The Jacksons: Live

The Jacksons: Live

The Jacksons’ 1981 tour was a disco spectacular featuring a rainbow light show, futuristically sequined costumes, and a catalogue of some of the most danceable songs in pop music history. Live marks the intersection of the Jacksons’ history as a group and the massive solo success of Michael Jackson. Standing on the verge of Thriller, a now-grown Michael sings “Ben,” “I’ll Be There” and “I Want You Back / ABC / The Love You Save” with the same passion he brings to recent hits like “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “Shake Your Body (Down To the Ground).” “Can You Feel It” and the wistful “This Place Hotel” offer some sense of how exciting it was to see the brothers bring their magic to a stadium crowd. While most disco acts simply didn’t translate in the live setting, the Jacksons deliver “Off the Wall” and “Rock With You” without sacrificing the immaculate studio sheen of the originals. Still, “She’s Out of My Life” conjures the concert’s definitive image: Michael singing alone on stage, one leg planted in his youthful past and the other stepping towards his future as the King of Pop.

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