The Jackson 5, ABC, Motown MS-709, 1970
It’s no secret that 1970 was the year of The Jackson 5. Besides The Beatles in 1964, no other artist exploded on the charts with such memorable songs as they did. This was their second album, and it yielded their second and third #1 singles. In a real passing of the torch moment, ABC knocked out The Beatles’ Let It Be from #1, and a few weeks later, The Love You Save replaced The Long And Winding Road.
This is real bubblegum soul music, both insanely catchy and seemingly simple, the songs are actually pretty intricate. Unlike their first album, which featured songs with much more mature material, this album’s tracks are similar lyrically to the title track. Reading the lyrics to ABC, you would think it was nothing more than a poem written by a 3rd grader. It takes real talent write and produce something so light and have it end up as something significant or silly. This album isn’t silly.
Ok, perhaps the inner sleeve is. Original period Motown albums all have printed inner sleeves featuring fan club news or new release ads. Jackson 5 inner sleeves though, took this to an all time high in a kitschy, Tito-Rific way. It remains unclear how many Soul-Mates Jermaine met or how many Marlon posters people paid $0.25 for, but reading one of these today is pretty great. Any Motown record is collectible, and double that for a Jackson 5 record. Because they weren’t usually bought by audiophiles, finding a decent one at a decent price is a challenge. There’s one less out there now!
Cost: $5, $117 Remaining
The Archies, Everything’s Archie, Calendar KES-103, 1969
After being fired as the musical director for The Monkees, Don Kirchner wasn’t out of work for long. CBS and Filmation teamed up with Archie Comics for a Saturday morning cartoon series, and Kirchner was hired to try to do for The Archies what he did for The Monkees. From Kirchner’s point of view, it was an upgrade because one dimensional characters don’t complain about their album covers or musical direction.
The show only lasted one season, but the 17 episodes re-run into the early 80s. Flimation was a low budget animator, and the Archie’s template was used for music scenes for other cartoon shows like Josie and The Pussycats, The Brady Kids, and The Jackson 5. The music, however, was A-Listers all the way, with Jeff Barry producing and Andy Kim writing and arranging. Lead Vocals were handled by session singer Ron Dante, who also sang anonymously as The Cuff Links and “their” hit Tracy. Both Sugar Sugar and Tracy were in the Top 10 at the same time, and poor Ron got no credit at all. The Archies weren’t invited to play at Woodstock either.
Since people actually enjoy 3-D bands, The Archies peaked with this record. The cartoon being a children’s show didn’t help Archies Records compete against janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin for album sales, even though Sugar Sugar was Billboard’s #1 single of 1969. Still great writing and production makes for great music, and one listen of Wilson Pickett’s soul cover proves how good a song it is. It’s really hard to write a song that sounds so simple yet really works, and this record does just that.
Cost: $5, $330 Remaining