Man, A HUGE figure from my early teen years is gone. I am Not a huge crying screaming fan, but the man was bigger than Elvis, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined at one point in the 80s. Unbelievably shocking, but then again, with all the health scares they've reported about in the past year, maybe not so much.
For anyone who was a child of the 80s, I can't think of a bigger star, celeb, idol, whatever you want to call him. And only 50 too! Way too soon, way too sad. Unbelievable. Say what you want about how weird he looked or all the allegations, but you can't deny that the man could make some music. The best there is, was, or ever will be. Unbelievable.
The saddest thing about this is that Michael will never have the opportunity to get himself back together. Maybe he wasn't capable of it, but maybe he was. From a public point of view, maybe that would have meant getting back to focusing on music, perhaps with a concert or concerts that were low-key and emphasized music rather than spectacle.
When he was at his peak, of course, the music and the spectacle went hand in hand. I was lucky enough to see three of his concerts during the 80s (two with his brothers on the Victory tour and one later on the Bad tour) and they were certainly marvelous entertainments on a variety of levels.
His best records were unbelievable. "I Want You Back", "The Love You Save", "Enjoy Yourself", "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", "Wanna Be Startin' Something", and also some lesser-known things such as "I Wanna Be Where You Are" and "Eaten Alive" (technically a Diana Ross record, but effectively a duet). It doesn't get much better than those.
One doesn't get the sense that his phenomenal success brought him much happiness in life. I hope I'm wrong about that. And I hope his kids can get past the strangeness of their lives to date and the loss of their father and have happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. I hope some of the pleasure that Michael brought to his fans can find its way back to his family.
No one in my lifetime has ever been a bigger star than Michael Jackson in 1984 - with the possible exception of Barack Obama last year (which isn't quite the same thing). If you weren't around, I don't think you can comprehend it. (Hell, I was only four so I don't think I fully comprehend it.)
Say what you will about his personal life - and I don't know if I've ever been convinced of the worst of it - nothing can take away "Billie Jean". And "Smooth Criminal". And "Wanna Be Startin Something". And "The Girl Is Mine". And "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough". And "The Way You Make Me Feel". And so on and so on and so on and so on.
Originally posted by Mayhem For my 8th birthday (in 1983), I got a cassette player & my very first cassette tape, "Thriller" ...
I probably couldn't tell you what I got for my birthday this year, but that one in 1983 has always stuck with me.
I was 9 and it was my first tape too. I know things got weird in his later years, but in those days there wasn't ANYONE in his league. Not Prince, not Madonna, not anyone. A global mega star the world had not seen since Elvis. And a mega star we have not seen the likes of since, and probably won't. Truly the biggest star in all of entertainment in the 80s.
He had major personal issues, but you can't question his creativity and contributions to the music world.
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
It's out today in the UK, but unless we want to buy an import it won't be seen stateside until February 2006. My gut reaction from one listen is it's not as good as his first album, but he'll probably never get THERE again.