Thursday, July 16, 2009

Number 383 - Michael Jackson

Number 383

Michael Jackson

"Earth Song"

................Genre: Pop...............
art by sinaspual
The day before Michael Jackson's untimely death, I was preparing information for the "Earth Song" in Def 1000. In a way I am glad i did not finish it in time as no doubt, i would have written some idiotic parody that i usually can't resist just because it's Michael.
But lets be honest, he did ask to be questioned, his lifestyle was dubious, even at best, if not downright bizarre to the point of bordering comedy. In short, just plain tragic, from day one to day end.
I was 12 when Elvis Presley died and although it was significant, it did not register with me as being worldly important, but when John Lennon died, it had a profound affect on me ... It took away my social conscience as a voice on my behalf.
When Michael Jackson died, we lost a voice that was touched by the hand of God ... it is a goddam shame he never realised what he truly was, a singer and a entertainer who touched people by his voice ..... and thats where it should have all gone ... and no more.
[note to next superstar legend of ilk of Presley, Lennon & Jackson: keep your ideals and beliefs and fetishes to yourself or be judged by the sword you swing] ~ crowbarred
Jackson already had a long-standing history of writing charitable or socially conscious material. As an adult Jackson used his fame and wealth to promote various causes. In 1985, he co-wrote the charity single "We Are the World" with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US. The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief. It was also the first time Jackson was seen as a humanitarian. All of the profits from his single "Man in the Mirror" went to charity. Jackson founded the "Heal the World Foundation" in 1992, inspired by his charity single of the same name. Following the illness and death of Ryan White, Jackson helped draw public attention to HIV/AIDS, something that was still controversial at the time. He publicly pleaded with the Clinton Administration at Bill Clinton's Inaugural Gala to give more money to HIV/AIDS charities and research. He would go on to write the song "Gone Too Soon" for White and other victims of the illness.
It's OK ... I got the poles!
"Earth Song" remains Jackson's best selling single in the UK, where it sold more than one million copies. It debuted at number one, where it remained for six weeks throughout December 1995—beating the U2/Brian Eno project Passengers in competition to win the Christmas number one spot—and into the new year. During its stay at number one, "Earth Song" kept the first single released by The Beatles in 25 years, "Free as a Bird", off the number one position. In early December, bookmakers correctly predicted that Jackson would keep The Beatles off the top position and go on to attain the Christmas number-one single.The song also took the number one position in Spain and Switzerland, peaking within the top five in almost every European state. The song was only released to radio in the U.S., appearing on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. In 2006, "Earth Song" reached number 55 on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart, following the Visionary: The Video Singles campaign, whereby 20 of Jackson's hit singles from the 1980s–1990s were reissued in several European countries.
Bye Earth
The music video for "Earth Song," directed by fine art photographer Nick Brandt, was expensive and well-received; it gained a Le Film Fantastique: Best Video Award in 1996 and a Grammy nomination for Best Music Video, Short Form in 1997. The production had an environmental theme, showing images of animal cruelty, deforestation, pollution and war. Jackson and the world's people unite in a spiritual chant—"Earth Song"—which summons a force that heals the world. Using special effects, time is reversed so that life returns, war ends and the forests regrow. The video closes with a request for donations to Jackson's Heal the World Foundation. The clip was shown infrequently in the United States. The video was filmed in four geographic regions. The first location was the Amazon Rainforest, where a large part was destroyed a week after the video's completion. Natives of the region appeared in the video and were not actors. The second scene was a war zone in Croatia, with residents of the area. The third location was Tanzania, which incorporated scenes of illegal poaching and hunting into the video. No animals were harmed in the making of the "Earth Song", as the footage came from documentary archives. However, a poacher killed an elephant within a mile of the shot. The final location was in Warwick, New York, where a safe forest fire was simulated in a corn field. ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
For more Michael Jackson see Number 580, #621
For Elvis Presley see Number 443, #501 & #840
For John Lennon see Number 492 & #639
For Lionel Richie see Number 982
For U2 see Number 661, MM Vol 1 #038, MM Vol 1 #129
For the Beatles Number 489, #587, #894 & #947
What does RS think now? [a-huh]
The night Michael Jackson died: a street corner in Brooklyn, Bedford Avenue at North 5th, 1 a.m., a car with the windows down, blasting "Wanna Be Starting Something." Another car pulls up to the intersection, same song, a minute or so further in. For a moment, interlocking "mama-say mama-sah ma-ma koo-sahs." It was a moment that summed up everything we loved about Michael Jackson, as every car, every bar, every open window seemed to throb with the same beat, as if Jackson had successfully syncopated the whole world to his own breathy, intimate, insistent rhythmic tics. Of the many weird things about Michael Jackson, the weirdest will always be the music. Tragic wages-of-fame stories and celebrity disasters are a dime a dozen, but there has never been anyone who wrote or sang like this man. For a few years, from 1969 to 1973 or so, he was the child-star singer of the Jackson 5, and he already had that voice, soaring over the fast songs ("I Want You Back," "The Love You Save") and piercing in the ballads ("I'll Be There," "Got To Be There"). If he'd never done anything beyond this — if he'd settled into the respectable career groove of a Gladys Knight — he still would have been mourned and remembered today, as these songs have never left the radio. You could make a killer playlist merely out of the hip-hop bangers that sampled the J5 hits, from Naughty By Nature's "OPP" and Kris Kross's "Jump" to Jay-Z's "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" and Ghostface Killah's "All That I Got Is You.
Remember the time?
Last night I couldn't stay home and listen to his records — I needed to be out in a crowd, walking the city streets, hearing the songs blasting out loud. I felt like the kid Michael sang about in "Human Nature" ("Four walls won't hold me tonight?") There was an old man in a tank top sitting alone under a tree in McCarren Park, talking out loud to himself: "It was the drugs, Michael. It was the drugs." I heard the same songs cranking every place I walked past, as I knew they would be, and ended up at a table full of friends at a bar on Grand Street. The crowd was demanding Michael, so the bartender commandeered an iPod from a sad-looking indie kid in a green shirt who was drinking alone at the end of the bar. "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" was first (maybe the fifth time I'd heard it that night), then "Wanna Be Starting Something, then "Billie Jean." But I beat it before "Human Nature" came on — the lonely ache in that song was more than I could face right then, and I was dreaming of the street. ~ [Source: Rolling Stone 2009]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '383rd Song of all Time' was "Whipping Post" by Allman Brothers. Allman Brothers have appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ #992
Other songs with reference to Michael Jackson #393, #395, #428, #458, #468, #519, #532, #583, #617, #769, #989
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (We only chose 2 songs!!!) and the Album ranked at (We didn't know he was going to die!) [oh dear, & yet you love him again? ~ cb]
This song has a Definitive 1000 rating of 79.4 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z



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