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Michael Jackson Ben (1972): A Timeless Hit that Captured Hearts

Michael Jackson Ben (1972): A Timeless Hit that Captured Hearts

“Michael Jackson’s ‘Ben’ (1972): A Timeless Album of Chart-Topping Hits and Musical Brilliance”

In the summer of 1972, as Michael Jackson’s star continued to rise, he released his second studio album, ‘Ben,’ under Motown Records while still a part of the famed Jackson 5. The album received mixed reviews from contemporary music critics, but what it lacked in unanimous acclaim, it made up for in commercial success and the foundation of Jackson’s solo career.

‘Ben’ showcased a variety of musical styles, blending funk, soul, and pop elements to create a distinctive sound that captivated listeners. The album’s title track, “Ben,” served as the theme song for the 1972 film of the same name and turned out to be a monumental success. Not only did it top the US Billboard Hot 100, but it also climbed to number one on the Australian ARIA charts, marking Jackson’s first number-one single both domestically and internationally. The emotive and heartfelt performance in “Ben” showcased Jackson’s vocal prowess and garnered him accolades, including a Golden Globe win and an Academy Award nomination.

Beyond the standout track “Ben,” the album featured other gems, including “Greatest Show on Earth” and “What Goes Around Comes Around.” These tracks displayed Jackson’s growth as an artist and hinted at the immense talent that would soon establish him as the King of Pop.

The album’s success extended beyond US borders, with notable chart positions in countries like Canada, Australia, and France. It peaked at number 12 in Canada and reached the top 200 positions in Australia and France, demonstrating Jackson’s growing global appeal.

Recording sessions for ‘Ben’ took place between November 1971 and February 1972, just before Jackson’s voice began to change, making this album a poignant snapshot of his early years. Produced by a team of talented individuals, including the legendary Berry Gordy, ‘Ben’ featured songwriters like Thom Bell, Linda Creed, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder, among others.

While some critics offered mixed reviews of the album, noting the absence of Motown’s hitmaking machine known as “The Corporation,” others praised the standout tracks and Jackson’s passionate vocal delivery. Songs like “My Girl,” “In Our Small Way,” and “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day” showcased the range of Jackson’s voice and hinted at the greatness that would later come.

‘Ben’ not only marked the beginning of Michael Jackson’s solo journey but also laid the foundation for the astounding success that awaited him in the years to come. The album’s commercial performance in the United States, where it peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200, proved that Jackson had the talent and appeal to shine as a solo artist. It became the first of six studio albums to reach the top 10 on that chart.

In the UK, ‘Ben’ entered the album chart at number 17, maintaining its presence in the top 50 for seven consecutive weeks. The album’s certified silver status in the UK further solidified its impact and widespread appeal.

With ‘Ben,’ Michael Jackson had not only achieved commercial success but also began to carve his own artistic path. The album showcased a young talent on the cusp of greatness, leaving audiences eager for more. As Jackson’s career soared to unparalleled heights, ‘Ben’ remained a cherished part of his legacy, a timeless reminder of the musical brilliance that defines the King of Pop.

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