Whenever a record company says they’ve found music by an artist that has been “recovered from the vaults”, I scratch my head. Like, do you guys have tapes in a dusty old storage room somewhere? I’m really not sure how that works. Particularly in regards to Motown-because stuff keeps turning up. Was there some shoddy bookkeeping going on or what?

At any rate, in the wake of Michael Jackson’s death, Motown unearthed a slew of previously unreleased Jackson 5 tracks and released them on a CD called “I Want You Back: Unreleased Masters”. While one might rightfully assume that this is bottom-of-the-barrel stuff, I’m surprised to say that this material is pretty good. I wonder *why* this stuff ended up unreleased.

I think you’ll be surprised by the quality of the songs. The first two appear to be from the J5’s original run of hits, while the later two date from after Michael hit puberty. These songs adopt a more democratic approach to vocals, and the last track, “I’ll Try You’ll Try” adopts the socially conscious approach that Marvin Gaye and The Temptations were famous for during that period.

Definitely worth checking out.