For all you like minded individuals who believe Michael Jackson was one of the greatest entertainers that walked the face of this earth, this message is for you and those who have yet to feel the power of “the force”!
Brothers and sisters in music, the moment has arrived for the magnificent unveiling of Bad 25!! This is an occasion to celebrate and do a “big mama run” down the aisle of somebody’s Baptist church to give thanks to Jesus for this release of unreleased treasures. Now let’s give you the rundown of what to expect from the newest MJ re-release: (more…)
Another hit single from the ingenious duo of writer, Rod Temperton and producer, Quincy Jones, Off The Wall‘s Rock With You proved to be an illustrating moment for Michael in the early 80′s. Echoing the dance floors of Studio 54 with its moving bass line, flowing string arrangements, and synthesised sound of disco, this single captures a sensual playfulness fused with a joyous spirit in Jackson’s voice. Released November 3, 1979, Rock With You became a defining tune for Michael landing him in the #1 spot on Billboard’s pop and R&B single charts and later becoming the 4th biggest single of the 80′s decade. From a perspective of resilience, the staying power of this single beneath the backdrop of industry changes due to the declining taste for disco and a resurgence of rock makes its chart topping endurance and platinum certification very impressive.
While Rock With You is 31 years old, its ripple effect in song and video is still felt in many contemporary artists like Chris Brown, Kelly Clarkson, Chuck Loeb and many, many others. Here’s a couple of of examples to show the single’s reach and influence: (more…)
“If You Love Me” by Brownstone went to #2 on the R&B chart and to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK charts. Interestingly enough, the song did go to #1 in New Zealand. “If You Love Me” was written by Gordon Chambers, Nicci Gilbert and Dave Hall for Brownstone’s debut album From The Bottom Up on Michael Jackson’s MJJ label.
Leonard Friend is the alias of one Alex Feder. Named after his grandfather who left music for a career in sales, the talented new artist and dancer could very well give Justin Timberlake a run for his money (whenever he actually decides to do music again). Out today, Friend releases his 8-track EP entitled Lynyrd Frynd.
Mixing the genres of pop and R&B, Feder crafts music that is quite danceable (first single “Serious Music”) and quite serious (“The Year I Die”) as well as tunes meant for the ladies (“Mrs. Friend” and “The Last Gentleman”). If you haven’t caught the video for “Serious Music,” check it out below. It was partly inspired by a performance by the late King of Pop back in ’93, when he performed sitting down because of a sprained ankle.
In a recent press release Friend says, “The reason I came up with the seated idea for the video is because I tore my ACL and had surgery to repair it and didn’t want to wait until I was fully recovered to make a video” … “I remembered a Michael Jackson performance at the Soul Train awards in 1993, where he sprained his ankle during rehearsal and performed sitting down. When I got up to dance that day at the end of the video, that was literally the first time I had danced in five months. We saved it for the end of the shoot in case I re-injured myself (which, thankfully, I didn’t).”
Download Lynryd Frynd EP for free via the artist’s website.
“Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson was released as a single exactly 20 years ago today. Produced by Teddy Riley, the song was hugely successful. It peaked at #3 on the Hot 100 chart, at #1 on the R&B chart and internationally it hit the top ten in nine countries. It also hit the top 20 in all the major territories. Perhaps just as popular as the song is the nine-minute music video produced by John Singleton starring Eddie Murphy and Iman. And more popular still (and unforgettable) was that jaw-dropping kiss between MJ and Iman. Iman told Oprah he was a good kisser… “Remember The Time”… from the album Dangerous.
Check out the bonus video below of Teddy Riley talking about creating “Remember The Time” with Michael Jackson.
Smooth Criminal carries the air of a Broadway musical. In this track, Michael acts as a narrator of a classic murder mystery illuminating his uncanny ability to tell a story and create drama. Equally great is the complimenting video from his short film, Moonwalker. While I love Michael’s musical artistry, I’m also a fan of his gift of thinking outside of the box through his visual genius. Influenced by the Fred Astaire movie, The Band Wagon, Smooth Criminal is a treat for anyone who loves the vaudeville feel of music entertainment. Check out both video clips and tell us what similarities you find. You may also see some influences used in Michael’s video, You Rock My World. (more…)
For me, Speed Demon is one of the forgotten step kids on the Bad album. In comparison to Dirty Diana or Liberian Girl, it didn’t really measure up to mainstream acclaim however this cut “goes hard” without question in my opinion. With the motorcycle intro, the addictive bass run, Michael’s simple vocal hick as a musical element, the chord change at the vamp, and the horn arrangements at the end, I just get excited writing about it!! I love this damn song!!! It’s also funny that the concept for the song was based on an actual speeding ticket Michael received in a driving violation. Now how about that for turning a ticket into a tune!!! Plus, through his short film, Moonwalker, Michael’s visual artistry once again strikes a chord by use of Claymation animation, a tactic never used in a music video before. This again shows Michael’s constant drive to push the envelope of creative innovation and further his reach as an icon.
“The Way You Make Me Feel” is my mom’s favorite MJ track of all time. That is probably why this song stands out in his catalog for me also. I love the vibe that Michael gives in this video- he’s having fun, flirting with the girl of his dreams. An interview was done in later years with the lead model in this video who serves as the object of Michael’s affections. She spoke favorably of MJ. I wish Michael could have shown this type of vibe more later in his career. “You Rock My World” is the only video in the last few years of his career that showed a slight touch of this vibe. I also wish that there was an official video treatment for “Butterflies”, which shows a deeper level- MJ was crushing on someone hard.