LaToya Jackson La Toya Jackson was the first female sibling of the Jackson family to pursue a solo musical career. Her debut album "La Toya Jackson" was released in 1980 on Polydor Records, comprised by a mix of funk uptempo songs and ballads. The first single off the album, "If You Feel The Funk", was critically acclaimed and was a chart single in most European countries (#40 on the Billboard R&B Charts, #17 Billboard Dance/Club Play), #42 in Germany, and #18 in Holland), as well as an US moderate R&B hit. The second single, "Night Time Lover", didn't do as well as the first single release, although it was co-written and co-produced by her brother Michael Jackson. The album also included a cover version of the Billy Ocean hit "Are You Ready?".
One year later Jackson released her sophomore album "My Special Love," which was basically similarly constructed as her debut album. Again, she co-wrote one of the songs with her sister Janet Jackson and she did another cover version of a Billy Ocean hit, this time the song "Stay The Night," which was also released as the first single off the album. Her brothers, Tito Jackson, Marlon Jackson and Jackie Jackson also contributed to the album. During that time, La Toya was still managed by her father Joseph Jackson.
In 1983 she signed a new record deal with Private Eye Records, a division of Epic Records (the same label that her brother Michael was signed to at that time). She recorded her most successful album so far: "Heart Don't Lie," which was released in 1984. Jackson co-wrote half of the songs herself and worked with the producer team Amir Bayyan. La Toya finally cracked the US Billboard Charts with the hit single "Heart Don't Lie" (#56) and scored a few other Top 40 hits on the Billboard Dance/Club Play & R&B Charts with singles off the "Heart Don't Lie" album. While promoting the album, she did a guest appearance on the US TV show "The Unknown Stuntman" with Lee Majors and presented her current single "Hot Potato" on the show.
One of the songs initially meant to be included on Heart Don't Lie, "Reggae Nights", did not end up on La Toya's album (although she co-wrote the song as well). It was given to Jimmy Cliff, who released it as a single in 1985.
Another album, "Imagination," was released in 1986 without much notice. It received mostly poor reviews.
The albums La Toya Jackson, My Special Love and Heart Don't Lie were released on CD in Japan only. Official CD copies of this album may fetch up to hundreds of dollars on eBay. A petition has been started on the Church of La Toya fan site to get all 4 albums remastered and re-released on CD with bonus songs and remixes.
In 1987 Jackson left the management company of her father Joseph Jackson and also left the Jackson residence in Encino, USA. At that time she was 31 years old and she decided it was time for her to stand on her own feet. She also decided to let Jack Gordon manage her music career from then on.
In 1987 Jackson signed a record deal with Teldec Records in Germany. They teamed her up with European's hottest dance producer team during that time: Stock/Aitken/Waterman (who were responsible for all hit singles by Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue, Sinitta, Mandy Smith, Dead Or Alive and a successful album by Donna Summer). They recorded 3 songs for her 1988 album "La Toya." The first single from the album was "(Ain't Nobody Loves You) Like I Do". She recorded the anti-drug campaign song "Just Say No," which was recorded for Nancy Reagan's anti-drug campaign for which Jackson was also a spokesperson.
Jackson caused much controversy when she posed for Playboy magazine in March 1989. A few months later she recorded another album, "Bad Girl," for Teldec Records. The album was never released on the Teldec label but appeared one year later on the Italian Record label Sherman Records. It was later licensed to hundreds of small record labels, thus the album was re-released at least in 50 different editions under various names, such as "Sexual Feeling," "He's My Brother" or "Playboy." Among the songwriters for this album were German producers Klarmann/Weber and Tony Monn.
In 1991 Jackson moved to Europe where she released her 7th studio album No Relations. The album explored European house music and included the single Sexbox which was a minor hit in Holland. (#25) In the album sleeve she slated her parents and called for an end to child abuse. No Relations was never released in the US. She also posed a second time for Playboy magazine this year.
In 1992 La Toya signed up to do a Cabaret Showgirl act at the Moulin Rouge for 1 year, the bulk of her songs were in French, the only English one being a cover of Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion. After doing the show for only 4 months, La Toya quit and was immediately sued by the Moulin Rouge for breach of contract.
In 1993, she recorded a Country Music album by the name of From Nashville To You, the album has been released 2 more times as "My Country Collection" and "Little Misunderstood" with more dull covers than the first pressing. No singles were released from this album, although La Toya did perform Patsy Cline's "Crazy" on The Maury Show, the album contains many covers of Country Music classics, such as a cover of Elvis's "Burnin' Love". The album was recorded within 3 days, more or less.
In 1994, La Toya's husband, who was also the controlling force behind From Nashville To You, forced La Toya into recording an album of Motown classics, it was recorded within about 2 hours. La Toya's vocals weren't as polished on this album as they were on the Country album and the rest of her Jack Gordon produced albums. The bulk of the songs were Supremes covers as well as covers by The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and her very own brothers, The Jackson Five. One CD Single of two Supremes covers was released, it was a double A-Side CD Single with 1 track being "Baby Love" and the second track being a slightly shorter version of "I Can't Help Myself" than on the album. The CD Single failed to top the charts in Holland (where it was released) and even failing to at least dent the charts.
These would be the last 2 albums La Toya recorded under Jack Gordon's control, before filing for divorce and possibly a restraining order against him.