Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
I'll Be There
"I'll Be There" is a 1970 #1 hit single recorded by The Jackson 5 for the Motown label. Written and produced by Berry Gordy, Jr., Bob West , Hal Davis , and Willie Hutch , "I'll Be There" was The Jackson 5's fourth #1 hit in a row, following "I Want You Back", "ABC", and "The Love You Save". The song held the #1 potiion on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week from October 10 to October 17, replacing "Cracklin' Rosie" by Neil Diamond, and replaced by "I Think I Love You" by The Partridge Family.
"I'll Be There" also proved to be their final #1 hit as a group; for the rest of their twenty-year-career as a major-label act, Jackson 5 singles would get no higher than #2, attained by "Mama's Pearl" and "Never Can Say Goodbye" in 1971, and "Dancing Machine" in 1974.
Michael Jackson's ad-libbed "just look over your shoulders, honey" is an allusion to "Reach Out I'll Be There", a 1966 #1 hit single recorded by The Four Tops. In his Moon Walk autobiography, Jackson noted that "I'll Be There" was the song that solidified The Jackson 5's careers and showed audiences that the group had potential beyound bubblegum pop. "I'll Be There" replaced Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" as the most successful single released on Motown, a record it held until the release of Boyz II Men's "End of the Road" twenty-three years later.
"I'll Be There" remains one of the most popular of the Jackson 5's hits, and has been covered by a number of artists, including Josie and the Pussycats and Mariah Carey, who took the song back to #1 for two weeks--from June 13 to June 27--in 1992.
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