Some would say that what The Jackson 5 were to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Osmonds were to the Latter Day Saints. But that might be giving The Osmonds (way) too much credit. A better analogy might be, what the Jackson 5 were to James Brown, The Osmonds were to latter-day Elvis (with the jumpsuits to prove it): teen sensations whose producers scrubbed just enough libido off their respective grown-up versions to capitalize on a new wave of underage consumers. Or you could go all the way in acknowledging the unbelievable whiteness going on here and simply call them a hyper-sanitized Three Dog Night. Regardless, they sure cut some terrific bubblegum in the early 70s, the kind of handclaps and call-and-response vocals where you can almost hear the dance routines. The peak may have come with “He’s The Light Of The World,” a gospel track from their undeniably phenomenal Phase III album (1972). Donny and the boys rock harder than they had any right to – I would be very surprised if the Sermon on the Mount has ever had a peppier setting. In fact, if today’s Christian music had anywhere near as much sense of fun, perhaps the church as a whole would be in a better place:

To give you an idea of the inspired accoutrements that were involved, here’s a live performance of their rambunctious single “Down By The Lazy River,” also from Phase III: