THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
249-The Jacksons-Blame It on the Boogie.
1978-Number 8 single.
Best Bit-At 2.42. This is confusing because Mick Jackson wrote the song, and Michael Jackson sang it. It was a complete coincidence….so don’t blame it on, anything.
By 1976 The Jackson 5’s (see also best songs 137) record sales were in decline, and they were also in a legal battle with Motown supremo Berry Gordy over royalty payments. This led to the brothers mutually agreeing with Gordy that they should leave Motown, with the exception of Jermaine Jackson (see also best songs 570) who was married to Gordy’s daughter, and he therefore stayed with the label to pursue a solo career. The remaining four brothers Jackie, Tito, Marlon, and Michael, (see also best songs 812-511 and 191) were joined by their youngest brother Randy, and signed a new contract with ‘Epic Records’ in 1976.
Due to Motown owning the brand ‘The Jackson 5,’ the brothers changed their name to ‘The Jacksons’, and recorded six studio Albums between 1976-1989. They also issued 17 singles in the same time period, of which seven made the top 40 in America on the Billboard chart, with ‘State of Shock’ charting the highest at Number 3 in 1984. While in the UK, 11 of their singles made the top 40, with ‘Show You the Way to Go’ reaching Number 1 in 1977. For the discography of ‘The Jackson 5’ (see best songs 137.) ‘The Jacksons’ officially split in 1989, but re-grouped to tour in 2001, with Jemaine joining them, and although they have released no new music, they have played together again since 2012, to the present.
‘Blame It on the Boogie’ was written by a different ‘Jackson’ called Michael George Jackson, who was born in Germany, on November 2nd, 1947, but was raised in England. He and his brother, and others played in a band that went by the name of ‘Mick Jackson,’ ‘Blame It on the Boogie’ was written in collaboration by Mick, and his brother Dave, and Elmar Krohn, with the intention of hopefully getting it recorded by an artist of the stature of Stevie Wonder. The song was circulated, and first off the mark was Bobby Colomby, a music producer who brought the song to the attention of The Jacksons.
In the UK, both The Jacksons version and the original recording by Mick Jackson were both released within a few days of each other in September 1978. The UK music press had a field day declaring it ‘A Battle of the Boogie.’ Mick Jackson got to do ‘Top of the Pops’ first, with The Jacksons appearing the next week. Radio 1 championed The Jacksons version, while ‘Capitol’ radio played the Mick Jackson recording, and even the music press chose sides with ‘Melody Maker’ on side of The Jacksons, and the ‘NME’ siding with Mick Jackson. In the end The Jacksons version peaked at Number 8, and Mick Jackson made Number 15, but of course the real winner was Mick Jackson, has he received the songs royalties as the writer. In 2003 Mick Jackson was quoted as saying,’The Jacksons’ version of “Blame It on the Boogie”: “[the original] version had 100% of our heart and soul in it, but the Jacksons’ version had the magic extra 2% that made it incredible.’
In total Mick Jackson released three studio Albums between 1978-1982, and was saved from being known as a ‘one hit wonder’ when this songs follow up,’Weekend’ reached Number 38, a cover version of ‘Weekend’ by ‘Wet Willie’ reached Number 29 in America in 1979. ‘Blame It on the Boogie’ has also charted twice since in the UK. In 1989 the Stock, Aitken and Waterman produced version of the song by the English Boy Band ‘Big Fun’ reached Number 4, and in 1998 the Dance Music act ‘Clock’ took their version to Number 16.
‘That nasty boogie bugs me, but somehow it has drugged me, spellbound rhythm gets me on my feet. I’ve changed my life completely, I’ve seen the lightning leave me, my baby just can’t take her eyes off me.’