Song of the Day #3,012: ‘Dirty Diana’ – Michael Jackson

michael_jackson_badI never found Michael Jackson’s Bad phase convincing, and I can’t imagine anybody else did either. Just the sight of the slight, pretty Jackson in leather-and-chains garb makes me chuckle.

And I’m pretty sure Jackson never had a run-in with the sort of predatory groupie he describes in ‘Dirty Diana.’ I’m sure women threw themselves at him — he was the biggest star in the world, after all — but I doubt he was even mildly tempted.

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Song of the Day #2,953: ‘Get On the Floor’ – Michael Jackson

off-the-wallMichael Jackson’s Off the Wall just missed my list of 1980 albums, having been released with a few months left in 1979.

I never got to know this album very well, unlike its 1982 follow-up, Thriller. Thriller is an album that, even at 10 years old, I knew by heart. But Off the Wall might be an even better record start to finish.

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Song of the Day #2,569: ‘Billie Jean’ – Michael Jackson

michael_jackson_thrillerMy #2 album of 1982 may well have been the #1, were it not for a classic record by a personal favorite. But Michael Jackson’s Thriller will have to settle for being the world’s all-time top selling album.

All these years later, after Jackson’s many scandals and unseemly death, it’s hard to recall what a fresh and dominating presence he was in the music world. Taylor Swift could only wish for his level of cultural dominance.

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Song of the Day #2,158: ‘Billie Jean (Live at Wembley ’88)’ – Michael Jackson

brett_nichols_billie_jeanHere’s a perfect example of YouTube’s effect on the Billboard charts.

How does a live version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ wind up at #14 on the Hot 100 in 2014? Thanks to a viral video, of course.

High school junior Brett Nichols performed a dance routine to ‘Billie Jean’ in front of a packed gymnasium and footage of the performance spread across the web like wildfire.

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Song of the Day #1,763: ‘Man in the Mirror’ – Michael Jackson

michael_jacksonI’m not a fan of overtly political songs in general, but I’m somewhat willing to give them a pass if they have some nuance. But painfully earnest “make the world a better place” songs — yuck!

Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’ is the epitome of the genre, so much so that it actually contains the lyrics “if you want to make the world a better place.” And it is painful to sit through.

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Song of the Day #1,717: ‘Beat It 2008’ – Michael Jackson w/ Fergie

thriller_michael_jacksonThis is wrong on so many levels.

The 25th anniversary re-release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller features a series of bonus tracks on which Jackson’s original tracks are re-mixed and turned into duets with performers such as will.i.am, Akon, Kanye West and (in today’s SOTD) Fergie.

First of all, I hate the idea of a “duet” with a dead person. I hated it when Natalie Cole sang with old Nat, and I hate it here.

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Song of the Day #591: ‘Rock With You’ – Michael Jackson

I was listening to Off the Wall the other day, and especially digging this song. The album isn’t quite the equal of Thriller but it’s a terrific funk/pop record.

Started wondering what ever happened to Michael Jackson. He just sort of disappeared after Dangerous.

Turns out he died last year. How did I miss that? Must have been drowned out by all the coverage of Farrah Fawcett’s passing.

I salute you, Jacko! You will be missed.

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