Destiny The Jacksons (Epic) It's 1978 and the Jackson 5 are getting stale. They've left the Motown label that made them huge, put their biggest hits behind them, and their last two albums with CBS Records, The Jacksons (1976) and Goin' Places (1977), have failed to ignite the excitement of their Motown years. They've left Jermaine behind with the old label, and Michael is ageing - 20 years and counting, nearly a decade on since he stage-slid into the international spotlight as an 11-year-old wooing girls twice his age with I Want You Back. Because of the legal wrangle with Motown, Jackie, Marlon, Tito, Michael and Randy aren't even allowed to call themselves the Jackson 5 anymore. They are, simply, The Jacksons. It's high time destiny intervenes. Finally, The Jacksons convince CBS imprint Epic to give them full creative control. No longer a bubblegum pop group geared for the teen set, the brothers sport afros, tight pants, and ninja stage moves. They're mature musicians now, and Michael is just about to cross a career hump that will catapult him to superstardom: with Randy, he writes three of the eight songs on the album and has a hand in four others. For the first time, the Jacksons are their own producers. Destiny comes out on December 17, 1978. By early the next year, they again have a top-10 single: Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground), with that infectious clarion call to the flare-panted disco crowd: 'Let's dance!Let's shout!/Shake your body down to the ground'. And how those bodies were shaken (all the way to the ground). The other hit from the album is the only track not written by the Jacksons from Indiana. In a comical twist, Blame It on the Boogie, which will still be rocking bar mitzvahs and high school dances 30 years later, turns out to be a cover. The ecstatic disco track, which The Jacksons take to No54 in the US charts and No8 in Britain, is written by an Englishman named Mick Jackson, who had earlier got it to No61 in the US charts. Many years later, the Briton would gracefully concede defeat at the hands of greatness, admitting in a 2003 interview that the original had '100 per cent of our heart and soul in it, but the Jacksons' version had the magic extra two per cent that made it incredible'. There are forgettable songs on this LP: Michael whines his way through the sanctimoniously titled That's What You Get (For Being Polite), and the ballad Push Me Away pales in comparison to the likes of I'll Be There (a hit from 1970's Third Album). But there is fine funky attitude in the soul-driven, James Brown-channelling All Night Dancing, in which Michael gets raw and raunchy. But Destiny will ultimately have a sadly ironic ring for fans: The Jacksons will never return to these heights. Even though the album sells two million copies and reaches platinum status, the band will soon be overshadowed by its indomitable lead singer. The next year, Michael releases his first solo album, Off the Wall. From it come two No1 singles, four top 10 singles, and 20 million sales. From now on, the Jackson name will belong to Michael alone. There's just no denying destiny.