Open Thread

Off the Wall or Thriller?

*** Update ***

There is no point in trying to be funny on the intertrons when the master still breathes.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






216 replies
  1. 1
    Dream On says:

    “Invincible”, baby!

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    A much as I’d love to go with the less obvious “Off the Wall”, I’ve got to go with “Thriller”. Billie Jean, Wanna Be Starting Something.

  3. 3
    Nazgul35 says:

    Who cares?

  4. 4
    Royston Vasey says:

    About half from each of those two albums.

  5. 5
    demimondian says:

    @DougJ: Yeah, I’m with Dr. J. here — Beat it, Thriller, Billie Jean…it’s gotta be thrilla.

  6. 6
    planetjanet says:

    Definitely, “Off the Wall”. It really set him apart from everyone else. Never before had I heard so many great songs on one album.

  7. 7

    Off the Wall or Thriller?

    I’m still working on Less Filling vs. Tastes Great.

  8. 8
    Maurs says:

    Thriller

  9. 9
    Profbacon says:

    Thriller.

    I remember the exact moment I realized MTV was complete bullshit. The year after Kurt Cobain died MTV did their annual top 100 videos, and Smells like Teen Spirit beat Thriller.

    That`s bull. Thriller may not have been his best song, but it is hands down no question the best music video ever.

  10. 10
    clone12 says:

    Thriller, bitch!

  11. 11
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    Off the Wall. No contest.

  12. 12
    Dixon says:

    It’s “Off the Wall,” no question.

    Get a hold of the remastered version with Quincy Jones commentary and the demos featuring Michael, Janet, and others doing the rough takes of “Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough” and “Got me Working Day and Night.” Magic.

    “Thriller” may be better-selling…but “Off the Wall” doesn’t have any novelty tunes which…let’s face it…”Thriller” was. People may like the Vincent Price rap…but I think it cheapens the record.

    Most people will say “Thriller,” but that’s mostly because of MTV and its ubiquity.

  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    Off the Wall.

    He was happier then.

  14. 14
    Johnny B. Guud says:

    Off The Wall

    OTW is when Michael Jackson became Michael Jackson, and not “one of the brothers from the Jackson 5”

    Thriller is when he sold out—-nowadays we’d call it, “jumping the shark”.

  15. 15
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    Off the Wall. Thriller is brilliant, but OTW was a revelation.

  16. 16
    KRK says:

    Personally, it’s Off the Wall because of my fond memories of dancing and singing along to that album with my sister in our downstairs room with the fake wood paneling and orange shag carpet. I appreciate Thriller‘s larger significance and all of the great songs, but it wasn’t his signature album for me.

    And when the groove is dead and gone… RIP

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Singularity says:

    Individual songs on Off the Wall are better, but Thriller is the better album. People downplay it because of its enormous popularity, but it was an unbelievable record.

    I honestly was never a big Michael Jackson fan ( I was always more of a Van Halen/ACDC/Cheap Trick guy) but his music was the dominant soundtrack for my teen years. I am almost embarassed to admit that I cried when I read that he died. He was a mess and quite possibly a monster, but there was a time when he was just a remarkably talented kid.

  19. 19
    demkat620 says:

    Off the Wall or Thriller?

    Neither, never a big fan. RIP, MJ.

  20. 20
    superfly says:

    Off The Wall.

    There is a purity there, relatively speaking, though not a huge fan of MJ anyway.

  21. 21
    John Cole says:

    I remember dancing (awkwardly) at school dances to She’s Out of My life.

    And really, anything Quincy Jones touches is gold. I feel the same way about Quincy Jone and Don Was. If they approve of it or were in any way involved, I will give it a chance.

    And silly as it may seem, I love the Vincent Price portion of Thriller. Maybe musically, OTW was better, but Thriller is iconic. I remember seeing the Thriller dance in mutiple languages. I remember all my classmates with those multiple zipper pants and one glove.

    OTW may be when Michael Jackson became Michael Jackson, but Thriller is when Michael Jackson became Michael.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    freelancer says:

    I have to go with OTW, “Don’t stop til you get enough” puts a grin on my face every damned time I hear it.

    I say this having been born in 1982, but My how far we have fallen since 1979.

    WTF?!
    Halle Berry? Really?

  24. 24
    beltane says:

    Off the Wall for the music. I can’t untangle Thriller the album from all the videos. Plus, when it was released I was in 9th grade and precociously anti-pop music; I hated Thriller with a passion back then. “Rock with you”, however, is one of my all time favorite pop songs.

  25. 25
    DougJ says:

    but “Off the Wall” doesn’t have any novelty tunes which…let’s face it…”Thriller” was.

    I agree the title track was kitschy as was that awful duet with McCartney.

    But so many great songs on Thriller…PYT, Human Nature.

  26. 26

    Smooth Criminal

  27. 27
    Comrade Stuck says:

    One of the scenes in a great movie, Three Kings, where in the torture scene with Wahlberg, the Iraqi torturer asks “So whats the problem with Michael Jackson.”

    Though his music held no interest for me, he was truly an international star, like few others, if any.

  28. 28
    pika says:

    Totally Off The Wall. Single and Album. No Question.

  29. 29
    gex says:

    Thriller

  30. 30
    RedKitten (formerly Krista - the Canadian one) says:

    I agree with Royston — take about half from each album, and you have perfection.

  31. 31
    ronin122 says:

    @John Cole:

    OTW may be when Michael Jackson became Michael Jackson, but Thriller is when Michael Jackson became Michael.

    So when did he become Jacko?

  32. 32

    Off the Wall, but I’m way more familiar with that one and I’m old so what do I know, get offa my lawn.

  33. 33
    Ramalamadingdong says:

    Got To Be There. His first solo album. My first inkling about the depth of his talent.

  34. 34
    Cat Lady says:

    Try not getting down with your bad self listening to Rock With You. Thriller was brilliant, but way more of a visual experience. BIllie Jean with the light up walk. OTW was pure power pop for the ears.

    OTW.

  35. 35
    gex says:

    @Singularity:

    but there was a time when he was just a remarkably talented kid

    And it is very sad how it was that immense talent that really destroyed his life. I know that’s just my opinion, and he may not have felt that his life was destroyed, but I can’t help but feel sorrow when thinking about how all his talent and fame helped to warp him from his earliest years.

  36. 36
    WereBear says:

    So when did he become Jacko?

    I think that was the pet chimp & Elephant Man skeleton period…

  37. 37
    cleek says:

    Back In Black

  38. 38
    grimc says:

    Off The Wall. Thriller was an amazing album, but all the marketing around it made it feel lesser.

  39. 39
    John Cole says:

    Try not getting down with your bad self

    I’m laughing. I thought I was the only one whoever said that. Whenever one of my friends get excessive with the self-congratulations of self-promotion I always quip ‘get off on your bad self…’

  40. 40
    Cat Lady says:

    @WereBear:

    … Wonderland and McCauley Culkin and young boys with Pepsi cans.

  41. 41
    CaseyL says:

    Thriller. Absolutely.

  42. 42
    Texpunk says:

    Off the wall !!! for sure !!!

    Better jams !!!
    Better Make out songs!!!

    Not the “sell-out” album Thriller was :-)
    Or at least that’s how I remember it. heh-heh.

  43. 43
    tim says:

    THRILLER.

    Thanks Michael. Bon Voyage.

  44. 44
    WereBear says:

    @Cat Lady: Yes… things got weird.

    Unless you were around and fairly sentient in the early ’80’s, it’s difficult to understand the phenomenon he became. He was still huge when Fox premiered that video where he danced on the cars and broke out the windshields with a crowbar?

    Well, it got revamped shortly after, but that video was when I knew he was deeply, deeply, disturbed. As he amply proved. But I found I couldn’t share my insights at the time; it was like going around saying the Pope killed hookers or something.

    Ah well. He never had a chance.

  45. 45
    AkaDad says:

    What pisses me off about Obama is that he has all these powers, but instead of fixing the economy he uses them to make Republicans cheat on their wives.

  46. 46
    Nylund says:

    I’m going to go with the kid who will no longer have to wear a blanket over his head when out in public as the real winner.

    Jackson Five on the Carol Burnett show, 1974:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W62an6HrSww

  47. 47
    Screamin' Demon says:

    Off the Wall or Thriller?

    Electric Ladyland.

  48. 48
    Punchy says:

    Thriller –that album had…what…7 top tennerz? sumpin like that. plus that was his pre-Foley era

  49. 49
    Laura W says:

    @AkaDad: Haaaaaa!
    Ugh. Whoever said Got To Be There up thread brought back many memories of dancing awkwardly.
    I really really dug the shit out of that song. I was young.

  50. 50
    AhabTRuler says:

    The problem with Michael Jackson is that while his music is not crap, I have never been under-exposed to him enough to want or need to seek out anything as formal as an album.
    He was on TV and radio… and in magazines… and movies, and at ballgames, and on buses, and milk cartons, and T-shirts, and bananas, and written in the sky. (But not in dreams, no sirree.)

    /Fry

  51. 51
    RedKitten (formerly Krista - the Canadian one) says:

    Try not getting down with your bad self

    Heh — I say that all the time too, especially to my parents if they’re going out somewhere, “Have fun with your bad selves!” I think it perplexes them.

  52. 52
    Johnny B. Guud says:

    that awful duet with McCartney.

    The bloom was off the rose for McCartney by then. Talk about hubris. Am I the only one who thinks that he’s a pompous snob?

  53. 53

    AhabTRuler, I agree. There was some music that was so overplayed on the radio I never had to buy it. I bought a few of his singles but never got an album. My musical tastes are varied but seldom in sync with what’s popular.

  54. 54
    Laura W says:

    An hour or two ago HuffPo had a revolting close-up of MJ on the front page, with all the distorted facial features in full bloom.
    Now they have this one, which IMO, totally Rocks!

  55. 55
    Louise says:

    Off the Wall for the music. I can’t untangle Thriller the album from all the videos.

    What beltrane said. Just one great song after another.

  56. 56
    AkaDad says:

    I heard Michael Jackson is to be cremated and have his ashes spread out into sandboxes, so children can still play with him.

    Too soon?

  57. 57
    LD50 says:

    @AkaDad:

    Au contraire, John should make you one of the posters here.

  58. 58
    Laura W says:

    @AkaDad: OMIGOD!
    That one totally snuck up on me and you made me wake up my two 18-yr-old cats here on the couch with me.
    You and I are totally going to hell but I’m going to ask Satan if we can sit next to each other if that’s OK.

    (What LD50 said. You’re in rare form tonight, AKADad.)

  59. 59
    LD50 says:

    @Screamin’ Demon:

    Or, for that matter, anything James Brown did between 1969 and 1972.

  60. 60
    gopher2b says:

    AkaDad….that literally made me LOL (“Too soon” was the cherry).

    Maybe I’m too young but I never “got” Michael Jackson. He was a very popular musician THIRTY years ago. If he hadn’t turned into a freak, he would be getting less coverage than Farrah today. People are celebrating a freak, not an artist.

  61. 61
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @AkaDad:

    Ya got your mojo back bud. Congrats!

  62. 62
    RedKitten (formerly Krista - the Canadian one) says:

    @AkaDad — oh, that is just so wrong, dude. I’ll save you a nice seat in Hell.

  63. 63
    John Cole says:

    I heard McDonalds is making sandwich in his honor….the McJackson. A fifty year old piece of meat in between two eight year old buns.

  64. 64
    JK says:

    Off the Wall or Thriller?

    Purple Rain

  65. 65
    RedKitten (formerly Krista - the Canadian one) says:

    Never mind — John will save a seat for you. You’re both going to be at a lower level of Hell than I ever will.

  66. 66
    Laura W says:

    @John Cole: And YOU get front page poster status TOO!

  67. 67
    Laura W says:

    @RedKitten (formerly Krista – the Canadian one): Yeah, but see, you won’t be laughing, and to me, there is no better definition of hell.

  68. 68
    AkaDad says:

    Thanks guyz/galz.

    I assumed on my flight to hell I’d be asked if i wanted an aisle or a window seat, but now I’m pretty sure I’ll be in the luggage compartment.

  69. 69
    Dream On says:

    Comrade Stuck,

    Earlier I had pointed out that Michael Jackson and his pop-culture tabloid influence had done no good for anybody for 20 years. But something was nagging at the back of my mind.

    “Three Kings.” Great scene – GREAT prophetic movie. “What is the problem with Michael Jackson” – I remember that scene so well. Now, after you reminded me. Thanks.

  70. 70
    Mike says:

    I’m with you John, on Quincy Jones.

    Quincy’s genius is at least the equal of Michael’s, and he
    has a huge body of incredible work besides those classic
    albums.

  71. 71
    JK says:

    Michael Jackson meets Ronald Reagan
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5R3OD8J-Ws

  72. 72
    Dream On says:

    AKA DAD said: I heard Michael Jackson is to be cremated and have his ashes spread out into sandboxes, so children can still play with him.

    ———————-

    With jokes like that, I’ll laugh myself to death in the next 2 minutes. Keep me away from the sandbox and somewhere in a fine ocean.
    —————
    Other blogs are earnest, but sometimes I don’t want to post here because you all are so drop-dead funny that it’s serious major-league comedy. I feel inadequate. Sorry, I haven’t laughed harder in 6 months. My cat looks annoyed.

  73. 73
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Dream On:

    Welcome.

  74. 74
    KT says:

    Stranger in Moscow.

    Only he knew what it was like to live in his own skin, but that song really feels like a peek into his adult soul.

  75. 75
    RedKitten (formerly Krista - the Canadian one) says:

    Yeah, but see, you won’t be laughing, and to me, there is no better definition of hell.

    Nah — as a godless heathen, they say I can’t go to Heaven, but overall, I’m a pretty good person, so I figure I’ll just be put somewhere with an uncomfortable chair and nothing on TV but the same 5 reruns of “Growing Pains”.

  76. 76
    nepat says:

    The winner is . . . Mark Sanford!

    Thriller was it. But its ridiculous success was the beginning of the end for Jackson. That’s exactly the moment the parasites, sycophants, and opportunists started to swirl around him, like toxic mosquitoes sucking the talent right out of him. The paradox of great success, I guess. But it was something, wasn’t it? “Billie Jean” was one of the greatest pop songs ever recorded.

  77. 77
    ronin122 says:

    @John Cole: So in other words, a normal burger?

  78. 78
    Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon) says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    One of the scenes in a great movie, Three Kings, where in the torture scene with Wahlberg, the Iraqi torturer asks “So whats the problem with Michael Jackson.”

    One of the best lines from one of the best scenes in one of the greatest movies ever. I don’t own many movies, but I own Three Kings, and have hounded many of my friends and family into watching it. Between Three Kings and O Brother, Clooney proves he’s the real deal.

    I thought Thriller was OK. I’ve never heard Off the Wall. I’ll have to correct that.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    AkaDad says:

    I hear Corey Feldman is on suicide watch.

  81. 81
    Carrie says:

    @John Cole: Jeezus, and here I am biting my tongue….
    how can I be sure this isn’t Death by some Mosquito
    Fuckhead hijacking JC’s ID?
    All I’ve got is MJ’s contribution to pop music was Ginormous…. that’s what CNN, the innerwebs and my nephews tell me.
    When Thriller came out I was in high school and there were two groups, discos and rockers……..oh, and the Clash.
    But that doesn’t mean i can’t appreciate the talent that he had and he had lots…

    RIP MJ, hope your last trip was better than the one before.
    Sincerely,
    moi

  82. 82
    Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon) says:

    @Johnny B. Guud:

    The bloom was off the rose for McCartney by then. Talk about hubris. Am I the only one who thinks that he’s a pompous snob?

    What fucking ever. He wrote literally dozens of songs that will be listened to as long as people listen to music. Our kids seemed to know Beatles music on a genetic level. So: Sir Paul gets a pass.

  83. 83
    Dream On says:

    Mark Sanford won’t have to resign after all? And Iran’s student demonstrators? Peshhh. The King of Pop has died.

    Scary thing is some sad sad salt-o-the earth Yorba Linda lady on CNN said (bawled, really – it’s an LA celebrity thing) “I never got to see him live……. but I got to see all of his videos.”

    Videos on YouTube. The great leveller of human hopes and dreams.

    She then urged that “we can’t forget Ed McMahon and Farrah”. Indeed.

    Can you imagine if the same-size crowd outside of UCLA Medical Center parked in front of, say Max Baucus, Cate Blanchette or Kent Conrad’s Senate office. Would we have universal health care? Would we be closer to it? Could we at least settle for annoying Senate cowards?

    Sadly, I think we really may never know.

  84. 84
    lovedog says:

    OTW.

    Rock With Me
    Don’t Stop
    Burn This Disco

    And if you’ve never heard Blood on the Dance Floor, a remix album of HIStory songs, you have that to look forward too. Really great stuff.

  85. 85
    Rey says:

    Smooth Criminal, yeah baby!!!!

    my heart is broken, hopefully he will rest in peace….

  86. 86
    JK says:

    @Johnny B. Guud:

    Talk about hubris. Am I the only one who thinks that McCartney a pompous snob?

    Nonsense. Paul McCartney was instrumental in organizing the Madison Square Garden concert for firefighters and police officers following the 9/11 attacks.

    McCartney’s duet with Jackson was garbage, but McCartney has a huge body of work that will be remembered and well regarded long after you and I are dead.

  87. 87
    Legalize says:

    Thriller was the first record I purchsed with my own money. There will be much MJ music around the Legalize house this weekend.

  88. 88
    Dream On says:

    I remember when Paul McCartney went through his nasty divorce. I’m 34 but it still seemed like a personal injustice. He’s a BEATLE for chrise-sake. I still think he’s a pompous snob, though.

    Interesting how the Beatles come up time and timke again. But to me, Lennon’s murder will always trump this corrupt self-indulgent Jacko end.

  89. 89
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    Thriller

  90. 90
    JK says:

    @Dream On:

    Can you imagine if the same-size crowd outside of UCLA Medical Center parked in front of, say Max Baucus, Cate Blanchette or Kent Conrad’s Senate office.

    When exactly was Cate Blanchette elected to the US Senate?

  91. 91
    Laura W says:

    I thought Jason Jones and Sam Bee were leaving TDS a while back but I am delighted they’ve stayed on.
    Jason’s stuff in Iran has been First Class.

  92. 92
    JK says:

    @Dream On:

    Cate Blanchette would be an improvement over Blanche Lincoln.

  93. 93
    Ella in NM says:

    What I will remember most is how incredibly happy his music made the 6-12 year-olds in our afterschool program back in 83-84 so VERY VERY happy!!!!! They got to choose what their “homework” music was, and it was pretty much “Thriller” every single day.

    My belief is that he was a terribly emotionally abused-yet gifted little boy who had incredible creative potential, but succumbed to a form of mental illness for which we have no succinct diagnosis. I believe he may have done harm at some point to other children, yet never have had the ability to recognize it as wrong. As such, he was a sad, wounded child who never really had a chance for an optimal existance, and yet he left behind beauty and joy, for whatever it was worth.

    God Bless you, Michael.

  94. 94
    JK says:

    @Laura W:

    I read somewhere months ago that they had a tv show in development. Rob Riggle also was supposed to have a tv show in development. He’s no longer on TDS, so I guess his project is still on track.

  95. 95
    Laura W says:

    @AkaDad:

    I heard Michael Jackson is to be cremated and have his ashes spread out into sandboxes, so children can still play with him.
    Too soon?

    I do not know the protocol and formalities involved but I would like to nominate this post as a Comment of the Year contender.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    See you at the voting booth in early Jan, 2010.

  96. 96
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon):

    The songs Mccartney wrote in the late 60’s are the best ever written before of since. In 300 years they may be looked upon and repeated as much as Shakespears plays today.

    From someone who wasn’t the biggest Beatles fan on the planet. People can disagree/ but that’s what I truly think.

  97. 97
    PanAmerican says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that he’s a pompous snob?

    You mean other than John, Ringo and George?

    Wah-wah
    You made me such a big star
    Being there at the right time
    Cheaper than a dime
    Wah-wah
    you’ve given me your wah-wah
    Wah-Wah

  98. 98
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    @Carrie: I’m a little more subtle when disrespecting the recently deceased.

  99. 99
    demo woman says:

    When I finally sat down tonight and turned on TV, I discovered that all the stations had on Michael Jackson. So I guess he becomes the next Elvis, revered after death.

  100. 100
    Dream On says:

    JK,

    Cate Blanchette in “Lord of the Rings” or Cate Blanchette in “Indiana Jones – Kingdom of the Skull”?

    Yep, I fucked up, he thought as he saw the ball sail over the left-field wall.

    “Blanche Lincoln…. blanche Lincoln…” he muttered to himself. But it was too late.

  101. 101

    Off The Wall…Thriller may have been MJ’s masterpiece but nowadays it feels too much like a product of its time in a lot of ways.

    But Weird Al still rocks : )

  102. 102
    JK says:

    Besides Michael Jackson, what other living celebrity could command blanket news coverage on cable and primetime documentaries on NBC, CBS, and ABC on the day he or she dies?

  103. 103
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Very weird, last night in one of my You Tube six-degree of separation tours (I think it had something to do this time with Rick James and “SuperFreak” and then noticing that some other Rick James song I came across had a similar bass line to “Thriller” and was trying to figure out which came first) I ended up watching a bunch of Michael Jackson videos, Beat It and Thriller and etc, remembering when things were better for him and how great those videos were and etc, despite not having thought about him or his music for years.

    You can’t separate those tracks from Quincy, I agree, in the same way George Martin can’t be separated from most of the Beatles’ work. Producers do more than most people realize in creating an album and those guys were brilliant at it.

  104. 104
    LD50 says:

    Only [Michael Jackson] knew what it was like to live in his own skin

    He did?

  105. 105
    ronin122 says:

    @JK: Just about most of them, actually.

  106. 106
    AkaDad says:

    I’m a little more subtle when disrespecting the recently deceased.

    That’s another thing we have in common.

  107. 107
    Johnny B. Guud says:

    He wrote literally dozens of songs that will be listened to as long as people listen to music. Our kids seemed to know Beatles music on a genetic level

    I agree. But I was referring to “solo Paul” as opposed to
    “Beatle Paul.”

    Since around Tug of War, McCartney has been in a slow decline musically. His work has been mostly over-saccharine and crass. I’ll never forgive him for Give My Regards to Broadstreet

    He’ll sell out concerts on name recognition primarily. That, and he got religion over the past twenty years by realizing “hey, maybe I should be playing Beatles tunes at my concerts after all…”, because nobody really wants to hear live versions of tunes from Press to Play

    Paul McCartney was instrumental in organizing the Madison Square Garden concert for firefighters and police officers following the 9/11 attacks.

    Great concert. But I don’t really applaud multi-millionaire celebrity types for taking their precious time off from doing whatever it is the hell they do, to organize other multi-millionaire types for benefit concerts.

  108. 108
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    @JK:

    Besides Michael Jackson, what other living celebrity could command blanket news coverage on cable and primetime documentaries on NBC, CBS, and ABC on the day he or she dies?

    Rosie O’Donnell, if she was killed in a hunting accident with Barbara Walters.

  109. 109
    Steeplejack says:

    Thriller. But I say that grudgingly, because Off the Wall is comparatively underrated and neglected. It just got swamped by Thriller coming right after it.

  110. 110
    JK says:

    @ronin122:

    I don’t think so. It’s probably less than you could count on one hand.

  111. 111
    Mike Q says:

    I have to say Thriller. I was born in 1981, and for my third birthday I got Thriller as a birthday present. I worshipped Michael Jackson; I breakdanced (or tried to) and did the moonwalk as a four year old. That album is what began my love affair with music (that one and “The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles; funny how life is). I have heard that OTW is a better album. I don’t doubt it. Thriller is really overproduced, but simply on the memories meter Thriller wins.

  112. 112
    Dream On says:

    JK,

    “Besides Michael Jackson, what other living celebrity could command blanket news coverage on cable and primetime documentaries on NBC, CBS, and ABC on the day he or she dies?”

    ————-

    All Beatles, when their time comes. I suspect Dylan, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters & David Gilmour, Madonna (skank), Neil Young, Springsteen.

    That ’60s crowd – except for the Madonna skank.

  113. 113
    Laura W says:

    @JK:

    Besides Michael Jackson, what other living celebrity could command blanket news coverage on cable and primetime documentaries on NBC, CBS, and ABC on the day he or she dies?

    er….wait…it’ll come to me…hold on…ummmmmm….
    ANNA NICOLE SMITH?
    I could be misremembering.
    I’m just bitter about the lack of love for Farrah.

  114. 114
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    Late here but Off the Wall is the call for me. However, Billie Jean is his greatest song.

  115. 115
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    The Times obit had a great line. Something to the effect that like Elvis and the Beatles, Michael Jackson’s impact on the music industry is impossible to calculate. So true.

  116. 116
    Indylib says:

    @LD50: ROFL More subtle, therefore IMO, funnier.

  117. 117
    ronin122 says:

    @JK: Maybe, but you seem to have more faith in our MSM than I do. I think any A or B list celebrity would probably garner such attention. Maybe not to this degree and probably not as long after as MJ will probably get but my sense is that they would hover like flies to any big name to get out of reporting about things that actually matter.

  118. 118
    Jim-Bob says:

    Off the Wall.

    And it’s not even close.

  119. 119
    Jim-Bob says:

    @laura

    I think a Kate and Jon Gosselein murder-suicide could knock Michael off the front pages.

    (At least it’s a risk I’m willing to take…)

  120. 120
    JK says:

    @Johnny B. Guud:

    That concert meant a great deal to the firefighters and police officers and it was cathartic for many New Yorkers. I wouldn’t be so quick to simply dismiss his efforts out of hand.

    Why bother taking a cheap shot at Paul McCartney on the occasion of Michael Jackson’s death?

    The Beatles produced an amazing body of work. It’s totally unrealistic to expect the solo eforts of McCartney to live up to the Beatles’ catalog.

  121. 121
    Gina says:

    The best video version of Thriller EVAR:

  122. 122
    Jim-Bob says:

    @akadad

    …Yeah, well I heard that Gymboree is going to honor MJ’s death with a sales event: Boys pants half off.

    (I loathe myself for that.)

  123. 123
    JenJen says:

    Well, despite what John “Simon Sez” Cole instructs, one actually does not need to make a choice between the two albums. So, I’m certainly not going to. Both OTW and Thriller for me. :-)

    This is one of those days where you really feel your age, you know? If you came of age in the early-to-mid 80s, as I did, his music was your life’s soundtrack. I say this as one of those snarky teens who was far more interested in British music than US pop, and like so many teens, completely convinced of my own superior taste compared to my peers… you just couldn’t escape Michael Jackson in those years, and his music was so good, you couldn’t really make fun of it.

    With Michael for me, it was always about the dance. I have the loveliest memories of my high school friends and I trying so, so hard to get the dance from the bridge of “Beat It”. We got close, but I mean, for hours we would work steps from every conceivable Michael video. As influential and unforgettable as his music is, his contribution to American dance is his most important, if you’re only asking me.

    So, I see we already have jokes!! I’m hearing that the cause of death is a 4 year old weiner.

    Too soon? :+)

  124. 124
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    “Thriller” I was 34 when it was released and I still recall my delight at the fact that “Billie Jean” made it impossible for me not to dance around the room.

  125. 125
    kuvasz says:

    Off the Wall. It is better in the way Oswald Spengler talked about for the spring time of a culture; intuitive, powerful creations from awakening souls.

    And damned sorry to see another human being get so twisted up in his fame that it does him in. Same goes for Elvis.

    I appreciate the path Springsteen has taken more each day for not getting totally corrupted with fame, because in ’83-’85 one could not turn on a radio or mtv and not hear or see Jackson’s or Springsteen’s voices or faces. How each of them dealt with their fame and fortune are awfully instructive.

  126. 126
    Laura W says:

    @Jim-Bob:

    I think a Kate and Jon Gosselein murder-suicide could knock Michael off the front pages.

    Edgy!

  127. 127
    JK says:

    @Dream On:

    I love Pink Floyd and Neil Young, but I can’t see their deaths registering more than a blip on the radar screen for cable news.

    I think Dylan would get a primetime special, but I don’t think the cable networks would blow out entire hours of programming to cover his death. I agree that Springsteen would get very heavy coverage.

    In terms of saturation coverage I think the deaths of McCartney, Starr, Elton John, and Madonna would come closest to what Michael Jackson is getting today.

  128. 128
    Comrade Kevin says:

    OffThe Wall

  129. 129
    Steeplejack says:

    @Laura W:

    Jason Jones has really stepped up his game lately. He schooled the entire editorial staff of the New York Times when he visited them a few weeks ago.

  130. 130
    mai naem says:

    @JK: Off the Wall. I wonder if the choice has to be the age of the people picking which album was better?
    They had some stupid thing on VHI with an interview with Prince. It was after the molestation trial. Always struck me that Prince was the one who turned out to be the “normal” one and MJ was the one who turned out weird.

  131. 131
    JenJen says:

    MTV is showing Michael videos. First time I’ve seen vids on MTV in, like, a decade.

    You know how else you know you’re getting old? When Kurt Loder is no longer the MTV guy delivering bad news from the music world.

  132. 132
    parksideq says:

    This is like choosing between which child you love more. Which of course means I gotta go with Thriller. It’s an icon, even if it’s because the music videos for the songs made it that way.

  133. 133
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Laura W:
    Well, for my first few years in the Navy I thought of my fist as “Farrah.” Does that help?

  134. 134
  135. 135
    gbear says:

    Off the Wall or Thriller?

    Underwater Moonlight

  136. 136
    parksideq says:

    @JenJen: I was just asking myself the other day “What would it take to get MTV to air videos again?” Sadly, I now know the answer.

  137. 137
    JK says:

    @mai naem:

    I was never a huge MJ fan. I thought he recorded a dozen or so songs that I really enjoy, but I’m much more impressed by the discographies of Prince and Stevie Wonder.

  138. 138
    AkaDad says:

    If you analyze both albums from an artistic standpoint, Thriller is clearly the superior effort, mainly for the use of zombies in the video.

  139. 139
    MikeJ says:

    Underwater Moonlight

    A fave of mine. I saw Robyn at teh 40 Watt with Pete and Mike and Michael backing him up. Best show evar.

  140. 140
    Laura W says:

    @Dennis-SGMM: This is turning into one of the most marvelously macabre death threads EVER!
    Phew. Funny shit, Dennis.

  141. 141
    r€nato says:

    Off the Wall or Thriller?

    Do I have to choose?

    Oh, alright. Thriller. By a nose. But I sure am tempted to choose Off The Wall because it’s largely been forgotten/overshadowed by Thriller, and because it was the last album by the black MJ.

    And now I am morbidly curious how a 50 year old who’s not obese and seemingly without any prior history of heart disease, dies of a heart attack.

  142. 142
    ellie says:

    Off the Wall. Definitely. Thriller was good but he was everywhere and I was sick of him.

  143. 143
    Laura W says:

    @r€nato: Anorexia? Compulsive exercising. Stimulants*.
    Just guessing.
    *Actually, I don’t know precisely what the drug deal is and they may not be stimulants at all. Just speculating, since it would be irresponsible not to at this point.

  144. 144
    gex says:

    @kuvasz: In all honesty I think the damage from his father equals or surpasses the damage the fame did. The abuse from his father created the unstable persona which the fame was able to utterly destroy.

  145. 145
    Xanthippas says:

    I heard McDonalds is making sandwich in his honor….the McJackson. A fifty year old piece of meat in between two eight year old buns.

    This from the guy who feels sorry for Sanford. I tell ya, you never know what JC you’re going to get around here on any given day.

  146. 146
    JPK says:

    Remember when he married Lisa Marie Presley? Good times.

  147. 147
    r€nato says:

    @freelancer:

    “Don’t stop til you get enough” puts a grin on my face every damned time I hear it.

    Man, if you aren’t involuntarily shaking your ass when you hear that tune, you’re already dead.

    And now I want to switch my vote to OTW.

  148. 148
    gex says:

    @r€nato: Genetics? Stress? Drugs? Diet?

    Being skinny isn’t a guarantee you won’t have a heart attack. My neighbor growing up was one of those really healthy people, whose family history had a disturbing tendency for people to fall over dead from a heart attack between 40 and 50. Sure enough, her turn came too. Fortunately, she was healthy enough to survive the attack and get a heart transplant. 15+ years later, she’s still going strong.

  149. 149
    AnotherBruce says:

    The Sound track from “Ben”.

    Not really serious, but I’ve always found it amusing that Michael Jackson recorded a touching, heartfelt song about a rat.

    And it got some radio play!

  150. 150
    Xanthippas says:

    You know how else you know you’re getting old? When Kurt Loder is no longer the MTV guy delivering bad news from the music world.

    Also, when you still get a little quiet and sad thinking about Kurt Cobain.

  151. 151
    C Nelson Reilly says:

    Obligatory Zappa song re: Michael Jackson

  152. 152
    r€nato says:

    bad link, John.

  153. 153
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Laura W:
    I read somewhere that he was anxious to get into shape for a planned series of concerts. That may have been a contributing factor.

  154. 154
    Marked Hoosier says:

    So who is the master?

    Maybe the mighty TBogg

  155. 155
    Instantly Moderated Commenter says:

    Besides Michael Jackson, what other living celebrity could command blanket news coverage on cable and primetime documentaries on NBC, CBS, and ABC on the day he or she dies?

    Is Obama considered a “celebrity”?

  156. 156
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    recorded a touching, heartfelt song about a rat.

    I hear there’s going to be a remake coming out next week by Jenny Sanford.

    Hey, she’s rich, needs a new career, why not.

  157. 157
    PanAmerican says:

    His best vocal performances were the ’70-71 Motown bubblegum singles. That band and production crew (aka the Corporation) were pretty damn good as well.

    r€nato:
    He auctioned off a ton of stuff from the ranch (not just furniture- personal stuff and career mementos — some of it REALLY creepy.) and was on the hook to AEG for fifty shows in London. There was conjecture in one of the previous threads that he offed himself to stop the downward spiral.

  158. 158
    Jon H says:

    @Dennis-SGMM: “I read somewhere that he was anxious to get into shape for a planned series of concerts. That may have been a contributing factor”

    Apparently he was training with Lou Ferrigno.

  159. 159
    Brian says:

    Of the Wall, one million times, Off the Wall.

  160. 160
    gbear says:

    @MikeJ: I saw Robyn play a solo gig in a small community theater in Minneapolis. I’ve never seen him with a full band but what he did solo was pretty cool. It was around the time that he’d been dumped by A&M so he was performing a lot of Egyptian’s tunes. I bet he was great with that band you saw.

  161. 161
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Also, when you still get a little quiet and sad thinking about Kurt Cobain.
    Or Jerry Garcia, or John Martyn, or Jim Morrison, or Janis, or Jimi, or Sam Cook, or the guy who played really good slide guitar just outside of the 7th Street Red Line station for spare change or even Tiny Tim.
    Edna St. Vincent Millay may have had something with that candle poem of hers but I’m too selfish to see it.

  162. 162
    gbear says:

    Gawd, Now I’ve got the Robyn Hitchcock song It Sounds Great When You’re Dead stuck in my head and it won’t go away. So appropriate.

  163. 163
    Instantly Moderated Commenter says:

    [Warning! Young, guitar-rock and symphony orchestra loving, anti-commercialism buttinsky who grew up without a television will now say something mean.]
    I really never cared for that Mr. Jackson’s music or public persona. I personally found his beats, his melodies, his dancing, and his on-camera “personality” to be simultaneously mundane and deeply irritating. A pop culture phenomenon that should have inspired as much peans to genius as the committee-written songs of The New Kids On The Block, or Madonna’s latest message-managed recreation of self. Or jingles for dishwasher detergent, for that matter. A lot of time and effort goes into those jingles.
    Sure, the music video “Thriller” was well made – so go give John Landis an Oscar already. Give Jackson props for his “co-writing” on it if you want (“Oo! Oo! And then there’ll be zombies John!” – yeah, genius I’m sure).
    And the most forgiving thing you can say about Michael Jackson’s life story is that he fought with his personal monsters and lost. Rather badly.
    There. Someone had to say it, right?

    [cross-posted from prev. thread, and similarly thrown into instant moderation, I’m certain.]

  164. 164

    They had some stupid thing on VHI with an interview with Prince. It was after the molestation trial. Always struck me that Prince was the one who turned out to be the “normal” one and MJ was the one who turned out weird.

    Well, everything’s relative. When I was working security and getting off work at about 4am on weekends, I’d often go to Perkins to get something to eat before going home. One night, in the booth right behind me, Prince was holding court with his entourage, loud enough for me to overhear. A more pompous, half-assed philosopher-wanna be I’ve never heard. It was painful just how trite and shallow it was, and how eagerly his crew lapped it up.

    As for Michael Jackson, I was never a fan. I have since come to admit that a lot of it is pretty good. Just based off of the tracks I’ve heard, I have to go with Off the Wall. I still don’t like “Billie Jean,” and “Beat It” is merely okay.

    Of course, I have an unusual history about this. I had a legal name change when I was 27. Before that, I was John Michael Jackson, and I’ve always gone by my middle name. My life would have been significantly improved if there had never been a celebrity named Michael Jackson, or even if there had been one who wasn’t quite so strange.

  165. 165
    Xanthippas says:

    So who is the master?
    Maybe the mighty TBogg…

    Well now, everybody be careful or John Dickerson will be forced to write another column about how people are mean.

  166. 166
    geg6 says:

    I already said this in Doug’s thread, but there is no question about this. Off the Wall is THE best pure pop/dance album of all time. No qestion at all. Thriller has some great cuts and truly amazing music videos, but is nowhere near as consistently good all the way through. Too much horrible filler (Ebony and Ivory? PYT? Barf!). But I prefer young Michael most. The Love You Save is my all time favorite MJ song.

  167. 167
    mai naem says:

    @JK: What celebrity or musician? I am surprised nobody’s mentioned Mick Jagger and Stevie Wonder. Maybe Barbra Streisand. I think some of the movie stars would get a lot of coverage – Robert Redford/Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg. Actually I think about the only people who would get this kind of attention internationally would be Bill/Hillary Clinton, the George Bushes, and maybe Tony Blair. Maybe Billy Graham in this country.

  168. 168
    Adolphus says:

    I think Hilzoy had it right over at Obsidian Wings. For me the song from MJ that always stayed with me was Ben. We sang it in music class in elementary school and we thought it was a sweet song to a friend. But it really is about a rat. A killer rat. That makes it kind of disturbing. (in a good way)

  169. 169
    JK says:

    @mai naem:

    I forgot about Barbra Streisand. I could easily see her death getting enormous coverage on cable. As for actors, I think Clint Eastwood would get the most coverage. I doubt either one would get the saturation coverage that MJ’s death is receiving.

    Obviosuly, the deaths of any president would receive huge coverage.

  170. 170
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    Ebony and Ivory has nothing to do with Michael Jackson. The culprits behind that are Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

    My parents are from China, and the very first Western pop culture figure they were exposed to was Michael Jackson. He was a sensation over there, like no other before or after him. He will truly be missed.

  171. 171
    Anne Laurie says:

    But to me, Lennon’s murder will always trump this corrupt self-indulgent Jacko end.

    Lennon’s murder didn’t hit me nearly as hard as Marvin Gaye’s, because your family can hurt you in ways no stranger could ever manage. And I think Michael Jackson would be the first to agree with that sentiment…

    Best medical commentary I’ve heard so far was a doctor who said, “He was an African-American male over 40. That’s two giant risk factors for a sudden fatal coronary.”

  172. 172
    Victory says:

    All the more evidence to live hard and die young in the music business.

    Had he died after Thirller, the guy would be LEGEN…..wait for it…..DARY!

    He would be Hendrix big…..bigger than Hendrix big.

    Too bad.

  173. 173
    eglenn says:

    And now I am morbidly curious how a 50 year old who’s not obese and seemingly without any prior history of heart disease, dies of a heart attack.

    Current LA theory is a Demerol overdose – not all at once, but too closely spaced.

  174. 174
    PanAmerican says:

    There’s nothing tragic about being fifty. Not unless you’re trying to be twenty-five.

    You know, a dozen press agents working overtime can do terrible things to the human spirit.

    More grandeur from Neverland Ranch:

    This is just wrong

    At Neverland no one can hear you scream
    IS that…Mccauley?!?.. shudder

    Here’s the whole catalog.

  175. 175
    Cruel Jest says:

    John: You can’t throw down an update like that and leave a broken link. I believe it is an intertron felony. The fake lawyers among us might be able to elaborate.

  176. 176
    YellowJournalism says:

    I still have my old costume from when I was about six and did a routine to “Thriller” in my dance class. No, we weren’t dressed like zombies, unfortunately.

    The very last scene in “Thriller” always freaked me out. My most vivid memory of it is the video playing on TV while my parents and sister gathered around our cat as she gave birth to kittens behind the piano. I was too busy watching the video and waiting to duck during the part when Jackson turns around and flashes the spooky cat eyes.

    Life is strange.

    (But am I wrong to be sick of all the coverage already? I don’t mind the retrospectives, but I think the whole watching the vehicles take away his body thing was kind of sick and creepy. I had to turn the channel.)

  177. 177
    eglenn says:

    (But am I wrong to be sick of all the coverage already? I don’t mind the retrospectives, but I think the whole watching the vehicles take away his body thing was kind of sick and creepy. I had to turn the channel.)

    If a culture is to devour a man whole, it stands to reason that it wants to get every last drop.

  178. 178
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    It’s kinda like National Enquirer has seized all our teevee stations.

  179. 179
    iluvsummr says:

    @Steeplejack:
    Jason Jones: “What’s black and white and red all over?”
    Bill Keller: “A newspaper?”
    Jason Jones: “Your balance sheet.”
    I felt Bill Keller’s pain at that moment even as I howled.

    On Michael, some of you guys are absolutely cruel (but thank goodness, not as evil as the commenters on Wonkette).

    Oh and, “Off the Wall.”

  180. 180
    Josh E. says:

    Update link is broken.

  181. 181
    tavella says:

    I do wonder about his poor kids. They had fucked up lives to start with, and from my understanding Jackson had nothing but debts by the time he died. And aren’t all his siblings somewhat screwed up, even if not as badly as MJ was? Wonder where they’ll end up.

  182. 182
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Yeah, what’s up with the broken link? Gawd, you guys crack me up. I am relieved that I am not the only one who snorted over AkaDad’s quip. See y’all in hell!

    I was never a big MJ fan. I feel about him the same way I feel about Prince–really talented, fucked up guys whose music doesn’t really appeal to me. However, the bit Hilzoy had about Jackson’s upbringing was very sad.

  183. 183

    As long as we’re talking about 30 year old pop music, is it wrong of me to imagine a female Village People with a maid, a nurse, a cop, a secretary, a schoolteacher, and a nun?

  184. 184
    Steeplejack says:

    @JMN Is Now asiangrrlMN’s Official Stalker:

    Yeah, pretty much. Think how hard it would be to form “YWCA” in semaphore. Get real.

  185. 185
    Screamin' Demon says:

    I made a million by the time I was ten
    I wrote a love song to a rat named Ben
    And then I got a nose job
    And changed my chin and made my skin light
    Look me in the face and tell me
    If you think I’m black or white

    I’m still a virgin and I’m 33
    Even Madonna won’t have sex with me
    I play with little animals
    And hang out with Macauley all night
    If that’s not strange enough
    I don’t know whether I’m black or white

    Am I black or white
    Please tell me!
    (WE DON’T KNOW!)

    I think this was from In Living Color, in 1991. The lyrics stayed with me all these years.

  186. 186
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @JMN Is Now asiangrrlMN’s Official Stalker:
    @Steeplejack:

    Oh, good god. You guys are so fricking funny!

  187. 187

    Thriller. Something in my office is making an annoying, intermittent high-pitched whining noise. I checked the house for Republicans and didn’t find any so it must be something electronic. This is one of the few reasons why it’s a good thing that I’m single, I mean if I can hear this, and find it annoying with my fucked up hearing, then God only knows what it would be like for anyone else.

  188. 188
    Blue Raven says:

    Thriller as an album. Unfortunately, I cannot listen to “Billie Jean” anymore without remembering that Quincy Jones beat MJ up in an attempt to get him to stop with the “hoo-hoos.” This leaves me Off the Wall as a true joy, as he hadn’t started the plastic surgery and the songs stand up fantastically. When I DJ in Second Life and someone wants pre-surgery MJ, I go to OTW without fail.

    Also, I have to give props to his work on The Wiz. Cheesy movie? Yes. But he was a great Scarecrow.

  189. 189
    JenJen says:

    @Xanthippas: Pretty much exactly the moment I was thinking about when Kurt Loder popped into my head.

    That one still hurts a little. Gawd, I loved me some Cobain.

  190. 190
    Existenz says:

    @JK I think Bob Dylan would get massive coverage, unless he lived to be 110 or something at which point half the population would think he was already dead. He really is the most legendary and influential entertainer living today.

    Madonna dying right now would get huge coverage, don’t forget that she and Michael were the king and queen of the 80s. Steven Spielberg would get massive coverage, Michael Jordan, Will Smith, Tom Cruise. Also, age of death matters. Remember when Mother Theresa and Princess Di died within the same week, and Di was the whole story? When a celeb dies (relatively) young it gets a lot more coverage.

  191. 191
    Darkrose says:

    Off the Wall.

  192. 192
    MikeJ says:

    That one still hurts a little. Gawd, I loved me some Cobain.

    When Nevermind hit number one on BIllboard, the artist it knocked out of that spot was Michael Jackson. It was taken as a sign that guitars were back in pop music.

  193. 193
    eglenn says:

    Something in my office is making an annoying, intermittent high-pitched whining noise. I checked the house for Republicans and didn’t find any so it must be something electronic.

    Any practical jokers with access to your office?

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/b278/

  194. 194
    Comrade Darkness says:

    That guy always creeped me out. The same way clowns do.

    Yeah, I’m a cold hearted bastard, but if I’m feeling anything, it’s a kind of relief.

  195. 195
    freelancer says:

    Yeah, haha,

    When’s anyone going to realize that in terms of legislatures recognizing cultural contributions, the house of representatives or the senate allowed a hindi or buddhist monk to say the morning opening prayer, interrupted by a bunch of Christianist nutbags less than 2 years ago, but today, video surfaced of the Louisiana legislature giving the floor to “Hurricane Chris” to pay homage to Halle Berry. It’s a sight to see as far as C-span type coverage goes.
    And yes, this is the third time i’ve linked it in as many as three different threads, but it’s so WTF that I feel it’s needed.

  196. 196
    Non-Compassionate Liberal says:

    Off The Wall.

  197. 197

    I was never a fan of MJ. No opinon on which was best because I can’t really distinguish them musically from one another. The music is very good but not good enough for me to buy any albums.

    Motown was pretty good stuff but I was more of a Stax records guy, e.g. Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, etc.

  198. 198
    Gravenstone says:

    Jackson’s passing reminded of a coed from my long ago college days. She was a freshman the year of the Pepsi fire, and a huge Michael Jackson fan. Several of us were gathered to watch the MTV special about the fire and his recovery (because it’s not like we needed to be studying or anything).

    Afterwards MTV started playing Billy Jean, so we figured they were going to follow up with a half hour or so of his vids. Next up comes Beat It – only something is amiss, the notes are just slightly off – then it becomes obvious that we’re beaing treated to our first ever showing of Eat It. Poor Jennifer was soooo offended that anyone would parody her beloved Michael that she literally stomped from the room. I can imagine she’s somewhere crying today over her fallen idol.

    Oh, and OTW for the win.

  199. 199
    J. says:

    Thriller was a better album, IMHO, but I preferred the pre-plastic surgery, pre-glove, pre-chimp version of Michael singing “Off the Wall.” (The link goes to a live concert performance of the song from 1979 — and also includes great, brief clips of Ed McMahon with Johnny Carson doing Carnac the Magnificent and Farah Fawcell.)

  200. 200
    J. says:

    Thriller was a better album, IMHO, but I preferred the pre-plastic surgery, pre-glove, pre-chimp version of Michael singing “Off the Wall.” (The link goes to a live concert performance of the song from 1979 — and also includes great, brief clips of Ed McMahon with Johnny Carson doing Carnac the Magnificent and Farah Fawcett.)

    Oops! Went up twice. Sorry ’bout that.

  201. 201
    snowsim says:

    I was never a fan of MJ, but you have to be a little bit in awe of anyone whose death can break the internet. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8120324.stm

  202. 202
    Svensker says:

    @JMN Is Now asiangrrlMN’s Official Stalker:

    Well, everything’s relative. When I was working security and getting off work at about 4am on weekends, I’d often go to Perkins to get something to eat before going home. One night, in the booth right behind me, Prince was holding court with his entourage, loud enough for me to overhear. A more pompous, half-assed philosopher-wanna be I’ve never heard. It was painful just how trite and shallow it was, and how eagerly his crew lapped it up.

    Had a similar thing happen with Allen Ginsberg, sitting in front of him and his entourage on an Amtrak. A complete pompous ass, a jerk, and pretty creepy, to boot.

    And, having worked in Hollywood during the 70s and 80s in both film and in music, I’d have to say that nearly any star you want to pick is a screwed up mofo. Often times, the greater the talent, the greater the screwed-upped-ness.

  203. 203
    Da Bomb says:

    I gotta say, both were great.

    Can’t really choose between the two.

  204. 204
    Patrick says:

    What is the rule in these situations? Three days of glowing retrospective about their career, then three weeks of talking about how he was a pedophile?

  205. 205
    Capelza Gradenko says:

    Billie Jean. So I guess it’s Thriller.

    Standing on a dock in the winter of Kodiak, Billie Jean blaring out of a crabber’s deck speakers into the Alaska dusk. Big, burly whiter than wonder bread boys on the boats, Phillipino dock workers and pretty much everyone else around moving to the beat. Every Breath You Take by the police comes in second, maybe Do You Really Want to Hurt Me by Culture Club…but Billie Jean was some kind of involuntary anthem of the body for those early 80’s years.

  206. 206
    Sherrell says:

    In his final act, I think Michael Jackson may of just helped save Mark Sanford’s career

    Not to mention he finally got MTV to play music videos again

  207. 207
    The Saff says:

    Synchronicity.

    I remember all my friends in high school being ga-ga for Prince and MJ, but I loved The Police.

  208. 208
    Glocksman says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    Heh.

    In one of the many Star Trek novels, McCartney and Lennon are mentioned in a throwaway line as being in the same class as Bach, etc.

    I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I do like a lot of Beatles and post-Beatles material by McCartney, Lennon, and Ringo Starr.

    That said, as a member in good standing of the WH Harrison High School Class of 1985, I could care less about Michael Jackson and the freak show he epitomized.

    Though I do have vague memories from grade school of Off The Wall tracks being popular. :)

    Though my memories may be colored by the fact that MTV was a ‘premium’ channel on my local cable system at the time.

    While I cared enough about watching movies to buy a ‘descrambler’ from a classmate (who sold me his parents’ cable box) I didn’t care enough about MTV to actually pay for it. :)

  209. 209
    memory says:

    Off The Wall. Thriller is a good album, but it’s too mcdonald’s/disney kiddiefied.

  210. 210
    PurpleGirl says:

    #157 PanAmerican

    The auction which he had approved wasn’t held. He/his company later went to court to block it. He didn’t own Neverland Ranch anymore either. It went to a private investment group for a loan in 2008.

    Even if his records start seeing big sales, his estate probably won’t see a influx of money… there’s too many private loans out there. The thing about rich people (Donald Trump is an example of this) is that they can get loans for living expenses based on future possibilities. It makes the leader look good. Of course, MJs death now changes the equation. I hope he at least made plans for his kids’ futures.

  211. 211
    Glocksman says:

    @The Saff:

    Indeed.

    While Sting solo strikes me as a self important poser, he was made ‘complete’ by the Police.

    Synchronicity rules.

  212. 212
    binzinerator says:

    Thriller.

    Though I love Off the Wall too, it’s Thriller because so many highschool memories are connected to those songs. Beat It, Billie Jean, Thriller, Wanna be Starting Something — all de rigueur music at the parties.

    (The girl I took to senior prom whispered to me afterwards “Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa” then gave me one hell of a smoking hot kiss. Whew. Wanna be Starting Something, indeed. I was 17 and it was the first passionate kiss of my life, impossible to forget that and MJ’s song is indelibly connected with that memory).

  213. 213
    Paula says:

    Fuck this circus. He was the heart and soul of the Jackson 5 and the trio of Thriller-OTW-Bad is one of the very best runs in pop history. However, I can’t enjoy any of it because of this mess.

    He should have gone on a permanent hiatus from superstardom around the time of Dangerous,

    Sad, and a waste. Like all self-destructive talent.

  214. 214
    Mwangangi says:

    Off the Wall

    …given the option I would take the best tracks from each…

    and to the hater upthread who doesn’t like P.Y.T.— you’re crazy.

  215. 215
    Buddy says:

    This might sound crazy, but I think the guy was innocent. I’m not a super fan or anything, and used to be all but convinced of his guilt as a child molester, but after doing some very light internet reading on the details of his accusers, the evidence in the cases, etc I’m pretty sure the guy might have been innocent.

    Anyway, do folks know something I don’t know? I didn’t follow the trials or tabloids when news of the “incidents” were first reported, but everything I’ve read today makes it sound like the people who accused him of child molestation were little more than shakedown artists looking for a buck. Does someone know of hard evidence, or even circumstantial evidence, that makes him look guilty? I mean, it wasn’t like the OJ case or anything, so why is everyone so sure of his guilt (not here so much, which is cool, but it seems like the consensus everywhere else is that he was definitely guilty and a deeply disturbed guy)?

  216. 216
    JenJen says:

    @Svensker: I met Roland Orzabal on a train en route to Berlin once, while living in West Germany as a teenager. He was in Tears for Fears.

    It just happened to be the day Marvin Gaye was murdered, and I learned the news from Orzabal. He said he was looking for Americans to talk to about how destroyed he was over it, since only an American would really understand. To this day, I find that conversation to be quite intriguing.

    Not as interesting as the Prince/Ginsberg story, but there ya go. :-)

Comments are closed.