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Top Songs By The Jacksons Not Named Michael or Janet

by Todd A. Smith

 

The Jacksons (L-R Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Jermaine Jackson) perform at the Las Vegas stop of their Unity Tour on July 20, 2012 (Photo Credit: Rex Features via AP Images).

 

2300 Jackson Street

 

Anyone who has ever spent time around me knows that I am a huge fan of the Jackson musical family.

 

Along with Prince, New Edition, UGK and Tupac, the Jacksons are my favorite artists.

 

While Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, deservedly, got the lion share of the attention since the Jackson 5 burst onto the scene in 1969 with “I Want You Back,” the seven other children born to Katherine and Joseph Jackson have a lot of classic material sans their more famous siblings.

 

So, while other publications like to list the top songs by Michael and Janet, RegalMag.com has decided to showcase another side of 2300 Jackson Street (the address of their childhood home in Gary, Ind.).

 

RegalMag.com will give some much-needed attention to the top 10 songs by the Jackson family, not featuring Michael and Janet.

 

 

“Don’t Go” by Marlon Jackson—Fresh off the hit song “Body” from The Jacksons’ “Victory” album in which Marlon sang lead, the fourth son secured a solo deal with Capitol Records and released his lone solo album “Baby Tonight.”  The second single “Don’t Go” reached the number two spot on the R&B charts and the video, showcasing Marlon’s talent as a dancer, was in heavy rotation on BET.

 

 

“She” by The Jacksons—After Michael Jackson’s departure from the group, The Jacksons released the underrated album “2300 Jackson Street.”  The group chose to release “Art of Madness” as the third single but should have chosen the New Jack Swing cut “She” instead.  The song was perfect for that era and features outstanding vocals by youngest brother Randy Jackson.

 

 

“Heart Don’t Lie” by LaToya Jackson—While LaToya Jackson was known more for her physical beauty than her singing back in the day, “Heart Don’t Lie” proved she could make a hit record.  The reggae-influenced track featuring the great vocals of Howard Hewitt became her biggest U.S. R&B hit and received a lot of airplay on R&B stations in 1984.

 

 

“Centipede” by Rebbie Jackson—We know we said this list excluded Michael Jackson songs, but being the great brother that he was he wrote and produced the biggest hit in his eldest sister’s career.  While initially shunning the spotlight, Rebbie Jackson finally decided to take center stage in 1984 with “Centipede.”  The album of the same name went on to achieve Gold status, signifying 500,000 in record sales, and the title cut peaked at number four on the Billboard R&B charts and number 24 on the Billboard pop charts.

 

 

“Don’t Take it Personal” by Jermaine Jackson—In 1989, “Don’t Take it Personal” became Jermaine Jackson’s final hit song and he went out with a bang.  The title track off his album for Arista Records reached number one on the Billboard R&B charts.  The last year of the 1980s became a superb year for the Jackson family with albums by The Jacksons (“2300 Jackson Street”), Janet Jackson (“Rhythm Nation 1814”), Jermaine Jackson (“Don’t Take it Personal”), Jackie Jackson (“Be the One”) and Randy & The Gypsys being released that year.

 

 

“Nothin’ (That Compares 2 U)” by The Jacksons—L.A. Reid and Babyface produced an unsung classic with this one off the 1989 album “2300 Jackson Street.”  Featuring shared lead vocals by Jackie, Jermaine and Randy Jackson; many fans consider this song the best Jacksons song without lead singer Michael Jackson.   Critics consider this song as the Jacksons last hit song, peaking at number four on the Billboard R&B charts.

 

 

“Castles of Sand” by Jermaine Jackson—When Jermaine Jackson released his 1978 album “Frontiers,” he was still searching for his identity without the Jackson 5.  Although this album did not sell well, “Castles of Sand” became a modest hit.  Featuring a falsetto tone, similar to Jackie Jackson’s early sound, “Castles of Sand” is one of Jermaine’s most sultry ballads.  It is reminiscent to something R&B singer Maxwell might sing today.

 

 

“Not Because of Me” by Randy & The Gypsys—Long considered the most talented musician in the Jackson family, Randy Jackson finally got the solo spotlight in 1989 with the self-titled album from his band “Randy & The Gypsys.”  Although the album did not spawn any pop hits, it is a complete album from top to bottom.  His vocals are at its best on “Not Because of Me,” a beautiful ballad, which should be in every Jackson fan’s collection.

 

 

“Let’s Get Serious” by Jermaine Jackson—By 1980, Jermaine Jackson desperately needed a smash hit as a solo artist and he got it with the Stevie Wonder-produced “Let’s Get Serious.”  The song reached number one on the Billboard R&B charts, earned Jermaine a Grammy Award nomination and is still the jam at Jacksons concerts to this day.

 

 

“Do What You Do” by Jermaine Jackson—By 1984, Jermaine Jackson had left Motown Records for Arista Records and rejoined The Jacksons for the “Victory” album and tour.  While his self-titled 1984 album featured hits like “Dynamite” and “Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming” featuring Michael Jackson, “Do What You Do” is still many people’s favorite song by the Jackson 5’s bassist.  The video featured a young Iman and he would be hard-pressed to make a concert crowd happy without doing this number.

This article was published on Friday 17 July, 2015.
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