Japanese reissue of this two-fer from the Soul legends which pairs two studio albums together on one disc: Dancing Machine (1974) and Moving Violations (1975) Dancing Machine features the hugely popular title track while Moving Violations, their final album for Motown, contains 'Forever Came Today' and 'All I Do Is Think of You'. Though the band is often remembered for their hit singles, their albums were filled with quality upbeat Soul/Pop nuggets as well as tear-jerking ballads. Universal. 2007.
"I Am Love"
"Whatever You Got, I Want"
"Dancing Machine" (the edited version, the original version is on Get It Together)
"The Life of the Party"
"If I Don't Love You This Way"
"Forever Came Today"
"Moving Violation" (my favorite track on the album. can't get enough of this song.)
"All I Do Is Think of You"
Although DANCING MACHINE (1974), entitled as such to capitalize on the success of the single (which was originally on GIT), has several different producers, they all attempted to keep the same theme in mind: to come up with funky and exciting sounds for the J-5, and that they do. Opening with the fantastic nearly eight-minute funk/rock dance groove of "I Am Love", you know that you are in for something special. Jermaine primarily handles the leads on this song, with Michael coming at the bridge. "Whatever You Got, I Want" is bluesy and has a slinky-type of feel with great lyrics. "She's a Rhythm Child" is basically a knockoff of "Dancing Machine", but it's not all that bad. The single edit of "Dancing Machine" is next, and nothing more need be added about the extraordinary appeal of this song.
Next is the J-5 dance classic, the quick-paced "Life of the Party", an all too-short song I would love to hear remixed to be a bit longer. "What You Don't Know" is another funky dance jam, then we have two great ballads back to back: "If I Don't Love You This Way" (Michael on lead) and "It All Begins And Ends With Love" (Jermaine on lead). DM closes out with "Mirrors of My Mind", keeping the funk/dance theme intact.
Most of the tracks on MOVING VIOLATION were produced by Brian Holland of Holland-Dozier-Holland fame. Holland had produced a great solo album for Michael entitled FOREVER MICHAEL earlier that year (1975), and it was a good move to extend that collaboration to producing some solid tracks for the J-5. Even though by this time, the brothers were not happy with Motown's treatment of them, MV is one of the best albums that they ever recorded. Not as funky as GIT or DM, but it features mostly smooth, infectious dance tracks. It was technically their last on Motown and Jermaine's last appearance with his brothers, so they did go out with a bang. An old Supremes track from 1967 that was a minor hit for those ladies but did much better for the J-5, "Forever Came Today", was the big hit from this album. Reworked into a driving 6 minute disco anthem, "Forever" will have you looking for your dancing shoes. "Moving Violation" is another funky disco cut, with clever lyrics...reminds you of "The Love You Save" theme-wise. The sexy dance tracks "(You Were Made) Especially for Me", "Honey Love" and "Body Language" (another popular track from this album) increasingly moved the brothers into more mature waters. Most notably, "Especially For Me" has a hint of the Philly Sound that the Jacksons would take on their first two albums for Epic/CBS. Michael's vocals on the gorgeously harmonious "All I Do Is Think of You" are simply beautiful and further proves that his voice made a seamless transition from boyhood to adolescence. "All I Do" is the only ballad on MV and a Quiet Storm radio classic, and still extremely popular today. The final three tracks, "Breezy", "Call of the Wild" and "Time Explosion" has futuristic touches of lite jazz and rock, material the brothers began to get into way back on GIT and on "I Am Love" from DM.
Two bonus tracks are included as well: a sweet ballad with Jermaine on lead vocals, "Through Thick and Thin", sounds like a throwback to the SKYWRITER album - and another mix of "Forever Came Today", although I can't really hear much difference between this one and the original, except that the second half of the song is completely instrumental.
These two albums together are a perfect combination! As much as I enjoy the J-5's earlier classic work, I feel DM/MV are far more interesting and artistically challenging. If you love dance music and the Jackson 5, then this is the CD for you!! Party over here!!
Good quality, good seller, & arrived in good time!