981 US Tour)