Certain Songs #687: The Jackson 5 – “ABC”

j5-abc Album: ABC
Year: 1970

You down with “ABC?”

Yeah, you know me!

The follow-up single to the eternal “I Want You Back,” “ABC” was at once weirder than its predecessor and also more conventional.

Featuring yet another dynamite arrangement from The Corporation, this time with a piano providing the foundation instead of a funky guitar, “ABC” also featured crowd noises during the breakdown, and call-and-response vocals that were sometimes just plain nonsense.

And of course, 11-year-old Michael Jackson screaming “Shake it, shake it, baby!”

Meanwhile, the words were maybe playing too much into the youth of Michael Jackson. But of course, none of that mattered anytime he opened his mouth and sang. So he swooped into into his vocals, inserting random screams when he felt like and doubling-tripling-quadrupling down on the words “come on.”

And when they all came in together on “That’s how easy love can be,” it was pure pop bliss.

“ABC” performed on American Bandstand

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