I have to admit that growing up a child of the 80's, Michael Jackson was probably my favorite musician. Heck, even today as I mostly listen to rock and alternative music, there's still a part of me that smiles fondly when listening to Jacko's music. I always found what happened late in his career to be tragic, and until proven otherwise, I decided to keep focusing on his music.
So, today, I'd like to revisit a few of my favorite Michael Jackson songs and videos:
- Thriller was the cherry on top of the King of Pop's video collection. It really epitomizes the “it's not just a video, but a mini-movie” that he often took with his videos. I can remember all the fuss about the debut of this video and the primetime attention it got back way back at a time when it was really unprecidented.
- Smooth Criminal, from the admittedly awful Moonwalker movie (I once got to watch while having my braces worked on), is a song that has always stuck with me. Just a great, catchy tune and intriguing video. Still not sure how it really fit into the movie, but who cares now?
- Leave Me Alone was one of the first Jackson songs I can remember that really started to encapsulate Michael's feelings about growing up in the limelight. Plus, the crazy Peter Gabriel type video is pretty cool, and surprisingly and subtly meaningful.
- Scream from the latter part of Michael's career is actually one of the hilights for me. Not only was the video dripping in style and effects, but the song is extremely raw for the pop star. In fact, much of the “new” HIStory album (Disc 2) was like this, but much less subtle!
- The Way You Make Me Feel is simply a great song with a great video. While there's nothing really amazing about the video in terms of guest stars or special effects, it simply demonstrates, much like Beat It, the way Michael was able to capture the camera.
- Lastly, one of my favorite songs, Man In The Mirror. I'm not sure there could be a much better musical message than to encourage people to take a long look at themselves…. It really does speak to the “make the world a better place for the children” message he was always delivering.
I could go on and on, because there is hit after hit to pick from, but I think I'll stop there. Farewell to one of the true influential giants of the music industry. Many have already tried to imitate his work, and many more are sure to come, but there's only one King of Pop. At least, there was…