Michael Jackson's 50 Best Songs (2023)

miguel jackson, the greatest pop artist who ever lived, has a career that spans more than 40 of his 50 years. The de facto star of Motown's groundbreaking Jackson 5, the sensitive solo singer behind '70s hits, the vanguard of the MTV era, and the timeless voice behind some of the only multi-million selling records of the '90s. could safely call "asleep". ." We sifted through their massive catalog to pick the top 50.

  • 50. “This hotel place”

    Triumph, 1980

    The future King of Pop took on the legacy of the King of Rock & Roll on the Jacksons' 1980's version of "Heartbreak Hotel." Written by Michael, it has little in common with Elvis Presley's 1956 classic; is a fast disco-pop song that takes the original track in a darker direction with lyrics about a hotel where relationships end. "Heartbreak Hotel" became a number two R&B hit; then someone at the Jacksons' record label, perhaps sensing legal complications, switched to the absurd "This Place Hotel".

  • 49. “Who loves you”

    Diana Ross presentsLos Jackson 5, 1969

    "I Want You Back" was a glimpse into Motown's future; its B-side contemplated the label's past. A cover of a Smokey Robinson torch song (first appearing as the B-side to The Miracles' "Shop Around" in 1960), it was the sweetest fruit of the Jackson 5's collaboration with R&B singer Bobby Taylor, who brought it to Motown and produced some of its first songs. Backed by Motown house band The Funk Brothers, Michael pushes himself to the limit, wringing every word out of Robinson's harrowing lyrics.

  • 48. “Blood on the Dance Floor”

    blood onDance floor: history in the mix, 1997

    A departure from the "Dangerous" era, it was revived as the title track of Jackson's 1997 remix album. The eerily slinky song has an appropriately spooky origin story. Teddy Riley skips a party to work on this and someone is shot on the party's dance floor. He hadn't mentioned the tragedy to Jackson and was surprised when the singer suggested "Blood on the Dance Floor" as the title. Jackson sings about a stalker with a seven-inch knife, another in her lineup of femme fatales for whom sex and murder are one and the same.

  • 47. "Will you be there?"

    Dangerous, 1991

    Even by Jackson's wildly ambitious standards, the theme song for the 1993 filmLiberen a Willy, and the eighth single fromDangerous, was one of his greatest recordings. Written while sitting in his "Giving Tree" at Neverland Ranch, "Will You Be There" opens with a long orchestral prelude by Beethoven, performed by the Cleveland Orchestra, weaving together hosannas from the Andraé Crouch Singers and culminating in a tearfully spoken monologue. . It's a gospel song that continues a theme throughout his career: from "I'll Be There" to "Got to Be There" to "Will You Be There," it encapsulates a journey from boundless trust to fear and loneliness.

  • 46. ​​"In the Closet"

    Dangerous, 1991

    Write the most passionate, unequivocally sexual song you've ever sung and call it "In the Closet"? In the early nineties, Michael Jackson was a master of mixed signals. Producer Teddy Riley constructed a dissonant, off-kilter beat that made Jackson's hormone-soaked whispers and moans fit perfectly with the R&B radio tone ("It was just amazing," recalled keyboardist Brad Buxer, "almost atonal." ) Initially conceived as a duet with Madonna, "In the Closet" features a pair of spoken passages by a "Mystery Girl" (Princess Stephanie of Monaco) on the recording and Naomi Campbell in the racy video.

  • 45. “Shock”

    vitoria, 1984

    The biggest hit of the lackluster Victory for the Jacksons era was "State of Shock," a number three duet between Jackson and Mick Jagger that smoothly worked somewhere between guitar rock and pop. The song was originally intended to be a collaboration with Queen's Freddie Mercury, but fell to Jagger due to scheduling difficulties. "[Michael] had Mick lie down for over an hour to warm up before he started", said sound engineer Bruce Swedien. "Mick didn't hesitate. By then, everyone knew how good Michael was. If Michael Jackson says warm up, you warm up, even if you're Mick Jagger."

  • 44. “Scream”

    HISTORY: Past, Presentand future, 1995

    Jackson reached a breaking point after being accused of sexual assault. The result was "Scream", one of his most conflicted songs and the first to use the word "fuck". Written with her sister Janet, it reached number five on the Hot 100, thanks to an extravagant video that has often been credited as the most expensive music video ever made. But while it was a difficult period for Jackson, it wasn't all bad. "I had so much fun working with my sister," he said in 1995. "It's like a reunion. I'm the closest to Janet out of all the family members. We were so excited on set."

  • 43. “Dancing Machine”

    dance machine, 1974

    The Jackson 5's star had waned somewhat by 1974: It had been three years since their last Top 10 hit. So producer/co-writer Hal Davis jumped at the chance to steer them away from child-oriented pop and a full disco music. with a bubbling synth. Aided by Michael's spectacular "robot" dancing when the song debuted on Soul Train, "Dancing Machine" became a huge crossover hit and pointed in the direction the group would go from then on. "I loved 'Dancing Machine,' I loved the beat and feel of that song," Michael recalled inmoonwalk.

  • 42. “Jam”

    Dangerous, 1991

    Like danceable pleas for universal understanding, the opening music ofDangerousit's surprisingly tense and fragmented. The beat carries producer Teddy Riley's signature sound, but Jackson created most of it. "He brought it to me as DAT and told me there were things he wanted to do, and I did them," Riley recalled. Jackson's voice is slow to seep into the mix, and he stutters through the chorus as if his voice is being cut to pieces; Arguably the most accessible moment on "Jam" is the verse by Heavy D, Jackson's favorite rapper at the time. Unsurprisingly, the song stalled on the pop charts but was a top five R&B hit.

    (Video) Michael Jackson - Top 50 songs (Fans Choice) 2022 | (GMJHD)

  • 41. “Goodbye, my summer love”

    goodbye my summeramar, 1984

    In 1984, a recording of Michael Jackson reading the tax code would likely have surfaced. Well aware of this, Motown released an album of unused MJ material. Hegoodbye my summer loveThe album consisted of nine songs from 1973, overdubbed with new eighties-sounding instrumentation. "It's not fair," Jackson said. "I had no control over that song." The album's innocent title track became a Top 10 hit in the UK. Appropriately for a song about teen blues, Michael's performance is a snapshot of his voice as it was changing; there are even some hints of mature power from him.

  • 40. "Can you feel it?"

    Triumph, 1990

    "I got a call at three in the morning, it's Michael Jackson," says vocal coordinator Stephanie Spruill, who assembled the 30-voice choir for the Jacksons' "Can You Feel It." “He says, 'I know I asked you to get the voice choir…but now I need a children's choir. And I want them to be of all races, creeds and colors.' Remember, the session was two days." Spruill, who also sings the song's high notes, did it. The chorus was recorded over three tracks, creating a triumphant disco appeal that Tito says defines the Jacksons." It talks about who we are," he told Larry King. "Love, peace and harmony for the world."

  • 39. “Blame it on the boogie”

    Destiny, 1978

    After 1977 by the Jacksonsto go placescollapsed commercially, it took Michael Jackson to help rescue the band, but not what you think. "Blame It" was co-written and performed by Michael "Mick" Jackson, a bearded singer-songwriter from Yorkshire, who released his own version almost simultaneously. Of course, he didn't stand a chance against Jackson's disco hell, but he doesn't hold grudges. "The fact that music did that made it so much easier for me," said Mick Jackson. "And, of course, the Jacksons were hugely successful."

  • 38. “Leave me alone”

    Place, 1987

    Did Michael sleep in a hyperbaric chamber? ("I don't think he'd let Michael have that thing in the house," said his mother, Katherine.) Did you pay a million dollars to buy the Elephant Man's bones? ("And why would I want some bones?" he asked Oprah.) Did he have any weird pets? (Queen's Freddie Mercury once called his manager and said, "You've got to get me out of here, I'm recording with a flame.") Not to mention Michael's emphatic Stevie Wonder-style synth vocal solo.

  • 37. “Going Back to Indiana”

    third album, 1970

    "You can go back to bed, but I know where I'm going," Jackson proclaimed in the 1971 television special.going back to Indiana, just before singing its soulful title track. The horn-infused funky pop number was composed by the Corporation and, in addition to Michael's soaring verses, features a soulful rap sung by his brothers about their hometown of Gary, finished off by helium vocals.e" by Michael. "Goin' Back to Indiana" tapped into a real sense of nostalgia that sounds odd coming from someone so young. Years later, he wrote inmoonwalk, "Our records have become worldwide hits since we last saw our hometown."

  • 36. “Ter Ter Ter Ter”

    peace pipes, 1983

    Jackson and Paul McCartney co-wrote the smooth but compelling "Say Say Say" during the same sessions that produced "The Girl Is Mine", and recorded it with George Martin at Abbey Road Studios. Jackson later recalled that he and McCartney "shared the same idea of ​​how a pop song should work". He also added, "We worked together as equals and had fun. Paul never had to carry me around that studio." The snake oil-themed video for the song featured a cameo by La Toya and was filmed not far from a property north of Santa Barbara that Jackson later purchased and renamed Neverland Ranch.

  • 35. “We are the world”

    United States to Africa1985

    "We Are the World", which raised more than $60 million to fight hunger in Africa and put Bob Dylan and Ray Charles in a room with Kenny Loggins and Cyndi Lauper, was conceived by Harry Belafonte. It turned into a 45-star celebrity night shoot at the A&M Studio in Los Angeles. Jackson wrote with Lionel Richie for weeks and sang lines to his sister Janet in the dark; so he sneaked into a recording studio alone. "I couldn't wait," he said. "I was in and out the same night with the complete song: drums, piano, strings and chorus lyrics." Jones told the assembled stars to "leave your ego at the door", and a benevolent coup was born.

  • 34. “Have fun”

    los jackson, 1976

    The first single released by "The Jacksons", four of the iconic 5 and newly promoted Randy, was the first out of the Motown machine. Ron Alexenburg, who signed them to CBS, had his eye on "only two people" to helm the project: Philadelphia soul hitmakers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Along with the Jacksons, they created this disco-leaning Top 10 single, but the sessions left another lasting impression on Michael. “Just watching Huff play the piano while Gamble sang taught me more about the anatomy of a song than anything else,” he wrote. "I would sit there like a hawk, watching every decision, listening to every note."

  • 33. “Kneel on the ground”

    Off the Wall, 1979

    Quincy Jones says it was leftover from a session by the funk group Brothers Johnson. One of the brothers, bassist Louis "Thunder Thumbs" Johnson, says it came from a home-recorded bass cassette tape of ideas Michael played. Either way, happy collaboration is the hardest thing to have fun with.Off the Wall. Although Louis Johnson played on three more of Jackson's albums, it was a highlight he could not repeat. "What I always enjoy is the fun and excitement of playing live together onOff the Wallsessions," he said. "Michael and everyone laughed, knowing we were doing magic."

  • 32. “Mama's Pearl”

    third album, 1970

    Motown's songwriting team, the Corporation, had to tone down the lyrics of "Mama's Pearl", originally titled "Guess Who's Making Whoopie (With Your Girlfriend)", so that preteen Michael could sing it without getting up. the hands. parent's eyebrows. Musically, the track sounds like the disjointed cousin of "I Want You Back," with its bouncing piano and bass and "doo-doo-doo" choruses, but Michael sounds as cute as ever trying to coax a girl into letting him fall in love. by him. The track, which peaked at number two, remained special to Jackson decades later; inmoonwalkhe wrote that it reminded him of his schoolyard days.

    (Video) Michael Jackson - Top 50 songs (Fans Choice) 2019 | (GMJHD)

  • 31. "Morphine"

    blood onDance floor: history in the mix, 1997

    "Guns n' Roses was probably the biggest stadium rock band at the time, and then there's Michael, who is kind of like the Elvis Presley of the time and, like, that's scary fame," said Slash, who played on the harrowing industrial funkster album from Jackson's 1997 remix album. Jackson addresses rumors about his addiction to painkillers: "Demerol, Demerol/Oh, God, he's on Demerol," as if crying out for help. Jermaine claimed that he began taking painkillers for burns sustained during his 1984 Pepsi commercial: "I doubt I would have thought twice about the side effects of Demerol", he recalled.

  • 30. "I have to be there."

    It has to beLeaves, 1972

    Jackson's first single as a solo artist found him thinking outside the Jackson family box. A top five pop and R&B hit, the buttery ballad "Got to Be There" was penned by New Jersey songwriter Elliot Willensky, and featured a lavish pillow talk arrangement that was far sexier than the J5's bubblegum. . And few pop stars at the time, let alone those as young as 13, ventured into sweet, suggestive lyrics like "Gotta be there in the morning / And welcome you into my world." Was he referring to the classroom or the bedroom? Either way, it was convincing.

  • 29. “Butterflies”

    Invincible, 2002

    The best music on Jackson's final studio album is light, innocent, and affectionate R&B, free of the dark undertones that dominated much of his later music. The song was introduced to Jackson in a demo on vocals by Marsha Ambrosius of the group Floetry, who was also one of the song's writers. "Originally we did a demo with a woman singing, so it was difficult for him to hit those notes," recalls co-producer Vidal Davis. "We did tons and tons of takes." The final results brought back the quiet soul of Jackson's early solo recordings for a rhythmic track built around finger-snapping. Said Davis: "He had the highest clicks in the world."

  • 28. "Fine"

    ben, 1972

    One of the Weirdest Number One Hits of the Seventies: A Decade of Virtually Nothingbutstrange number one hits. And for most of the decade, it was Jackson's only solo No. 1 hit. "Ben" is a love ballad to a murderous mouse, from a sleazy horror movie about mutated rodents running amok in Los Angeles. In the film, it is sung by the misfit boy who befriends the titular mouse. Few fans had any idea about the pro-vermin subtext, but MJ liked the idea, according to lyricist Don Black (most famous for his James Bond themes): “He's a big animal lover, very sensitive. movements. flies."

  • 27. "Burn This Disco"

    Off the Wall, 1979

    The final track inOff the Wall, "Burn This Disco Out" explodes with a fast-paced dancefloor feel. The distorted guitar line could have come from a Stevie Wonder record. Jackson, who worked all Saturday night memorizing lyrics so he wouldn't have to read a cheat sheet at a Sunday recording session, bounces his voice around a melody tailored to his vocal percussion style. "He was very rhythmic," said Rod Temperton. “So I tried to write melodies that had a lot of short notes to give him some humming things to do... and I came up with 'Burn This Disco Out'. "

  • 26. “Dirty Diana”

    Place, 1987

    Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens helped Jackson strengthen his sound and wardrobe. After Stevens introduced the pop star to his tailor, he adopted the leather-bound heavy metal look of the cover ofPlace. But Stevens' biggest contribution to the album is the spiraling metal solo on the power ballad "Dirty Diana." “[Michael] kept asking me about rock bands: 'Do you know Mötley Crüe?' Stevens recalled. The hard track has becomePlace's fifth consecutive number-one single and a favorite of a famous real-life Diana, Princess Diana, who reportedly requested the song at a 1988 Jackson concert in London.

  • 25. “The girl is mine”

    Suspended, one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two

    Jackson called this Paul McCartney duet the "obvious first single" fromSuspended. But Quincy Jones referred to him as a "red herring" as he only hintedSuspendedJackson's power offered the song to McCartney, which has an easy jazz beat and showcases a lighthearted relationship between Jackson and the former Beatle, as a duet to "return the favour" by giving McCartney "Girlfriend" toOff the Wall. McCartney's only concern was the word "doggone", which he thought some listeners might find "perfunctory". "When I consulted Michael, he explained that he wasn't looking for depth, he was looking for pace, he was looking for feel," said McCartney.

  • 24. “Dangerous”

    Dangerous, 1991

    Off the WallySuspendedyPlacethey were more fun," remembers veteran Jackson engineer Bruce Swedien. "DangerousyHistorythey were more of Michael's life story." A product of Jackson shifting his sound to 90s R&B, the title track ofDangerousit is raw and strong, with vocals oscillating between rage and terror, and lyrics about lust turning into a "web of sin". The track evolved from aPlace-was called "Streetwalker", which he revised and renamed during theDangeroussessions with co-writer Bill Bottrell. "The song didn't move Michael," recalled co-producer Teddy Riley. "I said to Michael... 'This is your album. If this is the right melody, I can use what you have in your corner. Let me change the whole background and put a new floor in here.' 'Try it I think we have to wear what we love.” The resulting melody blends bright strings (a Jackson favorite) with some of the strongest rhythms he's ever sung, a stark contrast to Quincy Jones' rich and colorful orchestration, Riley said. ."

  • 23. “I can never say goodbye”

    Maybe tomorrow, 1971

    Looking back on the Jackson era 5 years later, Jackson has said that his "three favorite songs from that era are 'Never Can Say Goodbye', 'I'll Be There' and 'ABC' for best boy work. Written by Clifton Davis, who would perform at Jackson's funeral in 2009, "Never" set a moving lyric to a sparkling melody. Davis worried that 11-year-old Michael wouldn't understand the lyric's pain. "I remember he asked me about one of the lines," he said. Davis. "'What does this word mean, 'distress'?' I wonder. I explained to him. He shrugged and simply sang the line 'There's that angst and that doubt'. And I believed him." The single, propelled by a dreamily baroque golden arrangement with flute and chimes, reached number two on the chart.billboardchart instead of the then-usual Jackson 5 number one. But, as Jermaine Jackson recalls in his bookYou're not aloneNot even his father, Joseph Jackson, "nor Mr. Gordy" complained. How could they?

  • 22. "Off the Wall"

    Off the Wall, 1979

    "In the studio, Michael was goofy and fun," recalled Rod Temperton, who began working with Jackson in the late 1970s. "He never swore. He didn't even say the word 'cool', he said 'stinky'. So that was Quincy's nickname for him: Stinky." /let that fool loose deep in your soul" going to clubs and "living wild, that's the only way". of Jackson, was as seductive as the vision of dance music in his head. the music was performed in part by jazz and fusion keyboardist George Duke. The song was also strangely prescient: in the decades after its release, the world saw how truly out of the ordinary Jackson's life could become.

    (Video) Michael jackson greatest hits da

  • 21. “Suspended”

    Suspended, one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two

    The epic video for the title track of Jackson's best-selling album has become so iconic that it's easy to downplay the song itself, one of the weirdest songs he's ever released. Written by Rod Temperton, the song was initially called "Starlight" until Quincy Jones asked Temperton for another title. "The next morning I woke up and said this word ['thriller']," says Temperton. “Something in my head said, 'This is the title.' You can view it at the top ofbillboardthe charts." Temperton also revised the lyrics to reflect Jackson's love of horror films. The track took on the filtered funk feel ofOff the Wallto a grander, more theatrical level, with its otherworldly sound effects (howling werewolves and creaking coffins) and chilling narration by actor Vincent Price, a friend of Jones' then-wife Peggy Lipton, who nailed his role in two takes. . The weirdness of "Thriller" didn't end there: While the song was being mixed, Jackson's eight-foot boa constrictor, Muscles, glided across the console. The last of seven mind-blowing singles fromSuspended, reached number four on the charts.

  • 20. “The Way You Make Me Feel”

    Place, 1987

    "'The Way You Make Me Feel' and 'Smooth Criminal' are just the grooves I was into at the time," said Jackson. Planet Earth was also very interested in them. The third consecutive number one single fromPlaceis the last unmistakably upbeat hit of Jackson's miraculous eighties. "That was one of my favorites," says keyboardist Greg Phillinganes. "I remember how much fun I had putting those unconventional parts, the bass line, all of that, and seeing the look on Michael's face." The idea for the unbreakable rhythm came from Jackson's mother, Katherine, who suggested that he make a song "with a sort of slurred rhythm". Jackson responded, "I think I know what you mean" and quickly came up with something (originally titled "Hot Fever"). Jackson recorded all vocal parts, including backing vocals, dancing to the track in a dark studio. Engineer Bruce Swedien recalled, "He would sing his line and then disappear into the darkness."

  • 19. "She's out of my life."

    Off the Wall, 1979

    "Maybe that was too personal for a party, it was for me," Jackson said of "She's Out of My Life," the ballad's harrowing moment midway throughOff the Walldisco celebration. The song was written by Los Angeles musician Thomas Bähler, about the end of a two-year relationship (Bähler has been with Karen Carpenter, but said the song is not about her). Quincy Jones had planned to record the song with Frank Sinatra, but Jackson took a chance and opted for a stunning version. "She's out of my life" wasOff the WallGreg Phillinganes' fourth Top 10 single and electric piano set the tone for seemingly every hit ballad of the next decade and a half. Famously, Jackson's powerful voice breaks and trembles in the last few words of the song. "Every time we'd do it, I'd look at the end and Michael would cry," Jones said in 1983. "I said, 'We'll come back in two weeks and do it again...' He came back and started getting tearful. Then we left him.". It was a staple of Jackson's set lists from 1981 to 1993, always followed by an upbeat medley to bring the mood back.

  • 18. “P.Y.T. (very young thing)"

    Suspended, one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two

    Full of fun keyboard doodles and fun slang like "tenderoni", "P.Y.T." it wasSuspendedThe most carefree bachelor. Quincy Jones wrote with singer James Ingram after Jones' wife brought home lingerie called Pretty Young Things. Ingram said he was blown away by how Jackson actually danced in the studio while singing the song. That energy comes when Jackson exchanges "na-na-na" with some pretty girls he knew very well: sisters Janet and La Toya. Artists ranging fromamerican idoleveryone from singer Justin Guarini to Jones himself, featuring T-Pain and Robin Thicke, covered the song, and the 25th anniversary edition ofSuspendedperformed a completely reconfigured version of the Will.i.am song, but nobody managed to capture the electric energy of the original. "I love 'Pretty Young Thing,'" Jackson recalled. "I liked the 'code' in the lyrics, and 'tenderoni' and 'sugar fly' were fun rock & roll-type words you couldn't find in the dictionary."

  • 17. “The love that saves”

    A B C, 1970

    The third in the Jackson 5's unprecedented run of three consecutive chart-topping hits reached No. 1 in June 1970, after "I Want You Back" and "ABC". Unlike other J5 songs that an adult could easily sing along to, "The Love You Save" was specifically "written for our young voices, with parts for Jermaine and me", as Michael later explained. He recalls seeing the tag team vocal lines and opening "doo-doo-doos / boom-boom-boom" percussions, such as the sound "bow down to Sly [and the Family Stone] from the Corporation, which made the singers spin around the stage." Like Sly's up-tempo hits, it was also written to be dance music, for kids in the basement as well as the well-choreographed band onstage. And the recurring "Stop!" is a clear echo of "Stop! In the Name of Love," the previous hit by her labelmates/big sisters, the Supremes. It's arguably the highlight of a second LP which, with covers of Funkadelic's "I Bet You" and The Delfonics' "La La Means I Love You", saw the group go from novelty to something much more potent.

  • 16. “Human nature”

    Suspended, one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two

    One of Jackson's most vulnerable R&B ballads had a surprising origin: rock band Toto, famous for "Africa"​​and "Hold the Line." Part of the band played inSuspended, including keyboardist Steve Porcaro. At the end of the sessions, Jones was still looking for songs, so Toto sent some demos. But at the end of the tape there was an unfinished instrumental that caught Jones' attention. "There was a fictional handwriting, very skeletal stuff," he recalled, "but with a wonderful flavor." Jones sent it to lyricist John Bettis, who also co-wrote such hits as The Carpenters' "Top of the World" and Madonna's "Crazy for You". The result is perfect for Michael's breathy, coy voice, even as the plot involves clubbing and getting laid one night ("If this town is just a block away," he sings, "then let me take a look and bite." ). Although it was a last minute addition toSuspended, "Human Nature" became her fifth single and a Summer Top 10 hit. It returned to the charts 10 summers later as SWV's 1993 number one R&B hit, "Right Here/Human Nature" byLiberen a Willy, a children's film about an orca.

  • 15. “Remember the time”

    Dangerous, 1991

    A lush reverie, "Remember the Time" was Jackson's best attempt to update his sound for the hip-hop era. After parting ways with Quincy Jones over creative differences afterPlace, began looking for a young producer and landed on Teddy Riley, creator of New Jack Swing, the hot R&B of the moment. "I came in with 10 beats," Riley said at the time. "He liked them all." "Remember the Time" was a highlight of their collaboration and one of Jackson's best post-'80s vocal performances. Engineer Dave Way recalls watching the singer work on "Remember the Time" as he nailed "every note and harmony , doubled, tripled, then maybe quadrupled; every time singing perfectly, vibratos perfectly matched, perfectly in tune, rhythmically dead." , knowing exactly what he wanted to do all along. Flawless." Diana Ross.

  • 14. “Work day and night”

    Off the Wall, 1979

    one of those monstersOff the Wallbeats that could easily have been a big hit, only they never made it to a single, perhaps because the charts were already full of hits fromOff the Wall. "Workin' Day and Night" sits in the middle of the unstoppable side of the original vinyl LP (the disco side), one of two tracks Jackson wrote solo. (The other was "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough".) The lyrics hint early at MJ's combative side, with the standard bluesman complaint about how hard his wife makes him work. However, the hyperactive Latin percussion, spiked horns and oxygen-devouring vocals reflect the fanatical work ethic MJ brought to his solo breakthrough. "Once he commits to an idea, he follows through with it," Jones said. "It's ass power, man. You have to be emotionally prepared to put in all the energy you need to get it right." As a deep cut, "Workin' Day and Night" is highly regarded among MJ insiders, thanks to all that ass power.

  • 13. "Place"

    Place, 1987

    The hot title song ofPlaceinjected a new level of aggression and tension into Jackson's music. Written by Jackson, the song was inspired by an article he read about an African-American student who left downtown to attend a mostly white school and was murdered on his way home. At the same time, Jackson was obsessed with Prince, whom he saw as genuine competition. (During a visit to Neverland, producers L.A. Reid and Babyface sat with Jackson in his home theater and watched Princeunder the cherry moon.) Perhaps to show who the King of Pop really was, Jackson and Jones initially envisioned "Bad" as a duet, or showdown, between the two men (Prince was supposed to sing the opening line "Your ass is mine"). Prince met with Jackson and Jones to discuss the collaboration, but after hearing the song, he passed away. As he left the meeting, he reportedly said, "It's going to be a huge success, even if I'm not in it!" The song became a solo showcase, from a seething version and part of Jackson's mouth percussion to an organ solo by jazz great Jimmy Smith.

  • 12. “Man in the Mirror”

    Place, 1987

    Jackson's most ambitious emotional ballad was written towards the end ofPlaceSessions by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett. “It was last weekend, we were going to close thePlacerecord, and Quincy said, "Don't you have anything for us?" Ballard remembered. “We did a quick demo with Siedah singing, and she directed and played it for Quincy the next day. He loved it, played it for Michael on Monday and said 'Make a track'. So we started building this track, and it was magic." Jackson started from there, asking Garrett to add backing vocals and bringing in San Francisco's Andrae Crouch Choir and the Winans to back him up. "He said, 'I want him to do great, do as you hear. Just make it sound like the real gospel. Make it sound like church,'" recalls Sandra Crouch, who was Andrae's sister. "And that's what we did." her performance on the Staple Singers' R&B classic "I'll Take You There," another song with deep roots gospel.

    (Video) MICHAEL JACKSON Greatest Hits Full Album - The Best of MICHAEL JACKSON 2022

  • 11. “ABC”

    A B C, 1970

    What would the Jackson 5 do for an encore after "I Want You Back"? How about building on it? Songwriter Deke Richards crafted a short riff from the chorus of his earlier hit, turning it into an equally powerful new song. He and his partners at the Corporation created lyrics inspired by reality; as co-writer Freddie Perren put it, "[They were] the age they were, and ... most of their fans were still in school." "ABC" was, in other words, pure bubblegum pop, but funnier and funnier than what the child-led hit groups like the Archies and Ohio Express had written the previous two years: the growl, the percussive break, and a fuzz guitar. at full volume that makes the riff more emotional each time it starts or stops, they are as sophisticated as anything that was happening in pop in 1969. In Michael's words, "The verses were tongue twisters, which is why I know and I." Still, Michael dominates the song: Jermaine's lines run deep in the mix, and Michael screams as if he needs the master's attention.

  • 10. “Rock With You”

    Off the Wall, 1979

    "So much up-tempo dance music is menacing, but I liked the coaxing, the sweetness, of taking a shy girl and letting her shake off her fears instead of forcing them," Jackson recalled, describing "Rock With You". Arguably the biggest hit of the classic disco era, this hit remains one of the great seductions of modern R&B, a blueprint for countless would-be mirror-ball lotharios, wrapped in swirling string arrangements and mid-range. sheet. ballad and a dance floor burner. "Songs like 'Rock With You' made me want to become an artist," Usher said in 2009. It was the first song written for Jackson by key collaborator Rod Temperton of boogie merchants Heatwave, after a request from Quincy Jones. (Temperton wrote "Thriller", "Off the Wall,"Burn This Disco Out", "Baby Be Mine" and others.) The video, with Jackson working his magic in a silver suit with little more than lasers and smoke as visual elements, features a solo artist who looks little more than a child, but in full control of your game.

  • 9. “Black or White”

    Dangerous, 1991

    A plea for racial unity that practiced what it preached by seamlessly blending classic rock swagger and R&B momentum, "Black or White" is the best song Jackson recorded during the '90s. a little cartoonish," said Bill Bottrell, who co-wrote and co-produced the song. Its Stones-style riff came from Jackson, who once hummed it to Bottrell in the studio. "I turned it into something Southern Rock, a real gutbucket tune," recalled Bottrell. Jackson also came up with the idea for the hard-hitting rhythm track. "I started adding a lot of percussion, including cowbells and maracas", said Bottrell, "trying to get a kind of swinging rhythm". Instead of calling it a top-notch hip-hop MC, Jackson let Bottrell handle the awareness rapping in the song's bridge. But it's Jackson's incisive vocals that make the song a tour de force of polished pop and raw energy. The performance was actually a scratch voice. But Jackson, a sonic perfectionist who constantly re-recorded undeniably excellent takes, knew it was good enough to keep it as it is.

  • 8. "Go Away"

    Suspended, one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two

    A visionary blend of metal swagger and disco brilliance, complete with an explosion of Eddie Van Halen guitars. With its down-in-jungleland video, "Beat It" debuted on rock radio along with all the other stations on the dial, reaching number one solo one week after "Billie Jean" ended its career of seven weeks on top. (The song that hit number one midway through? "Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners.) "Beat It" was the last song added to theSuspended, as the clock ticked down to the release date. As Quincy Jones saidRolling Stone, "When we were finishing 'Beat It', we had three studios working. We had Eddie Van Halen in one. Michael was in another singing a part through a cardboard tube and we were mixing it in another. We worked five nights and five days without sleep. And at one point, the speakers overloaded and caught fire. The only person not impressed was Van Halen's David Lee Roth, who quipped, "What did Edward do to Michael Jackson?"

  • 7. "I want to start something"

    Suspended, one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two

    Originally written during theOff the Wallsessions, the opening track onSuspendedit was a statement of radical intent. Using the African chant "ma ma se ma ma sa ma ma ku sa" from Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango's unlikely 1972 international pop hit "Soul Makossa," Jackson expanded on the earlier song's universal appeal, paying homage to his own roots with a prophetic snare drum. . digging smart hip-hop. It's first and foremost a club hit, "something you can play with on the dance floor and break a sweat," as Jackson described it. But it also has a dark lyrical drama and call-and-response vocal tension. Between the swirling synth beats, colorful friction drums from Brazilian percussionist Paulinho da Costa, stabs of hot horn, and pounding Jackson and his bandmates on a "bathroom plank," the beat never stops coming. YesOff the Wallwas the high point of disco pop, this is the first great example of post-disco polyglot dance music; basically what global pop has become.

  • 6. “Soft criminal”

    Place, 1987

    As he was the biggest and most beloved pop star in the world, not everyone was happy that Michael Jackson released a song based on the aggressiveness ofSuspendedis "whip". He and Quincy Jones butted heads, including the irresistibly menacing "Smooth Criminal" onPlace, and Jehovah's Witness elders visited the set of the music video and expressed disappointment at its violent imagery. But Jackson stood his ground, and the result is his best blend of R&B groove and rock edginess, and a turning point in his shift to darker, heavier material. Inspired in part by the story of mid-'80s serial killer Richard Ramirez, "Smooth Criminal" has existed in a slightly different form since 1985, first called "Chicago 1945" and later "Al Capone"; both versions of the track featured a fast funk bassline close to the devastating synthesized bass of the final number. The heartbeat heard on the track is a rendition of Jackson's own Synclavier and helps provide a progressive counterpoint to his haunting screams of "Annie, are you okay?"

  • 5. “Balance your body (to the ground)”

    Destiny, 1978

    This tremor-inducing improvisation depicts the moment when Michael Jackson transformed from frontman of a hugely successful boy band to the King of Pop - or, at least, its young prince. Taking the uniquely proto-disco mentality of J5's "Dancing Machine," he added a kinetic dose of Sly and the Family Stone-crossover soul and Stevie Wonder-esque synth funk, along with percussive vocals and Michael, still teen but unmistakably post - exhortations and pubescent squeaks. Significantly,Destinyit was the first self-produced LP by the sister group, who renamed themselves Jackson (after their split from older brother Jermaine and departure from Motown). The song peaked at number seven on the pop chart, but that belies its deep pop prescience. He would memorably sample on "Get on the Dance Floor" by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, among other hip-hop songs. And it was covered in 2013 by Justin Timberlake, a man who owes a lot to Michael.

  • 4. “I will be there”

    third album, 1970

    "Just look over your shoulder, honey!" Jackson declares midway through "I'll Be There", misquoting another Motown hit, "Reach Out I'll Be There" by the Four Tops. It's a glaring mistake that, in a way, makes his performance even better: still 11 years old, when the song was recorded, he was singing about emotions he could not have experienced, with the power and fire of a man who has lived many lives. . Extensively rewritten from a demo by the recording's bassist Bob West, with a vocal arrangement by Willie Hutch (later a star in his own right), "I'll Be There" also features Jermaine Jackson breaking down on the bridge ("I'll Be There"). ll be there to comfort you. . . . "). Their fourth consecutive number-one hit and Motown's best-selling single to that point, "I'll Be There," proved that the Jackson 5's gifts ran far deeper than the giddy fun of their earlier hits and revealed the roots of gospel. your art. Inmoonwalk, Jackson called it "our true breakthrough song; it was the one that said, 'We're here to stay'". "

  • 3. “Don't stop until you've had enough”

    Off the Wall, 1979

    Jackson sang the opening song onOff the Wall"my first big break", and he wasn't kidding. Six minutes of upbeat funk pop that hummed like a brook of water, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" was a huge hit and a milestone in Jackson's creative life. “This song means a lot to me,” he wrote in his memoirs.moonwalk, "because it was the first song I wrote in full." In fact, he embodied Jackson's new hands-on approach to his music. Not only did he write it, he also sang all the multi-layered choruses and planned the spoken intro ("to build tension and surprise people", he said). He even played the glass bottles (along with his brother Randy) which give the song an extra rhythmic flare. When his mother, Katherine, questioned the sexual undertones of lines such as "There's nothing like a longing for love... I'm melting like hot candle wax", Jackson responded, "Well, if you think that means dirty, then that's it. .will mean, but that's not how I intended.

  • 2. “I want you back”

    Diana Ross presentsLos Jackson 5, 1969

    From the fleeting star piano that opens it, "I Want You Back" is a glorious surprise after another and, in 1969, its biggest surprise of all was that its lead singer was, without a doubt, a magnificent performer and, obviously, a little child. . (Michael was 11 when he recorded it, although Motown claimed he was eight.) Deke Richards, Freddie Perren and Fonce Mizell initially wrote it as a demo for Gladys Knight and the Pips called "I Wanna Be Free". Motown boss Berry Gordy helped rewrite it for Gary's sister Indiana, who had just signed on; Under the collective name The Corporation, the four members of this songwriting team created many of the Jackson 5's early hits. "I Want You Back" was not the Jackson 5's first single (it was "Big Boy" distributed locally in 1968), but was his national debut, an irresistible song with a brilliant arrangement that allows Michael's voice to swirl to its beat. He remained present at nearly every performance he gave for the rest of his life.

    (Video) Michael Jackson - Top 50 songs (Fans Choice) 2021 | (GMJHD)

  • 1. "Billie Jean"

    Suspended, one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two

    Michael Jackson's best song sums up all the contradictions of his music: youthful exuberance, tortured nerves, sheer physical grace. as I saidRolling Stoneat the time, "Billie Jean" reflected her own sexual paranoia as a 24-year-old megastar: "Girls in the lobby, walking up the stairs. You hear the guards taking them out of the elevators. But you stay in your room and write a song. And when you get tired of it, you talk to yourself. Then you get it all out on stage." Although "Billie Jean" was one of the first songs MJ wrote forSuspended, he and Quincy Jones continued to play with it until the final mastering stage. The mile-deep bassline comes from the Johnson brothers' strong Louis Johnson funk. Drummer Ndugu Chancler cut the drum track over Jackson's original drum machine beat, and jazz veteran Tom Scott played the eerie lyrical solo. At five minutes in length, "Billie Jean" has a sleek disco edge, but a classic rock feel on an epic scale. Quincy Jones was concerned that the intro was too long: "But [Jackson] said, 'That's Jell-O, that's what makes me want to dance.'" The world has been dancing to "Billie Jean" ever since.


1. Michael Jackson - Top 50 songs (Fans Choice) 2020 | (GMJHD)
2. My Top 50 Michael Jackson songs - Update 2020 - Happy 62nd birthday Michael!
(Blue Bird Reviews)
3. My Top 50 Michael Jackson songs - Update 2021 - Happy 63rd birthday Michael!
(Blue Bird Reviews)
4. TOP 50 SONGS OF MICHAEL JACKSON #michaeljackson
(The Man In The Mirror)
5. My Top 50 Michael Jackson songs - Update 2022 - Happy 64th birthday Michael!
(Blue Bird Reviews)
6. Michael Jackson - They Don’t Care About Us (Brazil Version) (Official Video)
(Michael Jackson)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Domingo Moore

Last Updated: 06/22/2023

Views: 6290

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Domingo Moore

Birthday: 1997-05-20

Address: 6485 Kohler Route, Antonioton, VT 77375-0299

Phone: +3213869077934

Job: Sales Analyst

Hobby: Kayaking, Roller skating, Cabaret, Rugby, Homebrewing, Creative writing, amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Domingo Moore, I am a attractive, gorgeous, funny, jolly, spotless, nice, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.