The Jackson 5

Skywriter

Song Review by

"Skywriter" (1973) is a close rival of Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep and Mountain High" as a "could have been major hit." This wasn't. Coming from an album that solidified the Jackson 5's young adult phase, this was the title track and lead single. Writers Jerry Marcellino and Mel Larson had been rising through the songwriting ranks and got their shot. At the same time, the group responsible for the majority of the Jackson 5's hits, the Corporation, splintered into different directions. The fact that this single was not a hit and it's so-so run doomed its album shouldn't deter from the greatness here. In a style that deviated from the norm; Jermaine Jackson's smooth and maturing tenor leads the chorus of this adventurous track and Michael Jackson sang the brief and pointed verses. "Skywriter" is also notable for the change in Michael Jackson's voice. Fans will indeed know that the Skywriter album had problems giving up the ghost on Michael Jackson's pre-pubescence. His voice was often in different phases on the album. The "Skywriter" single displayed a maturing Michael Jackson, and one can't help but speculate whether the "new" voice helped this single tank.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Skywriter 1973 Motown 3:11
Anthology [1976] 1976 Motown 4:09
No Image 1979 Motown
No Image 1983 Telstar
Soulsation!: 25th Anniversary Collection 1995 Motown 3:08
Maybe Tomorrow/Skywriter/Third Album 1999 Universal 3:11
Motown Chartbusters, Vols. 7-12 [Box Set] 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 3:10
Skywriter / Get It Together 2001 Motown 3:11
Motown Chartbusters, Vol. 8 2001
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:10
Classic Jackson Five 2008 Spectrum Music 3:10
The Motown Years 2008 Island 3:10