little motown


On this day in music history: May 23, 1972 - “Lookin’ Through The Windows”, the fifth studio album by The Jackson 5 is released. Produced by The Corporation and Hal Davis, it is recorded at The Sound Factory in Hollywood, CA in February 1970, and Motown/Hitsville USA West in Hollywood, CA from October 1971 - April 1972. The groups fifth release sees them beginning to move away from the trademark “bubblegum soul” feel of their earlier Motown hits toward a more mature sound. This period also marks the beginning of the groups dissatisfaction with Motown’s control over their career, in which they are not allowed to have any say or creative input in their music. It spins off two singles (three in the UK) including “Little Bitty Pretty One” (#8 R&B, #15 Pop) “Doctor My Eyes” (#9 UK), and the title track (#5 R&B, #16 Pop, #9 UK). The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2001, as a two-fer disc with the “Goin’ Back To Indiana” TV soundtrack. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in Europe in 2009, with a second stand alone CD release in 2010. “Lookin’ Through The Windows” peaks at number three on the Billboard R&B album chart and number seven on the Top 200.

When Sam is happy – or at least content – he hums to himself. He never noticed, not really, until Castiel says something while he washes dishes one night, asks after the tune and Sam flushes red, mutters that he can’t remember because it was some embarrassing 90s song he barely knew the words to. Every time after that, every time Cas draws his attention to it, it’s something equally mortifying; one of Dean’s old songs, something from ‘The Little Mermaid’, some motown hit about a bad boyfriend. He shrugs it off and Cas kisses the pink in his cheeks until they forget all about it.

Cas catches him humming over the washing machine one day, late afternoon, sticks around in the doorway without bothering Sam, stays long enough to hear the low, tuneless strains turn into words, just as low but deep, melodic and richly toned. Cas listens for a long while, listens until Sam stops and then scares the everloving shit out of him when he asks, “What was that? You sound beautiful.”

Sam can’t shrug it off this time, can’t and won’t and his face is all blush again from the jumpscare and the compliment he thinks he doesn’t deserve and the intrinsic knowledge that even if Cas wasn’t in the same room, he would have heard, so he tells Cas what it was, “It’s called Blue Velvet, it’s kind of sad but it makes me think about you,” and he stretches his arm out, tugs the angel’s sleeve and tucks him under his arm, kisses his temple and starts singing it again, quiet and low, against Cas’s ear.