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Got to Be There is the debut solo studio album by Michael Jackson, released by Motown on January 24, 1972.[1] It includes the song of the same name, which was released on October 7, 1971, as Jackson's debut solo single. It sold 900,000 copies in the United States and over 3.2 million copies worldwide.[2] The album was later remastered and reissued in 2009 as part of the 3-disc compilation Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection.

Got to Be There
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 24, 1972
RecordedJune – November 1971
Michael Jackson chronology
Got to Be There
Singles from Got to Be There
  1. "Got to Be There"
    Released: October 7, 1971
  2. "Rockin' Robin"
    Released: February 17, 1972
  3. "I Wanna Be Where You Are"
    Released: May 2, 1972
  4. "Ain't No Sunshine"
    Released: July 3, 1972


Album informationEdit

The title track and "Rockin' Robin" were released as singles and were commercially successful. Those two hits were back-to-back on the Hot 100 at  Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, on April 8, 1972. Jackson's "I Wanna Be Where You Are" reached  No. 27 on the U.S. chart on June 24, 1972. The album included remakes of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine", Carole King's "You've Got a Friend" and The Supremes' "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone". The album's songs have a tempo ranging from 74 beats per minute on "Ain't No Sunshine", to 170 on "Rockin' Robin".[3]

The album was arranged by The Corporation, Eddy Manson, James Anthony Carmichael, Gene Page, and Dave Blumberg. Berry Gordy was the executive producer and Jim Britt was credited for photography.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [4]

Rolling Stone (12/7/72, p. 68) - "..slick, artful and every bit as good as the regular Jackson 5 product...a sweetly touching voice...innocence and utter professionalism...fascinating and finally irresistible.."

Commercial performanceEdit

Got to Be There peaked at  No. 14 on the Billboard Pop Albums Chart and  No. 3 on the Billboard R&B Albums when it was released. On August 2, 2013, the album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over 500,000 copies. To date, the album has sold 900,000 copies in the U.S. and 3.2 million copies worldwide.

Track listingEdit

Side one
1."Ain't No Sunshine" (recorded July – November 1971)Bill Withers4:09
2."I Wanna Be Where You Are" (recorded July – November 1971)Arthur "T-Boy" Ross, Leon Ware3:00
3."Girl Don't Take Your Love from Me" (recorded July – November 1971)Willie Hutch3:46
4."In Our Small Way" (recorded July – November 1971)Beatrice Verdi, Christine Yarian3:34
5."Got to Be There" (recorded June 1971)Elliot Willensky3:23
Side two
6."Rockin' Robin" (recorded July – November 1971)Jimmie Thomas2:30
7."Wings of My Love" (recorded July – November 1971)Alphonso Mizell, Berry Gordy Jr., Deke Richards & Freddie Perren3:32
8."Maria (You Were the Only One)" (recorded June – July 1971)Lawrence Brown, Linda Glover, George Gordy, Allen Story3:41
9."Love Is Here and Now You're Gone" (recorded July – November 1971)Holland-Dozier-Holland2:51
10."You've Got a Friend" (recorded July – November 1971)Carole King4:45


Chart positionsEdit

Chart (1972) Peak
French Albums Chart[5] 121
UK Albums Chart[6] 37
US Billboard 200[7] 14
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 3


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[8] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Don't Forget the Motor City
  2. ^ Chery, Carl: XXL: Michael Jackson Special Collecters Edition, page 100. American Press.
  3. ^ The Complete Michael Jackson, International Music Publications Ltd, 1997, ISBN 1859094473
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ "French Albums Charts - Got to Be There".
  6. ^ "UK Albums Chart - June 25, 1972". The Official UK Charts Company.
  7. ^ "Billboard 200- June 25, 1972".
  8. ^ "American album certifications – Michael Jackson – Got to Be There". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 7 September 2017. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.