By 1976, Michael, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie Jackson were the artists formerly known as The Jackson 5. With the exception of Jermaine who was replaced by another brother, Randy, the group had left Motown, the record company they had been with since 1969, for Philadelphia International (an Epic Records label). During the process, the brothers switched their moniker to The Jacksons. “Show You the Way to Go” was the centerpiece of an eponymous album that also included songs like “Enjoy Yourself.”
There’s not much to say about the song. It’s a straightforward 1970s pop song with simple lyrics, and a little hint of what was to come in the disco era. The songwriting and production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff did a great job crafting this song (and the others) around Michael’s unique — and still developing — sound. Despite being a nearly decade-long industry vet at the time, he wasn’t even 18 yet when the album was recorded.
Even though I heard a lot of classic songs growing up, my introduction to this song was actually through a song that sampled it. While watching music videos on TV when I was 12, I saw the video for “Party 2 Nite” by LaDae. The tracks share a lot of music commonalities.