I think it’s safe to say that if you have ears, eyes, or fingers, you’ve heard the sad news that the King of Pop passed away yesterday from a heart attack.
Michael Jackson was an undeniable genius musically, and it’s incredible to me when I listen to Thriller or Off the Wall or Bad, or just about any of Michael’s records, how timeless and relevant that music still is, even after almost 30 years. How many other popular records from the late 70’s-early-80’s can you say that about? I can only think of a few.
At the same time, I’m just not qualified to properly eulogize Michael Jackson in the way that he deserves. I was a casual fan. Someone who grew up with Thriller and Bad. As a kid, I danced around to Beat It poorly impersonating MJ with one Carhartt work glove on, inappropriately grabbing my crotch and moonwalking (ie walking backwards) around my parents living room.
But when the backlash started, the child abuse allegations surfaced, and the plastic surgery got out of control, I was on those bandwagons too. Remember Weird Al’s Eat it parody?
I’ll contend that if you’re throwing a dance party, even in 2009, there is no better record to get the dancing started than Thriller. There may not be a better song to dance to than Billy Jean. That bassline is freaking awesome.
You’re going to hear a lot about Michael Jackson over the weekend. You’ll hear more of his music on the radio over the next few weeks than you’ve heard in a long time. As I was driving to work today, I pulled up beside a girl who was rocking Beat It in her car. I tried to get her attention to give her a nod of approval, but she didn’t see me.
It just seems to me that the best way to honor Michael is to talk about his music. What memories do you associate with probably the best, most masterfully crafted pop songs ever created. And most of all, what’s your favorite Michael Jackson song?
I’ll start. My vote is playing in the slideshow below.