What Michael Jackson Thought When He 1st Heard The Jackson 5’s ‘ABC’

Michael Jackson said The Jackson 5‘s “ABC” was the sort of song that could only have been performed by children. In his memoir, he recalled what he thought of the song when he first heard it. In addition, he said one line of “ABC” was particularly striking.

The Jackson 5 holding records
The Jackson 5 | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Michael Jackson revealed some of The Jackson 5’s songs were written with dance steps in mind

Jackson discussed The Jackson 5’s songs in his 1988 book Moonwalk. “‘I Want You Back’ could have been sung by a grown-up, but ‘ABC’ and ‘The Love You Save’ were written for our young voices, with parts for Jermaine [Jackson] as well as me,” he said. The “Billie Jean” singer said “ABC” was better than some of The Jackson 5’s more sophisticated music.

“ABC” was written by a production team called The Corporation. “The Corporation had also written those songs with dance routines in mind: the steps our fans did at fancy parties as well as those we did on stage,” Jackson wrote. “The verses were tongue-twisting, and that’s why they were split up between Jermaine and me.”

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Michael Jackson really liked 1 line from The Jackson 5’s ‘ABC’

Jackson said “ABC” was one of his favorite Jackson 5 songs. “My three favorite songs from those days are ‘Never Can Say Goodbye,’ ‘I’ll Be There,’ and ‘ABC,'” he said. “I’ll never forget the first time I heard ‘ABC.’ I thought it was so good. I remember feeling this eagerness to sing that song, to get in the studio and really make it work for us.”

Jackson was especially fond of one part of “ABC.” “I still like the part where I say ‘Siddown girl! I think I loove you! No, get up girl, show me what you can do!,'” he revealed. Jackson felt “ABC” influenced other groups such as The Osmonds, The Partridge Family, and The DeFranco Family.

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How ‘ABC’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“ABC” became a massive hit. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. In total, “ABC” remained on the chart for 13 weeks. “ABC” appeared on The Jackson 5’s album of the same name. ABC peaked at No. 4 and stayed on the Billboard 200 for 50 weeks.

“ABC” was popular in the United Kingdom too. According to The Official Charts Company, the song reached No. 8 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for 16 weeks. Meanwhile, the album ABC hit No. 22, staying on the chart for six weeks.

The title song went on to be covered by Ariana Grande, Tori Kelly, and the Glee cast. The original track appeared in trailers for Daddy Day Camp. “ABC” became a huge hit and it impressed Jackson from the first time he heard it.

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