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)
Format7" single
RecordedJune – July 1971
Songwriter(s)Elliot Willensky
Producer(s)Hal Davis
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Got to Be There"
"Rockin' Robin"
"Got to Be There"
"Rockin' Robin"

"Got to Be There" is the debut single written by Elliot Willensky for American recording artist Michael Jackson, whose original version was released as his first solo single in 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.[1] Released to select European countries, it also found success, reaching number five in the UK.[2] 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.

Fellow Motown recording act The Miracles recorded the track for their final studio album, Flying High Together, in 1972. In 1982, Chaka Khan had a top 5 R&B hit version with the song, featured on her self-titled album. In 1993, George Benson performed the track using his guitar and vocal hums on his 1993 album, Love Remembers. In 2007, group Boyz II Men covered it for their 2007 release, Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA.

Track listing[edit]

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

Chart performance[edit]


  • Written and composed by Elliot Willensky
  • Produced by Hal Davis
  • Lead vocals by Michael Jackson
  • Arrangement by Dave Blumberg
  • Vocal arrangement by Willie Hutch


  1. ^ a b c d "Billboard Singles". All Media Guide / Billboard. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  2. ^ a b "UK charts archive". Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  3. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 1/01/72". 1972-01-01. Retrieved 2016-10-03.