32. "Mama's Pearl"
Third Album, 1970
Motown songwriting team the Corporation had to tone down the lyrics for "Mama's Pearl," which was originally titled "Guess Who's Making Whoopie (With Your Girlfriend)," so pre-pubescent Michael could sing it without raising parents' eyebrows. Musically, the track comes off like the scrappy cousin of "I Want You Back," with its bouncing piano and bass-y "doo-doo-doo" backup vocals, but Michael sounds as cute as ever trying to persuade a girl to fall in love with him. The track, which reached Number Two, remained special to Jackson decades later; in Moonwalk he wrote that it reminded him of his schoolyard days.