Michael Jackson: A Life?

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  • Russell Brown,

    Swells on Wayne Rooney:

    That is awesome. I now feel like I've robbed myself by not keeping up with his work for the past decade and a half.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    My favourite MJ anecdote is the apocryphal one that surfaced in popbitch a few years ago, about Quincy Jones' freakout during the recording of Billie Jean.

    Classic. But seriously, Jackson might have had a better life if there were fewer users and enablers in his life, and more people willing to treat him like an adult rather than an infantilized meal ticket.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • JP Hansen,

    I wonder if Sony will get full ownership of Sony/ATV now, due to loans given to Jackson over the years secured against his 1/2 of the publishing company?

    That company's about to make a LOT of money from The Beatles Rock Band game in the coming months.

    (Game's astounding opening cinematic)

    If the style seems reminiscent of the Gorillaz’s videos, it should come as no surprise that director Candeland served as an animator for the Damon Albarn-fronted cartoon band, collaborating with Gorillaz artist Jamie Hewlett to create the videos for “Clint Eastwood,” “Rock the House” and “Feel Good Inc.”

    And here's the trailer with gameplay footage. I've never been interested in buying a Rhythm Music game before, but this looks so beautifully and lovingly put together, I doubt I'll be able to resist when it's released Sept 9.

    Sorry for the slight tangent...

    Waitakere • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I wonder if Sony will get full ownership of Sony/ATV now, due to loans given to Jackson over the years secured against his 1/2 of the publishing company?

    That company's about to make a LOT of money from The Beatles Rock Band game in the coming months.

    Holy crap. That would be an astonishing windfall for them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • JP Hansen,

    And the lawyers (on both sides)...

    Waitakere • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hype Machine goes Jacko crazy.

    Love that Daft Punk mash-up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Absolutely sensational Holy Ghost re-edit of Jacko's 'Get On the Floor'.

    Here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Fox News' MJ coverage is predictably the most cringe-worthy ...

    I haven't been watching TV throughout the day, but what was wrong with that?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3212 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    All his dreadfully unnecessary surgical alteration seems even more awful when you see how beautiful his brother is.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    And how beautiful he was, Mrs Skin, as child and teenager...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Imagine all but a few years of your life in the limelight. I believe his music was a brilliant effort throughout his life. Guess it's a shame he just wasn't perfect eh? RIP

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Don't want to talk about the personal life, the scandal of Jackson. All that goes without saying, doesn't it. I will say of all the deaths I predicted for Jackson, a heart attack never figured. Nor the fact he was 50. And that he leaves behind 3 kids.


    I should say that last year I finally picked up Off the Wall, in its remastered form, brand new for $2 at the Warehouse. Hell, that just boggles the mind.

    Anyway, what strikes most about it is the fact it's at once astronomically arrogant and yet, in its own way, utterly weightless. Quincy Jones's arrangements play a huge part in that- the way the synths and the horns, and hell, even the guitars glide over everything, but it's also the way Jackson sings on that record. I know it goes without saying, but there's something incredibly alien about the way his voice floats on "Rock with You", or the way it jitters with the supreme awareness of someone who only knows one life on "Working Day and Night", or the fact that as soon as you hear that opening falsetto on "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough", it practically stamps itself in your brain for eternity.

    If I'm honest, I'm more inclined to play Chic than this record, but I'm always struck by the freakish absense of doubt throughout this record (which of course means it exists in an entirely different galaxy to Chic, who were all about doubt, and cynicisim, buried beneath the cut-glass grooves)- every single note has to fit in that place, every single vocal trill could only follow the last one, and while it slips up on the ballads ("She's Out of My Life" sets my teeth on edge at five paces), it's redeemed by the disco.

    Easy to say now, but it's pretty much a culmination, and indeed, lamination of the style. For better or worse, but who cares when most of it is so good.

    Btw, if I'm honest, I actually can't listen to any of the songs off Thriller these days- was there ever a time when those songs were fresh, and free from the shackles of over-familiarity? Probably not in my lifetime.

    Obligatory "Michael Jackson was my first album anecdote": the first casette I ever owned was Bad, which was given to me, aged 5, after winning a talent quest.

    Also, I'm pretty sure I owned the Michael Jackson "Moonwalk" game on the Sega Mastersystem, for my sins. Again, I was given it.

    Obligatory Michael Jackson "Moonwalk" video.



    Btw, that sucks about Steven Wells. I came to his writing pretty late, and in many ways, he was very one-note, but he did that note well and when he was on he was hilarious.

    That site has some touching tributes- nice to see some familiar rock crit names (Elliot True, Kitty Empire, David Quatnick...)

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Actually, no, take that back- "Wanna Be Starting Something" still sounds great, notorious plagarism and all. "Billie Jean," "Beat It", "Thriller"...well, I'm done as soon as the first note begins.

    As an aside, there's a very strong argument that the music business model popularised, if not necessarily pioneered, by the success of Thriller (i.e. release every song off the album as a single, hype each song with massive, expensive videos, blanket advertise in the belief that people will buy it through sheer exposure), sowed the seeds for much of the music industry's failings later on.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Good summation Matthew L.

    Re this.

    ("She's Out of My Life" sets my teeth on edge at five paces)

    Strangely, that's the song I've had in my head today.

    I agree it's thick sugar, but the knock on the glass from Quincy at the end was pure Jacko.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    one ... two... one two one two ... is this mike on?
    it seems to me that a large part of the outpouring of loss is the lamenting our own loss of youth and innocence...
    of which Michael Jackson seemed to be the universal avatar...
    also he was the the soundtrack of our cultural imprinting
    (and quite a few Rip It Up deadlines as I recall)

    the sound goes on forever...

    yrs Billie Jean
    Glove's labours lost


    Final Fantasy...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Always loved the Shinehead dancehall version of Billy Jean myself.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • JP Hansen,

    Inmates do Thriller.

    Waitakere • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Inmates do Thriller.

    Paul Holmes tried once too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Andy Milne,

    Bad was my first album

    Snap. I got it on vinyl for christmas when I was about 8, and played it waaay more than was healthy. My favourite track off the album is the way you make me feel but I can't fully articulate why...

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 59 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Dangling the baby. WTF was he thinking.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Bad was my first album

    Snap. I got it on vinyl for christmas when I was about 8, and played it waaay more than was healthy.

    Gee, you're so young. I'm so old I can remember when Brian Priestley had a regular TV spot, The Fourth Estate, where, resplendent in dark shirt/light tie like an academic version of one of the Kray twins, he provided sharp and incisive comment on the media of the day.

    On pop cultural matters, though, Mr. Priestley's edge was in need of honing. As an I-rest-my-case coda to a string of nasty examples of declining media standards, Brian, without a hint of irony, brandished the cover of "the latest record by this young man", titled simply Bad. The world going to hell in a 12" vinyl handbasket.

    Amazingly, Brian is still out there, and is supposedly as sharp as the proverbial tack on all things non-Jacko.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Fourth Estate was fantastic. Not that I'm old or anything.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    Fourth Estate? i watched it religiously. before that he had a shorter programme of a similar format, the first media criticism programme NZBC had on TV, i think. can't remember the name, though.

    oh, and i'm so old they didn't even have "media studies" when i was at school.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Interview with Brian Priestley and Jeremy Wells, Mediawatch December 19, 2004 by one Russell Brown. For some reason I've 'Newsweek' lodged in mind as his earlier 'Fourth Estate' incarnation.

    Michael Jackson: It must've often been often awful to be Michael Jackson for much of the last decade as the fantasy crumbled, ill-fated attempts to maintain it and the press waited for the next schadenfreude. And an early life that appeared to drive him into seeking the fantasy world. So rest in peace.

    Michael Jackson's Science Fictional Life WARNING: Bad 80s costume at top of the page.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Right. so the pill prescribing doc to the man with notoriously dodgy associates has gone missing. This is all starting to make a lot more sense...

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

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