The Early Hits

The Hits come as Easy as ABC

Michael Jackson's early hits with The Jackson Five were largely the product of good marketing, heavy exposure, and good press from many famous musicians at the time. Michael Jackson and the Jacksons were quickly rising to fame in the years leading up to the 70’s, and although any early solo work was a long way off, The Jackson Five were sharing plenty of group success. After Michael and his brothers toured around the Midwest, steadily gaining notoriety, they began to take interest in writing and performing their own tracks instead of the covers they were so familiar with. Michael Jackson‘s big break with the group came in the form of a meeting with Motown Records executive Berry Gordy. Despite their musicality and highly acclaimed talent, the first big hit originally for the Jackson Five was written by Gordy, among other then current producers, who themselves became known as “the Corporation”. That single, “I Want You Back,” smash hit, holding the number one spot on the soul music charts for a solid four weeks.

From that point in 1969 forward, Michael's early hits rolled out steadily until his final years as a performer.

In the following year, The Jackson Five released a number of chart topping hits. These early tracks included “The Love You Save,” “ABC,” “Ill Be There,” and others. What was truly phenomenal about Michael Jackson's hits were their inclusion in both the number one Pop and Soul charts. Although The Jackson Five were immensely successful, their fan base was largely only African-American. Speculation can be made as to the cause for this, but had they gained multiracial support in the years of their rise to fame, they could have been one of the top selling pop or soul groups in history.

By 1971, the country was enamored with the Jacksons, and a sense of “Jacksonmania” was very present on the popular culture scene. For a short time, the performers even had their own Saturday morning cartoon show on ABC. Their success and power had spawned from so many influences. With musical talent and performing skills, as well as help from famous names, The Jackson Five single-handedly prepared a platform to send Michael to solo stardom.