It's Easy To Forget This, But Michael Jackson Was Also A Musician.

And not one without talent. I put my pirated copy of Thriller into the stereo the other day and was reminded of this. The music never really connected with me. At the time I took it off The Napster I would have said it was barely worth stealing, but I put in the stereo the other day and was reminded that when Michael Jackson was on, if he was hitting on all cylinders and you did not have a desire to start shaking your booty just a little bit, then there was something seriously wrong with your ass.

There are two different ways of explaining Michael Jackson's commercial success. The safe way would be that he borrowed just enough from traditional rock and roll to make his music a comfortable bridge to carry mainstream music fans over to the world of funky soul. The way I prefer to say it is that he tricked white ears into not realizing they were listening to black music. However you phrase it though it was a formula for tapping into a geyser of money. You can look at the results of his life and decide if that was a good thing.

Yes, he was a weirdo. So was Elvis Presley, and Pablo Picasso, and pretty much every other creative soul with any talent. My advice to anyone who aspires to develop a taste for the arts would be to quickly develop the ability to separate the artist from their work. When you do this and put a copy of Thriller into your ears you'll hear....a joyous album. Probably why it never connected with me. I don't do happy music well.

You'll also hear a time capsule into a more naive world. Listen to the lyrics to Wanna be Starting Somethin' and Billie Jean. Who can even remember a time when teen pregnancy carried a stigma? Keep listening and you'll hear this description of what happens when you get on the wrong side of a street gang:

You're Playin' With Your Life, This Ain't No Truth Or Dare
They'll Kick You, Then They Beat You,
Then They'll Tell You It's Fair

Was there ever a time when street gangs were man enough to actually fight you face to face? I dunno, but I like the idea way better than some sort of pussy drive by.

You'll also hear Michael Jackson tell Paul McCartney that he's a lover, not a fighter, and be reminded that a duet with Paul McCartney was at one time considered a career booster....for Michael Jackson. I also couldn't help but think that I really would have liked to have seen a fight between Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney.

And I can't help but to wonder, as the sounds of Thriller drift into my ears probably for the last time voluntarily, if maybe there was a time, back when Michael Jackson was merely a famous person working in the studio on his next album, before that tape was turned in to Epic records and unleashed forces of the type that could break almost any human being, forces that left him begging for a general anesthetic so he could get some sleep at night, when Michael Jackson might have been a happy person.

I hope so. We all deserve to be happy, even if for a little while.


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It's Easy To Forget This, But Michael Jackson Was Also A Musician.
It's Easy To Forget This, But Michael Jackson Was Also A Musician.
Reviewed by malaria
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Rating : 4.5