Bringing '88 Back - "The Way You Make Me Feel"


Bringing '88 Back

So yeah we're three days into 2018 and what better time to mention that we here at GFM will be taking a focused look towards thirty years in the past at good ol' Double Ocho. I'm hoping that this look will be as neutral as possible and not turn into "Ten Reasons Why I Tell Kids Today To Get Off My Lawn While Listening To Their Music". 1988 had some great music and some garbage too. It also (as a lot of eras do) great music for that time and that time only. I posted MJ's "The Way You Make Me Feel" as it was #1 this week in '88 on the R&B charts and would be so for most of the month of January (knocked out of the top spot by Gladys and The Pips "Love Overboard" which would be their last #1). One thing about nostalgia and memory is that they are inextricably tied to the stories we tell ourselves. In fact, some scholars have made the argument that memory merely is a self-constructed narrative that over time can change based on a number of factors.

I said all that for two reasons:

1.) My narrative(and no else's for that matter is definitive) in other words take from what is written what you will just know that outside of the facts like "The Way You Make Me Feel" being #1 etc., everything else will be highly subjective.

2.) You may feel completely different about a particular opinion or moment in time I address in the series and that's completely valid.

For example, the folks in the photo below and many more like them were the types of musical acts I was checking for.


Love MJ but for me Bad just wasn't it. In the pecking order of singles release from Bad that I dig this track is definitely top 3 but to be quite honest my engagement with this song and most of the album was via the videos. To state that Bad was commercially successful is quite the understatement, I never quite thought about it but perhaps one of the reasons this record didn't resonate with me is I may not have been a part of the target demographic. Bad to my ears is the actual coronation of Michael as The King Of Pop. In many ways, it feels like the record was intentionally Pop. Nothing wrong with getting them coins especially after being summoned to the royal court after the phenomenon known as Thriller. Despite all of its popularity in '88 Bad really didn't make me feel enough of a type of way to really get into it. Somehow I believe that I had been swept up by a new wave of music and musicians who used the same slang, wore the same clothes and rocked similar haircuts.

Join us again next time on Bringing '88 Back when will discuss part of this new wave with a look at Keith Sweat's "I Want Her".


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Michael Jackson's Bad25 Anniversary Edition

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:Read more


[Song of the Day] Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal"

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.


Artist of the Month(Song of the Day) - I Just Can't Stop Loving You

Written by Michael Jackson and released as the first single from the Bad album in the Summer of 1987, this duet with Siedah Garrett was understandably received after great anticipation. It was almost like a hush went around the world to hear what was to be MJ's next move after Thriller. High drama, lush arrangement and supple melody I always considered it a beautiful intro into the Bad era.


Artist of the Month(Song of the Day) - Another Part Of Me

Talk about bringing the heat... this song still brings it for me. Groovewise it's a head nodder right up there with "This Place Hotel" which of course I still refer to as "Heartbreak Hotel" (Elvis... cue Chuck) but anywhoo rhythm rules the day here. I have to say as reserved as I am everytime this joint comes on I have to shake a leg and when it get real good there might be a chance that I jump up and down and do a little leg kick. But fortunately there's no pics or video so you have to use your imagination...


Artist of the Month(Song of the Day) - Just Good Friends

MJ and Stevie... what more can you say but enjoy!


Song of the Day: Michael Jackson's Speed Demon!!!

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.


Artist of the Month (Song of the Day) "The Way You Make Me Feel"

"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.