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"The Love You Save"
The Jackson Five
Motown 1166
June 1970
Billboard: #1    Lyrics Icon Videos Icon

The Jackson 5hen "The Love You Save" moved into the number one position on Billboard's Hot 100 on June 27, 1970, the Jackson Five became the first artists of the rock era to have their first three chart releases reach number one.

'ABC' - The Jackson 5
"The Love You Save" was the Jackson 5's second No. 1 single from their second LP, ABC. First charting on June 6, 1970, the album peaked at No. 4 and remained on the Hot 200 album chart for 50 weeks.
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"After two platinum singles, Berry Gordy kept saying, 'What about the follow-up?'" Freddie Perren recalls. "He wasn't worried, but he really wanted to bring the third one home. We really didn't have that third one yet." Deke Richards, Fonce Mizell and Perren came up with several ideas, but none of them seemed right for the third Jackson Five single. Finally they wrote a song about watching out for traffic, and with some minor adjustments in lyrics, it became a song about "a girl who was a little too fast for her age." The three writer/producers recorded their own demo one night and were satisfied enough to want Gordy to hear it. But he was busy elsewhere, so they went to their regular studio, the Sound Factory in Hollywood, to record the track. Gordy dropped in while they were recording.

"He would never come to a tracking session," says Perren. "He would usually come after. We hadn't finished it yet. He stayed 15 minutes and half-way through said, 'you guys got it. I'm not worried anymore.' And he walked out."

Like its two predecessors, "The Love You Save" listed its writing and production credits as "The Corporation," a name as anonymous as "The Clan," which was used on the Diana Ross and the Supremes hit "Love Child." Perren, Mizell and Richards had planned to release their own albums as the Corporation. Looking back on those early days with Motown, Perren speculates that the company may have preferred the anonymity of "The Corporation" over singling out any individual writer or producer; the pain of the Holland-Dozier-Holland split was still being felt.

Producing the Jackson Five's first three singles was not Perren's first association with the group. He was playing piano for Jerry Butler at the Regal Theater in Chicago when the brothers were the opening act. It was near the end of June, 1968, and the group was having regiional success with a pre-Motown single, "I'm a Big Boy Now."

"Michael was tiny," Perren remembers. "I felt so sorry for him, because it was a nightclub. I said this little kid's gonna go out ond they're gonna murder him. Michael went out there and brought the house down. I wish we had gone on first."

- Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard, 1988.

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