Albums
Singles
Solos
Gallery
J5 Files
Links
Forum
News
Store

Big Brother Jermaine

For the general public, Jermaine Jackson is nothing more than the elder brother of the biggest star of modern times, Michael Jackson. Since the explosion of the Jackson 5 in 1969, Jermaine's talent has always been overshadowed by the spectacular life, glory and fame of his four-year-younger brother.

He was just 14 when the Jackson 5 signed to Motown Records. The third oldest of the quintet, after Jackie and Tito, he learned bass guitar and was schooled by his father to become the group's lead singer, until Michael grew old enough to take over the role himself. On their first Motown single "I Want You Back", Jermaine offered call-and-response couterpoint to Michael's vocals, a routine that continued on most of their early successes. Berry Gordy realised that Jermaine had its own commercial potential. One of the Jackson 5's most affective during their initial rush to fame "I Found A Girld" a touching ballad for which the spotlight was trained on Jermaine.

While Michael modelled himself on the likes of James Brown or Jackie Wilson, Jermaine's idols came from the Motown family. Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye were his early influences, and Stevie, in particular, took a keen interest in Jermaine's development.

But the most crucial "Partnership" was formed when Jermaine began to date Berry Gordy's daughter, Hazel. They married in 1973, and among their wedding gifts, they received a song as a present, "Wedding Song" from Smokey Robinson.

By then, Jermaine had already been launched as a solo artist by Motown. Anxious to maximise the potential of the Jackson brothers, Berry Gordy had allowed Michael to issue his own records, alongside with those by the group sin late 1971. When the ploy worked, Berry Gordy also groomed Jermaine and his brother Jackie as potential stars. Jackie's solo career ended as soon as it began, but Jermaine was soon challenging his younger brother Michael for airplay and sales. His 1972 debut album, "Jermaine", released in 1972, included his first hits, "Daddy's Home", "That's The Way Love Goes" and a cover version of the Four Tops'classic "I'm In A Different World". A second album, "Come Into My Life" followed in 1973.

It took a couple of years to review other solo albums by Jermaine and Michael. A third Jermaine's album, "Do Unto Others", was cancelled, . In late 1975, Joe Jackson was negotiating with several record companies, a new contract for his sons outside the Motown empire. Loyalty Jermaine oscillated between his brothers, and the company managed by his father-in-law. When Berry Gordy promised that Motown would make him a priority for his solo career, Jermaine made the difficult decision to remain in the label, and leave the group. They became The Jacksons. Their brother Jermaine released an album for Motown, as the very explicit "My Name Is Jermaine". The album contained the ultra commercial "Let's Be Young Tonight", written and produced by rising star Michael Love Smith.

In keeping with the changing face of black music, Jermaine's late 70s opus was aimed at the dancefloor. But albums such as "Feel The Fire" (1977), including the first compositions of Jermaine and "Frontiers" (1978) failed to bring the success that Berry Gordy and the other producers had expected. The sessions for an album provisionally entitled "Living" in 1979 were abandoned, and instead Gordy teamed Jermaine with his friend and hero, Stevie Wonder.

Jermaine Jackson Let's Get SeriousThe result was the album "Let's Get Serious", a superb album of contemporary funk that reached the top positions of the charts for several weeks, and became a success worldwide. And to prove it didn't need the help of other artists, Jermaine also offered its own funk anthem, "Burnin 'Hot". For the second time, he released an album entitled "Jermaine" in 1980, but this time the creator was a complete solo artist, not a puppet of the Motown production line.

The hits continued in 1981 with the album "I Like Your Style", which contained the popular "I'm Just Too Shy" and the resumption of the Stevie Wonder'disco classic "Signed, Sealed, Delevered. Then came the electric "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy", including the full blend of electronic rhythms very funk and rock, a year before "Beat It" by Michael.

It was his last title for Motown, with complex contract negotiations that he would join his brothers at the Victory Tour in 1984.

Jackson5abc.com pays tribute to this artist, presenting you the Motown albums, released between 1972 and 1982, most have fallen into oblivion or, in the best case, published on CD ten years ago. Excerpts, rarely heard on the net, are offered to you.

 

***

 

Pour le grand public, Jermaine Jackson n'est rien de plus que le frère aîné de la plus grande star des temps modernes, Michael Jackson. Depuis l'explosion des Jackson 5, en 1969, le talent de Jermaine a toujours été caché derrière la vie spectaculaire, la gloire et la notoriété de son plus jeune frère.

Il avait tout juste 14 ans lorsque les Jackson 5 signèrent chez Motown Records. Troisième garçon du quintet, après Jackie et Tito, il apprend la basse, et prend la place du leader du groupe, sous la houlette de son père, jusqu'à ce que Michael soit assez mûr pour prendre sa place. Sur leur premier single, "I Want You Back", Jermaine offre un jeu de "question-réponse" en contrepoids à Michael, jeu qui continuera sur bon nombre de leurs succès. Berry Gordy réalise, dès le départ, que Jermaine a son propre potentiel commercial. L'une des performances des Jackson 5 les plus tendres durant leur montée aux sommets est sans doute "I Found A Girld", une ballade touchante menée par Jermaine en solo.

Alors que Michael se forme lui-même par l'inspiration de ses idoles que sont James Brown ou Jackie Wilson, les idoles de Jermaine viennent plutôt de la famille Motown. Stevie Wonder et Marvin Gaye sont ses premières influences, et Stevie, en particulier, prend un intérêt particulier au développement de Jermaine.

Mais le "partenariat" le plus crucial est formé lorsque Jermaine commence à fréquenter la fille de Berry Gordy, Hazel. Ils se marrient en 1973, et parmi leurs cadeaux de marriage, ils reçoivent une chanson, "Wedding Song", de la part de Smokey Robinson.

A cette époque, Jermaine a déjà entamé sa carrière solo chez Motown. Anxieux d'exploiter au maximum le potentiel des frères Jackson, Berry Gordy a déjà autorisé Michael à sortir ses propres disques, parallèlement à ceux du groupe, depuis 1971. Et puisque le stratagème a fonctionné, Berry Gordy en fait de même avec Jackie et Jermaine. La carrière solo de Jackie finira dès son premier album. En revanche, Jermaine sera rapidement en compétition avec son jeune frère Michael. Son premier album, "Jermaine", sorti en 1972, contient son premier tube, "That's The Way Love Goes", ainsi qu'une reprise d'un classique des Four Tops "I'm In A Different World". Un second album, "Come Into My Life", suivra en 1973.

Il faudra attendre une paire d'années pour revoir d'autres albums solos de Jermaine et Michael. Il sera question d'un troisième album de Jermaine, "Do Unto Others", mais il ne sera jamais sorti. Fin 1975, Joe Jackson négocie, avec plusieurs maisons de disques, un nouveau contrat pour ses fils en dehors de l'empire Motown. La loyauté de Jermaine oscille alors entre ses frères, et la compagnie gérée par son beau-père. Lorsque Berry Gordy lui promet que Motown fera de lui une priorité pour sa carrière solo, Jermaine prend la difficile décision de rester dans le label, et de quitter le groupe. Eux deviennent The Jacksons. Leur frère Jermaine sort un album pour Motown, sous le titre très explicite de "My Name Is Jermaine". L'album contient l'ultra commercial "Let's Be Young Tonight", écrit et produit par la star montante Michael Love Smith.

La musique noire de la fin de la décennie 1970 est en pleine évolution. Les titres de Jermaine suivent la tendance et seront eux aussi destinés aux dancefloors. Mais les albums tels que "Feel The Fire" (1977), comprenant les premières compositions de Jermaine ou "Frontiers" (1978) n'atteignent pas le succès que Berry Gordy et les autres producteurs attendaient. Les sessions pour un album provisoiremment intitulé "Living" en 1979 sont abandonnées, et Gordy associe alors Jermaine à son ami et héro, Stevie Wonder.

 

Le résultat en est l'album "Let's Get Serious", un superbe album de funk contemporain qui atteint les premières places des charts durant plusieurs semaines, et devient un succès dans le monde entier. Et pour prouver qu'il n'a pas besoin de l'aide d'autres artistes, Jermaine propose également son propre hymne funk, "Burnin' Hot". Pour la seconde fois, il sort un album intitulé "Jermaine", en 1980, mais cette fois, le créateur est un artiste à part entière, et non une poupée de la ligne de production Motown.

Les tubes continuent en 1981, sur l'album "I Like Your Style", qui contient le populaire "I'm Just Too Shy" ainsi que la reprise disco du classique de Stevie Wonder "Signed, Sealed, Delevered". Puis vient l'électrique "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy", comprenant le titre blendé de rythmes électroniques très funk et rock, un an avant "Beat It" de Michael.

C'est son dernier titre pour Motown, avec les négociations contractuelles complexes qui lui permettront de s'unir à ses frères lors du Victory Tour en 1984.

Jackson5abc.com rend hommage à cet artiste, en vous présentant les albums sortis chez Motown, entre 1972 et 1982, la plupart tombés dans l'oubli, ou, dans le meilleur des cas, édités sur CD il y a une dizaine d'années. Des extraits, rarement entendus sur le net, vous sont proposés.

 

Jermaine Jackson Motown Discography

Albums

Titre Sortie Ref. USA R&B Pop

Jermaine  07/1972 M 752 6 27

Come Into My Life 05/1973 M 775 30 152

Do Unto Others Sortie annulée M 830 - -

My Name Is Jermaine 08/1976 M 842 29 164

Feel The Fire  08/1977 M 888 36 174

Frontiers 08/1978 M 898 - -

Living Sortie annulée M 913 - -

Let's Get Serious 10/1979 M 928 1 6

Jermaine 12/1980 M 948
17
44

I Like Your Style 09/1981 M 952
31
86

Let Me Tickle Your Fancy 07/1982 6017 ML
9
46

 

Singles

 

That's How Love Goes - 07/1972
Daddy's Home - 11/1972
You're in Good Hands - 09/1973
She's the Ideal Girl - 03/1973
Let's Be Young Tonight - 08/1976
You Need to Be Loved - 09/1976
Castles of Sand - 04/1978
Let's Get Serious - 03/1980
Burnin' Hot - 07/1980
You're Supposed to Keep Your Love for Me - 08/1980
Little Girl Don't You Worry - 11/1980
You Like Me Don't You - 02/1981
Signed Sealed Delivered, I'm Yours - 10/1981
I'm Just Too Shy - 11/1980
Paradise in Your Eyes - 12/1981
Let Me Tickle Your Fancy 06/1982
Very Special Part - 09/1982