“Michael Jackson rehearsing “I want you back” and “The love you save”, for his Dangerous world tour”
Michael Jackson performed his Jackson 5 classics, “I want you back” and “The love you save” on every one of his solo tours. Today, we are going to look at Michael’s rehearsal for the medley. It is very short but an important part of the show because it shows a part of Michael Jackson’s career from his youth but also songs, that some, may have forgotten.
Michael Jackson had so many hit’s that he couldn’t perform them all, but he was very good at exhibiting different era’s though his shows as well touching on those nostalgic feelings with his famous line, “Now I’m going to give you … the old songs … the old fashion way!”. Sometimes on tour, Michael would introduce with the year of the song’s release, “Now, we’re going to take you back, to 1972” … this guy was famous his whole life! Anyway, with that said we can see this history and how comfortable he is whilst rehearsing.
Michael Jackson’s music and the band
Nearly all of the performers on the stage had already performed this song with Michael in the past, mostly during the Bad tour. There is an excitement which is generated by these songs that really does take us back. The Tempo of the song is very fast, which Michael had slowed down on the tour and later on the History World Tour, slowed down even further. The obvious reason for slowing down a song is because it’s too fast, ie, too fast to perform when you get older and easier to perform slower. This is fine because, I think it made the songs more enjoyable. They felt a little rushed during this rehearsal, and on the “Bad Tour”. With that said, I am comparing the key’s and the tempo between the tours (Bad and Dangerous) and they seem to be the same! It is possible that the different orchestration changes the feel of the pieces though. Take a look yourself below:
Michael Jackson – I Want You Back & The Love You Save – Bad Tour 1988 (YouTube)
and the Dangerous Tour version …
Michael Jackson Dangerous World Tour Buenos Aires 1993 The Jackson 5 Medley (YouTube)
The Music continued …
Back to the rehearsal, we hear that the music and instrumentation sounds very simple and that David Williams guitars are not yet rehearsed or finished. We also must note that Jennifer Batten is also not present, so the piece is missing her guitar contribution. By the way, the Dangerous Tour video above, also does not include Jennifer Batten. She did not tour for the whole tour. For the last few dates in the second leg she was away.
Musically, this initial rehearsal sounds very simplistic, almost in a comedic way, with no real orchestration. The Strings are too high with hardly anything is the lower registers, which really shows a lack of depth. This was sorted out for the actual concert. In later tours different variations of this piece were performed each night. Sometimes with less horns, sometimes with more piano parts, and sometimes with more, or less, of both. My preference, is more piano and less horns.
Michael’s dancing and vocal
Michael Jackson danced extremely well and he made no mistakes. In fact, this looks the most well prepared song out of the whole rehearsal, if you ask me. Obviously, the dance moves are very simple but they all look good, made no mistakes and were obviously having fun. In fact, they were very tight! Michaels vocal was very good, and Michael sang some parts in falsetto. Michael did strain during certain parts of this medley during the Dangerous Tour but it must be remembered that Michael Jackson voice was so high when he recorded this song, as he had not yet reached puberty. Considering that, he always performed it well, and the Dangerous Tour performance, other than the Motown 25th anniversary show performance, was my favourite.
Michael Jackson – Jackson 5 Medley Rehearsal (YouTube)
Michael in a good mood …
We have Michael joking around at the beginning of the song with, “now we’re gonna give you …” and pretending to forget what song he is introducing. On the tour he would often joke around at the beginning of this song, from having security remove a bug from the stage in Munich, to feigning pushing backing dancer Chris Judd to perform the song for him.
Overall, this is a really nice rehearsal. They all knew the piece and Michael has these songs in his DNA. He was a real natural. We will move on to “I’ll be there” mid week and I will see you then! Before I do, i’ll mention one more thing. In the Argentina tour video above we see Michael wearing his “Jam” jacket for this song, from the first leg of the tour. This is because he changed his “Jam” jacket, back to the black one by the second leg of the tour. He often changed jackets during the Jackson 5 medley, with sometimes funny results and stories! Til mid week!
By Anthony King (c)
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