La Toya Jackson
La Toya Jackson is the youngest member of the mega-famous Jackson family, and by far the most interesting. A little known fact is that her solo career pre-dates that of every other female Jackson, including Janet.
Her self-titled debut album was released in 1980 and did moderately well. Two sequels followed, "My Special Love" and "Heart Don't Lie", the latter featuring the single "Hot Potato" and becoming her most successful release to date. The title song "Heart Don't Lie" also became her biggest US single up to that point.
The rot and uncertainty set in in 1987, when La Toya left the management of controversial father Joseph and hooked up with (soon to be former) "friend of the family" Jack Gordon who she made her manager and married. As well as having some songs written for her by PWL, La Toya posed for "Playboy". Her next album "Bad Girl" remains the one you can most commonly find today, since it was licensed to hundreds of small record labels, with the result that you can now observe it languishing in "The Works" stores everywhere under different names, including "Sexual Feeling", "He's My Brother" and "Playboy".
In 1991, La Toya released a book which 'dished the dirt' on her "abusive" Father and "evil" Mother, and told an extraordinary tale of a family persistently trying to kidnap her in a bid to make her return to the family nest. She also had a hit in Holland with the superbly-titled "Sex Box". The "strange years" culiminated with a bizarre interview on US TV in which a big-haired (and possibly drugged up) La Toya was seen arguing with the show's host while someone off-camera (Jack Gordon, according to the bemused host) barked orders at her. Confused, high or both, La Toya eventually stormed off after retorting "you think that abusing kids is okay? Well I don't agree with that, I'm sorry!" when the host had implied nothing of the sort. As if things couldn't get any worse, she is also preserved on camera from this period, disembarking a plane and seeming to confirm child abuse allegations being made at the time against brother Michael! This was later blamed on tiredness and Jack Gordon. Basically the woman is a mad-as-cheese icon and someone needs to make a film about her immediately.
We now encounter the lost years of the nineties, in which La Tee joined a Cabaret Showgirl act, recorded a Country Music Album called "From Nashville To You" and then attempted an album of Motown Classics. This is alleged to have been recorded in two hours, only slightly longer than it takes to actually listen to, which was blamed on Jack Gordon.
Some time after this, La Toya appears to have reconciled herself with the rest of the Jackson clan, and Jack Gordon (who is now mysteriously dead!) was blamed for everything, including making her write her slanderous book, making her pose for Playboy and making her participate in "unseemly nightclub acts".
LaToya and manager/husband/blamee Jack Gordon (deceased)
All was quiet on the La Toya front between 1996 and 2002. In 2001 she recorded her latest album "Startin' Over" and appeared on the Larry King show, where she blamed Jack Gordon for the last twenty years. Early singles from the album were club hits under a nom de plume by the CD has currently been postponed for four years. Bungalo Records claim it will appear in Summer 2006.
In other exciting news, it is currently rumoured that La Toya will be part of a reality TV show this year - "La Toya will be living with a dysfunctional British family and giving them advice on how to solve their problems" which literally sounds like the most exciting thing ever invented.
Very little, surprisingly. "LaToya Jackson", "My Special Love" and "Heart Don't Lie" were on available on CD in Japan, and now go for huge amounts on Ebay. In November 2005, the "Church of La Toya" website launched a campaign to get the lost albums re-released with bonus tracks. The sodding "Bad Girl" album is still available everywhere under various names, great though it is.
La Toya in 2001, in promotional shots for her still-awaited "Startin' Over" album
Today, The Mona Hammond Years