Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Rare Lukewarm Review

Sometimes bad reviews are more interesting than raves, and that's certainly the case with this review of the Jackson 5's 1975 show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Marie Moore from Harlem's Amsterdam News obviously did not see the great show she was expecting from the Jackson 5, and neither did the teen fans in the audience, according to her report. I find her descriptions of the audience reactions to the J5's performance to be even more interesting than what she writes about the act itself. Coming as it did in February 1975, poor responses like this may have helped to seal the Jacksons' decision to leave Motown for greener pastures.

So unusual were bad reviews and a less-than-enthusiastic audience response for the Jackson 5 that the brothers themselves were asked to comment on the situation in a follow-up story in the Amsterdam News. Remembering their Apollo days, Michael commented that New York audiences were tougher than others. "If they don't like you, they'll let you know."

Tito was more philosophical: "Some of the songs were too heavy for the young people in the audience. We feel it is a great show and it has played well in theaters in the round but there are a lot of grown ups there."

Jackie talked about the group's future: "We want to get into other things. We want to go back and do more recording. And as long as the record's a million seller, it's okay." They may have already been thinking about a million seller on another label. In a little over three months, they would sign with CBS and leave Motown.

And if the review piqued your interest about the back-up act, Blue Magic, you can check out their performance on Soul Train. Looks like the lead singer Ted Mills picked up a few moves from watching Michael.

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