Music / The Jackson Five

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/f98b3b42527a514160f71cef0ae6af1b.jpg
From left to right, top to bottom: Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael, Tito and Randy, the Sixth Ranger.
"Don't blame it on the sunshine,
Don't blame it on the moonlight,
Don't blame it on good times,
Blame it on the boogie."
"Blame It On The Boogie"

The Jackson Five (from the mid 1970s on The Jacksons) were a pop band who were very popular from the end of the 1960s until the early 1980s. They performed catchy and cheery dance numbers and back then, were the commercially most succesful black act at that time, spawning a string of Top 10 hits ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You'll Save", "Dancing Machine", "Enjoy Yourself", "Shake Your Body Down To The Ground", "Blame It On The Boogie", "Torture" and "Can You Feel It?"), a cartoon series (The Jackson 5ive), a variety show and numerous stage performances. After they moved to another label in the mid 1970s they were forced to change their name to The Jacksons, because their former label had copyrighted their original band name. Still, everybody on Earth kept referring to them as The Jackson Five.

Because the band was comprised of family members they were often compared to the all-white The Osmonds, whom were their main rivals. One band member was clearly the star of the group: child singer Michael Jackson of whom we all know would break out to have an even more successful solo career, but that's a different story...

Tropes associated with The Jackson Five are:

  • Abusive Parents: Jackson's father used to beat and force their sons to perform. Especially little Michael suffered a life long hate for his father because of this abuse and didn't have pleasant memories of this period of his life.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In this basketball skit, Jackie was quite focused on and eventually saved the day.
  • Aerith and Bob: You have rather fancy-sounding name like Sigmund Esco, Toriano Adaryll, Jermaine La Juane next to normal name like Marlon David, Michael Joseph and Steven Randall. No wonder Jackie and Tito go by nicknames. And even then, the name Jermaine stands out for being more... complex.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Michael was sometimes called Mike by his brothers, and he himself sometimes called Jermaine " 'Maine".
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Marlon has a twin called Brandon, who died shortly after birth. It was said by Joseph that Marlon was very sad when he understood that he lost his twin, and was only cheered up afterwards when Michael came later.
  • Animated Adaptation: A Band Toon TV cartoon series was made about them.
  • Badass Baritone: Tito's voice is the deepest of them all, and he used it to balance out his brothers' higher voice.
  • Band of Relatives: All members were each others' brothers.
  • Berserk Button: Michael wouldn't be very happy when his brothers mentioned getting married, as he feared they wouldn't be as close as before.
  • Big Brother Bully: Subverted most of the time as they were and and still are very close, but when Jackie or Tito wanted to make their brothers real mad, they would call Jermaine "Big Head", Marlon "Liver Lips" and Michael "Big Nose". Needless to say, the three boys weren't amused.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In his book "You Are Not Alone", Jermaine mentioned to have this the most for Michael.
    Caring for one another was instilled in all of us, but I felt protective of him from day one. Maybe it was because all I heard being shouted was "Where's Michael?"... "Is Michael okay?"... "Is Michael changed?".
    • The fact that he wrote a whole book about Michael after his death to honor him, to help people understand his little brother better should really say something. In fact, all the four older brothers - Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon - are very fond of Michael.
    • Michael also had this for Randy and Janet.
  • Big Brother Worship: In his book "Moonwalk", Michael wrote to feel this toward Jermaine.
    I was most fascinated when watching Jermaine because he was the singer at the time and he was a big brother to me - Marlon was too close to me in age for that. It was Jermaine who would walk me to kindergarten and whose clothes would be handed down to me. When he did something, I tried to imitate him.
  • Big Eater: Marlon. In "Brotherly Fun", Jermaine asked him "What do you like the best when we were on the road Marlon?", and he replied "Well, I like to... eat!"
  • The Big Guy: Both Tito and Jermaine, the former for being noticeably bulkier than his brothers, and the latter for being the tallest of them even after everyone hit puberty.
  • Biopic: A four hour miniseries about the brothers' rise to fame aired on ABC in 1992 under the name The Jacksons: An American Dream. Jermaine served as a producer, while the other brothers helped cast the actors for the movie.
  • Break Up Song: "Who's Loving You?", where the protagonist wonders who is loving his former girlfriend now?
  • Christmas Songs: "Jackson Five Christmas Album" is full with these.
  • Cool Old Guy: Even though as for recent years, all the Jackson brothers have reached their sixties, they still look very fine and can still perform just as good as before.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: All their songs were incredibly catchy and can still fill the dance floor with people. Every stage performance or music video starring the band showed them dancing along in unison. "Dancing Machine", "Blame It On The Boogie", "Shake Your Body Down To The Ground",... refer to dancing directly.
  • Disco: From the mid-1970s on they moved more into this direction.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: It's sometimes strange to hear young Michael sing so happy and cheerfully, when you compare it to his more angry, paranoid singing and dancing from Thriller on.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Funny Afro: All the band members wore afro haircuts.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Jackie (which can be short for Jacqueline) and Randy (which can be short for Miranda).
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: "I Want You Back"
  • I Am the Band: Michael was clearly the star.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Somewhat averted as the members still look good, but they were downright handsome in their earlier years.
  • The Leader: There seemed to be none, but as Jackie is the oldest brother, many people assumed that he was the leader.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: The band named spelled the "f" in the word "five" as "5ive".
    • There's also a Japanese 12" EP consisting of four previous singles, called "Best 4 You".
  • List Song: "ABC" lists several things Michael will teach a little girl.
  • Momma's Boy: When asked "Who is the mommy's boy of this group?", all brothers pointed at Jermaine. He replied in embarrassment: "Well, Michael was too!"
  • Nice Guy: All of them.
  • Notable Music Videos: They had a very notable one in 1981: "Can You Feel It"'s video featured the band as some sort of godlike beings spreading happiness and peace over the world. Back then the video had an enormous impact on audiences, because of the impressive computer effects for the time and grand epicness of it all. It would be the forebearer to Michael Jackson's equally epic music videos later.
  • Older Than They Look: Michael always remained the youngest-looking of the group - he even managed to look younger than Randy - even at his fifties.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Sigmund, Toriano and Steven are always referred to by their nicknames Jackie, Tito and Randy respectively.
  • Pep-Talk Song: "ABC", "Enjoy Yourself",...
  • The Power of Love: "The Love You'll Save".
  • The Power of Rock: "Blame It On The Boogie"
    I just can't, I just can't, I just can't control my feet.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • At first, Jermaine from the 1976 - 1981 period, for staying in Motown while the others moved to Epic Record.
    • From 1984, Michael and Marlon also left.
    • Currently, Michael for obvious reasons, and Randy because of his heart issues.
  • The Rival: The Osmonds.
  • Sixth Ranger: Randy, who at first only played the bongos and did not officially perform with the group despite doing interviews and skits with them. After Jermaine stayed at Motown, Randy officially joined the group to replace him.
  • Spelling Song: "ABC".
    A B C, simple as 1,2,3.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: One look and you could tell that they are all brothers. But special mention goes to Tito who looks the most similar to their father, and Jermaine who is pretty much a combination of Jackie and Tito. Michael and Marlon were also mistaken for twins when they were younger.
  • Teen Idol: The Jackson Five were teenagers admired by a very young audience of mostly teenagers.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Michael for being the youngest in their early years. As he hit puberty later, Randy became this instead.
  • Vocal Dissonance: You would expect the oldest brother Jackie to have the deepest voice, but his voice is actually the most high-pitched. In fact, the Jacksons are known for their high, soft voices, with Tito being the only notable exception.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: When they changed label in the 1970s it turned out that their old label owned the rights to the name The Jackson Five. So they became The Jacksons instead.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Michael was the only band member to have a massive succesful solo career.
  • Younger Than They Look: Jackie and Tito looked a bit too mature for someone in their early twenties in 1970.

Alternative Title(s): The Jacksons

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