Our top 10 Jackson Five Songs list looks back at a musical group who has sold over 100 millions records since they first formed in 1965. The group probably never knew the incredible success their future held for them when they were playing on the club circuit when Michael Jackson was only five years old. After releasing a few singles on Steeltown Records, the group was signed to Motown Records where they became an instant sensation. The Jackson Five’s first four single releases on Motown Records all went straight to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The Jackson Five would release nine albums on Motown Records from 1969 to 1975. When their recording contract was up with Motown they signed a deal with Columbia Records where they released six more albums from 1976 to 1989. When the group signed with Columbia Records they changed their name to just The Jacksons.
The musical history of the group along with their personal family history is a complex story. Its a story that this article will not look into. This one is all about the songs, and there were so many great ones. Our Top 10 Jackson Five songs list focuses pretty much on just the Motown years with just one exception. We hope you enjoy this ride back to the great Jackson Five singles of the late 1960s and early 1970s. And in case your don’t remember or just didn’t know, The Jackson Five were Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie Jackson.
# 10 – State Of Shock
We open up our Top 10 Jackson Five songs list with a song that was recorded by the band when they had changed their name to simply The Jacksons after they had signed to CBS Records. The Jacksons song “State Of Shock,” was released on the album entitled Victory. The Victory album was released in 1984. It was the Jackson’s fifth album they had released on CBS Records. The Jacksons had not released an album in four years. Off course during that time period, Michael Jackson was busy becoming the biggest selling pop star in the world with the release of his Thriller album. It was interesting that Michael Jackson would reunite with his brothers for the Victory album which was obviously all about the money. However, it would be for the last time as the Jacksons would only release one more album after Victory and it did not feature Michael Jackson.
The song “State Of Shock,” is the only single by the Jackson to appear on this top 10 list that was not released under the Jackson Five name. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Randy Hansen who would base most of his career as a Jimi Hendrix impersonator. (A real good one at that). The song featured a duet between Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger.
# 9 – Get It Together
The Jackson Five song “Get It Together,” may be the least recognizable Jackson Five song on this list. However, its an important song in the band’s catalog as it was released on an album in which the group’s sound changed dramatically because Michael Jackson’s voice had matured from the high pitch elementary school year’s sound to a post puberty sounding deeper male voice. The song was released on the album titled G.I.T.: Get It Together in 1973. The song broke the Billboard Top 40 peaking at number twenty eight.
# 8 – Sugar Daddy
Continuing with our Top 10 Jackson Five songs list is the track “Sugar Daddy.” The song was released in 1971 as a single. It was also issued on the group’s Greatest Hits LP. The song was a huge success for the group as it just broke the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 peaking at number 10. The song was written by Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell, and Deke Richards also known as The Corporation. These four songwriters were monumental in the success of the Jackson Five as they had already penned four straight number one hits for the group.
# 7 – Mama’s Pearl
The Corporation were at it again with The Jackson Five. After achieving all those number one singles, they continued to write big time hits for the group. “Mama’s Pearl,” may not have been a number one hit, but it came pretty close as the song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. The song was released on their third release titled simply Third Album.
# 6 – Dancing Machine
The Jackson Five’s great hit single “Dancing Machine,” was released in 1974. Disco was starting to find its way slowly into mainstream culture after brewing behind the sconces in New York’s underground clubs. 1974 is a transitional year in music and you can hear it in this great Jackson Five classic. It would be the Jackson Five’s last top 10 hit as the song peaked way up high at number two. The group would have a pair of top 10 hits in the 1980s after they had changed their name to just the Jacksons.
# 5 – Never Can Say Goodbye
The Jackson Five almost scored another number one hit with the great song “Never Can Say Goodbye.” The song just missed hitting number one peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Gloria Gaynor would also have success with the song as her version also broke the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 in 1974. The song was originally intended to be recorded by The Supremes.
# 4 – The Love You Save
The next four Jackson Five songs on this list all hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The songs “The Love You Save,” was the third of four straight number one singles that the Jackson Five celebrated between 1969 and 1970. “The Love You Save,” was released on the Jackson Five’s second album titled ABC.
# 3 – I’ll Be There
It was tough to put the next three Jackson Five songs in order of importance or success. These are three of the biggest hits ever released by Motown Records and The Jackson Five. From our point of view, the order is pretty interchangeable. The song “I’ll Be There,” was composed by Berry Gordy, Hal Davis, Bob West, and Willie Hutch. The track was released on the 1970 album ABC. It stands as the last of the four number one singles the Jackson Five released between 1969 and 1970.
# 2 – ABC
One look at the title of this song and you know you will be instantly singing this one. A perfect marriage of dance and melody made for on of the most memorable songs of 1969. The song was written by the Corporation. The Jackson Five heavily promoted the song as they performed it on all the big time major network television shows when they first released it. “ABC,” was the groups second straight number one hit.
# 1 – I Want You Back
We close out our top 10 Jackson Five songs list with the song that started it all. The classic song “I Want You Back,” was the first single ever released by The Jackson Five. The majority of major label recording groups never enjoy the success of a number one single. Those who do, with some exceptions wait a while before they reach the number one spot . The Jackson Five did it on their very first single on a a major label(Motown) and then three more times in a row between the years 1969 and 1970. “I Want You Back,” was released on the Jackson Five’s first album entitled Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5.