‘Rolling Stone’ Called 1 Michael Jackson Hit the Best Boy Band Song Ever

The Jackson 5, a boy band


Boy bands aren’t the most widely respected musical groups. Regardless, Michael Jackson’s boy band, The Jackson 5, gave us some of the best pop songs of all time.

Boy band songs aren’t the most widely respected examples of popular music. Regardless, Michael Jackson’s boy band, The Jackson 5, gave us some of the best pop songs of all time. Rolling Stone named a Jackson 5 tune the best boy band song ever. Here’s a look at what the magazine had to say about it.

‘Rolling Stone’ praised boy band songs by The Jackson 5, One Direction, and others

Back in the day, boy bands were often dismissed as frivolous music for young girls. Critics usually had similar opinions about pop music as a whole. A new movement in the press called “poptimism” changed many hearts and minds, and now the latest boy band release will inspire just as much analysis as the latest Boy Genius album.

In 2020, Rolling Stone released a list of the 75 best boy band songs. It includes hits like The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer,” One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” BTS’ “Fake Love,” and Hanson’s “MMMBop.” The magazine’s top pick was The Jackson 5’s debut single “I Want You Back.”

Why ‘Rolling Stone’ thought ‘I Want You Back’ was the best boy band song

Rolling Stone had some insight into “I Want You Back.” “Sure, the soaring strings on The Jackson 5’s first Motown single skip along like carefree first-graders, and the thumping bassline is one of pop’s closest appropriations of the heartbeat,” the magazine said. “But the real hero of ‘I Want You Back’ is Michael Jackson, then still a preteen but blessed with a voice and interpretive skill that could turn a desperate attempt to rekindle romance (originally thought of as a Gladys Knight or Diana Ross vehicle) into something visceral and joyous. Jackson’s octave-leaping tour de force established him as a star almost as soon as the song’s first 45 was pressed.”

What’s truly amazing about “I Want You Back” and most Jackson 5 songs is Jackson’s vocals. Most children would sound terrified or amateurish if they had to perform on a major pop single. Meanwhile, Jackson sounds as self-assured as some performers three times his age. Singing was clearly his calling.

The Jackson 5 had 4 chart-toppers in a row

The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits says “I Want You Back” became The Jackson 5’s first No. 1 single. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for one week in January 1970. The song was released in late 1969 and was a hit for a while before it hit No. 1. For that reason, Jackson had hits in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, as well as posthumous hits in the 2010s. Perhaps another posthumously released song will become a hit for him in the 2020s.

“I Want You Back” was part of a major winning streak for The Jackson 5. The band’s first four singles were “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “The Love You Save,” and “I’ll Be There.” Each of those songs hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. For a while, it seemed like The Jackson 5 were going to be as popular as Elvis Presley or The Beatles. Eventually, one member of the band became that popular.

“I Want You Back” has stood the test of time and it will continue to do so for decades to come.

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