Should "The Jackson 5" and "The Jacksons" remain two separate entries

It is not appropriate that “The Jackson 5” and “The Jacksons” are considered one artist. At the very least, for many years, The Jacksons have had only 4 members. Recordings have also been released with either name, but not interchangeably. For historical accuracy & appropriate recording documentation, I strongly urge the separation of “The Jackson 5” (pre-1976) and “The Jacksons” post 1976.

Per wikipedia:

"The Jacksons " is the name, since 1976, of the American family singing group formerly known as The Jackson 5.

Vail Reese

Musicbrainz Editor


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I don’t personally see any issue with this split, since here is a distinct change in the members and name at the same time. could also use this new relationship to connect the two~

looking at their artist page, there are several URLs for both The Jackson 5 and The Jacksons, and they’re also separate in several other databases, including Allmusic, Discord, and RateYourMusic

edit: while browsing their artist credits, I just found this release that also specifies it’s both The Jacksons and The Jackson 5 (this does seem to be the only case they’re both credited on a release tho)

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From the wikipedia article (which in itself is treating them as a single entity since there’s only one article):

Motown sued them for breach of contract but allowed the group to record for Epic, as long as they changed their name because Motown owned the name Jackson 5. The brothers thus renamed themselves the Jacksons.

If that’s accurate, and the change was for legal rather than artistic reasons, that would argue on the side of keeping a single group entity.


Legal reasoning or not, they have not called themselves The Jackson 5 since 1976. My understanding is that it also reflected their status as adults rather than Joe Jacksons children. Strongly urge the powers that be to split into 2 listings.

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FWIW, they were merged many times before:


Which means they have been split as many times. Still voting for split. Again, apparently.

It doesn’t look like they were ever actually re-split, just that after the original merge there were additional “The Jacksons” created for individual releases or compilation appearances.


I don’t know The Jackson 5 (this name still sounds more famous than the new name) that much but this situation looks similar to X who had to rename to X JAPAN (when signed to a major label, if I’m correct), because another band called X already existed.

But X JAPAN (new name) still performs X repertoire, they’re not distinct bands, even if there was a member change (TAIJI replaced by HEATH) occurring at the same time of the name change.

Isn’t it the same here?

Did The Jacksons not perform The Jackson 5 songs and style?

The X Japan example is comparable to UK ska band The Beat who were called in the US The English Beat because of an existing US band. The Jackson 5 and The Jacksons should remain separate listings in the same way that Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello and the Attractions and Elvis Costello and the Imposters are 3 different listings: They have released records and toured as these different names and should not be lumped together. Thus, when The Jacksons perform Jackson 5 songs, those should be attributed to the groups’ names on the releases.


No, your example is like suede and the london suede.

X JAPAN is more like The Jackson 5, they completely renamed, even in their own country (also for label reasons, it seems), and made a 1 member change.
Three similarities with The Jackson 5.

What do you mean by that?
I am not speaking of compilations.
I mean, when The Jacksons performed again some songs from The Jackson 5 era.
Did this happen, or not?

actually, after reading the relevant section on Wikipedia, I found Michael didn’t leave the group until quite a bit later, 1984 or 1985. they even released a few albums as “The Jacksons” still with Michael, even as he released his first solo album or two.

now as said, many other databases have them as separate entities, and after going through the Spotify releases and playlists for both The Jackson 5 and The Jacksons, neither of them has the other as a track artist on their releases (i.e. an album by The Jacksons with a track credited to The Jackson 5, or vice versa). I also didn’t notice any Jacksons tracks credited to The Jackson 5, but I only know like, 3 of their songs, so there’s a real good chance I missed all of them. :wink:

almost all of The Jackson 5’s releases are copyrighted by Motown or their parent UMG, and there have been a several rarities/compilation albums released under the Jackson 5 name since 1976.

that said, it could just be that the labels are being lazy with Spotify artist credits (wouldn’t be too surprised), and all that would be moot.

I haven’t looked at any of their concerts yet to see if they’re performing J5 songs after 1976…

the big difference between most examples of an artist changing names for legal reasons, is most of the time it’s either just in certain countries, (Yazoo, PUFFY, and quite likely the previously mentioned Suede, The Beat and others) or it’s before the artist got super popular (The Supertones/The O.C. Supertones, possibly X JAPAN, and certainly others). however in this case, the older artist name is the more popular name.

all of that to say, if we decide not to split, I do think the entity should use their current/most recent name, with the other in the disambiguation. so they’d be “The Jacksons” with a disambiguation of (known as The Jackson 5 from 1966–1976) or something along those lines… split or not, I’m more than willing to put in the edits once more discussion has happened~


Thanks for the thorough discussion. I’d say “The Jacksons” works better as the current name with Jackson 5 for historical note. I look forward to the decision, whomever decides…


And yes, The Jacksons still perform Jackson 5 songs live to this day.


I guess that’s another point towards a single artist instead of a split…

that’s the thing about MusicBrainz, we can all decide. sure, there is a Style Lead (reosarevok), but I believe their main job is to settle disputes and whatnot (y’all correct me if I’m wrong).


This is the analogy: The Dixie Chicks are now known at MB as The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks), Lady Antebellum is now Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum). So the listing should be The Jacksons (formerly The Jackson 5). Not The Jackson 5 (subsequently The Jacksons).



I went ahead and input the name change edit~


Status of this change? Thanks for doing, by the way…

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Click on the link in the @UltimateRiff above your post. You can also vote and comment on the change. There is no “authority” making decisions. Just us users working by majority vote.


Dropping in here for some opinions on merging “The Original 7ven” with “The Time”,

I think they should be merged under “The Time.” They currently perform as Morris Day and The Time.
“Condensate” is their only album as “The Original 7Ven.” “The Time” listing should be changed to: