Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You've Changed (Me)

Over the years I've come across a few variants for the Jackson 5's first LP, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, which was originally issued on December 18, 1969.

Take a close look at the line up of songs listed on both the front and the back of this promo version of the LP that was sent to radio disc jockeys

You'll notice that the last song on Side One is written as "You've Changed Me," rather than "You've Changed." Given that the correct title was a cover version of an original song the Jackson 5 had recorded nearly two years earlier at Steeltown that had served as the B-side of their first single, "Big Boy" (Steeltown 688), it's undertandable that some Motown staffer got the title wrong. Whoever had written the copy had probably assumed the last track on Side One was the Smokey Robinson song "You've Changed Me," originally recorded by Brenda Holloway. After all, most of the album tracks on this first LP were classic Motown covers.

There's a rarer -- and more interesting -- variant, though. On some LP sleeves, the last song on Side Two is shown as "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" instead of "Born to Love You."

Originally recorded in 1966 by the Four Tops, Bobby Taylor had produced the Jackson 5's version three years later in their original Detroit recording sessions, but it remained in the Motown vaults until 1995 when it was finally issued on Disc Four of Soulsation! This variant sleeve offers evidence that it had originally been intended for their debut album but, for some reason, was replaced at the last minute.

No matter what the differences from printing to printing for the sleeve, there's one constant -- Jermaine's name is always misspelled Germaine. It was never corrected, even on the 1981 reissue. You'd think that by the time he'd become Berry Gordy's son-in-law, they'd have learned how to spell his name.


  1. Yes, they couldn't spell Jermaine. On my album cover, I have scribbled in my childish handwriting the corrected spelling (with an exclamation point since I was annoyed they got it wrong) and all the correct ages (they were still marketing them as younger but somehow I knew the correct info by the time I bought the album--not sure how??)

    Thanks for these absolutely terrific postings!

  2. It seems that I've read before that similar to how "Tito" was originally Toriano and "Jackie" was originally Sigmund, "Jermaine" was originally Germaine but Motown liked the JJ initials better and changed the spelling for him.

    Also notice that they have two different ages for Marlon on the different sleeves. One puts him younger than Michael and the next much older!

    Love what you're doing here! Thanks for all the great info!

  3. Me, too, Roberta! Except it took me about a year before I could figure out their right ages. It used to drive us kids crazy, didn't it?

    Anon@9:59 -- there was also an early "playing cards" promo item with Jermaine spelled as Germaine, too, and on the early autographed stuff , Tito signed his name "Toriano" while Jackie signed "Sigmund" followed by "Jackie" in quotes.