Sunday, October 14, 2012

My review of Rare Pearls

I will always be thankful for any new material released on the J5! I'm a huge fan and love the impact these kids had on the world. Over the years, we've heard there were some 469 songs recorded w/ Motown. I hope that number is inaccurate...we want more, no doubt! However, I purchased the collection yesterday and have finished listening. I'm very confident my thoughts may change over time, in my opinion here's my analysis.

Disc 1
1. (We're The) Music Makers - No

2. If The Shoe Don't Fit – OK, good bounce

3. Come And Get It (Love's On The Fire) – No. A bit reminiscent of Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love”…there is a distinct guitar lick in the J5’s intro (:00 -:06) mark that can be found in Redbone just before the 1:07 mark. Redbone pay up!

4. I Got A Sure Thing – very mature selection for the 5ive, although Michael exudes a deep soul during the chorus. 

5. After You Leave Girl – this track reminds me of The Four Tops, “Wish I Didn’t Love You So” from their Now LP

6. Mama Told Me Not To Come – funny, a true experiment. 

7. Iddinit – clever track, like the horns. Potential b-side.

8. Since I Lost My Baby – nice piece of work. Jermaine’s husky soul in the early years is priceless.

9. Keep An Eye – good exchange between MJ and Jermaine, not much else to go on.

10. Movin' – goin’ nowhere.

11. Feelin' Alright studio version- a highlight for me. Excellent cover. Would’ve been a great add to the ABC lp.

12. You Better Watch Out – not much here, lacks punch. 

13. I'm Your Sunny One (He's My Sunny Boy) – MJ rides the rhythm on this one! Another track that should’ve made an LP.

14. Someone's Standing In My Love Light – MJ and his mimic of Levi Stubbs, a “7 Rooms of Gloom” feel. Not bad, I like it.

Disc 2
1. If You Want Heaven – I like this one, wish they would’ve not cut the fade so soon. The Four Tops “Same ‘Ol Song”.

2. You Can't Hurry Love – not sure where this one fits.

3. Keep Off The Grass – cute lyrics, not much else. 

4. Going My Way – Jermaine takes charge on this one, voice is more mature. Possibly a nice add to his solo LP or the Lookin’ Through The Windows LP.

5. Makin' Life A Little Easier For You – a good hand clappin’ track.

6. Up On The Roof – A happy-go-lucky type of track. 

7. If I Can't Nobody Can – Another highlight for me. 1972…? Hmm…MJ’s voice sounds like ’73 era. Would’ve been a great lead single from the Skywriter LP.

8. Our Love – doesn’t grab me, however could’ve been a filler on Jermaine’s self-titled LP in ’72. 

9. I Can't Get Enough Of You – a great foot stomper.

10. Cupid – a no brainer Valentine’s Day release. Joyful Jukebox Music.

11. Let's Go Back To Day One – I don’t know, I feel like Jermaine should’ve sung this one.

12. Would Ya Would Ya Baby – clever, could’ve been a great song in concert. Soul clap!

13. Love Trip – I’m waiting for Michael to say “Euphoria” on this one. Very mellow and dreamy track.

14. Label Me Love – I actually LOVE this one! Should’ve been released on Skywriter or re-recorded in late ’74, early ’75 for MJ’s Forever, Michael LP.

15. Jumbo Sam – Was there indecision between this one and The Boogie Man?

Bonus Tracks
16. That's How Love Is original complete version – this one will have to grow on me.

17. If I Have To Move A Mountain original complete version –Very nice, either one could’ve been on the LTTW LP.

18. Mama's Pearl demo ("Guess Who's Making Whoopee") – the beat alone is killer!!!


  1. On the 469 songs figure, I've been wondering for years if that is just J5 songs, or if it includes all songs recorded by all members, solo included. Since several of the solo songs either featured J5 backing vocals, and others were initially intended as J5 songs that ended up being placed on solo albums, it's hard to know what "counts" in the 469. Also, some songs were re-recorded (sometimes a couple years apart), so does each version count as a unique version? If anyone knows more about these kinds of things, I've always been curious and would love a response!

    Also, for what it's worth, I wonder if there isn't much 1974-75 material "in the vaults" as there is very little of that era represented in "unreleased" J5 albums. Joyful Jukebox Music consisted of songs mostly from 1973-75 (contrary to what the CD liner notes say), but very little from 74-75 has shown up on subsequent releases (Boogie, Soulsation, I Want You Back!, Come and Get It). Which is too bad, as I really enjoy the later J5 stuff!

  2. I think you're right, Kyle, about there being less material from the later years. I think Motown pressed to record as much as they could before Michael's voice changed, since they didn't know how he would sound once that happened.

    On your 469 songs question,I don't think they counted different takes of the same song. Otherwise there would be hundreds more!

  3. I love this album. Nice special collection for any J5/MJ fan and collector.