Jackson 5 – Christmas Album (1970): On Second Thought

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The Jackson 5 were one of the hottest groups on the planet when Christmas Album (Motown Records) was released in October 1970. The past year saw “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There” race to the top of the Billboard singles charts, elevating the siblings to superstar status.

Made up of Michael Jackson (lead singer), Jermaine (bass, vocals), Tito (guitar, vocals), Jackie (vocals, percussion, tambourine) and Marlon (vocals, tambourine), the Jackson 5 possessed a winning combination of teenybopper charm and disciplined talent. Applying these assets to Christmas Album, the group interprets the smartly selected material with an emotional maturity and sincerity far beyond their young ages.

Tears are sure to be shed upon hearing the precious and heart-warming “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” where “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” rocks with soul and “Up on the House Top” sizzles to a funky beat.

Classy orchestral arrangements clothe a ravishing version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman” jingle and jangle to an intoxicating tenor of twinkling harmonies and bubbling melodies. Glowing with optimism, the bright and shining “Someday at Christmas” plugs in as a plucky prayer for world peace, while “The Little Drummer Boy,” swells with goose-pimple inducing atmospherics.

From the stunning singing performances to the electrifying instrumentation, and everything in between, Christmas Album smacks of beauty and joy. The Jackson 5 sounded like they were having a really good time recording this great album, and such enthusiasm is contagious.


Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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