behindthegrooves:

On this day in music history: August 4, 1972 - “Ben”, the second solo album by Michael Jackson is released. Produced by Hal Davis, The Corporation, Byhal Davis, Berry Gordy, Jr., Mel Larson, Jerry Marcellino, Bobby Taylor, it is recorded at Motown Recording Studios in Hollywood, CA from November 1971 - February 1972. While his successful debut album “Got To Be There” still riding the charts, the quickly maturing Michael Jackson (thirteen years old at the time) will record most of his second solo release in the early part of 1972. The album will feature new material written for Jackson (some tracks were originally intended for The Jackson 5 and feature background vocals by the other group members, but are released as MJ solo material instead), paired with a number of cover versions of Motown classics (“My Girl”, “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day”), and recent R&B hits (“People Make The World Go ‘Round”). The title track (the theme to the film of the same name) will hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on Oct. 14th and #5 on the R&B singles chart and is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. The track “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” (not to be confused with the Connie Francis number one pop hit from 1960) is initially planned as the follow up single, but its release is abruptly cancelled by Motown. The album’s original cover featuring rats superimposed on the front will be quickly withdrawn and replaced, turning first press copies into sought after collector’s items. “Ben” will peak at number five on the Billboard Top 200.

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