👑 LONG LIVE THE KING!
October 17, 1970 - The Jackson Five started a five-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I'll Be There'. The group's fourth No.1 of 1970, it made No.4 in the UK. The song was written by Berry Gordy, Hal Davis, and Willie Hutch (collectively known as "The Corporation") and resulted in two U.S. No.1 hit singles: the original 1970 recording by The Jackson 5 and a 1992 live version by Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz.
After three upbeat "bubblegum soul" No.1 singles from the Jackson 5 ("IWant You Back", "ABC", and "The Love You Save"), Motown head Berry Gordy decided to take a risk and craft a ballad for the group. MichaelJackson and his older brother Jermaine share the lead vocals on this song. Michael's ad-libbed "just look over your shoulders, honey" is an allusion to "Reach Out I'll Be There", a 1966 No.1 hit single recorded by the Four Tops. He was instructed by Gordy to say "just look over your shoulder" (exactly as Levi Stubbs had said it in "Reach Out I'll BeThere"), but the slightly flubbed line was allowed to remain in the final mix.
In his autobiography Moon Walk, Michael Jackson noted that "I'll Be There" was the song that solidified The Jackson 5's careers and showed audiences that the group had potential beyond bubblegum pop.
The most successful single ever released by the Jackson 5, "I'll BeThere" sold 4.2 million copies in the United States, and 6.1 million copies worldwide. It replaced Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" as the most successful single released on Motown in the U.S., a record it held until the release of Lionel Richie's duet with Diana Ross, "Endless Love" (1981). Outside the U.S., "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" remained Motown's biggest selling record with worldwide sales of over seven million copies.
The song held the No.1 position on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart for five weeks from October 17 to November 14, replacing "Cracklin' Rosie" by Neil Diamond; it was succeeded by "I Think I Love You" by The Partridge Family. "I'll Be There" was also a No.1 hit on the Billboard Black Singles Chart for six weeks.