Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Double Delight

When Jackson 5's third single, "The Love You Save," was issued on May 16, 1970, Motown found that it had two hits -- and two J5 lead singers -- on its hands. There was the upbeat A-side of the single, and the slow tempo, more mellow B-side "I Found That Girl," with lead vocals by Jermaine, the group's bass player. At 16, Jermaine was the right age to be a teen heart-throb. It didn't hurt that his good looks, shy demeanor, and sexy singing voice drove all the girls wild.

In the early years, Michael was the obvious stand-out in the group, with his talent and stage presence. Michael was entertaining, but Jermaine was the one we all wanted to go home with. The Corporation-penned song "I Found That Girl," seemed to be custom-made for Jermaine and his female fans, who could all fantasize that he was singing about them. When the single came out, it was issued as a double A-side, and color vinyl promo copies of "I Found That Girl" were sent to radio stations, along with "The Love You Save."

It climbed the charts throughout the summer of 1970 and Jet magazine's Soul Brothers Top 20 during that time showed it neck to neck with "The Love You Save."

One of the coolest things about the new Jackson 5 Live at the Forum cd is that we get to hear two different versions of "I Found That Girl," the first recorded on June 20, 1970, soon after the song had come out, and the second recorded two years later on August 26, 1972 when Jermaine's sex symbol status had been well established. It's fascinating to hear how he works the crowd, in the earlier version as the soft-spoken boy next door who, on Jackie's prodding, shyly points out the girl he's found ("She's the one over there in the yellow dress."), and two years later as the smooth superfly who teases the audience ("My rap is too heavy for them. They can't dig it.") Both songs end with Jermaine singing an extra song-within-the song that starts "Won't you take me with you?" Girls regularly fainted at J5 concerts when Jermaine sang that line. In some cases they even stormed the stage, trying to get to him. Just a few weeks before the 1972 concert at the Forum, Jermaine had been mobbed by 6,000 fans at Chicago's Midway airport.

And by then he was already secretly dating Hazel Gordy, so he had indeed found his girl. Perhaps that's why he could make the song sound so convincing.


  1. The crowd did indeed storm the stage during the "Goin Back To Indiana" concert when Jermaine sung "I Found That Girl". The show was temporarily stopped until the crowd remained in their seats. For those who have the "GBTI" special on video, you will notice as the camera pans out into the crowd during "the Love You Save" performance they are basically sitting very still to avoid another interruption of the show.

  2. Except the girl with the really big afro who is completely rocking out to "The Love You Save." I like the other girl behind her, obviously complaining about her to the person next to her.

  3. Jermaine, if only you were mine!