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Anthology
Jackson 5

Motown 868
Released: July 1976
Chart Peak: #84
Weeks Charted: 9
Certified Platinum: 11/21/86

Michael JacksonThe only one of Motown's triple-LP retrospectives to concentrate on (or even include much) '70s music documents an institution in decline. Initially, the company marshalls everything it's got for one final push -- not for nothing was the group's songwriting-production combine called The Corporation, and it's a measure of their seriousness that they asked the Crusaders to help with the tracks. But within two years they'd run out of gas -- all the mini-comebacks after that, even the dancing-machine coup, were flukes. The proof is that the old-formula filler often surpasses the desperate imitaitons that become minor hits -- better "E-Ne-Me-Ne-Mi-Ne-Moe" than "Skywriter" or "A Little Bit of You." The selection includes Michael's hits, Jermaine's hit, the works, and as the other albums disappear it will become essential in its way. But not to listen to, much. B+

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

Bonus Reviews!

This three-LP set contains all 18 of the Jackson 5's pop-chart hits, plus solo hits by Jermaine and Michael Jackson, among its 33 cuts. It's the definitive collection and a good sampler of the sound of pop/R&B, ca. 1969-1975. (Originally released as a 33-track, three-LP set by Motown on June 15, 1976, as Motown 868, Anthology was reissued as a 40-track, two-CD set in August-1986 as Motown 6194.) * * * *

- William Ruhlmann, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

Oh, if Michael could have stayed frozen in time when he was nine. In the good old days when they looked like they came from the same family, the five brothers -- Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and "little" MJ -- were an excellent group, and this collection shows why. A three-disc retrospective from innocent times with incredible hits like "I Want You Back," and "ABC," plus lesser-known tracks like "Teenage Symphony," it's guaranteed to make you want to dance. * * * * *

- Zagat Survey Music Guide - 1,000 Top Albums of All Time, 2003.

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