Musical coincidences # 22

September 14, 2009

I was listening to Marcia HinesGreatest Hits 1975-1983*, and up came track 4, “Don’t Let The Grass Grow” (1975). The whole vibe of the song – chord changes, lyrics, the beat, just about everything in it – sounded very familiar. Here’s the chorus:

Marcia Hines – “Don’t Let The Grass Grow” (1975) (excerpt)

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And here’s the chorus of The Jacksons‘ “Blame It On The Boogie” (1978):

The Jacksons – “Blame It On The Boogie (1978) (excerpt)

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The two are so similar that I reckon you could even interchange the lyrics and no-one would notice: “Don’t let the grass grow / Don’t blame it on the moonlight / Don’t let the time go / ‘Cause if I get lonely / Blame it on the boogie” etc.

“Don’t Let The Grass Grow” was written by David Buskin and recorded by Marcia for her 1975 debut album, Marcia Shines. It was released as a single in May 1976.

Incidentally, I love Wikipedia’s description of David:

David Buskin (born December, 13, 1943 New York City) is a singer, songwriter, performer, author, playwright, jingle composer and girls’ basketball coach.

Although “Blame It On The Boogie” is known the world over (well, the parts of the world that have heard it) as a Jacksons song, it wasn’t originally theirs. It was first written and recorded by Mick Jackson who, apparently, is not related in any way to the rather famous Jackson clan. Mick Jackson recorded the song in 1977, a year or so after Marcia recorded “Don’t Let The Grass Grow,” which leads me to wonder just how coincidental it all is, and if Mick Jackson was indeed “influenced” by the Marcia ditty.

Here are the full versions to illustrate how similar the two songs really are (and they really are similar):

Marcia Hines – “Don’t Let The Grass Grow” (1975)

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The Jacksons – “Blame It On The Boogie (1978)

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And here’s the original “Blame It On The Boogie” by Mick Jackson, which has some of the weirdest background vocals I’ve ever heard:

Mick Jackson – “Blame It On The Boogie (1977)

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(*Which reminds me: courtesy of that Greatest Hits 1975-1983 album, Marcia’s “(Until) Your Love Broke Through” which appeared on my earlier post involving Marcia Hines has been updated with much better sound.)

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