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Thread started 07/03/24 4:41pm

JabarR74

The Jacksons’ ‘Victory’ Turns 40 | Album Anniversary

Albumism_Jacksons_Victory_MainImage_16x9.jpg?format=1500w

Happy 40th Anniversary to The Jacksons’ fifteenth studio album Victory, originally released July 2, 1984.

In 1984, fresh off the unprecedented success of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, and with a world buzzing on The Jackson 5 reunion as a keystone moment of Motown’s televised retrospective performance Motown 25, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, the desire for a fully-fledged Jackson family reunion was at an all-time high.

Although The Jacksons (as they were known sans Jermaine and with the inclusion of brother Randy) hadn’t officially disbanded, Michael’s undeniable success as a solo artist threw the future of the group into question. So when news of the brothers returning to record their fifteenth studio album, and their first with all members of both The Jackson 5 and The Jacksons incarnations present, anticipation was primed.

Michael’s solo success aside, the preceding group efforts, 1978’s Destiny and 1980s Triumph, had shown artists coming into their own writing, producing and arranging both albums to mass commercial and critical success. And when you add in Michael’s landmark Off The Wall (1979) and Thriller albums into the mix, it would seem the hits would keep on coming and the band would grow from strength to strength.

At least, that’s what fans had hoped.

And to be fair, in part Victory is a celebration of each member’s growth as an artist, but the album ends up being less of a concerted and focused effort and more a sampling of six solo albums. Lacking the cohesiveness of Destiny and Triumph and without the main driving force of Michael at the helm, Victory would be pulled in different directions yielding different degrees of musical success. Each brother gets a moment in the spotlight, a moment to demonstrate his own musical gifts and take the mic, and all deliver good to great songs. But the fractions and factions were already afoot, and so the album suffers from feeling less like a true victory of family unity and more like a triumph of single-mindedness.

For his part Michael contributed two songs, the Top 5 rocker “State of Shock” that was initially recorded as a duet between Michael and Freddie Mercury but ended up being released with Mick Jagger sharing vocal duties, and the melancholic and terribly underappreciated socially focused, acoustic and sparse “Be Not Always.” He also duets with brother Jermaine on the album’s haunting paranoid R&B jam “Torture” and pops up with sublime adlibs on the coda of Jackie’s funky solo spot “Wait.” So for those wanting Thriller Part II, or at least Triumph Part II with an album that heavily featured Michael, they got 50% of their wish.

The remaining 50% was a brothers affair.

The aforementioned “Wait” sees Jackie step behind the mic and deliver a swinging synth led toe tapper and head bopper. It’s undoubtedly one of the album’s high points, one that takes flight when Michael swoops in for the final minute with some glorious adlibs. It should also be noted that Jackie wrote the other standout, second single “Torture,” and actually recorded lead vocals for it along with Michael. Once Jermaine decided to join the project, the brothers decided a Jermaine and Michael reunion was needed and so Jackie was relegated to lead on the chorus only. A shame really, as he has a very distinctive soulful quality to his voice that would have offered some nice contrast to Michael’s.

Randy’s contribution is the beautiful soothing ballad “One More Chance.” An accomplished musician and songwriter, Randy’s track is perhaps the one that has withstood the passing of time the best. It also has the distinguished pleasure of being the only Jackson song to be covered by another sibling, with sister Janet offering her take as a B-side to her “If” smash single nine years later.

Randy also sings lead on “The Hurt,” a track co-written by Michael, along with Toto cohorts David Paich and Steve Porcaro. This jittery synth inspired track is cool enough but fails to lift off as it seems to want to do. Definitely “One More Chance” is the stronger of his two outings.

Much, and unfairly, maligned Tito gets his moment to show his own musical stylings with a bluesy funk tune set against a Caribbean inspired groove. As well as being an underrated guitarist, Tito proves he also has some pretty soulful pipes on him too. With a glistening summery vibe, “We Can Change The World” is another unexpected highlight on the album. You go, Tito.

Those wanting a Thriller-esque dance song would have been perhaps disappointed with Michael’s efforts, but would have found some comfort and a healthy helping of familiarity in Marlon’s “Body.” Borrowing heavily from the groove of Michael’s timeless “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin,’” that’s sadly where the comparisons end. The song is the most ‘80s sounding track on the album, and instantly conjures images of leg warmers and Fluro. As a moment not built to last, the song fails to have any real impact. The most interesting moments are the all too brief world music soundscape intro and outro. You can’t help but wish these elements were placed on a loop to create a new song, and “Body” given the boot.

All in all, Victory isn’t a bad album, it’s just not the album we hoped for. With each brother branching out in their own musical stylings and having something valid to offer, maybe this approach was inevitable. When you listen to each song in isolation, you’d have to agree most are pretty catchy and worthy of an airing. But when packaged together, they just don’t gel as well as they should.

Whilst the album was a solid seller and chart performer, it failed to really light up the world, perhaps overshadowed by two other albums released around the same time: Prince’s Purple Rain and Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A., both seminal albums from each. Add to this the curious fact that the Jacksons’ tour of the same name failed to include any songs from the album (that’s right, no “State of Shock” and no “Torture”) and it’s easy to see why it’s often overlooked in both Michael’s and The Jackson 5/Jacksons canon.

Other notable curiosities surrounding this project include:

  1. The original album artwork featured a white dove on Randy’s shoulder. It flew away on subsequent pressings.

  2. The lead single, the Jackson-Jagger (or is that Mike & Mick) “State of Shock” featured no music video, and follow-up single “Torture” did get a video albeit without a living, breathing Michael. Instead a wax figure of Michael appears at the end, armed raised. No wax figure of Jermaine was used, and many didn’t notice his absence.

  3. Of the remaining songs from the album, “Body” gets a single release and video??? Go figure. (Neither Michael nor Jermaine appear in this one either. Even the wax figure skipped this one too.)

As an interesting aside, I eagerly bought this album on the day of release and instinctively kicked it off with “State of Shock” playing as the opener and progressing through that side to “Body” then flipping it over for “Torture” through to “Be Not Always,” which felt like a bold and fitting album closer. I played the album that way for months. It wasn’t until much later when I bought the CD version, that I was shocked to discover I had been playing the album in the wrong order, playing the second side before the first. Listening to the album as it was intended, I still felt (and do to this day) that my mistaken sequencing is the stronger.

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Reply #1 posted 07/04/24 11:19am

SoulAlive

around the time that this album was released,Jermaine had a solo album and it contains an excellent duet with Michael "Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin".I think this song is better than most of the tracks on 'Victory'!

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Reply #2 posted 07/04/24 1:01pm

JoeyCococo

One More Chance...so ever since I first heard Phil Collins' One More Night, I couldn't help but notice how similar it sounded to One More Chance. In fact, I was totally sure. So a year or so ago, I hear Randy Jackson on Questlove Supreme and he touched on this. He actually explained how he ran into Phil Collins in a drug store and they both acknowledged it was the same or very similar.

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Reply #3 posted 07/05/24 4:24pm

Ramzoo

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SoulAlive said:

around the time that this album was released,Jermaine had a solo album and it contains an excellent duet with Michael "Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin".I think this song is better than most of the tracks on 'Victory'!



Great song : I like the instrumental version.
"Money won't buy U happiness but it'll pay 4 the search."
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Reply #4 posted 07/05/24 7:38pm

RODSERLING

I heard One More Night in One More Chance too.
I also heard Wanna Be Startin' Something in Body.

Be Not Always was the MJ's Hallelujah. They should have released it as the 3rd single IMO.
I understand they tried by releasing Body to Emancipate from MJ and see if that could work.
Wait would have worked better ( it was released after), but the problem was that they could have never had MJ in a video.

They should have replaced the terrible We Can Change The World with another MJ tracks ( This is It, to bookend the album?) To better balance the number of MJ songs.
The Hurt was strangely bad for an MJ/ Porcaro composition. It doesn't sound like them at all.


Torture was a big success in France and sold there 250k copies.

I understand the album flopped because of no songs performed in tour, no music video with MJ made, over saturation of MJ singles, no charisma from the others members of the band...

Still, it flopped really, really badly, more than it should have.
It s like they sold more tickets from the tour in the US than albums.
The album also underperformed in big markets such as in France (Destiny sold more) and in the UK ( Triumph sold more).
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Reply #5 posted 07/06/24 11:15am

SolaceAHA

SoulAlive said:

around the time that this album was released,Jermaine had a solo album and it contains an excellent duet with Michael "Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin".I think this song is better than most of the tracks on 'Victory'!

I think his album was far superior IMO too. I always loved that Jermaine album, I Believe I got a reissue of that a few years ago with a bunch of 12" mixes the songs inclduing the one he did with Pia Zadora which is good also, but he had a lot of success with this album, "Do What you do" and "Dynamite" were big singles too. I think everyone assumed of course the Jacksons album would be amazing because they tend to think because its Michael riding off of THriller how can it not be top notch. Similar this is what they think of Huge artists in bands who go solo and just kind find that "album" Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Mick Jagger, OK Sting is different animal in this case.But for him his music is not POLICE music and not even close, Freddie was doing very queen like stuff on his first cd and Brian was doing the same as was Mick

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Reply #6 posted 07/06/24 11:24am

SolaceAHA

RODSERLING said:

I heard One More Night in One More Chance too. I also heard Wanna Be Startin' Something in Body. Be Not Always was the MJ's Hallelujah. They should have released it as the 3rd single IMO. I understand they tried by releasing Body to Emancipate from MJ and see if that could work. Wait would have worked better ( it was released after), but the problem was that they could have never had MJ in a video. They should have replaced the terrible We Can Change The World with another MJ tracks ( This is It, to bookend the album?) To better balance the number of MJ songs. The Hurt was strangely bad for an MJ/ Porcaro composition. It doesn't sound like them at all. Torture was a big success in France and sold there 250k copies. I understand the album flopped because of no songs performed in tour, no music video with MJ made, over saturation of MJ singles, no charisma from the others members of the band... Still, it flopped really, really badly, more than it should have. It s like they sold more tickets from the tour in the US than albums. The album also underperformed in big markets such as in France (Destiny sold more) and in the UK ( Triumph sold more).

Hmm thing is however in terms of sales, it sold more than any "Jacksons" album, to that point they had not been certified over 1million in the USA for any record, this one was certified 2 million sold by October of 1984 and 7 million worldwide. I get it was a let down because everything that Michael is on has to sell millions right away, I would also say this album was a let down not because of its sales but because I can feel this was very thrown together, very last minute, also tacking on Mick Jagger for an instant mega duet for a single is the first sign this album was going to be very weak. I mean the fact that Michael seems to want no part of it, its like a tour was forced and I do feel that is true to this day, also as it went on Jermaine didnt even want to be there because he had his own record out.

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Reply #7 posted 07/06/24 11:27am

RODSERLING

In France When the rain begins to fall was a million seller. The music video was revolutionary at the time, like a Thriller 2.
Do What You Do sold 233k in France and is a classic too.
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Reply #8 posted 07/08/24 5:04pm

TrivialPursuit

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SoulAlive said:

around the time that this album was released,Jermaine had a solo album and it contains an excellent duet with Michael "Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin".I think this song is better than most of the tracks on 'Victory'!


That album, sometimes referred to as Dynamite, is really Jermaine's attempt at having his own Thriller. I noticed it even back then and I enjoyed it.

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Dynamite (that uptempo workout from the start)

Baby Be Mine - Sweetest Sweetest (just a cool little, and underrated bop)

The Girl is Mine - Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin' (the duet in the 3rd spot)

Thriller - Escape From the Planet of the Ant Men (including a maniacal laugh; the spooky song finishing out the first side))

Second side is a bit more loose, but there are a couple of comparisions to be made:

Beat It -

Billie Jean -

Human Nature - Do What You Do (that smooth, mid-tempo lush tune)

PYT - Some Things are Private (the funk workout)

The Lady In My Life - Oh Mother (ending track about an important woman)

I still enjoy Jermaine Jackson and listen to it probably once a year or so.

If he were smart, he'd have mixed storylines in the Pia Zadora duet with "Escape From the Planet of the Ant Men."

If you have a problem with me, text me. If you don't have my number, you don't know me well enough to have a problem with me.
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Reply #9 posted 07/08/24 5:18pm

TrivialPursuit

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I remember KJ-103 in Oklahoma City playing the whole album, albeit in a different order, and I recorded it. "Be Not Always" didn't always fall on 16-year-old ears the way it does forty years later. But I love the drama and emotion of it.

"Body" and "Wait" were standout tracks for me. I was obsessed with "State of Shock,"* and waited to watch "Torture" whenever it aired.

Randy's "The Hurt" is ear-piercing in the worst way. I still have no fucking idea what he's saying. Tito's song is just kinda there, and unremarkable.

"One More Chance" is a good one, but some of the production should've been tamed or changed out.

I remember stories about various paintings being done (including the dove thing), and stories about who was going to have a mustache or not. Michael Whelan really nailed it, though. It's beautiful.

*There was mild fodder about the ending of "State of Shock" being spun backwards. Jagger was said to have said things like "Hey Michael...... hey Michael..." and then allegedly the N-word. It's right in the ad-libs where Jagger is saying "Look at me.... look at me..." It's stupid, but it was in the midst of the backward masking era.

If you have a problem with me, text me. If you don't have my number, you don't know me well enough to have a problem with me.
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Reply #10 posted 07/08/24 10:11pm

RODSERLING

SolaceAHA said:



RODSERLING said:


I heard One More Night in One More Chance too. I also heard Wanna Be Startin' Something in Body. Be Not Always was the MJ's Hallelujah. They should have released it as the 3rd single IMO. I understand they tried by releasing Body to Emancipate from MJ and see if that could work. Wait would have worked better ( it was released after), but the problem was that they could have never had MJ in a video. They should have replaced the terrible We Can Change The World with another MJ tracks ( This is It, to bookend the album?) To better balance the number of MJ songs. The Hurt was strangely bad for an MJ/ Porcaro composition. It doesn't sound like them at all. Torture was a big success in France and sold there 250k copies. I understand the album flopped because of no songs performed in tour, no music video with MJ made, over saturation of MJ singles, no charisma from the others members of the band... Still, it flopped really, really badly, more than it should have. It s like they sold more tickets from the tour in the US than albums. The album also underperformed in big markets such as in France (Destiny sold more) and in the UK ( Triumph sold more).


Hmm thing is however in terms of sales, it sold more than any "Jacksons" album, to that point they had not been certified over 1million in the USA for any record, this one was certified 2 million sold by October of 1984 and 7 million worldwide. I get it was a let down because everything that Michael is on has to sell millions right away, I would also say this album was a let down not because of its sales but because I can feel this was very thrown together, very last minute, also tacking on Mick Jagger for an instant mega duet for a single is the first sign this album was going to be very weak. I mean the fact that Michael seems to want no part of it, its like a tour was forced and I do feel that is true to this day, also as it went on Jermaine didnt even want to be there because he had his own record out.




Well, I don't think the album sold 7 million worldwide, I would say more in the range of 4/5 million. 7 million is the sales for Invincible, and it outsold Victory in many big markets. I think 7 million was the easy target sales or the predicted sales at the end of the promotion.
Unless it sold in fact more than we think in the US.
There is that third platinum award :

https://gottahaverockandr...9104.aspx/

But it was never recorded by the RIAA. So, maybe CBS manufactured it in advance, thinking that by Christmas 84' they would be at 3 million copies sold in the US, maybe they were very close to the 3 million but never reached it.
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Reply #11 posted 07/12/24 4:56am

nayroo2002

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Thanks for the reminder!

Absolutely LOVE "State Of Shock"!

Never thought to find the 12" version with the fantastic breakdown eek

[Edited 7/12/24 4:59am]

"Whatever skin we're in
we all need 2 b friends"
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Reply #12 posted 07/12/24 9:20am

TrivialPursuit

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nayroo2002 said:

Thanks for the reminder!

Absolutely LOVE "State Of Shock"!

Never thought to find the 12" version with the fantastic breakdown eek


YAAASS! That breakdown is everything!!! I totally forgot about that.

If you have a problem with me, text me. If you don't have my number, you don't know me well enough to have a problem with me.
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Reply #13 posted 07/12/24 3:09pm

SolaceAHA

RODSERLING said:

SolaceAHA said:

Hmm thing is however in terms of sales, it sold more than any "Jacksons" album, to that point they had not been certified over 1million in the USA for any record, this one was certified 2 million sold by October of 1984 and 7 million worldwide. I get it was a let down because everything that Michael is on has to sell millions right away, I would also say this album was a let down not because of its sales but because I can feel this was very thrown together, very last minute, also tacking on Mick Jagger for an instant mega duet for a single is the first sign this album was going to be very weak. I mean the fact that Michael seems to want no part of it, its like a tour was forced and I do feel that is true to this day, also as it went on Jermaine didnt even want to be there because he had his own record out.

Well, I don't think the album sold 7 million worldwide, I would say more in the range of 4/5 million. 7 million is the sales for Invincible, and it outsold Victory in many big markets. I think 7 million was the easy target sales or the predicted sales at the end of the promotion. Unless it sold in fact more than we think in the US. There is that third platinum award : https://gottahaverockandr...9104.aspx/ But it was never recorded by the RIAA. So, maybe CBS manufactured it in advance, thinking that by Christmas 84' they would be at 3 million copies sold in the US, maybe they were very close to the 3 million but never reached it.

Well its off the Wiki Page for the album that it was 2. million usa and 7 million worldwide. I am never quite sure of overseas numbers though in that time era I do not doubt it, I mean Bon Jovi Keep the Faith and These days were their biggest selling albums worldwide who knew

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Reply #14 posted 07/13/24 2:48am

RODSERLING

SolaceAHA said:[quote]



RODSERLING said:


SolaceAHA said:



Hmm thing is however in terms of sales, it sold more than any "Jacksons" album, to that point they had not been certified over 1million in the USA for any record, this one was certified 2 million sold by October of 1984 and 7 million worldwide. I get it was a let down because everything that Michael is on has to sell millions right away, I would also say this album was a let down not because of its sales but because I can feel this was very thrown together, very last minute, also tacking on Mick Jagger for an instant mega duet for a single is the first sign this album was going to be very weak. I mean the fact that Michael seems to want no part of it, its like a tour was forced and I do feel that is true to this day, also as it went on Jermaine didnt even want to be there because he had his own record out.



Well, I don't think the album sold 7 million worldwide, I would say more in the range of 4/5 million. 7 million is the sales for Invincible, and it outsold Victory in many big markets. I think 7 million was the easy target sales or the predicted sales at the end of the promotion. Unless it sold in fact more than we think in the US. There is that third platinum award : https://gottahaverockandr...9104.aspx/ But it was never recorded by the RIAA. So, maybe CBS manufactured it in advance, thinking that by Christmas 84' they would be at 3 million copies sold in the US, maybe they were very close to the 3 million but never reached it.


Well its off the Wiki Page for the album that it was 2. million usa and 7 million worldwide. I am never quite sure of overseas numbers though in that time era I do not doubt it, I mean Bon Jovi Keep the Faith and These days were their biggest selling albums worldwide who knew

[

These numbers are supported by no official sources. Wiki numbers are always inflated by fans.
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