This is....

Michael 'Mick' Jackson

This is Mick Jackson

Michael "Mick" Jackson started his musical career already in 1968, when he formed the group Jacko together with his two brothers and a friend.
In 1977 Mick decided to go solo and after scoring a hit as Nick Jackson, he managed to write one of the best Disco songs ever, namely - "Blame it on the boogie". A track originally written with Stevie Wonder in mind, but which the Jackson's picked up and scored big time with.
He's still active in the music business and this is his career, I give you -
Mick Jackson

Michael George Jackson was born in Yorkshire, England on November 2, 1947. In the 1970's we would come to know him as Mick Jackson and he's not related to the other Michael Jackson of the Jackson's fame.
Mick was the second of the family's four children - there was also his older brother Peter 'Pete', his younger sister Judith and brother David 'Dave'.
It was a musical family and all the kids were singing and playing instruments. Mick's father, who was a Champion army boxer, used to play the piano while the kids were singing harmonies.

This musical up bringing eventually led to Mick, Pete and Dave starting a band called Jacko together with their friend Elmar in 1968. In the band Mick did the vocals, Pete played the bass, Dave the guitar and Elmar played the drums. They originally played Soul music and later went into Disco.
Discoguy; So, You started your career together with you brothers in JACKO, how did that work? I mean, between brothers, I guess things can sometimes become a little rough...
Mick Jackson "I was always the more ambitious of all the other members of Jacko. We all really enjoyed working together and because by nature I am very positive and cheerful and we never had any major fallouts! They were great times.
But in 1977 Mick decided to leave the group for a solo career and the same year he had his first hit...
When going solo, would you say that was when did you started working with music, more professionally?
"No, it was when I was touring with Jacko, because in 1975 we recorded 2 singles for United Artists - 'Disco dancer' and 'Germany'.
Then in 1977 I went solo and my first single was 'You turn me on', but the printers made a mistake and my first solo single went out under the name Nick Jackson! Thanks Jupiter Records/Ariola!!! So, you will find it under Nick Jackson in a record store near you! Haha...."

Johnny Wakelin, most known for his "In Zaire", later covered this track.

Still in 1977 and with the hit "You turn me on" to back him up, Mick, together with his brother Dave, wanted to write a track for their favorite artist - Stevie Wonder. As this was in craze of Disco they have explained they wanted to create something - "funky, cool and with a definite 'feel good' vibe". What they came up with was one of the best Disco tracks ever... The song was - "Blame it on the Boogie"!
Mick Jackson - Blame it on the boogie Mick recorded the track and Mick's record company saw the potential of the track and brought it to the 1978 Midem Music Festival in Cannes, France. At Midem a guy searching hits for the Jackson's flipped when he heard the track and learned it was by another MICHAEL JACKSON. He was amazed by the name coincident and of course - the track... He had the Jackson's to rush into the studio to record "Blame it on the boogie" and the band's first major hit for years was a fact.
When writing 'Blame it...', did you and Dave feel you had put together something that would become as huge as it became?
"YES, We were so excited and we both knew this was IT. It was incredible exciting!"
"Blame it on the boogie" has become a true classic and that is as good today as it was over 25 (!!) years ago. How does it feel to have managed to write such a hit?
"Well first of all thank you for saying so! Funnily enough I NEVER get bored of hearing the song - it's so much a part of my life now and I genuinely still love it! I am VERY excited at the moment (summer 2003), as a incredible talented young man called Jay-Kid has brought out a new funky version of 'Blame it on the boogie' and I think it is the BEST version I have heard since The Jackson's version in ’78."
When the Jackson's picked up the song - What did you think of that when you first heard about it?
"I got such a rush - I was thrilled because their version was INCREDIBLE! Our version had 100% of our heart and soul in it but the Jackson's version had the magic extra 2% that made it incredible. We actually wrote it with Stevie Wonder in mind - now that would have been an INCREDIBLE version and to this day I think that would have been an amazing version..."
Do you think the fact that you and the most famous of the Jackson brothers had the same name had something extra to do with them picking the song up (except for being a great track of course)?
"NO not at all - but the press LOVED that as an angle - in fact what happened was The Jackson's manager heard the track being played at the Midem Music Festival in 1978 and took a tape recording of it - he flew back to the states and The Jackson's quickly recorded a version so it would be out before mine. As it happened we both launched within days and that's how The Battle Of The Boogie started..."
Yes, the Jackson's and the Mick Jackson versions of "Blame it on the boogie" was released within days of each other and the press loved that and it became widely known as 'the Battle of the Boogie'. Both the press and the public followed 'the Battle' as the two different versions worked their ways up the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the UK Mick's version reached #15, while the Jackson's reached #8.
In the US charts Mick peaked at number 61 and the Jackson's at 54 in the Billboard Pop Singles list. But in 1979 the Jackson's 12" single with "Blame it on the boogie" backed by "Shake your body (down to the ground)" reached #20 in the Club Play Singles.

Mick Jackson - Logo

In the charts the 'Battle of the Boogie' broke out... What did you think about that? Wasn't it strange to hear your version played and then the Jackson's version of YOUR song?
"I was pleased - it was great publicity - I also loved their version so I had the double pleasure of hearing both (versions) at the same time. There was an equal balance of interest from the media about both releases - A good example is that My version came out first on Top Of The Pops... The Jackson's had the second week. In the UK Radio 1 played The Jackson's version and Capitol radio only played mine - It was fair."
Did many people think it was the other Michael who wrote the "Blame it on the boogie" track and that you were covering them?
"That was funny, there was a LOT of confusion... It was good fun though for us both I am sure. I had my limos going to his hotel and vice-versa... IN FACT - If you read the credits for the Jackson's album - DESTINY - they were very naughty... They wrote; ALL songs written by The Jackson's - which isn't true... BUT, I forgive them, as I am sure they wish they HAD written 'Blame it...'. Haha!!"
I'm sure there were quite a few mix-up's with you and the other Michael, any special memories of some mix-up?
"People would call my hotel for him and that could be confusing, as we would chat for a minute before everyone realized. Cars would also be going to the other hotel for him/me - we always got the wrong cars arriving. A lot of flowers got sent to me as well, that was nice!"
Have you ever met the "other" Michael Jackson?
"Yes several times, the first time was in a lift in the Montcalm Hotel in London and we just said Hi. Later at Top of the Pops TV show in London, England he asked me to sell him my Jump Suit I was wearing for the show and I declined. He said 'Name your price' and I still turned him down! The thing is with my big perm I KNEW I looked hot and wasn't prepared to let him in on the act. Haha! MJ was performing 'Destiny' with his brothers that day."
It's not only the Jackson's who have covered "Blame it on the Boogie". It has been covered numerous of times, for example in 1990 when the Stock, Aitken & Waterman group - Big Fun - had a huge hit with it. What do you think/feel when people are re-recording your song?
"Actually I like to hear other people's interpretation of the track. Since the Jackson's though, NO ONE had ever given the track the vibe it had when I wrote it, except now the young man Jay-Kid. It is a fabulous groovy, upbeat and funky version. I just love it..."
Jay-Kid - Blame it on the boogie Besides Big Fun, even Norman Cook [now more known as Fat Boy Slim] did his versions of "Blame it on the boogie" in 1992 together with his Beats International. The same year Luis Miguel had a hit with the song, but in a Spanish version - "Sera que me amas".
But right now [Fall 2003], this 13-years old Danish boy - Jay-Kid - is hot through out Europe with his new hot version of "Blame it on the boogie". He gives the old classic a modern touch without losing the magic of that track.

Mick Jackson - Weekend Still in 1978 followed up his "Blame it..." smash hit with a track called "Weekend". This was yet another hit for Mick and it was in the charts in the first half of 1979.
About the same time the band Phreek had a hit with the same name. Their track was written by Leroy Burgess and produced by Disco writer/producer Patrick Adams. But Mick tells me that there were no mix-up's between these tracks and acts.
During summer of 2003, Italian Drag Queen Billy More turned "Weekend" into a pumping House smacker in his cover of the Mick Jackson original.
Both "Blame it on the Boogie" and "Weekend" are today hard-to-find collector's items, how does that feel?
"Well, of course it's an honor! My girlfriend has a large collection of memorabilia. She has probably caused the shortage!"
Both hits were included in Mick self titled album, Mick Jackson, from 1979 along with other notable songs like "54th Street", which is about a club in Manhattan, USA where they are dancing in a Studio on 54th Street... Yep, Mick is singing about Studio 54. In the soft "Sammy" he sings about his newborn son - Sam, while "You're a dream" has got this Stevie Wonder inspired harmonica melody. Both "Milwaukee walking" and "Passport to Paradise" are something in between 'Weekend' and 'Blame it...' and the album ends with "Married men" as featured in the film the World is full of married men.
This album was followed by two more solo albums, Step inside my rainbow [1980] and Square deal [1983], but none of them scoring the same success and Mick found that he didn't want to stand in the spotlight any more. He decided to put his artist career on hold and have been focusing on writing and producing for others. I asked him if he ever felt like being the front man again?
Mick replies; "I get asked a lot to tour and front stuff, but I like being behind the scenes. I am a private person so I stay out of the showbiz circuit. I am very happy with that." But he adds; "OK, I only do private gigs these days and I do a lot of backing vocals."

Mick Jackson in the World is full of married men Mick has been writing and producing a lot of different stuff for various acts and TV shows. Among things Mick sung the title track as well as playing the part of night-club singer in the movie - the World is full of married men, based on the Jackie Collins novel.
He also co-wrote "Cele cele vie" in 1980 for the lovely blond actress Charlene Tilton of DALLAS fame, as well as producing and arranging for David Knopfler (Dire Straits).
In 1985 Mick wrote the Austrian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest - "Children of the world", which was performed by Gary Lux and received some of the highest scores ever for an Austrian entry.
He has also written tracks for Five Star, the German Rock group Victory, Nicki French, Eric Burdon and many others. The list is extending all the time...
BMG Entertainment approached Mick in 1998 when they needed a special song in order to honor their retiring Managing Director - Dr. Mark Wossner. The song Mick wrote were called "This song is for you" and was performed by the BMG Allstars, which included some of the BMG top selling artists like: Barry Manilow, Lisa Stansfield, Mireille Mathieu, Modern Talking, Los Del Rio and No Mercy.
How would you describe your music?
"Blue eyes Soul."
Have you kept track of how many songs you've been writing/producing? Both released and unreleased...
"Yes - I must have at least 300-400 or more now. I know them all in my head - I know which ones are released and through which record company..."
That's an impressing number... Have you got a copy of every record you've been involved in?
"Yes - Thanks to my girlfriends addiction to EBAY!"
Maybe a stupid question, but which is your favorite song of the ones you've recorded?
"It would be 'Blame it on the Boogie', because it has given me so many 'good times' over the years and second would be a ballad I wrote called 'Close to the Edge' for the artist Johnny Logan. Great track..."
You also wrote a track for the UK group Five Star's Silk & Steel album. Tell me about that song.
"I wrote a track called 'Please don't say goodnight' for Five Star. It went 5 x platinum BUT I didn't feel their version was as good as the demo I sent them, which had been sung by my dear friend - FORREST ["Rock the boat", "Feel the need" etc.] - who for me is one of the worlds most underestimated vocalists."
What kind of music do you personally prefer?
"I love Michael McDonald, Paul Carrick, Michael Jackson, Forrest and Stevie Wonder of course! My natural style would be compared to Michael McDonald and Paul Carrick, but if Mike and the Mechanics asked me to join them - then that would be my ideal gig. My idol though is Stevie Wonder."

Today we have got all the covers of classic songs, like the Jay-Kid version of "Blame it...". But we have also got all this sampling of bits and pieces from classic Disco tracks - what do you think of it? What would you think if someone sampled "Blame it..." or "Weekend"?
"I use a lot of samples in the music I do, I have a partnership with a great guy called Manni Struck and we work under the name Beats Working. We produce dance music and may well at some point do a version of 'Weekend', which hasn't been covered for some time now. It would be cool though if someone else where to sample of one my tracks - Great... People are going to do it anyway so it doesn't really matter."
Why do you think people are sampling the Disco classics for their tracks today?
"I am not surprised, the thing is, in the 70's the recordings were real recordings... Usually the artists were in the studio and had one chance to really get the best recording, the red light came on and Bingo, the magic happened. Kids these days have not got that sort of magic in their music, so they need to copy samples to get the excitement and enthusiasm."
What about Disco music - Did you like Disco music during that era?
"I loved it. And still do love it!"
Since my pages is mainly Disco oriented, have you got any favorite Disco songs (except for your own work)?
"Any of the American Disco artists, I hated the British ones... Acts like Chic, Barry White, 'Ain't no stoppin' us now' by McFadden & Whitehead were all great!"
Is there any Disco song(s) you would have loved to sing yourself?
"I would have loved to have sung 'Ain't no body' [Rufus & Chaka Khan] or anything by either George Benson or Shalamar."
Have you still got contact with any of your Disco peers?
"Only Forrest - 'Rock the Boat'. He is one of my dearest friends!"
You must have met lots of talented people during the years... Any special ones you wanna mention?
"Michael McDonald, Paul Carrick , Michael Jackson, Forrest and Stevie Wonder - all have outstanding soul talent."

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CLICK to hear some Mick Jackson songs...

54th Street

Blame it on the boogie


Blame it on the boogie

Blame it on the boogie

Billy More

CLICK to hear some related songs...

A night to remember

Ain't no stoppin' us now
McFadden & Whitehead

Dance dance dance

Don't stop 'til you get enough
Michael Jackson

Ease on down the road
Diana Ross & Michael Jackson

Everybody dance

Give me the night
George Benson

Good times

It's only love
Barry White

Le Freak

My forbidden lover

Real people

Shake you body (down to the ground)

Walk right now

Mick Jackson - Weekend
Digital Download

54th Street
You're a Dream
Passport to Paradise
Blame It On the Boogie
Milwaukee Walking
All Night Boppin'
Blame It On the Boogie (12" Version)
Let's Go to the Disco
Make Hay While the Sun Shines
Married Man (a.k.a. The World Is Full of Married Men)
Weekend (12" Instrumental)
Weekend (12" Vocal)

Mick Jackson - Blame it on the boogie
Digital Download

Blame It On the Boogie
Blame It On the Boogie (12" Version)

the Jacksons - Destiny
Click to buy from
BUY Jacksons - Destiny CD from the US BUY Jacksons - Destiny CD from Europe
Blame it on the boogie
Push me away
Things I do for you
Shake your body (down to the ground)
Bless his soul
All night dancin'
That's what you get (for being polite)

Which is you best memory during your years in the music business?
"Hearing 'Blame it...' on the radio for the first time! I was in Germany and it came on the radio, my son Sam was a new baby and my brother Dave was staying with me... 'Blame it on the boogie' by The Jackson's started playing on radio Luxemburg, which had an incredible COMPRESSED sound and it was AMAZING! Dave shouted at me to turn the radio up and listen, we managed to record half the track on a cassette and then spent the rest of the day getting hysterical and playing it over and over again down the phone to everyone we knew."
So, Finally - is there anything else you can think of that you wanna tell me about? Any and all information is very welcome, some fun happenings...
"I once did a gig which had about 20,000 people and it was called The Greatest Disco Event in the World. It was 1979 in Dortmund, Germany at the big 'Westfalen Halle'. EVERYONE was there! There were two stages playing alternately - Elton John, Donna Summer etc... I was wearing the latest fashion, mirrored sunglasses, very very cool!
As I ran on stage to do my spot I tripped over some multicore cable and slid about 8 feet to the base of the microphone stand. I used this to pull myself upright and then managed to sing my performance. TO THIS DAY I DO NOT REMEMBER A THING! I WAS IN TOTAL SHOCK - AUTOPILOT - I was SO EMBARRASSED, everything was blank! My hands had so many splinters in... Haha! To this day I refuse to wear mirrored sunglasses with palm trees on!"

Mick Jackson - Today

Today Mick share his time between his homes in the UK and Germany, he's still active in writing and producing as well as being a Music Business Consultant. Even though he does not want to stand in the spotlight, he still adds background vocals to various acts and recordings. The life in the spotlight he leaves for his son - Sam, who is a talented young actor.

The story of Mick’s career is now a fascinating Channel 4 documentary.
"The Other Michael Jackson: Battle of the Boogie"
will air on
Friday, 26th February 2010 @ 7.30pm UK.

For latest news on Mick's projects or new versions of "Blame it...",
Please visit Mick's official web-site - or Mick Jackson on MySpace.

With all his success during the years - I'm sure Mick will NOT...

"Blame it on the Boogie"

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Mick Jackson
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