The Jackson 5

I'll Be There

Song Review by

Of all the Jackson 5's hits, none showcased the preternatural brilliance of Michael Jackson quite so perfectly as the 1970 ballad "I'll Be There." Rarely, if ever, had one so young sung with so much authority and grace, investing this achingly tender ballad with wisdom and understanding far beyond his years. At times, "I'll Be There" seems like an encapsulation of Motown history -- Michael's lead eerily recalls his mentor Diana Ross in both tone and phrasing, the harmonies rival those of the Temptations, and the "Just look over your shoulder, honey!" shout at the end is a direct lift from the Four Tops' "Reach Out, I'll Be There" (the song's most obvious thematic inspiration) -- but it never sounds even momentarily derivative.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Third Album 1970 Motown / Uni / Universal 3:58
The Greatest Hits 1971 Motown 3:56
Anthology [1976] 1976 Motown 3:57
No Image 1979 Motown
12 #1 Hits from the 70's 1982
Various Artists
Motown 3:57
No Image 1983 Telstar
No Image 1983
Various Artists
Motown
No Image 1984
Various Artists
Motown
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Motown 0:00
No Image 1990 Motown
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Motown
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image 1992
Various Artists
Motown 3:55
Hitsville USA - The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971 1992
Various Artists
Motown 3:45
The Jacksons: An American Dream 1992 Motown 3:56
Class Reunion 1970: Greatest Hits of 1970 1995
Various Artists
Rebound Records 3:45
Soulsation!: 25th Anniversary Collection 1995 Motown 3:56
Motown Love Songs: Motown Milestones 1995
Various Artists
Motown 3:45
Now & Then [Original Soundtrack] 1995
Original Soundtrack
Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 3:56
Motown Chartbusters, Vol. 5 1997
Various Artists
Spectrum Music / PolyGram 3:54
Motown 40 Forever 1998
Various Artists
Motown 3:58
Our Friend Martin 1999
Original Soundtrack
Motown 3:55
Whole Lotta Soul 1970-1971 1999
Various Artists
BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Music Group 3:45
Most Beautiful Melodies of the Century: Just the Way 1999
Various Artists
Reader's Digest Music 0:00
Cruizin' to Motown, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:56
Third Album / Maybe Tomorrow 2000 Motown / Uni 3:58
Cosmic Grooves: Taurus 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:56
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Motown 1970s, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Motown 3:57
All Music Guide: Motown Memories 2001
Various Artists
Medalist Entertainment 4:00
A Year in Your Life: 1970, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 3:58
No Image 2002 Japanese Import
Love Songs 2002 Motown 4:05
Pure Slow Jams 2002
Various Artists
UTV / Universal Distribution 3:57
Rhythm, Love and Soul: The Sexiest Songs of R&B [WQED] 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution / Shout! Factory 3:59
Rhythm, Love and Soul: The Sexiest Songs of R&B [Shout] 2003
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 3:59
Soul 70's: What's Going On 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:57
Rhythm & Blues Classics: The Best of Rhythm & Blues, Vols. 1 & 2 2003
Various Artists
Brentwood Records 3:58
Motown Greatest Hits 2003
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:53
Casey Kasem Presents: America's Top Ten - The 70s #1 Pop Hits 2004
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 3:57
The Very Best of the Jacksons 2004 Epic 3:58
Best Of Soul [Madacy Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 3:57
The Ultimate Collection [Sony/Epic] 2004 Legacy / Epic 3:58
Let's Get It On: 70s R&B 2006
Various Artists
Compass Productions
The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 10: 1970 2008
Various Artists
Hip-o Select
I'll Be There 2009 Motown 3:55
The Stripped Mixes 2009 Motown 3:55
Motown 50: Love 2009
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:57
J Is for Jackson 5 2010 Motown 3:57
Total Motown 2010
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:00
Live at the Forum 2010 Hip-O Select 4:03
Icon 2010 Motown 3:59
Icon 2 2010 Motown 3:59
Jackie: Love Songs [2010] 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / UMTV 3:51
Michael Jackson: The Complete Remix Suite 2013 Motown / Polydor / Universal 3:42
A Motown Thanksgiving Celebration
Various Artists
Motown 3:58
No Image
Various Artists
Motown 3:15
Easy Listening Classics: Time Life's Movie Classics
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:59
No Image
Various Artists
Motown 0:00
No Image
Various Artists
No Image
Various Artists
PolyGram
No Image
Various Artists
Allegro