Jackson 5 – I Want You Back …1970’s AM Radio Gold Week

The Jackson Five had some great pop songs in the seventies. Most of the early songs were full of energy and infectious. They called their music bubblegum soul. This was the first Jackson 5 single released by Motown Records (they released a single on a local label in Gary, Indiana, in 1968). It launched their career and went to #1 in the US, as did the next three releases: “ABC,” “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There.”

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada, #2 in the UK, and  #12 in New Zealand 1969-1970.

Motown had set up offices in Los Angeles, which is where the Jackson 5 relocated and where this song was written and recorded. The top songwriting/production team at Motown, Holland-Dozier-Holland, had left the label to get better terms, so there was a huge void that many Motown writers were trying to fill.

Their first three songs were written and produced by a Motown collective known as “The Corporation”: Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, Fonce Mizell, and Berry Gordy Jr. Gordy was head of the label and assigned them that name, which kept the focus on the team instead of the individuals within it – if one member deigned to leave, he could replace him.

The Jackson 5 found a winning formula early. Michael Jackson sang the lead and his brothers added vocals in the song. It also opened the door for family groups with young lead singers, notably the Osmonds and the DeFranco Family.

It has gained popularity because of being included on the 2014 soundtrack Guardians Of The Galaxy, which was a #1 hit in America for two weeks.

From Songfacts

The Jackson 5 were a family group from Gary, Indiana, that were auditioned to exhaustion by their father, Joe, before signing with Motown Records in 1968. Joe made sure the youngest brother, Michael, was out front – his voice, dance moves and stage presence were the star of the show. When “I Want You Back” was released in October 1969, Michael was just 11 years old, but by that point he had so much training he could handle the promotional appearances and rigorous schedule. The entire group was media trained by Motown, and for a while they were ordered to tell a story about how Diana Ross discovered the group. For the most part, they came off as a regular family, with Michael citing basketball and catching lizards as hobbies. They described their sound as “bubblegum soul,” a term that explains their appeal to both black and white audiences.

This song tells a tried-and-true story about a guy who took his girl for granted and now desperately wants her back now that she’s left him. Making it work from the perspective of an 11-year-old boy took some doing, but the upbeat track takes the weight off, so it sounds more like a schoolyard crush. There are also lots of answer lines in the lyric (“Let you go, baby…”) that give the other members of the group a chance to chime in.

“I Want You Back” started as a song Freddie Perren, Fonce Mizell, and Deke Richards wrote for Gladys Knight & The Pips called “I Want To Be Free.” Perren and Mizell were childhood friends from New Jersey who moved to Los Angeles and teamed up with Deke Richards, a producer at Motown. When Berry Gordy heard the song, he decided it could be a good fit for the Jackson 5 if it got a rewrite. Michael Jackson reminded Gordy of Frankie Lymon, another teenage star, Gordy suggested they write it as if it were for Lymon. They reworked the song, changing the storyline so it’s about a young kid trying to get his girl back, and they fashioned a lively track to underline it.

When the song took off, Perren, Mizell, Richards and Gordy became the songwriting/production team that powered the Jackson 5. Stung by the loss of his marquee team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Gordy branded this new team “The Corporation,” which is how the songwriting credit was listed. This kept the writers’ names off the record, ensuring they would remain anonymous. They became the first West Coast songwriting team to make a big impact at Motown.

The musicians who played on most of the ’60s Motown hits were members of their Detroit house band, the Funk Brothers. The Jackson 5 recorded in Los Angeles with a new group of session players. On “I Want You Back,” they included Louis Shelton and David Walker on guitars, Wilton Felder on bass, and Gene Pello on drums.

This song opens with an ear-catching piano glissando that was played by two of the song’s writers, Freddie Perren and Fonce Mizell.

Berry Gordy went out of his way to make this a hit, using all his resources at Motown to do so. With the ’60s coming to a close and Motown moving west, Gordy wanted to mint new stars at the label, and he knew he had a winner in the Jackson 5. One of his ploys was to claim the group was discovered by Diana Ross, and have her showcase the group for industry bigwigs. Ross was also in transition, having recently left The Supremes and launched her solo career. This bit about Ross finding the group proved a solid talking point and was propagated for decades. Nobody seemed to care that it was a ruse – there was a lot more to talk about concerning the Jackson 5 and their precocious lead singer.

Two popular songs sampled this in 2001: Jay Z used it on “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” and it was also used on Lil’ Romeo’s “My Baby.” In 1992, it was sampled on the Kris Kross hit “Jump.”

The sci-fi soul singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe covered this as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of her The Electric Lady album. She explained to A.V.Club that she chose this particular tune as it resonated with her. “There are so many amazing Michael Jackson songs from different stages of his career,” she said, “and that happened to be one of my favorite stages. It makes people happy, and I love the tone, and musically, it has a lot of places to go for our orchestra. It has a lot of odd instrumentation.”

“The version I did does not sound like the Jackson 5 original recording,” Monáe continued. “I wanted to interpret it my way and record it differently, while continuing to pay homage to him, but I saw it in a different light. I’m really excited to let you guys hear it because you’ll get a chance to hear that song from my perspective. I had a dream about it and how I wanted it to be recorded.”

This song appears in the films Now and Then (1995), Drumline (2002), Daddy Day Care (2003) and Friends with Benefits (2011).

I Want You Back

When I had you to myself, I didn’t want you around
Those pretty faces always make you stand out in a crowd
But someone picked you from the bunch, one glance is all it took
Now it’s much too late for me to take a second look

Oh baby, give me one more chance
(To show you that I love you)
Won’t you please let me back in your heart
Oh darlin’, I was blind to let you go
(Let you go, baby)
But now since I’ve seen you it is on
(I want you back)
Oh I do now
(I want you back)
Ooh ooh baby
(I want you back)
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
(I want you back)
Na na na na

Trying to live without your love is one long sleepless night
Let me show you, girl, that I know wrong from right
Every street you walk on, I leave tear stains on the ground
Following the girl I didn’t even want around

Let me tell ya now
Oh baby, all I need is one more chance
(To show you that I love you)
Won’t you please let me back in your heart
Oh darlin’, I was blind to let you go
(Let you go, baby)
But now since I’ve seen you it is on

All I want
All I need
All I want!
All I need!

Oh, just one more chance
To show you that I love you
Baby baby baby baby baby baby!
(I want you back)
Forget what happened then
(I want you back)
And let me live again!

Oh baby, I was blind to let you go
But now since I’ve seen you it is on
(I want you back)
Spare me of this cost
(I want you back)
Give me back what I lost!

Oh baby, I need one more chance, hah
I’d show you that I love you
Baby, oh! Baby, oh! Baby, oh!
I want you back!
I want you back!

Jackson 5 – Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Merry Christmas to the entire wordpress world. This is a great community we have going on and I hope everyone has a wonderful day today.

I just heard the  Jackson 5 version again yesterday. Every year I usually post the Bruce version…that one is my favorite version but I wanted to changed it up this year.

I’ve never been a huge Michael Jackson fan except with the Jackson 5. He was immensely talented and had some great selling albums. Maybe it was just  being burned out hearing him.. The Jackson 5 though I really liked and still do. I thought they had some great pop/soul/bubblegum singles in the early to mid seventies.

This version was released in 1970 and it peaked at #46 in the Billboard 100 and it came off the album Jackson 5 Christmas Album. The album peaked at #53 in the Billboard Album Charts and #45 in Canada.

According to Wiki: The album spent four weeks at the number one position on Billboard magazine’s special Christmas Albums chart that the magazine published in December 1970, making it the best-selling Christmas album of that year and also of the year 1972 in the United States.

According to a Top 30 list released by the performance rights organization ASCAP in December 2014, this is the most-performed holiday song of all time. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” was ranked second and “White Christmas” third.

This was written in 1932 by Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots. They had trouble convincing anyone to produce it because it was seen as a kids’ song, which would have been very hard to sell. The big break came when Eddie Cantor sang it on his radio show in 1934, and the song became an instant hit. Coots was a writer for Cantor’s show and pushed for the host to perform it. Cantor was going to pass on the song but was convinced by his wife, Ida, to give it a try.

One of the most successful Christmas carols of all time, this was outsold only by “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “White Christmas.”

Santa Clause Is Coming To Town

Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why

Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town

He is making a list
And checking it twice
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice

Santa Claus is comin’ to town, oh yeah
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

Oh, you d better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why

Oh, Santa Claus is comin’ to town, oh yeah
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town, woo hoo

Woo hoo
Woo hoo
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town

Little tin horns
And little toy drums
Rooty-toot-toot
And rump-a-tum-tums
Curly-haired dolls
That tootle and coo
Elephants, boats and kiddie cars too

Oh, Santa Claus is comin’ to town, oh yeah
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town

One more time now

Santa Claus is comin’ to town, oh yeah
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
Santa Claus is comin’ to town