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Musical Pairings: Jackson 5 – Greatest Hits (paired with gingerbread oatmeal pancakes)

The gingerbread oatmeal pancakes featured on eating/sf are a celebration of deliciousness. As is my standard operating procedure for pancakes, I initially soaked my stack in a flood of maple syrup and then proceeded to consume them with unbridled, sticky passion. And they were phenomenal. I was literally bobbing my head, tapping my feet and making little happy cooing noises. After devouring the first stack, I realized I didn’t even need the maple syrup. I mean, these pancakes taste like oatmeal gingerbread cookies – so they really don’t need any extra flavoring. They are warming and, in my opinion, maybe even a little sexy. Perfect. So today’s Musical Pairing is another little piece of upbeat perfection: Jackson 5’s 1971 Greatest Hits.

The Jackson 5 need no introduction. Indeed, they are so universally well-known that the rapper M.I.A. once claimed that “Michael Jackson” was one of the first English words/phrases she learned as a small child in Sri Lanka. Their first Greatest Hits collection was originally released back in 1971 and is a concise collection of their early hits. The collection opens with the Jackson 5’s first-ever single (released in 1969) “I Want You Back.” The cut was originally written by “the Corporation” (the nickname for Motown’s 2nd wave collection of songwriters which consisted of: Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, and Alphonzo Mizell) for either Gladys Knight and the Pips or Diana Ross. But after Gladys Knight introduced the Jackson 5 to Motown’s label head Berry Gordy, Gordy had the track rewritten for the young group instead. It was a smash hit and made it to number 1 on the pop charts.

On this compilation, “I Want You Back” is followed by the hit “ABC.” Here, the Jackson 5’s memorable call and response vocals are anchored by a sweet musical confection consisting of a fuzzy guitar line, slinky bass, and funky rhythmic percussion featuring everything from congas, shakers, tambourines, piano and a drum set. The track was such a hit when it was released it knocked the Beatles’ “Let It Be” out of the number one spot on the charts. The Jacksons’ dip deep into the world of soul for the silken, smooth third cut “Never Can Say Goodbye.” And those are just the first three songs. The collection also includes “Sugar Daddy,” “I’ll Be There,” “The Love You Save,” and “Mama’s Pearl.” What’s most amazing about this collection is how well its songs have stood up to the test of time.

Jackson 5 – I Want You Back (link removed)

Head back to eating/sf to read Kasey’s recipe for gingerbread oatmeal pancakes.

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Posted by Matthew Hickey

Matthew is the music editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. He’s addicted to vinyl records, pour over coffee, craft beer, small batch bourbon, and pan roasting pork chops.

  • Herb Kastendieck

    Michael Jackson is definitely amazing. The entire world misses you a great deal! No-one could argue that Michael hasn’t changed pop songs and pop culture world-wide. He was a musical genuis and that he was the inspiration for numerous artists which were to come after him. I believe Michael continues to making music and videos in heaven.

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