Published on July 15, 2016
“The Love You Save” is a 1970 number-one hit single recorded by The Jackson 5 for Motown Records. It held the number-one spot on the soul singles chart for six weeks and the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for two weeks, from June 27 to July 4, 1970 (in the UK Top 40 chart, it peaked at number 7 in August 1970). The song is the third of four Jackson 5 number ones released in a row (the others were “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, and “I’ll Be There”). Billboard ranked the record as the No. 16 song of 1970, one slot behind the Jackson 5’s “ABC”.
“The Love You Save” features side vocals of Jermaine Jackson singing alongside Michael in the final “Stop! The love you save may be your own”, beside Marlon and Tito. The song’s lyrics feature Michael and Jermaine warning a “fast” girl to slow down and “stop!”, because “the love you save may be your own!”
The opening exclamation, “Stop!”, and the foot stomps that complement the rhythm during the latter part of the song are allusions to the 1965 number-one Motown single by The Supremes, “Stop! In the Name of Love”. The Jackson 5 essentially replaced The Supremes as Motown’s main focus in the early 1970s, although Diana Ross, who left the group for a solo career not long before the release of this single, was publicized as having discovered the Jackson 5
Others claim that Bobby Taylor, who produced the Jackson 5’s first album at Motown and was lead Singer of Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers, discovered the Jackson 5 and brought them to Berry Gordy’s attention. Taylor had shepherded them through their first couple of hits in L.A., but Gordy (according to Taylor) felt the material was too adult given the age of the performers, and like the remainder of the early Jackson 5 hits, “The Love You Save” was written and produced back in Detroit by The Corporation, a team comprising Motown chief Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell, and Deke Richards, and recorded in Los Angeles, away from the old Motown studio at Hitsville USA in Detroit, Michigan.
“The Love You Save” was the second single from the second Jackson 5 album, ABC, and the Jackson 5’s first two singles immediately succeeded The Beatles’ last two singles.