Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson - The End of an Era


As I slowly awoke, the cloudiness of my eye-lids soon revealed the crisp blueness of a cool winter sky through my bedroom windows, and what.... my radio.... Michael Jackson dead?

Michael jackson...... god hell, that just came out of the blue.

Despite his popectual eccentricness and his wacky behaviour, Michael Jackson was a major influence to many of us who grew up and, like me, mucked about during the 1980's.

The first time I heard "Billy Jean", it was a cool morning when I wagged school, "Human Nature", the second day of family holidays in the Netherlands, and the track "Thriller" entered the Australian charts, the day when I poured an entire two litre PET plastic bottle of Pepsi, down that kids back at school, the one that always bullied me.

Thriller came out when I was turning fourteen, so it was the major album of my youth during 1983-1984. Every radio station, television music show and program would have songs and video clips from this album. From the word go in December 1982, Thriller had my personal top 40 charts on fire with the hits (chronilogically) "The girl is mine", "Baby be mine", "Billy Jean", "Beat it", "Gotta get starting something", "Human Nature", "Thriller", and the last hit single "PYT (Pretty Young Thing) in May 1984.

When I started my personal top 40 during March 1979, his first hit was "Shake your body (down to the ground" (September 1979), "Blame it on the boogie", "December 1979", "Don't stop till you get enough", "Rock with you", "Off the wall", and "Girl friend", a track written by Paul McCartney, and "Can you feel it" with the Jackson Five, perhaps one of the first epic video clips I ever saw.

He then had a minor hit during November 1981, "One day in your life", originally recorded in 1976 under the Jackson Five name. Aside from "Thriller" he also released another album in 1984 "Victory" with the Jacksons, which yielded another two hits "State of shock' with Mick Jagger, and "Torture" during early October that year.

His final good album in my opinion was "Bad", released during September 1987. "I just can't stop loving you" (with Siedah Garrett) was a pre-release in July that year, which was followed by the single "Bad", "The way you make me feel", "Man in the mirror", "Smooth Criminal", "Leave me alone", and "Dirty Diana" in May 1989".

One thing of particular interest, was that Michael Jackson and Prince were going to release a song called "Street Walker" during the later part of 1986. Unfortunately Prince pulled out, and the song was never released. The first time I heard it was off his 20th anniversary album of "Bad" back in 2007. With stunningly layered harmony lines, and a synth motiv like no other, it's somewhat unbelievable that it was never released as a single. "Street Walker" would of been the killer hit, that would of made "Bad" just as good, if not better then "Thriller"

But for the record, "Thriller" stands as his best album. I love every track on it, except "The lady in my life".

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