Just Beyond The ‘5’ Three-Way: Jackson 5 – “Never Can Say Goodbye” (1971)

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Jackson 5

by Walter Price

 

Out of the 3.9 billion people on the planet Earth in 1971, there’s a good chance you were not one of them. But if you were alive and kickin’ that glorious year, you were no doubt listening to historic classics from the likes of Rod Stewart, Temptations, Cher, and perhaps the smoothness of James Taylor. And if you or your folks were into bubblegum-R&B, The Jackson 5 would have entered the mix.

Hit after hit and the world couldn’t get enough of what brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael were laying down. But one song from that fabled year would go on to influence the masses and artists alike. That track is “Never Can Say Goodbye”, written by actor/songwriter Clifton Davis (That’s My Mama, Any Given Sunday). There was nothing like it.

But there is a better chance that you were introduced to this helluva catchy tune in 1987 when British-pop sensation The Communards (Richard Coles, Jimmy Somerville) went full falsetto and rocked the track up the charts worldwide. But these pop heroes weren’t the first nor the last to find the beauty in the original. As I have, you’ve probably stumbled across various versions along your journies. But if you could bear with me for a moment, I’ve selected my fave three (in no particular order).

 

Isaac Hayes (1971)

 

The Communards (1987)

 

Gloria Gaynor (1975)

 

Check out the soulful beauty of Yazz’s 1997 rendition as well…

 

JACKSON 5

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