“I Want You Back (Live at the Forum)” – Jackson 5
Excerpt from Live at the Forum – Disc 1 (1970)
Today’s Forum story:
It was the Jackson 5’s first hit. Still one of the greatest intros of all time – that’s Jazz Crusader Joe Sample playing piano on the studio version – and a vocal performance to match… from an 11-year-old.
Michael was still 11 and somehow even more energetic when the Jackson 5 began their first major tour behind the single’s No. 1 success – a success matched by “ABC” and, by the time of the 1970 Forum show, “The Love You Save.” As heard in this clip he was seemingly undaunted by the show’s technical problems and the hysteria that swelled before the band hit its first note.
“I Want You Back” was by itself in this set; it had to be part of a medley within a year. Its famous intro, as heard on the full disc 1, is actually a little ragged live – the band had to regroup after a botched opening number (check back in a couple of days for a post on the topic) – but within a few bars they were off to the races. And, ladies, there’s always Jermaine.
Tomorrow: More Jermaine