Number 580 - Michael Jackson
"Rock With You"
I have been asked by Crowbarred to write a short piece on my friend Michael, Crowbarred said it was 'ok' if i used crayons.
I thought i would tell you the first time i met Michael, I was living at a zoo in LA at the time, just hanging around with my mates talking banana's (as we do). I remember vividly, Michael coming up to our cage, which is funny now, because i remember seeing him behind a cage a few years ago too. George Michael was there that day to, i recall seeing his face from a toilet block window across the compound, he even waved with his good hand.
Anyway, as it happens Michael wanted moi to live at his ranch because i reminded him of a another pet he once owned, called Ben apparently. Michael was always very kind to me & i miss the days when he used to wear the "one" glove around the house dancing saying it belonged to OJ, but unlike OJ, his glove fitted him.
I wish him him well and hope he does well in his new country Turkey, looking after all the homeless kids & i sure hope he still has his one glove for the children's entertainment, the kids will love it i'm sure.
Art by AlexSpooky
Michael Jackson had recorded solo prior to the release of Off the Wall in 1979, but this was his breakthrough, the album that established him as an artist of astonishing talent and a bright star in his own right. This was a visionary album, a record that found a way to break disco wide open into a new world where the beat was undeniable, but not the primary focus -- it was part of a colorful tapestry of lush ballads and strings, smooth soul and pop, soft rock, and alluring funk. Its roots hearken back to the Jacksons' huge mid-'70s hit "Dancing Machine," but this is an enormously fresh record, one that remains vibrant and giddily exciting years after its release.
This is certainly due to Jackson's emergence as a blindingly gifted vocalist, equally skilled with overwrought ballads as "She's Out of My Life" as driving dancefloor shakers as "Working Day and Night" and "Get on the Floor," where his asides are as gripping as his delivery on the verses. It's also due to the brilliant songwriting, an intoxicating blend of strong melodies, rhythmic hooks, and indelible construction. Most of all, its success is due to the sound constructed by Jackson and producer Quincy Jones, a dazzling array of disco beats, funk guitars, clean mainstream pop, and unashamed (and therefore affecting) schmaltz that is utterly thrilling in its utter joy. This is highly professional, highly crafted music, and its details are evident, but the overall effect is nothing but pure pleasure. Jackson and Jones expanded this approach on the blockbuster Thriller, often with equally stunning results, but they never bettered it. ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]
For more Michael Jackson see Number 621
My view on Michaels death [26.06.09] MM Vol 2 #096
What does Rolling Stone think of the gloved one?
Like many an aging child star, Michael Jackson has had to grow up gracefully in public in order to survive. Until now, he's understandably clung to the remnants of his original Peter Pan of Motown image while cautiously considering the role of the young prince. Off the Wall marks Jackson's first decisive step toward a mature show-business personality, and except for some so-so material, it's a complete success.
A slick, sophisticated R&B-pop showcase with a definite disco slant, Off the Wall presents Michael Jackson as the Stevie Wonder of the Eighties. This resemblance is strongest on "I Can't Help It" (cowritten by Wonder), in which Jackson's vocal syncopation is reminiscent of the master's breathless, dreamy stutter.
Throughout, Jackson's feathery-timbred tenor is extraordinarily beautiful. It slides smoothly into a startling falsetto that's used very daringly. The singer's ultradramatic phrasing, which takes huge emotional risks and wins every time, wrings the last drop of pathos from Tom Bahler's tear-jerker, "She's Out of My Life." "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" (written and coproduced by Jackson) is one of a handful of recent disco releases that works both as a dance track and as an aural extravaganza comparable to Earth, Wind and Fire's "Boogie Wonderland." The rest of the dance music touches several grooves, from jazzy South American to mainstream pop funk (RS303)
For Stevie Wonder see Number 657
For Earth Wind & Fire see Number 774
For Prince see Number 812
Labels: Michael Jackson 580