Four Albums From the Jacksons’ 1970s/’80s Catalog Set for Reissue Campaign

LOS ANGELES - 1978: (L-R) Michael
Gregg Cobarr / Courtesy Sony Music

Four albums released by the Jacksons in the late 1970s and early ’80s are being reissued in expanded digital or vinyl format in February and March, as part of a campaign by the family’s original label, Epic, and Sony Music’s catalog imprint, Legacy, to re-expose the music the group made between the Jackson 5’s enormous ’60s success and Michael Jackson’s becoming the biggest star in the business with “Thriller.”

Three studio albums from the ’70s are getting the expanded digital treatment — “The Jacksons” from 1976, 1977’s “Goin’ Places” and “Destiny” from 1978 — with 7-inch singles from the original albums tagged on as bonus tracks. Additionally, “The Jacksons Live!,” recorded live in 1981, is getting issued on vinyl as a two-LP set.

The four releases are described as “the first wave in the Jacksons’ definitive album project.” The three digital studio releases are coming February 12, followed by the “Jacksons Live!” vinyl on March 26.

The self-titled 1976 “Jacksons” album was the first released by the family group without “5” as part of the moniker, as it marked the debut of younger brother Randy as a sixth member of the collective. The Gamble-and-Huff-produced record was not a major hit, peaking at No. 36 on the Billboard 200 chart, but is well remembered for the top 10 hit “Enjoy Yourself.” That song accounts for two of the four bonus tracks on the new digital edition, represented by both a 7-inch extended version and a 12-inch version). Rounding out the bonuses are a 7-inch “Show You the Way to Go” version and a “Dimitri From Paris Disco Re-Edit)” of “Living Together.”

“Goin’ Places” tags on as bonuses 7-inch versions of the title track, “Find Me a Girl” and “Even Though You’re Gone.”

“Destiny” was a more substantial hit, going platinum after reaching No. 11 on the album chart and introducing “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground),” cowritten by Michael and Randy. At that time the group was breaking loose for an entirely self-produced album, recorded partly at the family’s Valley compound, and family members coauthored all the songs except for lead single “Blame It on the Boogie.” This boost to the Jacksons’ latter-day career is appended with six bonus track: 7-inch versions of “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground” and the title track, plus  “Blame It On the Boogie” (12″ Version John Luongo Disco Mix), “Shake Your Body (Down To the Ground)” (12″ Version John Luongo Disco Mix), “That’s What You Get (For Being Polite) (12” Version) and “That’s What You Get (For Being Polite)” (DJ Reverend P Edit).

“The Jacksons Live!,” a set of music from their Triumph Tour, immediately preceded the blockbuster success of Michael’s solo “Thriller” album in 1982. The ’81 release featured five songs from Michael’s 1979 “Off the Wall” album as well as numbers from the group’s “Triumph” and “Destiny” albums, a medley of older Jackson 5 hits and Michael’s early solo breakout, “Ben.”