Show me a modern day pop or R’n’B artist who wasn’t influenced by Michael Jackson? I can’t think of a single soul. For better or for worse, Michael’s impact on music can still be felt today in the music industry. Artists are still dressing like Michael, they’re still singing like Michael, they’re still dancing like Michael and they’re still making videos like Michael.
It’s amazing that when you think about the late King of Pop’s career most only consider the fruitful period in the 1980’s and almost completely forget what he did before that time. I simply get annoyed at folks who try to compare the Justin Biebers (even the great Smokey Robinson is at it) and Chris Browns of this world to Michael Jackson simply because I think they are disrespecting the utter scope of Michael Jackson and how he had an extraordinary talent even at the age of twelve. Twelve years old, ladies and gentlemen.
The five killer Jackson Five songs, ABC, I want you back, Who’s loving you, The love you save and I’ll be there were all recorded before Michael Jackson was a teenager. Just think about that for a second and go back and listen to Who’s loving you and tell how a boy has any right to have that much soul in his voice. I feel pretty confident in believing that only Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder can claim to have possessed and publicly demonstrated such a godly talent at such an early age.
It isn’t just the vocal performance that we should revere – Michael was also a hell of a writer before he released Off the Wall. The man had a hand in writing all of The Jackson’s Triumph album which included songs like Can you feel it and he wrote Shake your body. These are all incredible songs and it is a shame that such feats are forgotten in conversations about Michael Jackson.
With all of the above said, I understand why people focus on Off the wall, Thriller and Bad – they’re incredible genre defining pieces of work. All of them are in my top 10 favourite albums of all time and they are the main reasons why I have chosen to focus on Michael for the whole week.
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