Got To Be There – Michael Jackson | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#4) & R&B (#4); 1971

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

The first eighteen months of the 1970’s were breathtaking ones for the Jackson 5. Kicking off with I Want You Back, Joe Jackson’s offspring reeled off four straight #1 R&B and Pop hits; a first for the rock ‘n’ roll era. Both Mama’s Pearl and Never Can Say Goodbye just missed extending the streak to six Hot 100 toppers when they “only” reached #2. The J5’s seventh single, Maybe Tomorrow, peaked at #3 R&B, yet, faltered at #20 on the pop side. Concurrently, Michael and his siblings chalked up four Top 5 albums, a #1 holiday release, and a #11 long-player! The next logical step in the marketing of all things Jackson was to spin off various members into solo careers, with Michael and Jermaine leading off. Michael was first out of the box in late 1971 with Got To Be There, the album and a single, which turned in highly respectable chart performances at #14 and #4 respectively.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Hal Davis

Lyrics Written by:

  • Elliot Willensky