Tuesday, June 30, 2009

music: Michael Jackson RIP

I'm listening to Off the Wall, which David Gates in Newsweek rightly identifies: "it came out the year he turned 21, and it was his greatest purely musical moment". I remember hearing the title track with Michael Jackson's yelp and crazed giggles, now so fun to parody, and being stunned by the vocal chances he was taking. Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough is effervescent, wonderful disco with a killer opening and a fantastic percussion lead-out, then Rock with You has impeccable singing over sensational bass by Louis Johnson (of the Brothers Johnson), and a confident lush groove.

Quincy Jones deserves so much of the credit for this record and Thriller. Jackson's best songs were written by Rod Temperton (formerly of Heatwave), but his own songs are fine: the aforementioned Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough, Beat It, Billie Jean, etc. Two of the biggest and best pop records ever made are from Michael Jackson, and all the weirdness and tawdry sickness of his personal life (read Maureen Orth's features in Vanity Fair, but you'll want to bathe afterwards) can't take that away.



  • I read Losing His Grip, just one of Maureen Orth's devastating articles in Vanity Fair about MJJ. The non-payments to business associates and to charities, the paedophilia, the legal threats to vulnerable people, the debts, the drugs. It's too depressing to read the other articles. But I want to know what happened since then. Did he turn it around in the last four years or just hide from this harsh exposure?

    By Blogger skierpage, at July 06, 2009 10:33 PM  

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