The Jackson Sisters – 1976 – The Jackson Sisters
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An amazing bit of soul – and one of the rarest funk records of the 70s! This masterpiece was recorded by The Jackson Sisters, a semi-gospelly soul group that has a sound that’s a bit like The Voices of East Harlem, but that’s a lot harder, and that has a deeper soul sound overall! At times, the group is funky – as on their incredible track “I Believe In Miracles“, a rare groove classic if there ever was one, and one of the most in-demand tracks. At other times, the girls have a mellower soul sound, with great raw harmonies that remind us of the Volt work by The Emotions, but with much rougher instrumental backing. This album’s the only one they ever cut – and it’s just about impossible to find in the original pressing (and in fact, we’ve never seen a copy!) Apart from the amazing cut “Miracles”, this one includes loads of gems like “Rockin’ On My Porch”, “Shake Her Loose”, “(Why Can’t We Be) More Than Just Friends”, and “Boy, You’re Dynamite”!
A1 Where Your Love Is Gone 2.49
A2 Maybe 3.12
A3 Why Do Fools Fall in Love 2.36
A4 Day in the Blue 3.00
A5 Rockin’ on My Porch 3.11
B1 Boy You’re Dynamite 3.07
B2 Rock Steady 2.49
B3 Miracles 2.54
B4 (Why Can’t We Be) More Than Just Friends 3.14
B5 Shake Her Loose 2.28
The Jackson Sisters, Jackie, Lyn, Pat, Rae and Gennie, originally came out of Compton but were based in Detroit. They were discovered by Bobby Taylor who modeled them as a female answer to the Jackson 5. Taylor co-wrote and produced their biggest hit, ‘I Believe In Miracles‘ which was released in 1973 on a little label called Prophesy Records (and strangely, also on Polydor that same year). Original copies of this 45 are rare, as are copies of a Jackson Sisters original LP released in 1976 on the Tiger Lily label (apparently it was withdrawn after just a few promo copies were pressed).
Not those Jacksons! The Jackson Sisters were Jacqueline Jackson-Rencher, Lyn Jackson, Pat Jackson, Rae Jackson and Gennie Jackson. Jackie was the eldest of the five siblings, Gennie the youngest. Based in Detroit (but originally from Compton, California), The Jackson Sisters recorded material with some modest success in the ’70s. However, the group really came into their own nearly a decade later following the emergence of the rare groove scene in the U.K. The sister act only have one official album to their name, but it’s a rich legacy thanks to their wholly unique blend of rollicking soul and amazing harmony vocals! I Believe In Miracles: The Jackson Sisters Collection includes all of the tracks from their only 1976 self-titled album, one of the most sought after rare soul LPs of the era, plus it is bookended by the furiously funky 1973 single ‘I Believe in Miracles.’ The original version kicks the set off, and the titanic extended version closes it out.
The Jackson Sisters were essentially a soul vocal group, but with a style that tended to skew hard and gritty. Occasionally, that grit dipped into full on, furious funk, as on the above mentioned ‘I Believe in Miracles’, and the equally amazing ‘Miracles’. One listen to that track will tell you why as it is funky soul at its finest, sounding like a Jacksons cut from the same era. The youngest of the Jackson Sisters takes most of the lead vocals on the song. She sounds uncannily like a young Michael Jackson.
It truly lives up to its classic status. The rest of the album is very good soul with a mix of up-tempo groovers, bubblegummy soul, and ballads. Many of the songs were written by soul vet Johnny Bristol, who turns in what should have been a big smash with the cute and bubbly ‘When Your Love Is Gone‘.The Sisters also cover some classics, turning in a disco-fied ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love‘, and a fast and loose take on Aretha’s ‘Rock Steady‘. Jackson Sisters is about as much fun as you could hope ’70s soul could be. It’s not hard to see why this is their only album — there were no hits. It really is too bad though; they could have made more great records. Other tracks include ‘Maybe’,’Rockin’ on My Porch’, ‘Shake Her Loose’, ‘Day in the Blue’, and ‘Boy You’re Dynamite’.