Mr. Bill George Presents

Can You Feel That Beat?

In Music, News on June 26, 2009 at 12:43 AM

Michael Jackson is dead.

As I look at that statement it still seems surreal. How could someone go from so high to so low. The King of Pop has had one of the most meteoric falls from grace that any star has had. Most starts fade away as their careers wane, but his was inescapable and his every move has been a headline.

But the real question is, does the world know what it has lost today? I consider myself a relative newcomer to Michael Jackson’s music. My roommate and I nearly wore out a copy of his #1 hits, (Mario Kart 64 and brown liquor also aided in our quest). But after the first couple of times listening through it, I realized that I had never actually given MJ a chance. I didn’t just listen…

And you know what, I think that a lot of the world stopped listening. Many of MJ’s fans were justified in abandoning ship once the first child molestation accusations came out and even more so after wave after wave of embarrassing, sad, and downright puzzling news came out about “Wacko Jacko.” In the coming days I think many people will know what a true genre-jumping genius that Michael Jackson was. From working with Eddie Van Halen on Beat It to create the penultimate rock track, to the soulful Rock With Me, to the bluesy-pop Billie Jean, the King of Pop moniker really doesn’t do him justice.

As his persona changed so did the world’s view of him. The new generation of kids only will know Michael from episodes of South Park and Scary Movie and his infamous mugshot. In many ways Michael brought the fallout on himself and I think each of us knows that the man must have been battling some of the most serious demons ever constructed.

More ominously in my mind was his recently announced “comeback” tour. But does anybody know what it was due to be called. “This is it.” When I read that four months ago I thought to myself, “This is it, the end.” I honestly thought to myself that he would end his life. It seemed destined. In the coming days I would not at all be surprised to find out that his cardiac arrest was brought on by some outside supplement, not from high cholesterol. (Although a stress related heart attack isn’t that unbelievable.)

That said, it is now time to reflect on Michael’s career as a whole. He is more widely known than any other artist (quiet down McCartney, you’re the one who sold him the Beatles rights and you’ll probably get them back) and Thriller being the best selling album of all time is a testament to that. He’s been parodied by “Weird” Al making him accessable to even more people. He was the star of his own videogame on Sega Genesis. (Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker. Play it, it’s a must experience event in your life.) If that’s doesn’t define legend I don’t know what does.

Ride the Boogie Michael… I know you would want us to do the same.

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  1. Great post Bill. It is sad.. more so in the sense that many in this generation or even ours will overlook MJ because of all the scandal that surrounded him. And I agree he primarily brought down his downfall, the media always plays a vital role as well. As an artist.. he could not be touched. So many different genres did he fall into, and his passion for music was undeniable. The world lost an icon on so many levels. It is comforting to know however that his music will always last and will hopefully be able to impact so many more.

  2. Not my post but thank you Webster. (The author is in grey above the title.)

  3. Great post Bill!

  4. how did i know that if anyone was going to pull a move like that it’d be you?

  5. I would just like to point out that Paul McCartney did not sell the Beatles rights to Michael Jackson, Jackson outbid McCartney. http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/jackson.asp

  6. agree with poster above. Jackson outbidding McCartney was a big moment in music as well as in ending their friendship. also, what do you mean by the “penultimate rock track”? which one are we considering to be the final rock track?

  7. penultimate meaning that it was really the first and last true “crossover” rock track. Lyrically, musically, and productionally it’s perfect. Good catch with the MJ/McCartney thing, realized that a few hours after i wrote it

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