Jackson 5, "I'll Be There" (1970)
When the Jacksons followed their 1969 debut "I Want You Back" with the equally high-energy delights "ABC" and "The Love You Save," their ebullience seemed boundless, a new font of Motown optimism for a new decade. But it was the brothers' first ballad that would become the label's all-time best-seller, retaining that title for more than a decade. No preteen has ever sung as credibly about eternal devotion as Michael Jackson, his performance beginning with a calm childlike sweetness that he ruptures boldly with an adult rasp. And when he erupts into a climactic shout of "Just look over your shoulders, honey" that echoes the Four Tops "Reach Out (I'll Be There)," he's glancing back at the past to suggest greatness to come.