Many of the books that focus on Michael Jackson’s music note that when he and his brothers in the Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975, they left behind a ton of material. Less than half of the songs the brothers recorded actually made their way to an album. That’s a LOT of music.
Motown has released the unreleased songs in drips over the years. There were several MJ/J5 compilations released in the wake of Off The Wall and Thriller, there was an exhaustive box set released in 1995 right around the time of HIStory, and most recently, there was a fairly solid collection released a few months after Michael’s death.
With what would have been Michael’s 54th birthday coming up later this week, there is yet another set coming our way: Come And Get It: Rare Pearls. The digital version comes out tomorrow, while the physical release comes in September. The first taste of the release comes via the track “If The Shoe Don’t Fit,” which premiered last week on NPR. It’s fairly boilerplate J5, which is to say it’s damn good. The Motown house band cooks up a groove similar to “ABC” or “Mama’s Pearl,” while a preteen Michael sings his little heart out. Jermaine and Tito (!) chip in with vocals as well. Could it have been a hit during the J5’s glory years? Probably. Maybe they just didn’t want to give Tito any shine. Ha!
Anyway, have a listen (via NPR) here.