ABC (The Jackson 5 song)

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side-A label
Solid centre variant of the UK single
Single by The Jackson 5
from the album ABC
B-side"The Young Folks"
RecordedDecember 1969[1]
M 1163
Songwriter(s)The Corporation (Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell and Deke Richards)[3]
Producer(s)The Corporation
The Jackson 5 singles chronology
"I Want You Back"
"The Love You Save"
"ABC" by the Jackson 5 on YouTube

"ABC" is a song by the Jackson 5. It was released as a single in 1970. The song knocked the Beatles' "Let It Be" off the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970, and was No. 1 on the soul singles chart for four weeks. It is the title track to the group's second album.

Cash Box said "Having whetted the world’s appetite with "I Want You Back” the Jackson 5 makes it back with another dynamite side cast in the image of its million seller. Searing vocals and the familiar drive of the Motown supporting cast assure another giant here."[4] Billboard said "This pulsating swinger has all the sales and chart potential of the initial entry ['I Want You Back']."[5] Record World said the song proved that "the Jackson 5 are Motown's newest supergroup."[6]

"ABC" was performed on television on American Bandstand (February 21, 1970), The Ed Sullivan Show (May 10, 1970), and The Flip Wilson Show (November 4, 1971), among many other broadcasts.[7] The upbeat lyrics compare learning to love to learning the alphabet.

It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1971. 50 Cent told NME that the song was the first he remembered hearing: "I've always loved MJ, so I guess it was probably a good place to start music: right here, with the ABCs."[8] On November 7, 2016, the Grammy Hall of Fame announced its induction, along with that of another 24 songs.[9]


Musicians on the song's session were uncredited, per Motown policy. Motown did not list session musician credits on their releases until 1971. The musicians who performed on "ABC" are believed to be as follows.[10]


Chart (1970–71) Peak
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[11] 24
UK Singles (OCC) 8
US Billboard Hot 100 1
Chart (2009) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 43
Irish Singles Chart 38
UK Singles (OCC) 50


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (RIAJ)[12] Gold 100,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Platinum 600,000

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Allard, François; Lecocq, Richard (2018-10-04). Michael Jackson: All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. Octopus. ISBN 9781788401234. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  2. ^ "The Jackson 5 | Biography & History". AllMusic.
  3. ^ "ASCAP ACE - Search". Archived from the original on 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
  4. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. March 7, 1970. p. 28. Retrieved 2023-04-29.
  5. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. March 7, 1970. p. 72. Retrieved 2023-04-29.
  6. ^ "Single Picks of the Week" (PDF). Record World. March 7, 1970. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-04-28.
  7. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. Billboard Books. p. 272.
  8. ^ Haynes, Gavin (October 1, 2015). "Soundtrack of my life". NME. p. 48.
  9. ^ "Nirvana, Bowie, R.E.M. Songs Among Grammy Hall of Fame's 2017 Inductees". 29 November 2016.
  10. ^ Lecocq, Richard; Allard, Francois (2018). Michael Jackson All The Songs. London: Cassell. ISBN 9781788400572.
  11. ^ " - ULTRATOP BELGIAN CHARTS". Archived from the original on August 29, 2011.
  12. ^ "Japanese digital single certifications – Jackson 5 – ABC" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved January 25, 2020. Select 2016年1月 on the drop-down menu
  13. ^ "British single certifications – Jackson 5 – ABC". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 29, 2021.

External links[edit]