Centipede (album)

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Studio album by Rebbie Jackson
Released October 10, 1984 (1984-10-10)
Recorded 1983–1984
Length 31:39
Label Columbia
Rebbie Jackson chronology
Singles from Centipede
  1. "Centipede"
    Released: September 11, 1984 (1984-09-11)
  2. "A Fork in the Road"
    Released: January 20, 1985 (1985-01-20)
  3. "Play Me (I'm A Jukebox)"
    Released: April 1985 (1985-04)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Centipede is the debut album by American singer Rebbie Jackson. Released on the Columbia label in Autumn 1984, the album spawned two top-forty Billboard charting hits, the most famous being the title track.


Despite having worked with her family on The Jacksons variety TV show and having been a backing singer for the likes of Betty Wright in the late 70's, Jackson was the last Jackson family sibling to release an album at the age of 34, mostly due to wanting to raise her two young daughters, Stacee and Yashi, in a secure family environment, waiting until she felt they were old enough.

The recording of the album was a family affair, as her brother Michael Jackson wrote, produced and sang backing vocals on the title track. Brothers Marlon, Jackie, Tito and Randy co-wrote "Come Alive It's Saturday Night", with the latter two producing the song as well. Tito also co-wrote "Hey Boy" with her wife, the late Delores "Dee Dee" Martes. The rest of the album was produced by Wayne Henderson.

The album includes two covers, The Miracles' "A Fork in the Road" and Prince's "I Feel For You". Chaka Khan, who earned a #1 hit with her well-known cover of the latter song, released it as a single a mere week before Jackson's album was released.

Three singles were released from the album. The title track, "Centipede" was released as the lead single in September 1984 and eventually became Jackson's biggest hit and best known song, peaking at #4 on the Billboard R&B chart and at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the artist's highest charting hit on both charts to date. It eventually received a Gold disc certification by the RIAA. The next two singles were released in early 1985, but failed to replicate the single's success, with the ballad "A Fork in the Road" peaking at #40 on the R&B chart, and the third and last single, a remixed version of "Play Me (I'm A Jukebox)" (co-written by country artist Pam Tillis) not charting at all.

The album itself had moderate success, peaking at #63 on the Billboard 200, and achieving a respectable #13 peak on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Again, they became the singer's highest chart positions on both charts to date.

Centipede was not released on the then-new CD format at the time, and remained out of print for several years. It received a limited first CD edition in 1999, without any bonus tracks. On May 25, 2010, the album was reissued on CD, also containing Jackson's follow-up album, Reaction, both again without any bonus songs.

In September 2012, the album was reissued by label Funky Town Grooves, who specializes on reissuing 1980's R&B albums, with the inclusion of 7 bonus tracks, including the b-side "Eternal Love" and a previously unreleased track from those sessions co-written by her brothers Marlon, Jackie, Tito and Randy, titled "I'm Just Gonna Love You", as well as remixes.

Centipede is mentioned in the 2006 RuPaul song "Supermodel (El Lay Toya Jam)" from the album ReWorked.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Centipede" Michael Jackson Michael Jackson 4:25
2. "Come Alive It's Saturday Night" Marlon Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Wayne Henderson 4:13
3. "Hey Boy" Tito Jackson, Delores Jackson, Michael McKinney Henderson 4:38
4. "Open Up to My Love" Jon Springer, Don Daniels, Mary Stewart Henderson 4:10
5. "Play Me (I'm a Jukebox)" Pam Tillis, Jan Buckingham Henderson 3:27
6. "I Feel for You" Prince Henderson 3:54
7. "A Fork in the Road" Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, Ronnie White Henderson 3:46
8. "Ready for Love" Frank Hamilton III Henderson 3:00
Total length: 37:01

Expanded edition[edit]


  • Rebbie Jackson - vocals
  • David Williams, Charles Fearing - guitar
  • Nathan East, Nathaniel Phillips - bass
  • Frank "Rusty" Hamilton - Moog bass, keyboards, synthesizer
  • Randy Jackson, Bobby Lyle, John Springer - keyboards
  • Nick Johnson, John Barnes - synthesizer
  • Mike Hightower - DMX programmer
  • Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, Alvino Bennett - drums
  • Jerry Kaye - flugelhorn
  • Michael Jackson, Weather Girls (Izora Armstead, Martha Wash), Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Gwen Matthews, Marlena Jeter, Maxi Anderson, Garry Glenn, Patryce Banks, John Springer - backing vocals


Chart (1984) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 63
U.S. R&B Chart 13