**Dream's Michael Jackson Top 50 - KING SIZED EDITION**

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Postby Dreams » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:38 am

OMG aren't you excited? :o

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COMING SOON
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Postby CrazyCrazy » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:30 pm

:D I'm looking forward to this, I recently discovered some hidden gems such as 'Fly Away' among others I hope there are some obscure ones on there. :D
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Postby Dreams » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:11 pm

I like "Fly Away" but it didn't make my list, I also quite like the version with Rebbie.

I don't think there are many 'obscures' on my list but I can confirm it's 100% tremendous
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Postby Dreams » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:28 am

50

"Bad" (1987)
Bad


It's often viewed as some sort of direct lift from the "Thriller" formula, but if anything I think it's more derived from "Beat It". While it's not quite as ambitious, "Bad" was the most obvious single to start off with the album, I'm inclined to think that "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" was more of a buzz single or accessory if anything. I suppose this is the part where I share the quite often used trivia that Prince was originally intended to duet on the track, not sure it would've been that different of a record, to be honest.

The song itself is not-so-modest pop-funk-R&B that is very easily likable, with its sly production and almost ironic tone (I hope it is, anyway). I guess the only slight issue I have with "Bad" is that it knows it's a hit too well, it's a bit style over substance but it's how the 'Bad' era was initially approached, I think. After Michael took as long as he did to follow that other album up the next album could be nothing short of a monster. Luckily, I don't really have this problem at all with the rest of the album.

And I apologize in advance, but I don't really get the Martin Scorsese directed 'short film', it's a bit too overblown but the choreography is as phenomenal as ever.
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Postby Dreams » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:19 am

49

"Human Nature" (1982)
Thriller


As one of the lesser hits from an astronomically successful album, "Human Nature" has the rather thankless job of being one of the more low key and admittedly understated moments on the otherwise heavily cooked Thriller album. Well, at least it's not the least remembered when "The Girl is Mine" is on the same album, what dirge, actually I like it but won't really admit it. With sparse and soft production value, a restrained MJ vocal, the track takes a deeper grasp to appreciate. It was bothering me for literally forever that I didn't put my finger on what the song reminded me of but of course it screams of Toto's gentle but strong hooked approach, it's just so dreamlike.

And frankly, I think "Human Nature" is the most honest track on the entire album and the most genuinely MJ, or at least who he is as a person.
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Postby NothingFails » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:52 am

#50 is exactly where I ranked Bad when I sent the MJ 50 list to Matthew. A decent track, very cheesy in hindsight but when you're 8, it's badass.

Human Nature would rank a bit higher on my list, I love the flow to the song, even tho I do think it is the most dated track on the album (Toto is just too 1982) but it sounds great still.
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Postby Dreams » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:34 am

I think most of Thriller (everything bar "The Girl is Mine", "Human Nature" to an extent) just kind of FROZE in terms of age and remain ageless... I mean songs like "Billie Jean" or "Thriller" don't sound CURRENT by any stretch of the imagination but they are absolutely timeless songs... like I don't think either sound particularly dated.

I don't think "Human Nature" has dated as a SONG... it's very much classic and modest, it's just like you said that the Toto production is indeed very early 80s. But that's just surface deep and stylistically speaking, other than that it's pretty ageless.
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Postby matthew_dixon » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:41 am

NothingFails wrote:#50 is exactly where I ranked Bad when I sent the MJ 50 list to Matthew.
It'a also how many points I gave it myself! Shame on you both for ranking it 49 places too low! :P

Human Nature is about right there I guess...
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Postby NothingFails » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:11 pm

Curiously, is this list just solo MJ or will his work with his brothers factor in as well?
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Postby Dreams » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:09 pm

NothingFails wrote:Curiously, is this list just solo MJ or will his work with his brothers factor in as well?
MJ + some of the Jackson 5/Jacksons material... but admittedly, I only know the singles from the Jackson 5/Jacksons so it will obviously be outweighed by MJ's solo material
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Postby Dreams » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:38 pm

48

"Workin' Day and Night" (1979)
Off the Wall


I'm still a bit astounded that this was never released as a single, not that it's the greatest album track on Off the Wall but it's just sounds like it was a hit single. It's got such a wonderful hook and I can see it being grouped with "Don't Stop...", "Off the Wall" etc as one of the more classic songs from the respective era. Crafty instruments, interesting melody, excellent vocal, it's gold. And I love that little instrumental build up near the end, it's just not sure if it's R&B, classic James Brown influenced soul, dance or disco music but it's kind of just all of those thrown into a big old pot.
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Postby Dreams » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:53 pm

47

"Blame It on the Boogie"
Destiny


I guess its position here could be taken as half-ironic but it's just one of those things in life, as far as the hook goes, I may love it and find it rather amusing as well while others probably find it on the Bobby McFerrin levels of ridiculously irritating and tedious. I'm actually shocked it wasn't more of a hit, it only really made a major impact on the US R&B charts and was just a moderate UK hit, although I'd say most people know the song even nowadays.

It was one of those cover songs that was released very shortly after the original version underperformed which was by a much lesser known artist and writer. It's been covered by Big Fun (which charted higher than the Jacksons' version) but I'd still say the Jacksons version is more well renowned. And the ridiculously cheesy and dated video is quite fun as well, it must have been breathtaking back then when surely no other video like that was around. I'm glad that Michael really expanded and matured this dance-R&B-disco sound with Off the Wall only a year later.
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Postby Dreams » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:18 pm

46

"Burn This Disco Out" (1979)
Off the Wall


What an intro, with the burst of brass instruments and MJ's high pitch vocal in the chorus it's a truly fun outro to the Off the Wall LP. As a song, it pretty much sums up what the album's about. And I always feel there was a certain magic about the Jackson/Rod Temperton production, it was always disco gold and not in a common or obvious way either.

To add to that, "Burn This Disco Out" is another easy 'could've been' hit single, shame about them shoving out "Girlfriend".
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Postby jszmiles » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:20 pm

little hope for History in the run somewhere :oops:
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Postby Dreams » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:52 am

45

"Come Together" (Bad era)
HIStory


Originally recorded in the Bad era, MJ's cover of The Beatles' "Come Together" finally found a place on one of his studio albums on the second disc of HIStory. All in all, I think it was a very apt song for him to cover, and after he notoriously acquired the rights to The Beatles' catalogue. The celebratory chorus is far too brief for my liking but Michael does a rather great job at re-wiring the song for himself. And although I do prefer the original which is more psychedelic, naturally.

I just wish he made proper use of his right to the catalogue and did an astonishing cover of "Yesterday", which would've also been a great fit for him and a low key moment.
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Postby NothingFails » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:45 am

Workin' Day And Night was actually my first exposure to Off The Wall. The live version of it from "The Jacksons Live" was the b-side to P.Y.T. in the US, and the track was also used in Making Of Thriller. One of his unsung classics.

Blame It On The Boogie is probably where his "adult" career starts (I know he was 18 when Enjoy Yourself was a hit, but that one is so forgettable IMO), and like you, I agree it's legacy has been much bigger than it's chart positions. It was a big UK hit but bombed here.

Burn This Disco Out was a great sendoff track for Off The Wall.

Come Together, never big on it but it was a good song to cover, but the Beatles version was untoppable.
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Postby Vanacoring » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:04 am

A little sad to see "Bad" only #50 because it's one of my favourite... :( And I don't like "Come Together" : MJ is definitely not an artist for the covers ! :wink: But great to see the amazing "Human Nature", a little less know than the others songs, in your list ! :P
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Postby Dreams » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:21 pm

44

"Speed Demon" (1987)
Bad


I always interpreted this as one of his most popular album tracks, and one that has always been in my conscious. The verses are spoken but it grows so slick in the chorus until the incredibly high pitched mid-section. And of course the clanky and momentous background is absolutely phenomenal and adrenaline pumping. I'd love to hear this one whilst racing cars or something extraordinarily empowering, it's just that type of song. And I think it's always been one of his 'coolest' tracks ever.

And frankly, the video (lifted from the Moonwalker film) is one of my favorite Jackson short films ever, it's filmed at the Hollywood studios and features numerous Claymation characters, which may have been quite cutting edge back then. In the plot, Michael is being hounded by fans and various other people while at the studios and to escape he ultimately disguises himself as a rabbit and moves through the different sets including the Western set and later challenges his own rabbit costume (which has come to life) into a dance off. It's an absolute must see, if you haven't.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMg5JuNFkjI
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Postby Dreams » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:01 pm

43

"Break of Dawn" (2001)
Invincible


I probably shouldn't publicly say I love this but I always enjoy an MJ 'baby making' song and "Break of the Dawn" certainly fits the bill. He actually sounds quite natural and smooth on the track and the lead in to the chorus is rather blissful, although if anything, the backing vocals (which also seem to appear on "Heaven Can Wait") sort of cheapen up the affair.

I will get in more detail about its parent album later on but not many songs on the record achieve the 'modern' aspect of it properly but "Break of Dawn" is both believable and very 2001, whether that's a good thing or not is entirely up to you.
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Postby Tiger » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:00 am

50 "Bad" (1987)
49 "Human Nature" (1982)
47 "Blame It on the Boogie"

Three great tracks there, wonder what's higher :P
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Postby GoodBoyGoneBad » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:55 pm

Glad to see Speed Demon in the top 50, some fans don't like this song!
But Bad and Human Nature deserve both higher positions...!
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Postby Dreams » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:32 pm

42

"Show You the Way to Go" (1976)
The Jacksons


Oh the unsung Jacksons classic, "Show You the Way to Go" is in a way a mashing of lovely Jacksons soul and the trademark 1970s groove tinting. There's not much to the song other than the light instruments and the soulful Jacksons vocals but it's so melodic and harmonic, and it has a nice little message to it as well. Even though it was a UK number one I feel it's still one of their more neglected hits. It's also far superior as a song to the massively vapid and insincere debut single as 'The Jacksons' which was "Enjoy Yourself".

And of course Dannii Minogue's wonderful cover of "Show You the Way to Go" is also a favorite of mine - I say that with no irony whatsoever.
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Postby Vanacoring » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:04 pm

GoodBoyGoneBad wrote:Glad to see Speed Demon in the top 50, some fans don't like this song!
But Bad and Human Nature deserve both higher positions...!
We are agree about all Marco ! :wink: In effect "Speed Demon" is a great song for me. And "Bad" is totally mythic ! 8-)
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Postby mattsky » Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:39 am

GoodBoyGoneBad wrote:Glad to see Speed Demon in the top 50, some fans don't like this song!
But Bad and Human Nature deserve both higher positions...!
Yeah you are right!
Speed Demon is great.
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Postby Dreams » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:26 pm

41

"Gone Too Soon" (1991)
Dangerous


Often dismissed as a mawkish, ill-conceived tribute to Ryan White who died at eighteen years old in 1990 of AIDS after a bad blood transfusion, "Gone Too Soon" is actually incredibly beautiful, in my opinion. I remember learning about Ryan in school and I though MJ befriending him was very sweet.

As a song, it's a simple and touching arrangement and primarily based off of just MJ's vocal and a piano. I think it's gorgeous actually, the best bit is that middle eight with the soaring and climatic vocal. As single number nine(!) off of Dangerous, "Gone Too Soon" underperformed quite a bit, only scraping the UK top 40 but it's the thought that counts, I suppose. He even performed the song at Bill Clinton's Presidential Inauguration in 1993.

And of course with Michael's death last month, "Gone Too Soon" (as a song and phrase) has been reversed back to his own untimely death, inevitably.
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