Composed by Berry Gordy, Jr., Alphonso Mizell, Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, “I Want You Back” is a #1 song recorded by Jackson5 and released 10/07/69. It held the #1 Hot Singles spot for the week of Jan 23-Jan 31, 1970. It could also be found on the J5′s first album, released in December 1969, entitled “Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5“.
I was barely 15 and knew next to nothing about love and loss, but this song was not only one of *my* favorites, but the favorite of all the girls at my High School. It was sung in unison during half-time at every football game and basketball game by every young girl in the bleachers! Those are just some of the memories that are conjured up when I hear this song as sung by the Jackson 5ive.
Listen here at what made the tween and teen girls swoon back in late 1969 to early 1970.
The Jackson Five – I Want You Back (1969)
Now at about the same time, a grown man had also recorded this song. But the song, along with the album it was on, never saw the light of day until Hip-o/Motown Select released “David – The Unreleased Album in 2004. Of course the 3500 limited edition copies sold-out almost immediately, so some of us still can’t get the album nor will we ever be able to hear any of the songs recorded except this one — David Ruffin’s version of “I Want You Back”!
I first heard the song in 1998 when “Motown Sings Motown Treasures Vol #1″ was released. Now I am sorry to say that this edition, that I own, is also out of print but I has been re-released as a two disk set. (Now this really p*&&ed me off because instead of just having to buy the second volume, Motown has forced fans to buy the entire new two disk set and we will be stuck with two volume 1 cds. – Motown still is all about the almighty dollar I guess).
Ok now give a listen to the mature stylings of David Ruffin singing “I Want You Back”
David Ruffin – I Want You Back
I love both versions of this song and it is so good that it still sounds fresh today! To prove it, before I ask you which of the two versions YOU like best, I thought I would throw two more versions of late in the mix.
First I would like you to hear the “Z Trip Remix” that can be found on the 2005 “Motown Remixed” CD. You gotta love that guitar!
The Jackson 5 – I WantYou Back Z Trip Remix (2005)
And last, but I am sure not least, check out KT Tunstall‘s Live version from 7/1/2005.
Now you see why this song is a classic that spans all generations and all decades. But I know you like one better than the other. So ….
Thanks for reading and listening.