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Michael Jackson (1958 - )

Related: pop music - black music

Thriller (1982) - Michael Jackson [Amazon.com]


Michael Joseph Jackson (born August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, USA), is an African-American singer, songwriter, and record producer, who has gone on to become the most successful artist in black music history [1] (http://www.onlypunjab.com/real/fullstory-newsID-5880.html), and one of the most successful popular music singers of all time. He is also known as The King of Pop or the King of the Music Video. Jackson's successful career has gained him legions of devoted fans, yet he has been dogged by media fascination with his changing physical appearance and what some perceive as an eccentric lifestyle, which has led the tabloid press to dub him "Wacko Jacko" (which Jackson says he finds hurtful).

He is a generous children's friend, but he has also repeatedly been accused of sexual abuse of children and is, as of March 2005, on trial for alleged child molestation and other offenses. He denies the charges. The trial is in Santa Maria, California. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson [Mar 2005]

Thriller (1982)

Thriller (1982) is an album by pop star Michael Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones. It is also the name of the title track on the album."Thriller", track 4 on the album, features a spoken interlude by Vincent Price and was also made into a very popular music video directed by John Landis. Track 5, "Beat It", features a guitar solo by Eddie van Halen.

Thriller is currently the best selling album of all-original material of all time in the United States. The Eagles's Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) is currently the best-selling album in the United States, with Thriller in second place, althoug the albums have traded position a number of times over the past few years. In 2003, the TV network VH1 named it the 23rd greatest album of all time. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thriller_%28album%29 [Mar 2005]

Where Off the Wall was pretty much straight good times, Thriller introduced dread into Michael Jackson's solo work. By 1995's HIStory, this element curdled into overwhelming self-regard and out-of-touchness, but here it's bracing. While Thriller offers its share of cute ("The Girl Is Mine," a duet with Paul McCartney that was the album's first single; "P.Y.T."), the most memorable cuts remain "Billie Jean," "Beat It," and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," all of which meld musical imagination and worried-mind lyrics. There's also the title track, which takes a cue from Parliament's concept pieces in employing Vincent Price to warn that nonfunky forces will "terrorize y'all's neighborhood." Thriller, of course, continues to battle with the Eagles' first greatest-hits package for the title of biggest-selling U.S. long-player ever. Bonus material on this edition includes "Someone in the Dark," from Jackson's E.T. children's album, and a Quincy Jones interview in which the producer cites "My Sharona" as the inspiration for "Beat It"--and, even better, the real-life Billie Jean's claim that Michael was "the father of one of her twins." --Rickey Wright for amazon.com

Rough & Rugged - Shinehead

  • Rough & Rugged - Shinehead [Amazon.com]
    Debut album by Shinehead, it was preceded by a twelve inch which includes both a cover version of Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean" and Junior's "Mama Used to Say".
    Shinehead cut a album for Sly and Robbie in -86 called Rough And Rugged. The album sparkled with talent. It covered lots of different styles and Shineheads performance was extraordinary. Unbelievably inventive and fresh. A mix of singing, DJ:ing, rapping and whistling. [more on reggae]

    Soul Makossa

    The story of the first ever hit by a Paris-based African is enlightening. In 1971 Cameroon's Minister for Sport financed the recording of an anthem composed by Manu Dibango in honour of the national football team, for the 8th Coupe des Tropiques due to take place in Yaoundé. The single was released in 1972, with "Soul Makossa" as its B-side. The Cameroonians were then knocked out and the record was duly forgotten. But the song reappeared on a Dibango album released at the end of 1972 by French Decca's Africa division. On the other side of the Atlantic, meanwhile, African-American radio programmers [Frankie Crocker] were scoring heavily with "Soul Makossa". The French label paid no attention to this phenomenon and ignored the African artist, but New York's prestigious Atlantic label signed him up. The result was two years of sell-out live performances in the US and a cool two million records sold. There was a further development in 1982, when Michael Jackson revived the famous "Ma ma ma, Ma ma sa, Ma ma Makossa" chorus on the opening track of his multimillion-selling Thriller album. Dibango's lawyers obtained compensation in an out-of-court settlement. -- helene.maza@afaa.asso.fr

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