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theSun | MONDAY JUNE 29 2009 19

in memory MICHAEL JACKSON: Aug 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009

On record
MICHAEL Jackson, the King of Pop
who began his
career as part
of the Jackson
5, recorded nine
solo albums
between 1972 and
2001, including
Thriller, the top-
selling album of all
time.
The Jackson
brothers released
their first album
with Motown in
1968, and Michael
released his first
solo album, Got to
Be There, with
the legendary
black music label
in 1972.
He switched
soul. Jones and Temperton Martin Bashir’s documentary to Epic in 1976,
knew what they were doing: and by Jackson, unfathomably, releasing his
Beat It, cannily, crossed over dangling his baby out of a Berlin first album under
with the rock market thanks hotel window. that label the
to its Eddie Van Halen riff, and Although he was never same year, Off
Thriller itself redefined music found guilty, Jackson’s reputa- the Wall, which
video. I’m just the right age to tion never recovered among was produced by
remember sneaking into clubs the “no smoke without fire” Quincy Jones.
and seeing the place stop dead brigade. Much of which comes In 1995,
when the 15-minute zombie down to a simple failure of J a c k s o n
flick was played on the big imagination. What if Michael released
screen. really did pay off the Chan- HIStory, Past,
What Jackson wasn’t, in dlers because he just wanted Present,
the context of 1980s megapop, the whole thing to go away? Future, a
is a “genius”. Unlike Prince or What if Michael really was so double album of old and new
Springsteen, he wasn’t a self- innocent he merely wanted to singles. His last album, Invincible,
sufficient auteur, and unlike recapture his childhood with was released in 2001.
Madonna, he didn’t create his those sleepovers? What if, when Thriller, which came out in
persona through sheer force he told Bashir “when I look at 1982, remained at the top of the
of will. What he was – and children’s faces, I see God”, he charts for two years and was at
there’s no shame in this – was The unimaginable wealth appeared to have no nose to the was being sincere? What if, in No.1 for 37 straight weeks. Ac-
an incredible entertainer, an which Thriller brought him scandal involving his strange short, Michael really was – to cording to industry experts, it
untouchable song and dance led to Jackson’s mad emperor relationship with 13-year-old quote his own Thriller video n sold between 50 and 60 million
man. phase: the Neverland ranch, Jordan Chandler, so the quality “not like other guys”? copies.
Speaking of which, even his the chimpanzee companion, the of his music deteriorated. The lynch mob had made up A number of other compila-
dance routines weren’t self- diamond glove, the Moonwalker He was still capable of putting its mind, and Jackson’s audi- tions and singles were also
generated. He may have tried to movie, the oxygen tent, the out the occasional great record, ence had shrunk. And, harsh as released over the course of his
copyright the moonwalk as his insistence on the sobriquet such as Black or White from it may sound, this was probably career.
own, but anyone with a sharp “King of Pop”, the facial 1991’s Dangerous, which also no great loss: 2001’s Invincible They include The Essential
memory knows it was actually surgery. featured the minimal, robotic doesn’t suggest the world has Michael Jackson, Micheal
premiered by Jeffrey Daniel of Five years passed before New Jack Swing of the Teddy lost a productive talent, and it’s Jackson King of Pop and
Shalamar on Soul Train. Jackson released another Riley-penned In the Closet, but perhaps for the best that we Remember the Time.
Post-Thriller, the Jacksons album. By the time of Bad, Jackson’s 1990s were defined never found out what the This Jackson sold some 750
temporarily reunited, most whose title track had a leather- by the likes of the schmaltzy Is It tour would be like. million records during his ca-
memorably with the video for clad Michael playing an uncon- Heal the World and the Nevertheless, Michael Jack- reer, according to US figures. – dpa
Can You Feel It, on which the vincing street thug in the video, pompous Earth Song. son is still loved for what he once
brothers, 100ft tall, stood atop the singer’s skin was very, very His antics became increas- was, his influence impossible MJ Discography
the Golden Gate bridge, scatter- white (due, it was claimed to ingly bizarre, from arriving on to ignore. Right now, the more Friends » 1972 – Got To Be There, Motown
ing fairy dust on the mere mor- widespread scepticism, to the stage via jetpack to presenting speculation and scum-slinging and fellow » 1972 – Ben, Motown
tals below. Less celebrated, but condition vitiligo). Despite some himself as a Christ figure at the I hear, the more I feel drawn
artistes » 1973 – Music & Me, Motown
equally great, is the rock-funk superb tracks – notably the Brits (prompting Jarvis Cocker’s back to the purity of that four- » 1975 – Forever, Michael, Motown
scorcher they recorded with breathless urgency of Smooth legendary stage invasion) to the decades-old a capella vocal. You remember » 1979 – Off the Wall, Epic
Mick Jagger, State of Shock. Criminal – the writing was, like giant effigy of himself he floated and I must make a pact/We must MJ » 1982 – Thriller, Epic
Michael relished these celebrity the album’s pseudo-graffiti logo, down the Thames to promote bring salvation back/Where there
pg 20 » 1987 – Bad, Epic
duets, and his oft-overlooked on the wall. 1995’s half-hits, half-new album is love, I’ll be there... It’s hard to » 1991 – Dangerous, Epic
Paul McCartney collaboration,
Say Say Say, features one of his
As Michael’s life continued
to spiral out of control, from
HIStory. A second child-abuse
scandal broke out in the new
assimilate the knowledge that,
from this moment on, he won’t.
» 1995 – HIStory, Past, Present,
Future, Epic
most electrifying vocals. gruesome photos in which he millennium, exacerbated by – The Independent » 2001 – Invincible, Epic

Thriller legacy that lives on
MICHAEL Jackson was one of the top-selling album two years in a guitarist Eddie Van Halen (Beat It).
the biggest stars in the history of row (1983-1984). The success of the album was
music along with the Beatles and Thriller went platinum in 16 also due to social factors. It came
Elvis Presley, thanks in a large part countries, including Britain, France out at the height of the vinyl era and
to his top-selling album of all time, and Japan. Seven of the album’s nine the beginning of the MTV era.
Thriller. songs were released as singles. Music videos provided a perfect
With his high-pitched voice and It was in a performance of one of format for Jackson’s dancing skills.
extraordinary dance skills, Jackson those songs, Billy Jean, in a May 1983 His ingenious videos helped fuel the
left his mark on modern music, televised performance for the 25th success of the channel, which in turn
selling a total of 750 million records anniversary of Motown, that he first helped crown him the King of Pop.
according to US statistics, a record performed his signature “moonwalk” The video for the single Thriller, a Market demand
for a solo artiste. dance move. 13-minute horror film spoof directed SONY Music Malaysia is preparing
When Thriller came out in The legendary black music label by John Landis, revolutionised music to release more copies of Michael
December 1982, Jackson, who was first launched Jackson’s career as videos with its choreographed Jackson’s albums currently available
then aged 24, was already a star, part of the Jackson 5 in 1968. But it zombies dancing with Jackson. in the market, including his all-
having made his debut at age four was Thriller, Jackson’s second solo But Jackson was never able to time bestseller, Thriller (the 25th
alongside his brothers in the funk album produced by Quincy Jones, match the success of Thriller with anniversary re-release), The Essential
group, the Jackson 5. But it was that pushed him and black music in his following albums. Bad (1987), Michael Jackson as well as the DVD,
Thriller, Jackson’s sixth solo album, the mainstream. Dangerous (1991) and Invincible Michael Jackson, Live in Bucharest:
that was his breakthrough. A mix of soul, disco-funk and (2001) generated less and less critical Dangerous Tour.
The album spent 80 weeks in the pop, the album benefited from interest and sales. So far, the company has received
top 10 in the US, including 37 weeks collaboration with a number of top Child sex abuse allegations orders for some 5,000 units of
at No.1. It went platinum 27 times in artistes, including former Beatle Paul and his changing appearance also Jackson’s albums, which will be on
the US, and is the only album to be McCartney (on The Girl is Mine) and damaged his career. – AFP sale soon.