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Music / Got to Be There

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Got to Be There is the debut solo album by Michael Jackson. It was originally released on January 24, 1972 by Motown (now Universal Music). Michael did not have any creative input as it was not allowed by the record company (which later caused his departure from Motown in 1975, alongside his brothers, sans Jermaine).

After being relatively successful as the lead singer from The Jackson 5, Motown saw an opportunity to launch Michael's solo career. This album had four singles, including a cover of Bill Withers' 'Ain't No Sunshine', the title track, 'I Wanna Be Where You Are' and Leon Rene's 'Rockin' Robin'.

It has sold over 3.2 million copies worldwide.


  1. "Ain't No Sunshine" (4:13)
  2. "I Wanna Be Where You Are" (3:02)
  3. "Girl Don't Take Your Love From Me" (3:50)
  4. "In Our Small Way" (3:41)
  5. "Got To Be There" (3:24)
  6. "Rockin' Robin" (2:34)
  7. "Wings of My Love" (3:25)
  8. "Maria (You Were the Only One)" (3:42)
  9. "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone" (2:54)
  10. "You've Got a Friend" (4:59)

Rockin' Tropes:

  • Alliterative Title: Rockin' Robin.
  • Cover Version: quite a few, actually. As mentioned before, Rockin' Robin, Ain't No Sunshine and You've Got A Friend are covers from Leon Rene, Bill Winters and Carole King, respectively. This also happened with The Jackson Five's albums as it was a policy by Motown during those days.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Michael sounds happy in these songs, which is a given since he was child when he recorded them, a huge contrast to his early 1980s material onwards.
  • Face on the Cover: Michael smiling and wearing his then-signature floppy hat.
  • Updated Re-release: This album, along with the other three that followed were remastered and repackaged in 2009's box set, Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection.
    • "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Got To Be There" were later given a 'stripped' remix and released in Michael Jackson: The Stripped Mixes, where much of the drums were taken out of the songs leaving a much simpler production.
    • While "I Wanna Be Where You Are", "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Maria (You Were the Only One)" were remixed for The Remix Suite which came out soon after.