Chart Position: 1

  • Pitchfork’s #2 song of the sixties
  • #9 on Rolling Stone magazines list of 100 greatest pop songs
  • #120 on Rolling Stone magazines list of 500 greatest songs
  • Written and produced by Deke Richards, Freddy Perren, Barry Gordy and Fonce Mizell
  • Song was originally titled ‘I Wanna be Free’
  • This song was originally intended to be recorded by Gladys Knight & the Pips, then Diana Ross
  • Motown head Berry Gordy decided the Jackson Five would record the song first
  • The Jackson Five spent 20 weeks atop the R&B charts in 1970
  • This is the first of 4 consecutive U.S. #1 hits for the family group
  • At age eleven, Michael Jackson was the youngest artist to ever perform on a U.S. #1 record
  • The group first started performing together when Michael was five
  • Pitchfork declared in 2006 that the chorus has perhaps the best chord progression in popular music history
  • Gladys Knight and Bobby Taylor actually brought the Jackson brothers to Motown Records, although Diana Ross was given credit by Motown for discovering them
  • Piano: Joe Sample and Freddie Perrin
  • Recorded in Hollywood CA

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