First Hit #1: June 27, 1970
As can be expected, when a group is massive not all of their number one hits are necessarily great. The Love You Save isn’t in heavy rotation on oldies stations like ABC or I Want You Back, and there’s a good reason for that – it’s not as good as either of those songs. The lyrics don’t really that make much sense, and while it brings the funk and driving energy of a great Jackson 5 song, it doesn’t quite gel into something as memorable and distinct as most of their best tracks. It sounds less like a hit, more like a product from a session that didn’t quite hit as intended. A great B-side or album track, but hardly something that can carry a band to the top of the charts. Unless, of course, that band is massive and is in the middle of a string of hits, like the Jackson 5 was.
I sound like I’m being hard on it, and I’m probably being a bit too cruel. It has all the elements that make the group great, and it certainly isn’t bad in any sense of the term, it’s merely not as good as most songs by the group. They do their best with it, and it’s to their credit that the song is as listenable as it is. It’s just not that good, and as a result, no matter what the group does, it’ll never live up to their biggest hits. Considering the quality of their biggest hits, they’re allowed to have a relatively weak track every so often.