The Jackson 5

I Want You Back

Song Review by

The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" is a textbook example of how to start a pop music career. Their first nationally released single took the brothers to the top of both the R&B and pop charts. Originally written as "I Wanna Be Free," "I Want You Back" was written by Freddie Perren, Fonce Mizell, and Deke Richards, who along with Berry Gordy became known as the Motown songwriting/arranging/producing collective the Corporation. Perren, Mizell, and Richards thought the song would be great for Motown acts Gladys Knight and the Pips or Diana Ross. After approaching label president Gordy, it was rewritten for a five-member teenaged brothers singing group from Gary, IN, he'd just signed. Gordy wanted the group to be an updated version of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers ("Why Do Fools Fall in Love") and this song seemed to be the perfect career-launching vehicle. The recording session for the extremely energetic "I Want You Back" lists Perren and Mizell on piano, Crusaders bassist Wilton Felder, guitarists David T. Walker, Louis Shelton, and Don Peake doubling the bass line, and drummer Gene Pello. With an introduction by Diana Ross, the Jackson 5 performed the song on ABC-TV's The Hollywood Palace in the fall of 1969.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5 1969 Motown 2:56
The Greatest Hits 1971 Motown 2:58
No Image 1983
Various Artists
No Image 1984
Various Artists
No Image 1990 Motown
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Soulsation!: 25th Anniversary Collection 1995 Motown 2:58
The Ultimate Collection 1995 Motown 2:58
Motown Year By Year: The Sound of Young America, 1969 1995
Various Artists
Motown 2:59
Greatest Hits of 1969 [Rebound] 1995
Various Artists
Rebound Records 3:02
Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5/ABC 2000 Motown 3:03
Goin' Back to Indiana/Lookin' Through the Windows 2007 Motown 0:00
Guardians of the Galaxy [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2014 Hollywood 3:00
No Image Pair