M&M Minimix #4 - Celebrating the Music of Michael Jackson

(photo source: myplay.com)

Michael Jackson (8/29/58 - 6/25/09)

I just happened to hear this week a really cool cover version of the Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney hit, "Say Say Say", by Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer featuring Aaron Barrett of Reel Big Fish from a fun little EP called Duet All Night Long.

Listen to Zolof & Reel Big Fish - "Say Say Say"

This tune really celebrates the joy in MJ's music, which is what we really need now, not more chapter & verse on his well documented weirdness. The 7pm "entertainment news" shows are more disgusting now than ever, each trying to be the MJ bombshell headquarters, and all the major network prime time news shows are close behind. It seems clear to me at least, that his life was every bit as sad as his death, perhaps even more so, maybe even the root cause of his demise at such a young age.

(Source: Michael Jackson's myspace)

MJ was the ultimate victim of vast money setting someone free to indulge every whim to ridiculous proportions, and his whims seem to suggest an already damaged psyche, probably from childhood. The real shame of it is that he didn't have some really strong person in his life to be a leveling factor; someone to just say stop. I can't help but think that if such a person had existed, MJ's quality of life would have been drastically better and that he'd still be with us today. MJ sang a lot of great songs and made a lot of beloved records in his life, and that's what we need to celebrate now.

Seeing the crowds outside Philadelphia International Records this week close down part of Broad Street in Philadelphia to sell obviously bootleg t-shirts with MJ's picture on it out of the backs of cars seemed like a really cheesy way to honor the memory and achievements of Michael Jackson, not to mention $3.00 Thriller shots on the Lower East Side the day after he died, sheesh. I say let's celebrate the music and try to forget the rest of it.

For this article, I set out to pick three favorite MJ songs. This turned out to be a little harder than I thought, but here goes. Click play, and enjoy a bit of what was great about Michael Jackson.

M&M Minimix #4 - Celebrating the Music of Michael Jackson

The Jackson Five - Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5 (1969)

First up, "I Want You Back", the Jackson 5's first single, released on Motown in 1969, it went to number one in the U.S. in January, 1970 and went on to sell six million copies worldwide, it was the only single from their first album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5.This little gem of pop/rock/soul was written by The Corporation a songwriting group led by Berry Gordy of Motown, along with Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell, and Deke Richards. This was the first songwriting effort of The Corporation. Personnel on the recording are equally interesting. Joe Sample played piano, Wilton Felder played bass, Freddie Perren played keyboards, David T. Walker, Louis Shelton and Don Peake played guitars, and Gene Pello played drums.

Michael Jackson - Thriller (1982)

Thrilleris said to be the biggest selling album in recorded history, and while many of the other tracks may garner more attention and airplay, MJ never had a more beautiful melody to sing than "Human Nature" from Thriller,released in 1982. Selected by producer Quincy Jones, "Human Nature" was written by Steve Porcaro (Toto) and John Bettis. Backing MJ on this track were all the members of Toto, a group formed by the cream of Los Angeles session musicians. In 1983, "Human Nature" became the fifth single released from Thriller,and all five went top ten in the U.S.

"Human Nature" single sleeve (1983)

The Jackson 5 - Maybe Tomorrow (1971)

In April 1971 the Jackson 5 released Maybe Tomorrow,their fourth album, produced by Hal Davis, containing "Never Can Say Goodbye", one of MJ's most beautiful and timeless vocal performances. Released as a single a month before the album, "Never Can Say Goodbye" was written by Clifton Davis. Michael was twelve years old when he recorded this song; it reached number two on the U.S. charts.

(Photo source: v3.co.uk)

Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer & Reel Big Fish - Duet All Night Long

Michael Jackson's website.
Michael Jackson's myspace.
Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer's myspace.


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