Song of the Day #318: ‘I Want You Back’ – The Jackson 5

jackson5Seeing the old Diana Ross makes me regret the caricature she became, but she’s got nothing on her pal Michael Jackson in that regard. Jackson has lived as a circus freak for so long now that it’s hard to remember the days when he was the biggest star in the world. And it’s even harder to see an early Jackson 5 clip like this one without feeling sad about what would happen to this adorable, mega-talented little boy.

I’m not enough of a student of Michael Jackson to know what exactly led to his metamorphosis. Clearly he had his share of plastic surgery in the Thriller days, sadly trying to de-emphasize his more African-American features. Did this self “betterment” become an addiction, leading him down a path that transformed him into something out of a horror movie?

And what should we make of the Peter Pan complex? Building the Neverland ranch into an amusement park on steroids and inviting young boys for sleepovers without realizing how inappropriate that was… is that a product of mental illness? And was it inborn or tied to the way he grew up?

Regardless, I think most of us prefer not to think about the freakshow Jackson has become but still derive great pleasure from watching him in his prime — a prime that started in the era I’m highlighting today and lasted well into the 80s.

Uh-huh huh huh huh
Let me tell ya now
Uh-huh

VERSE 1:
When I had you to myself
I didn’t want you around
Those pretty faces always made you stand out in a crowd
But someone picked you from the bunch
one glance was all it took
Now it’s much too late for me to take a second look

CHORUS:
Oh baby give me one more chance
(show you that I love you)
Won’t you please let me
(back in your heart)
Oh darlin’ I was blind to let you go
(let you go baby)
But now since I see you in his arms
(I want you back)
Yes I do now
(I want you back)
Ooh ooh baby
(I want you back)
Ya ya ya ya
(I want you back)
Na na na na

VERSE 2:
Tryin’ to live without your love
Is one long sleepless night
Let me show you girl
That I know wrong from right
Every street you walk on
I leave tearstains on the ground
Following the girl
I didn’t even want around
Let me tell you now

CHORUS:
Oh baby all I need is one more chance
(show you that I love you)
Won’t you please let me
(back to your heart)
Oh darlin’ I was blind to let you go
(let you go baby)
But now since I see you in his arms

Uh-huh
A buh buh buh buh (2 times)
All I want
A buh buh buh buh
All I need
A buh buh buh buh
All I want
A buh buh buh buh
All I need

Oh just one more chance
to show you that I love you
baby! (6 times)

(I want you back)
Forget what happened then
(I want you back)
Let me live again

Oh baby I was blind to let you go
But now since I see you in his arms
(I want you back)
Spare me of this cause
Gimme back what I lost

Oh baby I need one more chance ha
I tell ya that I love you

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5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #318: ‘I Want You Back’ – The Jackson 5

  1. Dana says:

    Look, stop calling Ross a carcicature. She went through a bad disco phase, as did others, but, if she were to do a concert today, it and she would be fabulous (unless she has lost her voice). Jackson, on the other hand, went to looneyville and has no ticket to return. Between his physical atrocitiies and his personality creepiness, he is beyond the beyond. But in his day, and his day arguably lasted for at least 20 years, he was an enormous talent.

  2. Amy says:

    I’m wit Dana – leave Diana Ross alone! :)

    Meanwhile, I agree that it’s best to simply try to forget what Michael Jackson has beome in order to better enjoy his music.

  3. Kerrie says:

    I think Clay might be confusing Diana Ross with Latoya Jackson on the caricature thing…. Just a thought. ;-)

  4. Clay says:

    Look, as a young boy I was afraid of Diana Ross! I’m not excusing it or saying I was in the right, but it scarred me… scarred me for life, I say!!

  5. Amy says:

    What particular image of Diana Ross frightened you so? Hmmmm…. Maybe it was those dangerously long fake eyelashes? I always found that fashion choice a bit strange. Or maybe it was her performance as the strung out Billie Holiday that disturbed you? Let’s go through it slowly and see if we might not save you several years of therapy.

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