Monday, March 31, 2008

Biggest-Selling Single of All Time

After Band-Aid, another mega-group USA For Africa would release it's American counter-part We Are The World co-written by Michael Jackson


Harry Belafonte had a startling idea One night. The concept sprung into coordinating an all-black sing along chorus. Loving the idea, his manager suggested an American counterpart to Britain's USA For Africa-"Band-Aid"(Do They Know It's Christmas). A fund raising single on the same theme.

Problem was, no song had been thought up. Not until contacting Legendary Producer Quincy Jones. Who's known and worked with Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Both were talented song writers in their own rights. Michael brought up the first stanzas and the chorus. Richie filled in the gaps. What materialized will always be "something Beautiful".

Ken Kragen decided to make this an inter-racial event. Inviting 55 artists to support America's version of "USA For Africa". Including The Jackson brothers(excluding Jermaine) and Latoya. But only 38 showed up.

Some were bed-ridden. Others busy on their own projects. Prince feared the presence of so many rivals. "The Purple One" only contributed a guitar solo. Plus arriving just in time for the 1986 Grammy Awards.

"The Gloved One" skipped the American Music Awards earlier that day. Creating a solo piece as a foundation for their work.

When the limo's arrived, egos were checked at the door. A sense of goodwill filled the air. All proceeds would go to Ethiopia. Where two years of famine struck that nation hard. Leaving many to die of starvation.

Yet not all of it was touchy feely. Waylan Jennings in particular argued against including an African chant. A discourse would soon brake out. Compelling Waylan to walk out the door. And as soon as he left the building, the dust settled. "Sha-lim sha-lingay"("One World our children") remained sketched in stone.

Today, "We Are The World" is among the best-selling trio of singles. Tied with "Do They Know It's Christmas" and Alton John's "Candle In The Wind".

Now let's watch the music video!



To see the making Click Here.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Michael Jackson's Pepsi Commercials-Thriller Era

In 1984, Michael got it together with his brothers to do a Pepsi shoot. As was typical for a man of his repertoire, there was no consensus concerning what Thriller Outtake to premier. Until it dawned upon the dream team to give "Billie Jean" a whole new makeover.

Mini Jackson Pepsi Shot


Starring a kid named Alfonso. Gulping down a Pepsi. Supposedly arousing the mood to street dance. Like most boys attempted to do in the 80's, he does the Michael Jackson Moonwalk-Gliding smoothly across the pavement. Until he bumps into the real thing!

Michael smiles. Inviting him and the rest of the gang to dance the dance of a lifetime. Moving inline with The Gloved One and his brothers. Together they become one with the dance as Michael sings..."Your a whole new generation cause you feel the Pepsi way. Gotta grab a little magic while your on the run". and "Pepsi: the choice of a new generation".

To conclude the moment, Mr.Jackson waves good-bye to his new-found friends while sporting his signature Billie Jean jacket.

That same kid later joined the cast of the "Fresh Prince Of Bel Air"(coincidentally by Legendary Producer Quincy Jones)!



Live Pepsi Commercial


Pepsi commercial take 2-This time live! Now everybody's drinking Pepsicola. At least from the masses.

In the dressing room. Moving to the groove, gracing each step down the hall. Michael is ready to thrill millions while keeping instep with the Pepsi groove!



Michael Jackson's Accident


But the second shot almost cost him his life. If you remember, he suffered second degree burns on his head. Barbecuing most of Michael's hair off. As a result, he wore wig extensions until a new set grew in full bloom.

All because of a malfunction on stage. The sparks apparently found a nest within the pop stars head. Everyone swore it was part of the act. When he spun a double tornado. Screeching his signature high-pitched aww!!! But in reality, Mr. Jackson was in excruciating pain! Watch the documentary Here.

MTV kindly offered an hour long of airtime with his commercials. Right before the now famous 8 Grammy's In One Night stunt. What can this teach you? Failure has a way of deceiving you. Never give up on your dreams.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Michael Jackson Unauthorized Interview

In 1983, right after the sensation Thriller brought. Michael participated in a very rare interview. Sharing where he gets his inspiration to write music. Revealing what life means to this 25 year old.

He gave us the honor of inviting Latoya to sit down and share her feelings on working with Paul McCartney on the promo shoot for his single Say Say Say. Connected to his "Pipes of Peace album. She emphatically exclaimed, "It was like magic"! Just being in the same room with one of the Beatles was a dream come true."

I don't want to spoil the whole show for you. So here's the rest.



In case your wondering, here is Part 3 and Part 3.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin'(Duet With Michael Jackson)

Two years after the release of Thriller, Michael Jackson's elder brother Jermaine invited him over to record a duet together. What came forth was a catchy little tune from the early 80's. "Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin'-Alternately named "Too Good To Be True". Reaching #1 on the American Dance Charts.

Anything with Michael's voice inserted within literally became a success overnight. Of course, Jermaine didn't use him solely for profit. After all, what are brothers for?



Song lyrics | Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin' lyrics

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Victory Tour

 Two days right after Independence Day, of '84. The boys were ready to strike the U.S. and Canada with a 55-gig tour! For the first time, all 6 brothers could be scene on the same stage! Something fans Both old and new just had to watch. From the Arrowhead Arena to the Dodger Stadium, they were rollin' across the continent from July 6th till December 9th-Just 16 days before Christmas.

 Yet not all was happy-go-lucky. Many fans were disappointed(even disowning Michael) over the rigid complications of getting a ticket(fans had to buy a four-pack bundle and pay only by postage). Michael Jackson was against this whole ordeal. Only to get outvoted 6 to 1 by his father and brothers. A girl even sent a letter(from the Lone Star State) accusing him of avarice. That's when everyone started listening to Jackson. But not before the orders came in by the dozens. A lot of people who feared losing their hard-earned cash eventually got a refund for unused tickets.

 But whatever anger still resided deep within the fans suddenly vaporized as Mr. Jackson gave quite an entrance! All bitter feelings and resentments were put under the bridge(or over it).

 Their final act landed them in Los Angeles, Cal. Michael gave a very touching and persuasive speech. Emphasizing the American dream. Something our forefathers surly died for! He concluded with a startling phrase-"You know. We've come a long way from 2300 Jackson Street". Then he announced what a lot of fans saw coming. His formal resignation From The Jackson's.

 In closing for the evening, all brothers sang a sextet acappella harmony. To commemorate what was thought as their last time together. Everyone enjoyed this bittersweet experience. However, his father was not happy at all.

 Joe Jackson was said to run after Michael enrage in one of his moods as he subtly slipped through the crowd and into the limo. His newest documentary gave a shocking revelation. Quite on the contrary to that of Jermain's "An American Dream".

 Yet not to worry. As Michael himself said, "He's mellowed out through the years. So now, here is the official documentary of "The Victory Tour"!



Next up is "The Michael Jackson Unauthorized Interview. Also check out my post "Outtakes From The Jacksons Era.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Michael Jackson Victory

Michael Jackson's last album with the Jacksons-Victory

 In 1984, Michael reluctantly joined his brothers for one more album-"Victory"...Doing a corresponding tour that year. Further spreading Thriller's prestige legacy.

 For reasons unbeknown The Jacksons had a real hard time working together. Especially with their father leaning over their shoulder. So as a result, many tracks never got to see the light of day. The ones that did wound up becoming solos from each brother.

Victory Album Review


 If it wasn't for Michael Jackson's now super status, I don't know if "Victory would've had a chance. As it appears now, only two cuts jump out as extraordinary!

 The chemistry between Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson arrests you in a Hard Rock trance! As was the thing in the 80's, the song spits out a lot of spoofs from the 60's.

 "Torture" has more of a New Wave beat. Both Michael and Jermaine share the mic on this plastic release. Rest of the record lacks the jelly and originality.

 Tracks like "Be Not Always" and "The Hurt" are edible but fall short of Triumph's zeal!

Outtakes


1. "There Must Be More to Life Than This"(w/Freddie Mercury)
2. "Doing Dirty"
3. "Far Far Away"
4. "Power"
5. "Bad Company"
6. "Pyramid Girl"(Early version of Liberian Girl by Michael Jackson. The song was later considered for Michael Jackson's album "BAD" but was reworked, rewritten and released as "Liberian Girl.)
7. "Nona"
8. "Born to Love"
9. "Still in Love with You"
10. "Tender"
11. "Buffalo Bill"
12. "State of Shock"(w/Freddie Mercury)
13. "Victory"(various versions, a Jacksons solo cut, a version with Freddie Mercury and a version with the whole Queen band)

 Michael however only contributed to four songs. leading on only two. And to those tracks I now direct your attention.

State Of Shock


 In 1984, both leaders from The Jacksons band and The Rolling Stones got together and released a famous duet which left both fan bases in a state of shock! Drawing more attention to Michael Jackson while giving his fans an appreciation for Mick Jagger. To feel the chemistry collide, Click Here!

Be Not Always


 A very emotionally-driven slow Balled on what some call Jackson's worst composition yet(since Thriller). Yet I find it quite moving and thought he did a good job. You can listen to it Here.

The Hurt


 Although Randy takes the lead, Michael is also found dueting a few times on this track. To hear it for yourself, Click Here

Torture


 Jermaine and Michael duet on this 80's New Wave track. Originally Jackie was meant to do the honors. But for personal reasons, Jermaine filled his spot. To hear it for yourself, Click Here.

--------------

Stay tuned for more interviews of Michael Jackson's Thriller Era and some Victory Tour Concert Footage!

Be Not Always

A fairly sad song and even emotional at times. Some believe Michael did not want this track on the final listings of the Victory AlbumYet regardless, I find this quite touching and personal. Listen below...



- Jackson 5 Lyrics

State Of Shock

Victories most grossing single State Of Shock

The most famous single to come off the racks of "Victory", "State of Shock" reached #3 on the Billboards earning a prestigious gold certification. Freddie Mercury are initially the one to duet with Michael Jackson. Yet Mick Jagger(from The Rolling Stones) was believed to be more suitable.

The Single

  • State of Shock

  • Be Not Always



Here's the extended version for all of you to enjoy...



State Of Shock

Thriller Outtakes

 Just like with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles Michael Jackson is known to have a vault full of unreleased tracks within his repository. Possibly over 100 recordings per album! But today, I'm just going to reveal about a dozen(or so) outtakes from Mr. Jackson's Thriller Album. I hope you enjoy!

Carousel


 Written by Mr. & Mrs. Berman. With Rod Temperton. Carousel was supposed to be the next thing you'd hear after Jackson faded in the background with Billie Jean. But was rejected on account of not fitting in with the albums goal. You can listen to it right here!

Someone in the Dark


 Co-written by Oscar-nominated musician Michael Sombello and Freeman. This is taken from the E.T. Storybook. Similar to "Carousel's" plight, "Someone In The Dark" didn't quite catch the essence of where "Thriller" was going. The song itself was great!

 It's heart-wrenching Ballad soothing tapestry all the more makes me wonder why Spielberg never included the track on his E.T. Soundtrack album. An initial single release was planned but was eventually shelved. Yet a few promo singles can still be found floating around on Ebay.

Niteline


 Written by Glen Ballard and co-produced by Michael Jackson for his fifth solo studio album but was rejected due to album constraints at the time.

 Despite his song not being included, Glen would not give up trying. His efforts eventually got him on The Bad and Dangerous album sessions. "Man In The Mirror" would be his most rewarding work yet. Becoming another MJ signature song.

Trouble


 Written by Terry Britten, Bill Livsey and Sue Shifrin for the album but could not be squeezed in the 9 track limit.

 Originally coined "She's Trouble", it eventually wound up on an album by Youth of Today. Yet an unleaked Bootleg edition does exist.

Got the Hots


 Written and co-produced by Michael Jackson. Only available on the Japanese Edition of Thriller 25(Don't cry, they didn't get "For All Time" like the rest of us did.

Hot Street


 Let me guess, this was down-played in favor of Thriller? But regardless, "Got The Hots" is another on of "Thriller's" hidden treasures.

 Quincy and Temperton didn't feel it strong enough to make a listing upon the album. But Michael was in love with this Temperton-penned classic. As a matter of fact, Jackson wished more tracks would've made the final cut.

Love Never Felt So Good


 Written by Paul Anka, Kathy Wakefield, and Michael Jackson for "Thriller" but was dropped at the last minute. Eventually it wound up on Johnny Matis's 1984 album "A Special Part Of Me".

For All Time


A great Romantic Balled. Up to par with "Human Nature" in my opinion! As a matter of fact "Human Nature", "Carousel", and "For All Time" battled for #7.

 Written by Steve Porcaro(Todo) & Michael Sherwood and was revised by Michael Jackson in 1990 and 2007.

Groove of Midnight


 Originally penned by Rod Temperton but Never finalized recording in the studios. Instead it was given to Siedah Garrett for her 1988 album "Kiss" which you could listen listen to as a snippet over Here. Here's a sneak-peak at a rehearsal...



Other Outtakes



  • Much Too Soon-An early demo to "Gone Too Soon". May have not been finalized until that point(The Dangerous Era).

  • The Toy-Written by Emjay for a movie by the same name. Never made either of the cuts.

  • Starlight-A session tape by Rod Temperton which eventually evolved into what we now know as Thriller.

  • Attitude

  • Who Do You Know

  • Rolling The Dice-Another number by Rod Temperton which never saw the light of day.

  • Stand-Another lost "Thriller" archive. Not related to The Jackson Five's cover of "Sly and The Family Stone hit "Stand".



 The lost track of which I just showed you is but childsplay compared to what he has stored in his archives. We will never hear them unless Mr. Jackson releases or at least leaks them. But I'm sure he'll come out with a complete outtake compilation before he dies. Or better yet "Michael Jackson The Complete Demos, Outtakes, and Collaborations.

The Hurt

A Funky up-beat track from the album "Victory" with Michael and Randy Jackson sharing the lead. The song was written by Michael Jackson in conjunction with the band Toto.

Both Michael and Randy are the only known brothers out of the Jacksons with the ability to sing Falsetto. Listen to it below...



- Jackson 5 Lyrics

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lady In My Life

Today we come to Thriller's resolution. A soothing Soulful Ballad about when a man loves a woman. Written by Temperton. But given free rein by Michael's ingenious vocal chords.

For years, it was my least favorite track. But after listening to it closely one night while in bed. I was mesmerized! It just grew on me! Seems all his songs do that to you one way or another(wink).

"Someone in the Dark" could of taken it's spot. Yet according to Rod Temperton, "The album wasn't quite heading in that particular direction". So "Lady in my Life" it was. Come to think of it. This does give the finishing touches on the greatest album of all-time! Listen below...



Next: Thriller Album Outtakes!

Monday, March 24, 2008

P.Y.T.(Pretty Young Thing)

The cover to Michael Jackson's 1983 single PYT


It's time to hit the dance floor once more and groove with the PYT's(at least the ones in the song anyway). Within the high-strung keys and uptempo percussion, Jackson proves he has a way with women not like other guys(wink). After this hit R7B would never be the same again!

Co-written by Greg Phillingenes(famous Keyboard Secessionist) and Michael himself. reaching top ten on the U.S. Billboards 100(becoming the sixth one to do so off the Thriller Album).

There is a slower demo which Quincy loved. But wanted something more peppy and uptempo. So it was back into the session room. After much dissecting and rearranging, James Ingram, Quincy Jones, and Michael Jackson finally gave it a shot of Soulful endorphins and R&B adrenaline. Janet and Latoya along with two other girls became the renown PYTs.

The early version never saw the light of day. Until 2004 when it was included on the setlist of The Michael Jackson Ultimate Collection Box Set. Containing never before released outtakes! To hear it for yourself, Click Here

Later, Will.I.Am would use an early demo of "Pretty Young Thing" as a remix for The 25th Anniversary of Thriller. You can listen and read up on my review over Here.

UK Single

1.P.Y.T.(Pretty Young Thing)

Just like his other hits, P.Y.T. has been sampled numerous times. We can't forget his visit to the White House when President Ronald Reagen said "Let's give some T.L.C. to the P.Y.T.'s. That may be a little Off The Wall but you know what I mean."(T.L.C. stands for "Tender loving care"). To watch the event, GO Here

Pretty Young Thing(Album Version)


Next: Lady In My Life!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Human Nature

Michael Jackson's 5th top 10 single Human Nature

Right after getting blamed by Billie Jean(a symbol of promiscuous women), we are entranced by a calmer balled mingled with Mr. Jackson's soft and cozy yearnings and quivers. With a sense of longing within his vocals to get and away from it all(perhaps that would explain the disguises).

"Human Nature" is written by Steve Porcaro, a member of a 70's Rock group Todo. And John Bettis, once a member of Spectrum(another band from the 70's).

Human Nature Single


At this point, both Michael and Quincy were mind-boggled on what goes on number 7. Don't get me wrong. All of Jackson's recordings were superb. Which is exactly my point! So Quincy narrowed it down to numbers submitted by Steve Porcaro. Now they were down to two potential tracks(in addition to "Carousel" and "For All Time"). Neither of which was going in the right direction. But it wasn't until the third snippet Steve forgot to leave out.

A rough sketch of "Why...Why....Da Da dadadadada" would turn the tables! Hysterically, Mr Jones picked up the receiver and called Mr Porcaro! In shock, he claimed the song was not meant to be released. But was a random sound by John Bettis. While recording, he forgot to erase that part.

Immediately, John was summoned on the spot with Steve Porcaro. To finish the song lyrically and perform an instrumental. While Jackson provided his catchy vocals. Thus, "Human Nature" was born!

U.S. Single

  • Human Nature(7")

  • Baby Be Mine



Alternate Single

  • Album Version

  • 7" Version



Human Nature-The Short Film & Song




Jackson says the lyrics had little to do with his personal life. John Bettis was said to base it partly on an incident. Where her daughter came home crying her eyes out from school(from getting teased at school).

Everytime I hear this song, I think of Michael wondering down those dark alleys at night. Regretting the times he'd missed an opportunity. To meet that girl. Whom he had a crush on. Who's now(more then likely) moved on with her life!

To watch Moonwalker's sketch of Human Nature, Click Here.

Next: P.Y.T.!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Billie Jean

Michael Jackson's second single off of thriller-Billie Jean

 Whatever doubts may have crossed our minds on Thriller's Debut quickly vaporized when the official album was launched! Just one month later, "Billie Jean" rang in the new year on a roll!

 "Billie Jean" was very close to not making it to the final selection. It has been said Quincy wasn't moved by the demo(which you can listen to Right Here). But just a little mixing by Bruce Sweden would force him to think twice. Both Michael and Bruce drafted 91 takes on the track. Of which #2 was favored due to it's strong beat and high Funk flavor. Mr. Jackson's Home Demo was believed to be the very first mix. As of today, there are 88 unleaked demos lucked-up into Jackson's repository.

The Single

 With a distinctly furnished drumline and deeply Funked baseline, it's no wonder "Billy Jean" has hung onto those charts for 9 months! If it wasn't those infectious vocals, repetitive bassline, nor that snarly hi-hated drumbeat, then you'll have to agree on one thing. On how He graced that floor 25 years ago. Even going as far as doing The Moonwalk! Which helped pull a stunt only Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles had accomplished in Pop history! Smashing the charts on both sides of the Atlantic simultaneously!

Billie Jean Single
Official Versions

Motown 25

 After a spectacular reunion with the Jackson 5, an inaugural ceremony of a rising superstar was about to take shape. A 24 year old(once dubbed Little Michael) would glide across that stage in dazzling attire. The world would never be the same again. Not a reporter was found who did not refer to him as a legend thereafter!

 Was it that dazzling jacket, or those short trousers? Could it have been his black loafers and glowing white socks? How about that sparkling sequin glove and sexy fedora?(which all by the way became the most memorial icons in music history) But I think it was those stunning moves in conjunction with his infectious vocals that had done the trick!

 Did you know that white glove was an after-thought? Around this time, a few little white blotches were showing up on his left hand. Anything he did became the next thing in boys fashion! It's just too bad he didn't wear a head-band.

 To learn more about Vitiligo, Click Here To get a taste of what it was like that one fateful night, Click Here!

The Meaning of Billie Jean

 Growing up with the Jackson 5, Michael gain first-hand experience on how groupies make their living. He is quoted as saying, "There never was a real Billie Jean. The girl in the song is a composite of people my brothers have been plagued with over the years. I could never understand how these girls could say they were carrying someone's child when it wasn't true."

 However, Terroborelli(spelling) told a more darker side to the tale. While living in the Enrico mansion around 1980, a letter arrived in the mail complete with a loaded gun smothered in perfume. The note addressed him to commit suicide at the same time she did so they could live happily ever after in the after-life. Mr. Jackson(of coarse) was petrified!

 As if things couldn't get much worse, the girl spent the night around the pool area hoping to get a piece of Mr. Jackson. Then latter accuses him of fathering one of her twin sons. From listening to Thriller's exposition one can safely infer she was a teenage groupie who's made bad decisions in the past and intends to lay the burden on Michael.

 Years later, he would write down those lyrics to get his frustrations out. One day while riding along the freeway, Mr. Jackson was deep in thought. Suddenly a deep distinct beat got stuck in his head. He would later pull the pieces together with Bruce Sweden in the studios. With a little additional help from Mr. Q, Michael Jackson gave birth to Billie Jean.

The Short Film

 A photographer is on pursuit to get his Holy Grail. Michael(illuminating each suburban tile with his presence) outsmarts him by hiding in a vacant apartment(supposedly Billie Jean's). The next-door neighbor phones the police. But Jackson's nowhere to be found. Instead the COPS arrest the stalkerazzi. While Michael illuminates the sidewalk in reverse. Invisible to the naked eye.

 I think that homeless guy, Who transforms into a first-class rich man. Was a hyperbolic Illustration on how Thriller brought Mr. Jackson from an ordinary Bubble Gum pop icon unto a super star sensation! A status few have enjoyed.

 One of those two girls on the billboard was thought to be that girl(mentioned earlier by Terroborelli). The following scene gives a snapshot of her eyes. Recently, she invaded his Neverland Ranch still demanding her demented rights as his elusive wife. Of course, she was arrested for breaking & entering.
Now lets watch and see for ourselves...



Lyrics | Billie Jean lyrics

 listen to Kayne West's own twist over at my other post Billie Jean 2008! The intro was fascinating. The rest was alright. But the "yeah ua Billy Jean number one" should of been left out. And Michael's signature beat should have never been eliminated. As Mr. Jackson would say, "That was the jelly"(emphases added)!

Next: Human Nature!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Beat It

The cover to Michael Jacksons single blockbuster Beat It

 Thriller knocked us off our socks. "Beat It" gives a whole new vibe to Michael Jackson music! For the first time, R&B and Rock are fused together as one! All thanks in part by Eddie Van Helen's slick and pompous guitar solo.

 Thoroughly impressed by his performance of "Eruption", Executive Producer Quincy Jones quickly called for Eddie to audition a similar piece. At first he thought it were a joke but was assured Mr. Quincy was serious.

 Very much like what John Landis went through with his contemporaries, many thought Eddie Van Helen was madly insane to support some black artist. Yet he eagerly struck the iron while it was hot. "I was a complete fool, according to the rest of the band(Van Helen), our manager and everyone else. I was not used. I knew what I was doing - I don't do something unless I want to do it."

 Indeed, it paid off well. Not so much the dough as his reputation(Eddie volunteered to do the solo). "Beat It" would have never climbed so high if it weren't for him.

 What's More? While Quincy and Michael were recording, Ed accidentally knocked on the door. But that sound hit the nail right on the spot. just when his Heavy Medal ode took off! I guess you could call this a victim of circumstance. Eddie had no idea he'd just inserted the missing link.

 Quincy suggested that Michael add in a black version of what "My Sharona" did around 1979. Michael Jackson whole-heartedly concurred and only added his 2 cents. "I want to write a song, the type that I would buy if I were to buy a rock song...That is how I will approach it. I want the kids to really enjoy it—The school kids as well as the college kids". Thus, an edgy dance-infusing street fix was the result! An upbeat toughness which Jackson held onto for many years down the road.

 Even Marti from "Back To The Future" would sport a red vest and a pair of white tennis shoes parodying The King of Pop! Weird Al was not far behind on his spoof "Just Eat It".

Beat It Single

 The single topped all charts worldwide(except Australia #2)! Folks from both the R&B and Hard Rock genre became new fans of this emerging super pop star! Two Grammys were achieved with this single!

 Together with "Billie Jean", "Beat It" would hit #5 on the charts. Something only a few have accomplished in their careers. "Beat It" also became the best-selling single of all time(since beaten by "Do They Know It's Christmas, "We Are The World, and finally "Candle In The Wind"). Frank Delio(then president of Columbia Records) convinced Michael to release "Beat It" and not to worry about it eaten away from "Billie Jean's" market share. His words of wisdom landed him as manager of Michael Jackson himself!

U.S. Single
  • "Beat It"
  • "Burn this Disco Out"
U.K. 7" Single
  • "Beat It"(7 Inches)
  • "Burn this Disco Out"
U.K. 12" single
  • "Beat It"(12" Version)
  • "Get on the Floor"
  • "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"(edit)
Beat It Remixes

Beat It The Short Film

 As if teaching a few zombies a few steps weren't enough to thrill you, This Smooth Criminal glides his way down the most wanted alley and shows a bunch of thugs a thing or two about conflict resolution. Armed only with a red vest and a few eye-popping steps, He get's the two rival pacts to dance the dance of a lifetime. Thereby, forgetting all their problems.

 Jackson who's been sheltered all his life, craves real friendship and cringes at the sight of violence. This was partly why Michael wanted this film. As you can see from The Making of Beat It.

 Written and directed by Bob Giraldi(who would also direct Paul McCartney's music video "Say Say Say" featuring Michael Jackson). By the way, those men who starred on this film were once real-life gang members who've since tuned their lives around.

 Michael Peters(the dude in the white jacket with the shades) co-starred and choreographed the film(I've always used to tease a friend of mine who looks exactly like him).


Beat It Lyrics

Lyrics | Beat It lyrics

 Just recently, a 2008 edition was released which you can listen to on a sister post, "Beat It 2008".

Next: Billie Jean!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thriller

Michael Jackson's Cover to Thriller's Single

 Now, for the record climax. The cream-filler of the album. May I give you a ghoulish ear to "Thriller"! Surely telling Disco to change direction or "Beat It". A whole new era of Pop had just arrived in the neighborhood.

 Believe it or not, "Thriller" was not meant to bring zombies boogieing down Hollywood Blvd-Initially. You see, Rod Temperton wrote a song called "Starlight". But Michael wanted more of a creepy overtone and changed a lot of the words to fit his vision. Due to it's merchandising potential, Rob then suggested the title be changed to "Thriller"!

 Every kid in the block was wearing that red vest! Whenever Halloween arrived, this song was sure to be jammin' on all airways and around every ghouling party you could find! Even WCW would play the exposition, as the host would ring in the champs for the evening.

 Obviously none had any idea where Michael Jackson was headed past Off The Wall. Never was it thought we'd be thrilled 25-50 years on down the road. Even the rap refrain was a spur of the moment.

 Rod Temperton was on his way to the studio, commissioned to come up with a few lines on the finale. Within that SUV, he wrote several good lines for the part(Of which, a few where clipped away). Vincent Price(an accomplished Horror Flick Actor), breathed cryptic life into those words. Which can still runs shivers down our spines.

The Single

 The single made fourth place on the U.S. Singles Chart and #10 on the U.K. Currently, "Thriller" and John Lennon's "Imagine" were the only singles to attain instant success on the Billboards(#20) for the U.S. However, this single further took off when the music video with The Making of Documentary arrived on the scene!

U.K. Single
  • "Thriller"(single edit)
  • "The Things I Do for You"(live with The Jackson's)
U.S. Single
Remixes

Thriller-The Short Film

 On a lonely dark alley in Los Angelas California comes a John Landis directed short horror flick. From Union Pacific Avenue came a bunch of "grisly ghouls" in-line with Michael Jackson! Turning Horror into a Funky groove thang. Reviving old-time favorites as the Wolf Man, Dracula, and Frankenstein. Clearly, Mr. Jackson had ignited a frenzy for scariness! Something left burnt-out since the 60's.

 In 1984, John Landis and Michael Jackson did a documentary on "Thriller-The Making Of". Which layered the finishing touches on this most expensive project yet. Making Thriller his most sought-after signature. Right along-side The Moonwalk.



- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Next: Beat It!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Girl is Mine

Michael Jacksons Single The Girl Is Mine

 Right after the sparkling squeaky-clean groove on "Baby Be Mine", we now get treated by a former Beatle in the mix. McCartney and Mike fight over an elusive girl of their dreams. In a silly playfully wonderful balled-"The Girl Is Mine".

 Just one year prier saw them dueting on such tracks as "Say Say Say" and "The Man". All from Mecca's album "Pipes of Peace".

 The inspiration came came subtly through the medium of Saturday morning cartoons. Where Paul and Michael ritually hung out and horse played at each others crib. But the real drive didn't arrive until Jackson was sound asleep. Suddenly, a knack of creativity left him grabbing his tape-recorder in the middle of the night! What emanated from Mr. Jackson's mind, evolved into a number of demos including one right Here. Click Here to listen to a rare studio rehearsal.

The Single

 Reaching #2 on the Billboard top 100 and #1 for the R&B Singles Charts! As a debut of "Thriller", many were a bit disenfranchised and afraid the album wasn't heading in the right direction. Boy were those fears squashed by the arrival of single #2-Billie Jean. Furthermore, a few were even suggesting Michael was trying to be white(which is absolutely ridiculous). As I said earlier, "Can't Get Outta The Rain" was an outtake from "Off the Wall" which wound up on the single as a B-side.
  1. The Girl Is Mine
  2. Can't Get Outta the Rain
 To learn more about Wil.I.Am's interpretation, go visit my post on "The Girl Is Mine 2008". Now let's listen to the official duet featuring Paul McCartney.



- Michael Jackson Lyrics

Next: Thriller!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baby Be Mine

We now come across four steps of smooth jazzy soul.Invigorated by the voice of Michael Jackson.Pouring his all upon the Rod Temperton written piece. After chanting "mama se mama sa-ma-makoosa", we calm it down a little while grooving with our P.Y.T.'s.

"Baby Be Mine' and The Lady In My Life are the only tracks within "Thriller" to not have a single attached to their names.

If you'll listen closely, the intro sounds more like it's been recycled from his second #1 LP off of "Off The Wall", "Rock With You. The similarities are subtle, but you'll notice them after a few consecutive plays.

Anyways enjoy this much overlooked track off of Thriller!


Song lyrics | Baby Be Mine lyrics

Next: The Girl Is Mine! In the meantime, check out the demo to "Baby Be Mine"!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

Michael Jackson's forth single of Thriller Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

 Michael Jackson starts us off on a buoyant exposition on a girl later revealed as none other then Billie Jean. Whom he feels sorry on having to play the whore. At first glance, it seems Jackson has a little compassion. But later rebukes her for having a baby she don't want.

 Coming to the songs conclusion, Mr. Jackson ops to teach us a thing or two about self-worth by chanting "Mama-se mama-sa ma-makossa". A mysterious phrase arising from a Cameroonian tongue(Duala) that's believed to have something to do on dancing with a positive affirmation attached(Makossa="I dance"). Michael borrowed this phrase from Manu Dibango's 1972 hit "Soul Makossa". Believed to be the first wave of Disco.

 Regardless of your feelings on his final bridge, you will already feel the interwoven drum-piece(innovative for it's time) as a step forward from Jackson's lili-white bubblegum image from Off The Wall.

 From Damon Wayans' "Speaking in Tongues" to Rhianna's "Don't Stop the Music". This track has been sampled on numerous occasions.

 Originally composed in 1979 and initially meant for "off the wall", It was never fully recorded until the Thriller Sessions. With just two words(Wanna Be) added to the songs tittle Which you can listen to Here

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' Single

"Wanna Be Startin' Somthin'" is Michael's 4th consecutive single to hit the top 5 worldwide!

U.S. Single
  1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'(7" Edit)"
  2. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"(Instrumental)


U.K. Single
  1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
  2. "Rock with You"(live edit with The Jackson's)


Song lyrics | Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' lyrics

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008(with Akon)

 Now concerning the the remix featuring Akon I felt he ruined it. His pervasive vocals kinda makes you wonder to whom is he really attributing this golden nugget(at least he could've let Mr. Jackson sing his whole piece while Akon adds his own interpretation). But in all fairness, I love the harmonic flow and instrumentation. Which is why he should of Just done backup vocals with Will.I.Am. west, and Fergie and let Giorgio Tuinfort and the dream team handle the rest. That's just my feelings. I wonder how you take it. Go listen to it on my other article at Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008.
  1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008(album version)
  2. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ 2008 With Akon(Radio Edit)
  3. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ 2008 With Akon(Johnny Vicious Radio Mix)
  4. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ 2008 With Akon(Johnny Vicious Club Remix)

Other Versions

As of today, there are thirteen versions floating around. I've gathers a few below.
Next: Baby Be Mine!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Michael Jackson-Serious Effect

Here is a precious outtake from the "Dangerous Sessions". It was going to make disc two for the bonus special edition around 2001. But abruptly canceled. A year later, Michael leaked it online.

Around the turn of the 90's, there was talk going on of LL Cool Jay submitting a few tracks and possibly dueting on a new album(which turned out to be "Dangerous"). Well, it turned out he did a rapping segment upon the songs climax. Which you can listen to below...

Michael Jackson Serious Effect


Serious Effect

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones

They had just wrapped-up the making of "The Wiz". Young Michael(then only 20) approached Legendary Producer Quincy Jones on where to go on creating his first adult solo("Off The Wall"). Quincy gladly offered to direct the project.

Both jointly produced three studio albums together-Namely "Off The Wall", "thriller", and "Bad". Q also co-produced "We Are The World"-A charity single benefiting the noble cause of feeding the hungry during a brutal famine in Ethiopia. So far, only Elton John's "A Candle In The Wind"(Tribute To Princess Diana) single has ever surpassed "We Are The World" in 1997.

Right after the release of "Bad", Michael Jackson and Mr. Jones parted ways. Michael teamed up with New Jack Swing producer Teddy Riley for his next studio album("Dangerous"). While mister Q went on to co-produce "The Fresh Prince of Bel Aire(starring Will Smith). There was a brief moment in 1995 when Mr. Jackson posed for Vibe-Something Quincy was also managing. There have been talks about getting back in the studio together. However, Mr. Jones is too busy right now but open to the idea of re-collaborating.

Below is an interview of Quincy Jones when he last worked on a project with Michael Jackson for the Vibe magazine.

1984 Grammys

On February 28th 1984, the world had already witnessed the glide-defying Moonwalk and the revival of the monster mash. But that night would see even more records shattered. Michael Jackson would go on to win 8 Grammys in one night! A record only met by the likes of Carlos Santana at the turn of the Millennium.

To this day, one one has surpassed the 8-in-one-night target praxis. Could it ever happen? Due to the state of the music industry, I highly doubt it. But you never know.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Michael Jackson-Thriller Era

Michael Jackson releases Thriller on Nov 20th 1982

 After 8 long months of blood, sweat, and tears, it was finally ready for launch. On November 30th, 1982, "Thriller" would hit the shelves. It was said that he repeatedly asked Epic to delay the release because he firmly believed you could not rush a piece of art! Believe it or not, the demos were disastrous according to Quincy. Wherever the album was headed was no good unless a revision took place. Despite Epics demand on a set-timeline, Michael Jackson threw his foot down and kept right on tweaking this gem unto perfection. Until he felt it was ready for the masses. No longer are we talking about a bubble gum star. But a super icon in the making!

 My dad told me the whole story. One night, they announced Michael Jackson was to fill in for somebody. After hearing "Off the Wall", he thought "ai, what the heck".

 The next moment, he took everyone's breath away! Dad along with millions of others world-wide literally dropped out of their seats to take a closer look!

 Nothing like this had ever happened since The Beatles had made their American debut in 1964. The next day, every news station across the world was talking about it! Never had they seen such smooth rhythm on stage.

 That night Michael walked home winning 8 Grammy's in one night! A feat not likely gonna happen again in the near future. Only Carlos Santana managed to tie in the year 2000(only for the most in one year). You can read more about the 1984 Grammy's here.

 The Moonwalk has been done before. Michael only perfected and spotlighted the dance-step for the world to see.

 Whenever that white sparkling glove showed up, the house was packed. Tickets were sold-out in a snap! Just reserving a seat was like going to a congested airport. Even for an awards ceremony!

 All 7 of his singles reached the top 10 for the billboards charts. Contributing to his Gross record earnings of $100,000,000 in less then one year. Seriously, what would you do with all that money?!

 In 1984, he created what would become the greatest music video of all time. "The making of Thriller". Then if that weren't enough, the next year saw him releasing the best-selling single of all time(Which Elton John recently surpassed with "A Candle In The Wind")-"We Are the World"! Making him a humanitarian and eventually one of the most charitable celebrities ever!

 He started having blotches of lighter skin right around 1982. That same year, a doctor diagnosed him with Vitiligo and Lupus(two skin conditions which whiten the skin). He took precautions to even out his skintone. The cinnamon Thriller look is what his first attempt looked like. Some accused Mr. Jackson of trying to be white and thrusting his back against being black. However, most hardly even noticed the subtle changes. To learn more, check out my earlier post on Vitiligo.

 While rehearsing for Beat It, he fell and broke his nose. Landing him in the hospital. Where they gave him his first Rhinoplastic surgery(nose job). What seemed to be the end was only the beginning for young Michael Jackson.

 He had now obtained super stardom. Along with Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and the Beatles! He drove and intermingled MTV unto the spotlight. He was the first African American to be featured on The Rolling Stone. Forever changing how the world viewed black entertainment.

 He set the stage of modern dance for both celebrity and nomad alike...And guess what. Never did he launch a Thriller Tour! Unless you count "Victory" in.

Thriller Album Review


 Words fail me to describe how far Mr. Jackson had gone in surpassing his last solo achievement! With Thriller, walls were broken-down, horror merged with Funk, and Rock married Soul! Ever since The Beatles broke-up in 1970, we thought there were no more surprises-Well, we were wrong!

 "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" starts off on a flamboyant beat and introduces a mystery(later revealed as "Billie Jean"). Then ends on a Debangoid chant. Then Michael's wonderfully crisp voice greets us with "Baby Be Me". Followed by a duet with former Beatle Paul McCartney. "The Girl Is Mine" is a slow-tempo Ballad over a girl of their dreams.

 Now for the big three! The eponymous title track left us all rollin' with the zombies every Halloween. Mingling horror-flicks with boogie. "Beat It" attempts to fuse Hard Rock and R&B. In very much the same way Michael reconciled a bunch of thugs on a round of dance. "Billie Jean" climaxes his paranoia on a groupie desperate to marry The King of Pop!

 "Human Nature" recharges our minds with a slower New Wave soundscaping Ballad. The next track will quickly move you back on your feet! "PYT(Pretty Young Thing)" has an iconicly irresistible aura you can never ignore(Latoya, Rebbie, and Janet all sing back-ups)! The album finishes off on another slow groove-"Lady Of My Life". With plenty of Soul and Smooth R&B to go around.

 "Carousel" might fit in but they made the right call in cutting out "Someone In The Dark". There are many other great outtakes. But since these 9 cuts did their job, there's no sense in adding more album tracks.

 To end our brief review, Thriller will always be an unforgettable classic and remain the best selling album of all time!

#1 Wanna Be Startin' Somethin

#2 Baby Be Mine

#3 The Girl Is Mine

#4 Thriller

#5 Beat It

#6 Billie Jean

#7 Human Nature

#8 P.Y.T.(Pretty-Young-Thing

#9 Lady In My Life

"Someone In The Dark

Other Thriller Outtakes

"The Jackson's" "Victory"

Michael Jackson Interview

Pepsi Shoots

We Are The World

--------------

P.S. Check out Thriller 25 and my other post concerning Quincy Jones.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just Friends

Not to be confused with the The Bad Album track-"Just Good Friends". "Just Friends" is a duet between Carol Bayer Sager featuring Michael Jackson. Which can be found on her 1981 album "Sometimes Late At Night".

The songs about two long-time friends(of the opposite sex) who unsuccessfully manage to take their relationship to the next level. Only to contemplate how much better it was just to leave it at that former level.

Triumph

Right after Michael Jackson's Off The Wall LP comes The Jacksons Triumph album

Also check out...


 Right after the release of "Off the Wall", Michael Jackson is back in the studios with his brothers. This time bringing fourth "Triumph"-Their crowning achievement.

Triumph Album Review


 Triumph blows the lid off The Billboard 200! Never had they had a #1 album since Maybe Tomorrow-And it's no wonder.

 "Can You Feel It" is a powerful ecstatic anthem that transcends time and race! "Walk Right Now" has a similar vibe with an added resounding bite(walk right now). "Lovely One has a regurgitated(though outstanding) sound from "Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough". "This Place Hotel" has a creepy and mysterious tinge.

 The Ballads "Time Waits For No One" and Give It Up" are more positive pick-me-up kind of tunes(especially the former-whew). Every other track is edible and appetizing.

 So to make a long story short, "Triumph" is jam-packed with unforgettable melodies and fantasic tunes you don't have to skip!

Can You Feel It


 Released as a single in September, 1980. This anthemic uptempo feel-good chart-topper brought even more attention to Michael's brilliant talent. As he wrote and composed the whole thing(with Randy)! Still Nobody anticipated what would become of this 22-year-old bubble-gum star.

 Reaching #1 on December 13th for the hot Dance Billboard Charts. A music video was also attached to the single which you can watch over at my other post "Can You Feel It".

Lovely One


 Their Triumphant debut, "Lovely One" achieved a status close to "Shake Your Body Down To The Ground". Though "Can You Feel It" would in no time replace it. This single rose to number 12 for the top 100 and even #2 on the Black Singles Chart. You can definitely hear Jackson's powerful vocals. Especially as he proclaims "You Are My Lovely One!" Go listen for yourself. Go to my post "Lovely One"!

Your Ways


 Jackson is really killing it on this number. You can hear him making hiccups and yearnings that's become a trademark of his down the road! Also of note is the emotion infused into this song. an excellent conclusion to the Disco era. Just before "Funkytown" stomped it all out.

Everybody


 A extreme Funky R&B sound with a little touch of post-Disco thrown in the sides.

This Place Hotel


 Out of shear respect for Elvis Presley. Michael changed the song tittle from "Heartbreak Hotel" to "This Place Hotel". This was Triumph's last single. Right before "Thriller's first single "Billie Jean". The following year. Reaching number 22 on the U.S. Pop Charts and #2 for the R&B singles Chart.

Time Waits For No One


 A balled sung by Michael himself. It keeps on building until the resolution where the hefty chorus is sung on a melodic tune. In all, the tune is a bit too sentimental for my taste.:) Although I love the concluding climax(which rocks)!

Walk Right Now


 This one never made it real big in the states. But did manage to peak at number 7 on the British charts. There a strong rhythms and chants throughout the mix. All about a girl who keeps teasing other guys and betrays her boyfriend. Michael Jackson boldly shouts "Walk Right Now" "I'm Not Playin'!" It's either me only or the road.

Give It Up


 A wonderful collaboration between Michael and Randy. all on believing in yourself and being creative. I love the piano, drum line, and guitar solos which give it a strong edge.

Wondering Who


 For a change, Jackie Jackson has a chance to lead sing on this final number to close "Triumph". Although nothing banging, it's not so bad either. You can actually hear Michael in the background doing those umphs and hee hees.

Outtakes


 "Slipped Away" and "Why Can't I Be" are "Triumph" outtakes which have been held close to MJ's chest and never have been leaked weather to a radio station or across the net. If you do discover them. Just give me a beep and I'll go check it out for your sakes.

 In the meantime, we will slip right on over to The Thriller Era! You don't want to miss it! Also, check out their following album Victory!

Can You Feel It

Can You Feel It-A Their first debut single of Triumph

As a precursor to "Triumph", "The Jacksons" would release their most crowning achievement. "Can You Feel It" was written and produced by Michael Jackson while Jackie helped him with the lyrics. A further taste on what would become of Michael Jackson.

Truly an outstanding work of art! A symphonic anthmic rhythm is evident throughout the composition as a banner is raised in triumph of racial tolerance! A true feeling of ecstasy permeates all racial barriers as mankind celebrates their common ancestry.

Short Film


Produced by Robert Abel and Associates. We first are reminded of how man-kind once enjoyed the fruits of unification without regard to the color of your skin. But of course that all changed as people lost sight of the true beauty of nature-Including mankind's diversity. But now that's all about to change again! As Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther, among many others paved the way triumph. That is unification!

To symbolize this crowning victory, "The Jackson's" transform the Golden Gate Bridge into a rainbow highway. Sealing the East and the West together in perfect harmony! Watch the music video below...



Song lyrics | Can You Feel It lyrics

Michael Jackson's Father Passes Away at 89!

 On June 27th, 2018 Michael Jackson's dad passed on from a bout of cancer. Although he was very rough with his children and yes abused t...