Tuesday, January 20, 2004

"Michael could spit in a bag and I'd think it was sacred," she says. "Michael could tell me the sky is green and I'd believe him, because he's so truthful."

Ladies and gentlemen, meet some of Michael Jackson's fans. I'm a little bit frightened.

That having been said, please don't forget something in the midst of this MJ trial-mania: whether he's still got it now is certainly debatable, but for about a decade there, Michael was the man. No one was bigger, and in the pop sphere, no one likely deserved to be bigger (save Prince, perhaps). Thriller is still an impeccable album that thrives on its own recognisance. Before it, of course, the hors d'oeuvres, the gorgeous, disco-splashed Off the Wall. By Bad, he'd already started becoming a victim of his own success, but at least half the album is still bad-meaning-good (its title track, for example, impresses with its tough muscularity to this day). Even '91's Dangerous features some fine work, notably the collabos with Teddy Riley, such as "Can't Let Her Get Away" - some of the superb final new jack swing Riley did. Since then, to be fair, he's musically lost the plot a bit. But that fact - and whatever facts are shown in Jacko's upcoming trial - doesn't change this one: his track record for the '80s is pretty much untouchable. Don't bother with either HIStory or Number Ones; just pick up Off the Wall and Thriller (both remastered by Sony) and bathe in their brilliance.

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