I Want You Back – Jackson 5

August 19, 2022

The Jackson 5’s first No. 1 hit, “I Want You Back,” debuted on October 6, 1969.

How It was Made

“I Want You Back” had originally been written by a group of songwriters known as “The Corporation” for singer Gladys Knight. After hearing the result of the team’s effort, however, member of The Corporation Berry Gordy decided to instead save the song for Motown’s newest band, the Jackson 5. With the young Michael Jackson singing the lead vocals, the song was recorded in 1969 at the MoWest studio located in Los Angeles.

Presented by Diana Ross

After the release of the song in October, Diana Ross would go on to present the group on The Hollywood Palace, a popular variety show of the time. Despite the fact that Gladys Knight had been the first to bring the Jackson 5 to Motown’s attention, Motown made a deliberate effort to credit Diana Ross with their discovery as a marketing ploy. Following the highly successful single and album release, this marketing ploy certainly seemed to work out. The album, “Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5”, found itself at No. 5 on the U.S. Pop Albums chart and at the top of the U.S. R&B/Black Albums chart for 9 weeks.

After the Jackson 5
Following the dissolution of the band, the song remained in the repertoire of lead singer Michael Jackson. It became a mainstay of the “Jackson 5 Medley”, which was sung during all of his world tours. This medley consisted of “I Want You Back,” “The Love You Save,” and “I’ll Be There.” The full song was also performed live during the “Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special” in the year 2000, where he performed alongside his brothers for the first time in almost 20 years. The song would’ve also been featured in his “This Is It” concert residency but was canceled due to his untimely death.

Fun Facts

  • The song sold over six million copies internationally.
  • It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • “I Want You Back” is one of the most sampled songs, finding its way into music by The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z.
  • Alongside other previously released hits, the song found its way back to the top of the billboard 200 on the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 in 2014.

 

Lyrics 

Uh-huh, huh, huh-huh

Just let me tell ya now

Uh-huh

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 what is all it took

Now it’s much too late for me to take a second look

Oh, baby, give me one more chance

Won’t you please let me back in your heart

Oh, darlin’, I was blind to let you go

But now since I see you in his arms

Yes, I do now

Ooh, ooh, baby

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Na, na, na, na

Tryin’ to live without your love just 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 you now

Oh, baby, all I need is one more chance

Won’t you please let me back in your heart

Oh, darlin’, I was blind to let you go

But now since I see you in his arms, uh-huh

A, buh-buh-buh-buh, all I want

Buh-buh-buh-buh, all I need

Buh-buh-buh-buh, all I want

A, buh-buh-buh-buh, all I need

Baby! Baby!

Baby! Huh

Oh baby, I was blind to let you go

But now since I see you in his arms

Yes, I do now, ha!

Oh baby, I need one more chance, ha!

I’d show you that I love you, ah, ah, ah

I want you ba-

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