There’s an interview with Quincy Jones in which he says that he had to teach Michael how to “beg” when recording “The Lady In My Life”. An apocryphal statement for sure. I’m pretty sure Mike had listened to his share of Teddy P and Marvin records before 1982. Also, there’s this song, the flip of the last song the J5 released during their Motown tenure. Michael is on his Keith Sweat steez, begging the object of his affection to “PLEASE PUH-LEEEZE BE MINE!!!”
Although “All I Do Is Think Of You” only reached #50 on Billboard’s Soul Singles chart, the song had a long life and eventually topped the charts in 1990, covered by new jack swing troupe Troop. During my early days of music discovery in the early-mid ‘80s, I pulled this 45 from the stack various members of my family had accumulated OFTEN.
It’s the most mature love song the brothers recorded at Motown, with a touch of Philly soul sweetness. It unintentionally nodded towards the music the Jacksons would make under Gamble & Huff’s production aegis. Michael is the star, of course, but Jermaine’s role in this particular song is not to be minimized. His vocal is buried in the mix a little bit, but the way that he shadows Mike reminds me of the way parishioners at Southern churches tend to add things like “mmm hmmm” at the end of each exhortation by the preacher.
This Soul Train performance is odd. Jermaine wasn’t performing with the J5 anymore, and this performance (lip-synced as 95% of Soul Train performances were) still contains Jermaine’s very obvious and recognizable voice. No one bothers to even acknowledge Jermaine’s absence during the performance OR the interview.
(also, I’ve already covered three Jackson 5 songs. Either I’m a fan or the brothers had a LOT of songs that started with “A”. Or both?)