Got to Be There (song)

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"Got to Be There"
Michael Jackson - Got to be there (single) Netherlands version.jpg
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Got to Be There
B-side"Maria (You Were the Only One)"
ReleasedOctober 7, 1971 (1971-10-07)
RecordedJune 1971[1]
StudioMotown Recording Studios (Los Angeles, California)[1]
Songwriter(s)Elliot Willensky
Producer(s)Hal Davis
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Got to Be There"
"Rockin' Robin"

"Got to Be There" is the debut solo single by the American recording artist Michael Jackson, written by Elliot Willensky and released as a single in October 7, 1971 on Motown Records. The song was produced by Hal Davis and recorded at Motown's Hitsville West studios in Hollywood.

The single became an immediate success, reaching number one on Cashbox's pop and R&B singles charts, while reaching number four on Billboard's pop and R&B singles charts.[2] Released to select European countries, it also found success, reaching number five in the UK.[3] The song was composed as a pop ballad with soul and soft rock elements. The song was musically arranged by Dave Blumberg while Willie Hutch produced its vocal arrangements.

Motown label mates Smokey Robinson & The Miracles released their version on their 1972 album Flying High Together, while Diana Ross recorded a version of the song for her unreleased 1973 album To The Baby which was eventually issued as part of the 2010 Expanded Edition of her Touch Me In The Morning album. R&B group Black Ivory recorded a version on their 1972 debut album entitled, "Don't Turn Around", which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard's R&B chart.

A cover version of the song by Chaka Khan from her eponymous fourth solo album reached #5 on the R&B Charts in 1983.

Track listing[edit]

  • A. "Got To Be There" – 3:23
  • B. "Maria (You Were the Only One)" – 3:41

Live performances[edit]

  1. Hellzapoppin: Jackson performed "Got To Be There" for the first time at Hellzapoppin' at March 1, 1972 with his brothers, along with Sugar Daddy and Brand New Thing.[4] The performance is about 2 minutes and it included an intro showing a garage door opening revealing the Jackson 5.[5]
  2. Live at the Forum: The performance is similar to the one from Hellzapoppin'. It was recorded on August 26, 1972 and released on June 21, 2010.[6]
  3. Jackson 5 In Japan: Audio recording from the concert in Japan at April 30, 1973 was released on the album "Jackson 5 in Japan".[7] Here, the performance is almost 4 minutes and it had a spoken line for intro.[8]

Chart performance[edit]


Cover versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lecocq, Richard; Allard, François (2018). "Bad". Michael Jackson All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. London, England: Cassell. ISBN 9781788400572.
  2. ^ a b c "Billboard Singles". All Media Guide / Billboard. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  3. ^ a b "Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  4. ^ "Hellzapoppin' | Live performance recording details". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  5. ^ Bradock Michael Jackson (2010-11-26), Got to Be There (Hellzapoppin - 01-03-1972), archived from the original on 2021-12-19, retrieved 2019-03-13
  6. ^ "Live At The Forum | Album information". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  7. ^ "In Japan! | Album information". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  8. ^ Florin Mihalache (2016-09-07), The Jackson 5 - Got To Be There (Live In Japan) [Audio HQ] HD, archived from the original on 2020-05-07, retrieved 2019-03-13
  9. ^ a b "Top 100 Músicas Mais Tocadas em 1972" [Top 100 Most Played Songs of 1972]. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Michael Jackson Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. 30 September 2021. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 1/01/72". 1972-01-01. Archived from the original on 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada".
  13. ^ "Black Ivory". Billboard. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Black Ivory". Billboard. Retrieved 23 April 2021.

External links[edit]