Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Jacksons - Victory

Today (July 2nd) is the thirtieth anniversary of Victory, the fourteenth album by the Jacksons. It is the first and only album to include all six Jackson brothers (Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Michael, and Randy) together as an official group. It debuted at number 4 on the US Billboard Album chart, and remained on the charts for a total of thirty weeks. It also charted at number 10 in Canada, number 9 in Australia, and number 3 in the UK and on the US Billboard R&B chart.

Side one opens with "Torture", the first of two tracks co-written by Jackie. Michael and Jermaine shared the lead vocals on it. Released as the second single, it went to number 32 in Australia, number 31 in Germany, number 26 in the UK, number 22 in New Zealand, number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 14 in France and the Netherlands, number 13 in Ireland, number 12 on the US Billboard R&B chart, and number 9 in Belgium. All the instruments are sharp and quick, like snapping to like a whip.

Jackie takes the lead on "Wait", the other track he co-wrote. Jermaine and Michael provide the vocal ad-libs towards the end. The up-tempo track has a solid, uplifting dance beat that easily could have dropped into any club set at the time.

Things slow down a bit with the next track. The ballad "One More Chance" was written by Randy and features him on lead vocals.

"Be Not Always", co-written by Marlon and Michael. With a simple, stripped down accompaniment, Michael's delicate vocals shine.

Side two starts with "State of Shock", a toe-to-toe throw down between Michael and the Rolling Stones' front man Mick Jagger. As the lead single, it hit number 14 in the UK, number 10 in Australia, number 8 in Ireland, number 4 on the US Billboard R&B chart, and number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. I have always liked the guitars on this one; they really connect to something primal deep down. It was a popular dance track through the summer and fall of 1984.

Tito takes lead on "We Can Change the World", which he co-wrote. The song has a world-beat sound to it thanks to the reggae rhythms employed.

"The Hurt" is up next; it too featured Randy on lead vocals.

The bouncy closing track "Body" was written by Marlon and features him on lead. As a single, it went to number 47 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 39 on the US Billboard R&B chart. It made me smile when this one came on as I remember this one from back in the day; I can’t believe I completely forgot about it.

While I was familiar with the bigger hits from Victory back in 1984, I did not own a copy of it (the picture disk version) on vinyl until 1988. It has been a long time since I heard the deep tracks, yet it was good to revisit them. Even though it is a collection of individual efforts, it does show the depth of talent that made the Jacksons as a group such a powerful force in the music business for a better part of a decade and a half.

For reviews of the Jacksons, as a group, click here.


HERC said...

I am huge fan of The Jacksons albums Destiny, Triumph and Victory.

You didn't mention it but you probably know that "State Of Shock" was originally a duet with Queen's Freddie Mercury - check YouTube.

Janet Jackson covered her brother Randy's song "One More Chance" and released it on CD maxi single of "If" in 1993.

At my girlfriend's urging, we entered the ticket lottery for the Victory Tour at its December multi-night Los Angeles stop at Dodgers Stadium. We did not get tickets. Which was a good thing because we had broken up in September.

"Torture", "Wait" and "Body" are my favorite tracks and two out of the three also saw 12" remixes issued, as did "State Of Shock".

Martin Maenza said...

Herc, as always, thank you for your extra trivia that I myself did not know. I bow to your musical knowledge, sir. :)