Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5

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Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5
Studio album by The Jackson 5
Released December 18, 1969
Recorded May - August 1969
Genre Soul, Pop
Length 37:51
Label Motown
Producer Bobby Taylor
the Corporation
The Jackson 5 chronology
Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5
(December 18, 1969)
Alternative Cover
2 Classic Albums/1 CD 2001 Re-release
Singles from Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5
  1. "I Want You Back"/"Who's Lovin' You"
    Released: October 7, 1969
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5 is the debut studio album from Gary, Indiana-based soul family band the Jackson 5, released on the Motown label in December 1969. The Jackson 5's lead singer, a preteenage boy named Michael (who later became a universally-recognized pop star on his own and "The King of Pop"), and his older brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, and Marlon, became pop successes within months of this album's release. Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5's only single, "I Want You Back", became a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 within weeks of the album's release and eventually sold five million copies worldwide.[2] The album reached #5 on the Pop Albums chart, and spent nine weeks at #1 on the R&B/Black Albums chart.

The album title suggested that Motown star Diana Ross had discovered the group, as do the Ross-penned liner notes on the back cover. Ross' supposed discovery of the Jackson 5 was in fact part of Motown's marketing and promotions plan for the Jackson 5; Motown artists Bobby Taylor and Gladys Knight also claimed to have discovered the Jacksons. Ross did, however, introduce the Jackson 5 to the public both in concert and on television. Actually, Motown signed "The Jackson Five" in March 1969 after their discovery and first contract with an owner and producer of Steeltown Records in Gary, Indiana in November 1967.

Recording the album[edit]

Working with Bobby Taylor[edit]

Motown CEO Berry Gordy brought the group to Motown's Hitsville U.S.A. studio in Detroit, Michigan, and assigned them to work with Bobby Taylor as their producer. Taylor, who had personally brought the Jacksons to Motown, began having Michael, Jermaine, and Jackie record cover versions of current and past soul compositions, including many in the Motown catalog. Over two dozen of these recordings were done, including covers of songs by the Temptations ("(I Know) I'm Losing You", "Born to Love You"), Marvin Gaye ("Chained"), Stevie Wonder ("My Cherie Amour"), the Miracles ("Who's Lovin' You"), and the Four Tops ("Standing in the Shadows of Love"). Among the non-Motown covers done were versions of Sly & the Family Stone's "Stand!", the Delfonics' "Can You Remember", and "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" from the Walt Disney film Song of the South. The Jackson 5 also re-recorded "You've Changed", a song they first recorded in 1967 which was released on the B side of their first local hit single Big Boy for the Steeltown label before joining the Motown roster.[citation needed]

All of the songs Taylor recorded with the Jackson 5 during these summer 1969 sessions held close to the group's traditional R&B/soul sound, a sound somewhat less pop-aware than Motown's signature "Motown Sound". Of these recordings, the most famous became the cover of "Who's Lovin' You", with Michael Jackson re-delivering Smokey Robinson's often-covered plea for the return of a long-gone lover. The Jackson 5's version of the song supplanted the Miracles' original as the definitive recording of the song, and many of the future covers of the song (for example, En Vogue's cover at the beginning of their 1990 single "Hold On"), are based upon this version.[citation needed]

The Jackson 5 recorded a number of songs with Bobby Taylor during these summer 1969 sessions that remained in the Motown vault for several years, including covers of Ray Charles' "A Fool for You", the Four Tops' "Reach Out, I'll Be There", the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing", and a version of Bobby Taylor's own "Oh, I've Been Blessed". These recordings would turn up on various Jackson 5 compilations, and virtually all of them were included on the boxed set Soulsation!.[citation needed]

The Corporation's involvement[edit]

In August 1969, Berry Gordy decided to take a more direct role in the Jackson 5's career. He had the Jacksons and their father, Joseph, move from Detroit to Los Angeles, California, where Gordy had a satellite studio (the entire Motown operation would move to Los Angeles by 1972). Taylor followed the group, and continued to work on the cover songs.

During this period, Gordy came across "I Want to Be Free", a composition written by West Coast-based Motown producers Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell, and Deke Richards for Gladys Knight. At first, Gordy wanted the three producers to instead record the song with Diana Ross, but soon decided to give the song "the Frankie Lymon treatment"[3] and record it with the Jackson 5. Richards, Mizell, and Perren began re-working the song, and Gordy and Taylor also became involved in the revision process. The result was "I Want You Back", which became the Jackson 5's first Motown single, and the first of four Jackson 5 songs that went to number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970.

"I Want You Back" became the blueprint for future Jackson 5 recordings: there was now less of an emphasis on traditional soul, and more prominent elements of doo-wop and bubblegum pop music. In fact, Motown's publicity department dubbed the Jackson 5's sound "bubblegum soul".

Gordy, Richards, Mizell, and Perren also contributed the album track "Nobody" to Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5; left out was Taylor, although he later performed uncredited production work on the second Jackson 5 album, ABC and its singles. All of the songs produced and written by Gordy, Richards, Mizell, and Perren were billed under the name 'the Corporation', a group that Gordy formed to handle future Jackson 5 recordings to avoid a repeat of the issues that arose when former Motown songwriters / producers Holland-Dozier-Holland were known by name and became as famous as the artists for whom they produced.

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by Bobby Taylor except for "Nobody" and "I Want You Back", produced by the Corporation.

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Singers Length
1. "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah"   Ray Gilbert, Allie Wrubel Michael Jackson, Tito Jackson 3:18
2. "Nobody"   The Corporation Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson 2:54
3. "I Want You Back"   The Corporation Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Tito Jackson, Marlon Jackson 3:04
4. "Can You Remember"   Thom Bell, William Hart Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson 3:10
5. "Standing in the Shadows of Love"   Holland-Dozier-Holland Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson 4:06
6. "You've Changed"   Jerry Reese Michael Jackson 3:16
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Singers Length
1. "My Cherie Amour"   Stevie Wonder, Sylvia Moy, Hank Cosby Jermaine Jackson 3:44
2. "Who's Lovin' You"   Smokey Robinson Michael Jackson 4:06
3. "Chained"   Frank Wilson Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson 2:54
4. "(I Know) I'm Losing You"   Norman Whitfield, Eddie Holland Jermaine Jackson 2:16
5. "Stand!"   Sylvester Stewart Michael Jackson, Marlon Jackson & Jermaine Jackson 2:30
6. "Born to Love You"   Ivy Jo Hunter, William "Mickey" Stevenson Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson 2:38
  • "Reach Out, I'll Be There" was considered to be on the album, and appears on the back of early pressings,[4] but was replaced by "Born to Love You." It would appear 26 years later on Soulsation!

Recording sessions[edit]

The songs on the album were recorded during May–August 1969.


In 2001, Motown Records remastered all Jackson 5 albums in a "Two Classic Albums/One CD" series, as they had previously done in the late 1980s. Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5 was paired up with ABC. One bonus track was included in a cover of Bobby Taylor's "Oh, I've Been Bless'd", a song also released on the rare 1979 outtakes album Boogie.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r10005
  2. ^ Chery, Carl: XXL: Michael Jackson Special Collectors Edition, page 99. American Press.
  3. ^ *Olsen, Eric. "Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 At Motown: A Long Long Time Ago"
  4. ^ "J5 Collector: You've Changed (Me)". J5collector.blogspot.com. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 

External links[edit]