I Want You Back
|"I Want You Back"|
|Single by The Jackson 5|
|from the album Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5|
|B-side||"Who's Lovin' You"|
|Released||October 7, 1969 (U.S.)|
|Format||Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)|
|Recorded||July 1969 The Sound Factory, West Hollywood|
|The Jackson 5 singles chronology|
"I Want You Back" is a 1969 song, and the debut major-label single for The Jackson 5 which became a number-one hit for the band and the Motown label in early 1970. The song, along with a B-side cover of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Who's Lovin' You", was the only single from the first Jackson 5 album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5. It went to number one on the Soul singles chart for four weeks and held the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the week ending January 31, 1970. "I Want You Back" was ranked 121st on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Originally considered for Gladys Knight & the Pips and later for Diana Ross, as "I Wanna Be Free", "I Want You Back" explores the theme of a lover who decides that he was too hasty in dropping his partner. An unusual aspect about "I Want You Back" was that its main lead vocal was performed by a preteen, Michael Jackson.
The single was a notable first in many respects: it was the first Jackson 5 single to be released on Motown, the first of four Jackson 5 number-ones released in a row (the others being "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There"), and the first song written and produced by The Corporation, a team comprising Motown chief Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell, and Deke Richards.
"I Want You Back" was also the first Jackson 5 song recorded in Los Angeles, California; the quintet had previously been recording Bobby Taylor-produced covers, including "Who's Lovin' You", the B-side to "I Want You Back", at Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit, Michigan.
Although Gladys Knight had been the first to mention the Jacksons to Berry Gordy, and Bobby Taylor brought the Jackson brothers to Motown, Motown credited Diana Ross with discovering them. This was done not only to help promote the Jackson 5, but also to help ease Ross' transition into a solo career, which she began in 1970 soon after the Jackson 5 became a success.
The Jackson 5 performed "I Want You Back" during all of their world tours, either as a full song or as a part of the Jackson 5 Medley in concerts (which also included "ABC" and "Mama's Pearl", later on switched with "The Love You Save" in 1973). During their second-ever television appearance (in an episode of The Hollywood Palace hosted by Diana Ross & the Supremes), the Jackson 5 performed "I Want You Back" along with Sly & the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song," The Delfonics' "Can You Remember," and James Brown's "There Was a Time".
Michael Jackson performed the song as part of the "Jackson 5 Medley" (which also included the songs "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There") during all of his world tours - the Bad World Tour, the Dangerous World Tour and the HIStory World Tour. The song was to be performed at Jackson's This Is It comeback concerts in London, which were cancelled due to his death. The song was performed live for the last time at the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special in 2001, in which Jackson reunited with his brothers on stage for the first time since 1984.
In 2006, Pitchfork Media named it the second best song of the 1960s, adding that the chorus contains "possibly the best chord progression in pop music history." A June 2009 article by The Daily Telegraph called it "arguably the greatest pop record of all time".
The single has been awarded Silver certification on August 22, 2014 by the British Phonographic Industry Association.
|Australian Singles Chart||77|
|UK Singles Chart||2|
|US Billboard Hot 100||1|
|Australian Singles Chart||53|
|French Digital Singles Chart||26|
|Irish Singles Chart||34|
|Swedish Singles Chart||47|
|UK Singles Chart||43|
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas included a cover version in 1972 in their last studio album Black Magic. In 1979, Graham Parker released a live cover of the song entitled, "I Want You Back (Alive)." His version reached #103 on the U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under chart.
- Lead vocals by Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Jackie Jackson
- Background vocals by Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jackie Jackson and Marlon Jackson
- Written, produced and arranged by The Corporation (Berry Gordy, Jr., Alphonzo Mizell, Freddie Perren, Deke Richards)
- Keyboards by Freddie Perren
- Piano by Joe Sample
- Guitar by David T. Walker, Louis Shelton and Don Peake
- Bass guitar by Wilton Felder
- Drums by Gene Pello
- Tambourine by Sandra Crouch
- "I Want You Back". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- ASCAP entry for song ASCAP, accessed 28 May 2011
- Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2004). The Magic and the Madness. Terra Alta, WV: Headline. pp. 36–37. ISBN 0-330-42005-4.
- Neely, Tim (2000). Goldmine Standard Catalog of American Records 1950-1975 2nd Ed. Iola, WI: Krause. ISBN 0-87341-934-0.
- George, Nelson (2007). Where Did Our Love Go? The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press. pp. 159–60, 183–188. ISBN 978-0-252-07498-1.
- Jackson 5 On TV!|http://www.jackson5abc.com/dossiers/tv/ |Viewed 30 June 2009
- Boy bands throughout history. By Ed Masley. The Arizona Republic. Viewed 30 June 2009.
- GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Award. grammy.com Viewed 30 June 2009.
- The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s. By Mark Ricardson. Pitchfork Media. Published August 18, 2006. Viewed 30 June 2009.
- Michael Jackson and Motown: the boy behind the marketing. By Helen Brown. The Daily Telegraph. Published 26 June 2009. Viewed 30 June 2009.
- "Download French Single Top 50". France. lescharts. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
- Steffen Hung. "The Jackson 5 - I Want You Back". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
"Someday We'll Be Together" by Diana Ross & the Supremes
|Billboard Best Selling Soul number-one single
January 10, 1970–January 31, 1970
"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) / Everybody Is a Star" by Sly & the Family Stone
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" by B.J. Thomas
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
January 31, 1970 (1 week)
"Venus" by The Shocking Blue