Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tied Up with a Bright Red Bow

All of my first-time sightings of new J5 LPs were in the store where I bought the record, with one exception: the Christmas Album. Until I saw it I didn't even know it existed, so I didn't know to haunt the store for it.

I was in 8th grade Gym class, of all places, when I first laid my eyes on the Jackson 5 Christmas Album. A girl I didn't know very well named Paula Brown had it. Why she brought it with her to Gym class -- and into the gymnasium itself, as opposed to the locker room -- is beyond me. But there I was, waiting to start my jumping jacks when I noticed a group of girls gathered around a bright orange-gold LP. I didn't think much about it until I heard one of them say "Look at Tito!" and then I had to barge my way into the crowd for a look. Could it be? Oh, my God, it was!

A new Jackson 5 album! And a Christmas album! And just look at how adorable they all are, each one looking like the gift tag on a shiny Christmas present, all tied up with a big red bow. Have you ever seen a more handsome group? And, indeed, look at Tito -- he's smiling! I believe it was the first photo I'd ever seen of him when he was smiling. It was also the first time we got to see their signatures. For some reason, this was a big deal to us. Proof, perhaps, that we finally had their correct names, with the correct spellings. We studied those signatures. I have an uppercase T in my name, and I copied the way Tito made his initial T for years, and my best friend and fellow J5 fanatic, Janet, adopted Jermaine's J.

Paula let me hold her LP so I could turn it over to read the track listing. I recognized most of the songs, and even knew all the words to many of them, so I couldn't wait to hear how the Jackson 5 would sing them.

I was even willing to forgive Motown for the boring back LP cover. It was, after all, what was on the vinyl that mattered.


  1. such memories are golden aren't they J5C. How i can relate to this from years gone by.

    Ive experienced exciting times too much the same, especially during the OTW/Thriller periods when more and more memorabelia started hitting the UK and stores over here began importing stuff in. There was nothing like having it in your hands and if you saw something you couldnt buy direct and had to wait for your order, the importance of the postman coming to delivery it became more important. So many days waiting and huffing and then the excitement of it finally arriving and opening it. Oh boy there's nothing like it. I still get that feeling now with one or two items i buy. You can't beat it.


  2. Chris, thanks for writing. I know these kinds of memories still color the way I feel about certain LPs, even today. I still get a little thrill when I see the cover of the Christmas Album, remember the first time I saw it.

  3. I think its part of our childhood thats embedded as a happy moment. I was 9 years old and apart from the Beatles, The Beach Boys and heros from my football team (partly due to my dad) The J5 were my first independent choice. All we had back then were the records and very little else. When the Osmonds came along though, later it made me an even bigger J5 fan. I remember hearing I Want You Back for the first time and saving my pocket money up to buy it. Back then it took me a few weeks to get it. But its a memory i treasure.


  4. I enjoyed reading your blog! It brought back memories of long, long ago. I was 15 when I Want You Back LP came out and I asked my parents to buy it for me. They said I had to save up my allowance and buy it myself. So I actually saved my babysitting money and allowance. I still remember walking down the street, around the corner and around another corner to the record store and buying that LP! How thrilled I was and how proud I was! It's funny but I still have that same feeling now as I type this, some 40 something years later. :)

  5. I got this album as a present back when it was 1st released...i was 7 yrs old. Under the tree was all kinds of toys and proped up next to the tree was the J5 Xmas album and i went right to it stared at it and played it ALL day. I still have that same original album to this day and i tell people it was the BEST xmas present i ever recieved!!!