When you think about The Jacksons’ 1984 album Victory (the last set recorded with Michael officially in the lineup,) there are a couple of things that probably come to mind. The overblown spectacle that was the Victory Tour-replete with tons of drama, from Don King’s installment as tour promoter to eldest brother Jackie missing the entire tour to Michael’s refusal to rehearse or perform any of the songs from the album that gave the tour it’s name. “State Of Shock” probably also comes to mind. After all, it was the album’s biggest hit, giving The Jacksons the highest chart position of their post-Motown career. The fact that it’s a craptastic duet with Michael and Mick Jagger probably doesn’t help the perception that the album itself was a dud.
But it wasn’t.
Although Michael’s involvement in Victory was fairly minimal, the revisionist history that says the other brothers were untalented is patently false. After all, you can’t sustain a two decade-plus career in the music industry without at least a modicum of talent, and most of the brothers were reasonably talented musicians, songwriters and musicians. The one brother whose talent may have come close to rivaling Michael’s was youngest brother Randy. One of his contributions to the Victory album was the spare beat ballad “One More Chance,” and many consider it the set’s best track.
Sounding a bit like electronic-era Prince mashed up with those ghostly background vocals found on Carpenters hits and easy listening staples like 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love,” “One More Chance” is a simply written and sung plea for forgiveness. Randy’s certainly not as dynamic a vocalist as his older brother, but what he lacks in technique, he makes up for in feeling. Black radio warmed to this track, and it got played quite a bit as an album cut even though it was never officially released as a single. Maybe Randy was too busy running from buckshots fired by Tina Turner.
Over the years, this song has held up quite well–better than just about any other Victory track. At least one other Jackson sibling thought highly of the song–Janet remade it in 1993 and used it as the B-side to her “If” single. She does a bang-up job as well. I wonder if anyone’s thought to mash these two versions together.
(also worth noting-this is one of four “One More Chance”s recorded by the Jackson family. The J5 (minus Randy) recorded a song by that title in 1970 and used it on their ABC album, and Michael cut an R. Kelly-penned song of the same name in 2003.)