Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
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"|
|Single Released||October 7 1969|
|Single Format||vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)|
|Chart positions||1 (US), 1 (R&B)|
|Jackson 5 single chronology|
|"I Want You Back"|
|"The Love You Save"|
"I Want You Back" is a 1969 #1 hit single recorded by The Jackson 5 for the Motown label. It held the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for one week, from January 23 to January 31, 1970, replacing "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" by B.J. Thomas, and replaced by "Venus" by The Shocking Blue.
The single was a notable first in many respects: it was the first Jackson 5 single to be released, the first of four Jackson 5 #1's released in a row (the others are "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There"), and the first song written and produced by The Corporation™, a team comprised of 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 USA in Detroit, Michigan.
Originally considered first for Gladys Knight & the Pips, and later for Diana Ross as "I Wanna Be Free", "I Want You Back" explores the familiar theme of a lover who decides that he was too hasty in dropping his partner. The unusual aspect about "I Want You Back" was that its main lead vocal was performed by an eleven-year-old preteen named Michael Jackson, who sings the song with the emotional weight of an adult.
The Jackson 5 performed "I Want You Back", along with Sly & the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song", during their first television appearance on The Hollywood Palace as the special guests of Diana Ross & the Supremes. Althogh Gladys Knight and Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers had been the ones to bring the Jackson brothers to Motown, the Motown publicity department credited Ross with discovering them, not only to help promote the Jackson 5, but also to help ease Ross' transition into a solo career, which officially began in January 1970.
"I Want You Back" was the only single from the first Jackson 5 album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5. It is today considered one of the best songs ever released on Motown, and is one of the Jackson 5's signature songs. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
The song is also one of the most sampled Motown songs, with notable uses by Blackstreet & Mya featuring Ma$e and Blinky Blink (the remix of "Take Me There" from the Rugrats Movie soundtrack, 1998), Jay-Z ("H to the Izzo", 2001), and Lil Romeo ("My Baby", 2001).
- Written and produced by The Corporation™: Berry Gordy, Jr., Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell, and Deke Richards
- Lead vocals by Michael Jackson and Jermaine Jackson
- Background vocals by Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jackie Jackson, and Marlon Jackson
- Instrumentation by various Los Angeles studio musicians
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