Many people talk about the Jackson 5 paving the way for the success of the Osmonds. There is a little truth to that, if only because the Jacksons proved that a young family act can make it big on the pop charts. Otherwise the Osmonds had 7 years of TV experience appearing on the Andy Williams & Jerry Lewis shows and had recorded 3 albums before the first Jackson 5 single ever charted. So in many ways the Osmonds showed Joe Jackson & his brood a blueprint to success and they took it to another level.
The Jackson & Osmond families will be forever linked in history, with the 2 family acts becoming so popular in the early 70s, their lead singers having successful solo careers as well as a Saturday morning cartoon. And although One Bad Apple, the Osmonds first big hit sounds and grooves a lot like The Love You Save or ABC, that’s where the comparisons end. Case in point: Crazy Horses.
After making their bank in bubblegum pop, the Osmonds, namely Alan, Wayne & Merrill, decided to take it in a heavier direction. From the opening annoying ‘horse’ whinny, you know this ain’t your grandma’s Osmonds. (They gave Donny a rest of vocals and put him on the Yamaha to make those obnoxious sounds) Then they kick in with their Zeppelin-like riff and all clean-cut hell breaks loose. Imagine Robert Plant & Jimmy Page growing up in the hills of Salt Lake City far from the temptations of alcohol, drugs and loose women (actually, scratch that…please, don’t imagine that) I’m not sure if the fact that Crazy Horses only peaked two notches higher than the Immigrant Song, a failure for the Osmonds or for Led Zeppelin. Either way this track makes me laugh my ass off. I can’t take this seriously and love to play this to get people to leave my home.
By the way, the ‘crazy horses’ that the Mormon quintet are referring to are cars. Yes, this song is actually a protest song about car pollution. Pretty hip for 1972, especially from a teenybopper act. But whatcha bet one of the Osmonds is riding around Branson right now by himself in a Denali….