Skywriter was the eighth official overall album by The Jackson 5, released in March 1973. Lead singer Michael's vocals were now showing the signs of his maturing tenor voice, while Jermaine's voice had become much deeper in tone. Notably, one of Skywriter's songs, "Touch" (originally recorded by the Supremes in 1971), features Michael and Jermaine singing about satisfying a woman in bed. As such, "Touch" was one of the most controversial singles Michael sung on until his solo career took off again in the 1980s.
Michael, at this point, was frustrated with the direction he and his brothers were going in, and complained to Motown's staff producers and writers about the kind of music they were doing. The brothers were openly discouraged by the style they were receiving from Motown writers. Also, by this point, all five brothers were writing their own material, but Motown prevented them from recording their own compositions. The frustration was showcased most openly by the album cover, where all five brothers solemnly looked at the camera around an early-1900s-era airplane. This is one of the least successful albums the Jackson brothers ever created mainly because of only one top twenty single, and lack of promotion because the boys were on a worldwide tour at this time. The album sold 2.8 million copies worldwide, and would be the last album that followed the bubblegum pop sound, and from this point on would follow a more soulful disco sound.
In 2001, Motown Records remastered all J5 albums in a "Two Classic Albums/One CD" series (much like they did in the late 1980s). This album was paired up with G.I.T.: Get It Together. The bonus tracks were the outtakes "Pride and Joy", "Love's Gone Bad" and "Love Is the Thing You Need". Each of these tracks also appear on the compilation album Joyful Jukebox Music/Boogie.