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What's Your favorite MJ album?  

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  1. 1. What's Your Favorite MJ album?

    • Got To Be There (1971)
    • Ben (1972)
    • Music & Me (1973)
    • Forever, Michael (1975)
    • The Wiz OST (1978)
    • Off The Wall (1979)
    • Thriller (1982)
    • Bad (1987)
    • Dangerous (1991)
    • History (1995)
    • Blood On The Dance Floor (1997)
    • Invincible (2001)
    • Michael (2010)
    • Xscape (2014)

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IM BACK BABY, like it, love it, or don’t care, it’s something I love to do and discuss with anyone, the discussion of an artist discography and their musical growth. And plus………..theres a lot of artist I haven’t covered.

Michael!!! Um….I know how a lot of you feel about him, I know what this discussion can turn into….please don’t. We’re talking the music, your opinion of the music. Let’s be adults about this.

I do think he’s changed music for the better. Like with Janet I love how eclectic he is and has been with his music, and his voice. For me Michael’s albums are interesting to discuss because of the singles popularity I don’t listen to them too much, and also because I grew up with his music, him releasing a new album was like Christmas for me as a kid (I wasn’t a fan of Janet until 00/01 so I kind of grew out of that feeling by the time I came to her), but I’m proud to say that I remember when his last 3 studio albums (Blood On The Dance Floor included) came out because it’s like the whole world stopped, posters were everywhere, and getting those tapes and CD’s weren’t easy in the 1st days, I remember very well. So today I listen to his music but very rarely the “singles” that you can turn on the radio and almost bet on hearing.

Got To Be There, nice debut, I really like it, I think it’s more mellow than what the J5 was doing at that time. Like to me it really build on the emotion and range of his voice at that age. My fave song picks would definitely be: I WANNA BE WHERE YOU ARE (In my eyes, nobody has done this song justice the way he does), Got To Be There (THOSE HARMONY’S), Aint no sunshine (OK, heres the funny thing, when I hear this version and the original they both make me really sad BUT from my own imagination 2 different visions, with Bill Waters version ofcourse he’s talking about his girl, when I was little I visioned Michael was talking about his mother, like he had been abandoned lol, and he SANG that song), Love Is here & Now You’re gone (I like it but I prefer the Supremes version), & Rockin Robin (….I like it but it’s so little kiddie/cheezy to me, and it always has been even when I was like 5 & stuff lol)

Ben, I like it but I don’t really love it, like I definitely like it less than his debut. No track on this album to me is as good as the title track, Ben SLAYS, Michael sang the HELL out of that album. But my other album picks are People Make The World Go Round (I LOVE his version, its so good). I also like Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day too, I like his version of My Girl too, but it’s got nothing on the Temptations version.

Music & Me……………..HANDS DOWN, his BEST solo album in the Motown years. God where do I begin? Ok 1st off the voice change, this is to me when his voice was starting to leave soprano, and get a little more mature but it still sounded young and easily recognizable, but it’s when the change began. I LOVE this album so much lol. Ok my picks from this album, MUSIC & ME (that song slays). Happy (I LOVE that song so much, he sings it with so much raw & strong emotion, I just love it), With A Childs Heart (I think I prefer his version over Stevie’s just the emotion he put to it and his voice to it), All the things you are (I LOVES IT), & Up Agan

Forever,Michael, my least favorite living MJ solo album to date, ironically I LOVE his voice in this album was when his voice was 50/50 you can still hear glimpses of lil Michael, but also the adult Michael voice. But my problem with it is it’s pretty cheezy, like maybe his cheezyest album of all. My standout picks are We’re Almost There (1 of my fave MJ songs, he sounds so passionate and so soulful to me with this song), Just A Little Bit Of You (it’s pretty bubble gum, but I like it), Dear Michael, & I’ll come home to you (I LOVE IT)

One Day In Your Life, it’s really tracks recorded for Forever Michael, but I do love the title track very much, and Farewell My summer love

The Wiz Soundtrack, the beginning of Quincy & Michael, I LOVE IT. My fave thing about The Wiz will always be the music. My MJ picks, You Can’t Win (SLAYS, that fucking ending where he goes into that lower register…), Ease On Down the road pt 1 (I love Michael & Diana’s voice together, they killed it), and Brand New Day (they all equally slayed that song).

Off The Wall, and now it really begins. I call it his 2nd most underrated album after Music & Me, like it’s brilliant, I think I honestly like it more than Thriller, but that being said Off the wall is hardcore R&B, without a doubt his most urban album. My fave tracks are I can’t Help It, Rock With You, Off The Wall, Workin Day & Night, Sunset Driver(HOW IS THAT NOT A SINGLE AND A HIT?!?!?!), She’s Out Of My Life, It’s The Falling In Love & Get On The Floor. I love Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough but it’s a classic case of the song is so over played I rarely take a listen to it.

Thriller, LOVE the album, like even more as an adult than as a kid. Honestly tho I still think I prefer Off The Wall & Bad (especially Bad) to it. But for what it is, it is an extraordinary and timeless album with some great dance music. I love all the single picks except for 1 that to me shouldn’t have even made the album in my opinion. The Girl Is Mine is a sweet nice & good song, but.it’s so not worth a place on this album, LET ALONE the honor of being called the 1st single….Say Say Say is so damn superior. The Girl is mine is Thrillers “He Doesn’t Know I’m alive” (which for those of you unfamiliar with my feelings about that song, I love it but it just simply doesn’t fit the Control sound lyrically or instrumentally, it fit’s the previous albums sound), The Girl Is Mine I think would’ve made a great single and track for Off The Wall, Say Say Say SOUNDS & FEEELS like Thriller man. Every other single choice I love. I use to not love Wanna Be Startin Somethin when I was little honestly but now I love it. Lastly before I get to my standout tracks, 1 thing that just simply bugged me about Thriller, is the fact that Michael being the visionary artist he is only did 3 videos for that album, I wish SO many songs on here got videos, God only knows what that would’ve done to it’s sales and #1’s if he had done & released videos for all the singles. My standout tracks for Thriller are HUMAN NAURE (brilliantly written & sung song, it IS him, a song I HATE we didn’t get a video to), Billie Jean I get tired of it but its undeniable how amazingly infectious that beat is and how great vocally & lyrically the song is. Beat It another song I couldn’t get tired of if I heard it all damn day. Lady In My Life, PYT, & Thriller. Baby Be Mine I always found pretty forgettable and found Carousel MUCH more of a better song

Bad, MY FAVORITE, Im sorry, It just fucking is, it’s my favorite of everything MJ related, it’s my favorite MJ physical look, musically, dance wise, video wise, tour wise, & unreleased songs wise IT JUST IS MY EVERYTHING, and I’ve honestly stuck by that since I was a really little kid. I mean for Christ’s sake, what I just complained about with Thriller video wise, he went ahead and for the most part did! History did repeat itself in a unflattering way for me this era where he worked with another Legend (Stevie) on 2 songs, and gave the other guy the better song that fit MJs album. I like Just Friends when I hear it, but I forget it exists and what it sounds like for the most part period, GET IT however SLAYS And should’ve been on Bad. Another song that slays that I think should’ve been on the album but a hit, STREETWALKER! Every single song except Just Friends SLAYS, unreleased songs included. Theres so much to say about every single track on this album, but I won’t I’ll just put it this way the standout tracks for me are Leave Me Alone, The Way You Make Me Feel, Dirty Diana, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You, Liberian Girl & Smooth Criminal.

Dangerous, I love it more as an adult than I did as a kid, I liked, and it took on a whole other life & understanding for me after he died honestly. I LOVE that to me this is the album where he started really taking chances and going for more different sounds and lyrical content. It still played it a lil safe (which he changed for History). Black Or White was a GREAT & attention grabbing 1st single, but so often I wondered what if Who Is It was the 1st single. My picks for this album are Who Is It, In The Closet, Give Into Me, Remember The Time, Will You Be There, Black Or White, and Heal The World (which I honestly never really cared for until he died). I always thought Dangerous & Jam were overrated honestly

History, HIGHLY underrated album. I consider this his closest thing to a “Velvet Rope”. He goes deep, he goes hard, he gets vulnerable, he gets real, of the post Bad albums, this ranks highest. I also think this is probably his most eclectic album. And it has a touch of Bad with him putting Come Together On it. And then theres his version of Smile that I love so damn much, his version of Smile is just so beautiful & touching. I just always felt this album of all his albums never got the proper respect it deserves, I mean I hold nothing back from the fact that I do think a problem Michael had was that he chased Thrillers success and impact, but I feel like this is the album where he didn’t to the extent of Bad & Dangerous and Invincible, I feel like this album is when he flourished most as a writer and artist. And I feel like this is the 1 album where every song that was a single were a fave. My standout tracks Scream, Stranger In Moscow, Smile, Childhood, You Are Not Alone, They Don’t Care About us, Earth Song, History, D.S., This Time Around

Blood On The Dance Floor, GREAT remix album, and I LOVE all of the new songs on it and feel like they would’ve been great on History. I LOVE BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR, I think it should’ve been a hit but I can understand why it wasn’t actually, it didn’t fit the sound of the time. I also love 2 Bad & Ghost. The Ghost video is AMAZEBALLS! I consider it his best in a lot of ways. SUPERFLY SISTER SHOULD”VE BEEN A HIT SINGLE, that song slays. So my picks are all 5 of the new tracks. Blood On The Dancefloor, Ghosts, 2Bad, Superfly Sister, and Morphine.

Invincible, another album I consider underrated. I love it, I love it so much. I liked it when it was new but it aged VERY good, and I realized that 1st in 2004, my family did a road trip (ironically to California where we all live now) and in the desert we popped in Invinsible, and it just fit, not the rough hard dance songs at the beginning but songs like Heaven Can Wait, Break Of Dawn, Whatever happens, Butterflies, You are my life, & Cry. I feel like those are the songs that make that album great not the dance songs. I like a lot of them but they sound similar to each other and to a typical MJ dance song for the most part. 2000 Watts gets a world of credit from me since he uses his man voice.

Michael, my least favorite MJ album ever (and hopefully my least favorite posthumous album of his). Besides the song that as I recently said to me is so OBVIOUSLY not him, most of the songs tho I like aren’t that memorable to me. I much prefer all of the since released unreleased songs from Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad, & Dangerous best I know that these were mostly songs he recorded around 2006-09 but I have alot of leaked songs of his in that time span, and I feel like they were trying to craft an album with a specific motif & style, but it just doesn't do anything for me, theres alot more songs to me that he recorded that just simply are better than whats on this album. My picks are Hollywood Tonight, Hold my Hand (without Akon), Behind The Mask, I can’t Make It Another Day, & Keep Your Head Up

Xscape, Thus far (hasn’t been released yet) my favorite posthumous album. How can I judge so early, for the simple fact that I love the song A Place With No Name MUCH better than the entire Michael album, maybe Invincible even. I love the song Xscape too, I’ve had it for years, I haven’t heard the new mix and Im going to hold off on listening to it until it’s new, I’ll do a more complete analysis of the album when I have it in my collection.

My ranking


2.Off The Wall





7.Music & Me

8.Blood On The Dancefloor


10.The Wiz

11.Got To Be There

12.Forever Michael

13.Xscape (for now)



What's your thought on his Discog and your ranking of his music

My previous installments of Discography Chat:

Janet - http://planetjanet.i...-janet-jackson/

Sade- http://planetjanet.i...aphy-chat-sade/

Lil Kim- http://planetjanet.i...y-chat-lil-kim/

Rihanna- http://planetjanet.i...y-chat-rihanna/

Faith- http://planetjanet.i...at-faith-evans/

Usher- http://planetjanet.i...phy-chat-usher/

Aaliyah- http://planetjanet.i...y-chat-aaliyah/

Alicia Keys- http://planetjanet.i...at-alicia-keys/

TLC- http://planetjanet.i...raphy-chat-tlc/

Toni Braxton- http://planetjanet.i...t-toni-braxton/

Paula Abdul- http://planetjanet.i...at-paula-abdul/

Missy- http://planetjanet.i...-missy-elliott/

The Spice Girls- http://planetjanet.i...he-spice-girls/

En Vogue- http://planetjanet.i...-chat-en-vogue/

Destiny's Child- http://planetjanet.i...destinys-child/

Mariah- http://planetjanet.i...t-mariah-carey/

Whitney- http://planetjanet.i...hitney-houston/

Ludacris- http://planetjanet.i...-chat-ludacris/

Mary J. Blige- http://planetjanet.i...t-mary-j-blige/

Jill Scott- http://planetjanet.i...hat-jill-scott/

Jennifer Lopez- http://planetjanet.i...jennifer-lopez/

Outkast- http://planetjanet.i...y-chat-outkast/

Erykah Badu- http://planetjanet.i...at-erykah-badu/

Christina Aguilera- http://planetjanet.i...stina-aguilera/

Britney Spears- http://planetjanet.i...britney-spears/

Ciara- http://planetjanet.i...phy-chat-ciara/

Other members installments of the series:

Common- http://planetjanet.i...ns-discography/

The Black Eyed Peas- http://planetjanet.i...lack-eyed-peas/

Gorillaz- http://planetjanet.i...orillaz-thread/

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Yes it's back! This specific 1 was going to come out Christmas 2012, but I had alot to say and not alot of time to say it. I love MJ and I had alot to say about him & his discog.

Wanna thank my constant supporters of Discography Chat, Bu, Andy, Matt, &Rey (and if I didn't name you but you contributed for most if not all I thank you too). You guys and your responses really make me want to do these more & more, a VERY special shoutout to Andy & Matt because it was through our conversations with these that I got to know more about you guys and got to really like & consider myself closer to you guys. So hopefully we can keep these going again,and I look forward to your inputs, all of your inputs.

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Can't wait to add my 10 cents but kiiiiii at you putting Xscape over Michael and it's not even out yet!! :lmao:!!!

LOL Well ya see Michael has a disadvantage in the tracklist and Xscape has an advantage. Michael has a song thats obviously not him which I just consider a insult to my intelligence and fandom (I've heard youtubers do their "UNRELEASED RARE MJ DEMO" that it's obviously not him but sounds more like him than that tripe of a song). Where's Xscape has easily my most favorite unreleased MJ song of all time, A place with no name, seeing that on the tracklist let me know immediately I'll love this. Those 2 songs, Breaking News & A Place With No Name weighed heavily against and for each album & their position

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Yes, I'm so ready to dig deep into this... :excited: My favorite male artist of all time!

I pretty much lump his first 4 albums during the first half of the 70s together. Well the first 3 at least; I separate Forever Michael because he hit puberty lol. Asides from the singles which I've heard many times, I've only gave them each one proper listen, so I have to go back and revisit them. They generally didn't really stand out compared to his later work (They're just "good" albums lol). Out of these four, I liked Got To Be There and Forever Michael the most. My choice tracks from this period are "Got to Be There," "Ain't No Sunshine" (amazing version!), "Just a Little Bit of You," "We're Almost There," and "One Day in Your Life."

Since The Wiz is a soundtrack; I don't really consider it part of MJ's album discography but it's interesting that this is where him and Quincy Jones first hit it off. However, the songs he's part of "You Can't Win," "Ease on Down the Road," and especially "Brand New Day" are some of the highlights of the soundtrack. Objectively, I won't say this movie was better than the original Wizard of Oz ~ but I will say the soundtrack is tho. ("Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead" doesn't want a day with "Brand New Day" :coffee::P)

Off the Wall is his first "album" album; where he finally gets more creative control ~ this is where things really reach exponentially higher levels. I consider this the first of four consecutive, undisputed classic records. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" remains one of my favorite singles of the 70s, and "Rock With You" is awesome as well. My favorite track here though is "Get On The Floor" ~ such an underrated disco jam. Among the ballads, the Stevie Wonder-penned "I Can't Help It" is a standout for me. And I agree on "Sunset Driver;" a little mastering and would've deserved to make the final track listing at the very least.

What more can be said about the monster Thriller? While not actually my favorite album; it's certainly worthy of being the best selling album of all time. It just has that natural universal appeal. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" has always been one of my favorite MJ songs; I love the use of the "Soul Makoosa" sample at the end to give it an African music feel. I also wish there were more videos during the era, especially for "Wanna..." "Baby Be Mine" is my favorite ballad here; I love his self-harmonies at the end. Yeah I agree "Girl Is Mine" is the weakest of the 9 ~ I guess it was a "buzz single" for the era. "Billie Jean" is post-disco perfection, and it's all about the 6+ minute version for me. I remember listening along with the lyrics booklet and thinking "Hey, it faded out while the lyrics keep going lol" so I almost always have to hear this longer version instead ... cuz i don't want it to end lol. The music video was the perfect treatment for the song with the pink twilight sky and urban setting. "Beat It" is one of his best rock songs (I can't decide between it and "Give in to Me," which I'll probably get to later lol) ~ the video is iconic as well; love the West Side Story influence. "Thriller" is the ultimate Halloween anthem ~ not only is he the King of Pop but also King of Halloween music (with other songs like "Ghosts," "Is It Scary," "Threatened," background vocals on "Somebody's Watching Me" which might as well be his song as he's the main highlight ~ but I shall digress lol) And "Human Nature" and "P.Y.T." round out the rest of my favorites. A solid record for sure; I actually wouldn't replace anything. Well IMO, it could've been a double-LP record including bonuses like "Nite Line" and "Hot Street."

Bad was yet another amazing era. This is where his sounds shifts more toward a pop direction, but it's still my 2nd favorite MJ album. The title track started everything with a bang—well technically, "I Just Can't Loving You" did. I guess this ballad was the buzz single kinda like "Girl is Mine" was to Thriller. However, "Bad" had the first music video released and everything. But then "The Way You Make Me Feel" ~ I love the sunny melody! This is my favorite single of the era! IMO "Man in the Mirror" is the best worldly song he's ever done. And then of course there's "Smooth Criminal" the song + video. And it's a musical sin that "Streetwalker," one of the strongest songs of the era, did not make the final cut. Actually I think he wanted it on the album, but I think it was Quincy who insisted on "Another Part of Me" because he saw Mike dancing to it. Nah, I would've sided with Mike here ~ APOM is cool but "Streetwalker" is so much stronger.

Dangerous. Is. EVERYTHING. This is without a doubt my favorite MJ album, and one of my best albums of all time! If I had halfway descent voice (lol!) and I could only choose one album to sing along with; it would be Dangerous lol ~ I connect with this album the most. "Jam" is my favorite song to make up choreography to (hey I disagree, it's underrated if anything! lol); "Give in to Me" is my favorite song to attempt singing lol. All 14 songs here are winners ~ there's so much musical diversity from New Jack Swing to straight-up heavy metal. It's not as cohesive as janet., which is also a musically diverse +70-minute album, but still nothing feels out of place. "Jam" reminds me of the RN1814 concept in the sense that it uses dance music to capture listeners long enough to pay attention to the message. Oh, and best cover artwork of all time too ~ I lot of thought and detail went into it. Honestly, I love MJ's work with Teddy Riley just as much as with Quincy. "Black or White" ~ first of all one of the best song intros of all time ("Dad this is the best part c'mon!") it's so 90s angst; I love it lol. Seriously, this album is just one masterpiece after another: The title track, "Remember the Time," "In the Closet," "Can't Let Her Get Away," "Keep the Faith," "Give in to Me," the haunting "Who Is It," and oh yes... "Will You Be There" is out of this world. That was actually the very first MJ song I ever heard too, and it's one I've grown to love more and more over the years to the point it's now my "co-favorite."

Brief comment on the first disc of HIStory: How they gonna include those screenshots of "Smooth Criminal" in the booklet and not include it on the album? -_- To be fair, even at this point, he had too many great hits to really fit on one disc. While not comprehensive, it still kind of gives you an idea of his general singles 1979-1992.

Now to the 2nd disc... before building my MJ collection, "Scream" was the main reason I bought HIStory initially lol. Actually, at the time, this was only the 2nd MJ album I heard in full after Thriller. Then proceeding into "They Don't Care About Us" and "Stranger in Moscow," I knew this was shaping into a solid album. This is one of his most honest records he's done. He wasn't afraid to take it there for a lot of the subject matter. Oh wait ~ "Man in the Mirror" is my favorite world conscious song, but I must say "Earth Song" gives it a run for its money. "Little Susie" is depressing; I actually avoided it for a while for that reason. "Smile" is really nice though. "You Are the Alone" got a bit overplayed for me at the time, but I grew to enjoy it again ~ I think I actually prefer the R. Kelly remix. And then I also really love the back-to-back uptempos "Tabloid Junkie" and "2 Bad."

Blood on the Dance Floor is one of the best remix albums ever released. The title track is the strongest track here; I especially like the slightly extended version which includes a sustained falsetto not included on the main version. "Ghosts" and "Is It Scary" are interesting as they actually have the same lyrics; I prefer the latter personally. Of the remixes, my favorite is "Scream Louder (Flyte Time Remix)" ~ almost sounds like a Rhythm Nation mashup since it also uses the Sly "Thank You" sample. And I distinctly remember seeing the "HIStory (Tony Moran remix)" while I was in Kenya. *random lol* The only thing I'd change is add a remix for "They Don't Care About Us" ~ maybe the Dallas Main Mix. (omitting the "Money" remix to make room ~ which is alright but for me the weakest).

It's interesting Jarryl mentioned the year 2004 with Invincible because that's actually when I bought the album and first heard it in full. Even though it was only a few years later; it was still fresh at the time so I sometimes have to remind myself it actually came out a couple years before that lol. "You Rock My World" was a great lead single, as was the followup "Butterflies" (and that remix with Eve tho!). Now those two songs I did hear when they came out in 2001 though. My favorite uptempos are "Unbreakable," "2000 Watts," and "Threatened" ~ all packed with incredible energy! Then "Break of Dawn, "Heaven Can Wait," and "Speechless" (!!!) would be my favorite ballads.

Despite the controversies surrounding Michael, I thought it was still good for a posthumous album. As I said in the other thread, "Another Day" and "Behind the Mask" save the record for me. Other standouts were "Best of Joy" and "(I Like) The Way You Love Me."

And I can't speak on Xscape until I hear it; but I project it'll rank right next to Michael is on my list lol. I'll likely just return to this thread later when it does.

So with that my studio album rankings go (boldfacing the albums I consider classics)... (+ favorite song, or two in some cases)

1. Dangerous ("Jam"/"Will You Be There")

2. Bad ("The Way You Make Me Feel")

3. Thriller ("Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'")

4. Off the Wall ("Get on the Floor")

5. HIStory ("Scream")

6. Invincible ("Speechless")

6½. Blood on the Dance Floor* ("Blood on the Dance Floor")

7. Got to Be There ("Ain't No Sunshine")

8. Forever, Michael ("We're Almost There")

9. Michael ("Behind the Mask")

10. Ben ("Ben")

11. Music and Me ("With a Child's Heart")

* ½ because half of it was new material at the time lol

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YEAEEEYEAAA MY BOY ANDY HERE SHUTTING DOWN WT A FULL DETAILED ANALYSIS lol. You & TE I can always count on for that 1st full analysis. LOVE your thoughts man.

WOW it's so funny your ranking of the 1st 4 is the complete opposite of mine, I like how much you like Forever, Michael, of the 4 it is his more adult voice. And like I said I REALLLLY love We're Almost There, Alicia Keys's cover was good, but his still slays & holds up.

YAAAAAAS @ Ding Dong the witch is dead don't want a day with Brand New Day, SO true, and I agree, although I love both movies I love The Wizard Of Oz more as a movie, and The Wiz more for the music (and dancing)

Sunset Driver just goes so damn hard LOL.

Man can you imagine the sells & impact increases if he put out videos for Wanna Be Startin, Human Nature, & PYT!? AND YESSS He is very much King of Halloween.

And YES I agree that Man In The Mirror is his best worldly song (and that Earth Song is the closest). I really hate that they even had to choose Another Part Of Me or Street Walker, they both fit the sound but theres something so special about Streetwalker, I wish they made room for both.

LOL No lie I ONLY like Jam for the music video and live performances, something about the song tho, I just never really felt like it just seemed like a typical MJ dance song, nothing spectacular unless he was moving to it, but that's me. You know what tho I meant to mention that I do feel the RN impact in ALOT of Dangerous.

HA! I never noticed that about History disc 1 that Smooth Criminal wasn't on it, but yea I always felt like it was a weird mixture....and that Heal The World & She's Out Of My Life didn't belong on it personally. And no lie, I've only heard Little Susie once...and havent played it again...so we're on the same page. Same with You Are Not Alone, I remember when it was out & on the radio in 96 & 97, and it felt like I heard it EVERY day.

First sentence is absolutely true, I love you highlighted the remixes, ironically every 1 you listed is a favorite of mine.

Ha thats so awesome that you had a similar 04 experience with that album, like in the years prior I liked it, but it really hit home in 04, in 01 when it was new I JUST used it for Rock My World and nothing else practically, 2000 Watts too (only because of the shock of his voice), and yea I just grew to REALLLLY love that album in summer 04.

Yea after giving Michael a thorough listen through again 2 days ago, its really not a bad album, Im just underwhelmed by it really, and like I said just feellike there were ALOT of better songs avail than alot of the songs on the album, not all, but alot.

Have you heard A Place Without No Name yet sir Andy? I can't say whether I think youll LOVE IT yet but I'd think so

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And why am I just now learning about the complete versions of song, that Billie Jean full version was EVERYTHING

Ima need somebody to post songs that have complete versions with extra vocals, cause I live for that kind of stuff, I only had The Lady In My Life complete

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YEAEEEYEAAA MY BOY ANDY HERE SHUTTING DOWN WT A FULL DETAILED ANALYSIS lol. You & TE I can always count on for that 1st full analysis. LOVE your thoughts man, I'll respond fully a lil later

Same to you; I love these music discussion threads! Yeah, I'm looking forward to TE's analysis as well. B)


Speaking of which, I also did one for the Gorillaz if you'd like to add that under "other member installments" lol. He had a great analysis there too.

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Because there is so much to say I’m going to break it down and post little by little.

I actually love the first four albums. I use them a lot primarily because I love Motown anyway and because there’s actually some great gems on there.

Got To Be There – Michael had always been a strong vocalist as a child and it shows fully on this album. There’s so much soul and emotions in all these songs. Ain’t No Sunshine and Rockin’ Robin outshine the original by far imo. I Wanna Be Where You Are – pure genius. In fact all of the covers on the album are so great and sung so well you would think they were his songs. But my personal favourite on the whole album is Maria. I had a crush on a girl called Maria and this song felt like it was me singing it :lol:. What astonishes me is that this is a 13 year old boy…now teen who is singing about love as if he is a grown adult – but you just don’t realise it. He had this innate ability to make you get lost in the song…I miss that about music today.

Ben – the iconic song about a rat taken from the album of the same name. That song brought tears to my eyes as a child and it was a turn to song whenever I felt lonely. My Ben was a teddy (who actually does not have a name). My other favourites include Everybodys Somebodys Fool, You Can Cry On My Shoulder and the amazing Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Da Day (woah oh woah oh oh). Ugh that song still makes me funk a little. His interpretations are so fresh.

Music & Me – this album had some of his most beautiful ballads on them. The lead title :cry: - his soft vocals, emoting…..Everything about it is just stunning. With A Childs Heart is still mind-blowing. However I think the most underrated song of his (ever) is Happy. I find it so ironic now considering what was to come in his life later on.

Forever Michael – truth be told I enjoy the songs but I was never a fan of his voice here mainly because of the mix-ness of it due to it breaking and puberty. It’s my least listened to but I so like We’re Almost There, One Day, Cinderella. I’m pretty sure I have this on vinyl!

So that is the “Dream Street” era talked about. These 4 albums do not matter in terms of his success but are a great extension of the Michael that was introduced to the world in The Jackson 5. What’s funny is I often confuse some J5 songs for solo MJ songs (like Girl You’re So Together). I think tis is because of Farwell My Summer Love which Motown released in 1984 using “lost” songs. I still don’t know if that song is solo or J5 :lol:. Anyone here that can tell me?

I’ll be back later tonight with the rest. It’s been A LONG time since I listened to some MJ.

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Great analysis, Bu! I'd also like to add that young MJ would be my favorite boy soprano. There's just such an innocence in his tone that reminds me of childhood. :)

Same here, Im picky and quite critical about kid voices because well mostly its just either bland, corny, or just sounds too kiddie for comfort and can't emote. Little Michael shattered all of that.....Little Janet too quiet as it's kept lol, I LIVE for her singing Love Will Keep Us Together & Save The Bones For Henry Jones on The Jacksons show lol, she was SANGIN!

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Same here, Im picky and quite critical about kid voices because well mostly its just either bland, corny, or just sounds too kiddie for comfort and can't emote. Little Michael shattered all of that.....Little Janet too quiet as it's kept lol, I LIVE for her singing Love Will Keep Us Together & Save The Bones For Henry Jones on The Jacksons show lol, she was SANGIN!

Yeah, they both had great instincts well beyond their years!

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YAS BUUUU, Good post

Great analysis, Bu! I'd also like to add that young MJ would be my favorite boy soprano. There's just such an innocence in his tone that reminds me of childhood. :)

Thanks guys :D! Your posts were great too ^_^.

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I love how he sounds so innocent at the start of Don’t Stop and then BAM hey falsetto! And he pulls it off for the whole song (minus the normal voice ‘echo’). It’s always fun to watch this being sugn on Rush Hour 2 :lol:. And off course it has Janet playing percussion on it :wub:. I believe he had to sing the verses multiple times and they stacked it on each other to fill the vocals because he wrote it too high.

Rock With You (originally called I Want To Eat You Up) has me wanting to make love with someone tbh. Holler at me single people! Even though Mariah’s “I’m That Chick” samples Off The Wall (song), that song has me wanting to listen to this after it haha.

Working Day & Night is pure genius imo and also my favourite on the album. This song is my ‘workout’ song. I listen to it when exercising, when cooking, when gardening – whenever Im doing something strenuous I listen to this. Listen to the various demos and hearing all the various layers of background vocals showcase why MJ is the King imo.

Get On The Floor – another funky groove and an overlooked one at that. I think this song (and album) describes that music era so well. I can totally imagine Teena Marie killing this tbh.

Off The Wall – great title track. It’s actually quite an uplifting song about letting loose and forgetting about the stress of everyday life and just enjoy life.

Girlfriend – never liked it. Sorry. Paul is so fucking cheesy it’s cringe worthy. At least MJ’s cheesy was enjoyable.

She’s Out Of My Life – absolutely stunning vocal performance. A lot is said about whether MJ had genuine ‘love’ relationships or not. I think he did but don’t care because I know that through this song – he sings as if he truly did have his heart broken. The demo is actually quite depressing to me as it is but the studio version is even more ‘sombre’ and always chokes me up.

I Can’t Help It is one of the most hypnotic songs ever. It always puts me in some of calm trance. I actually wrote my own version, once upon a time, called “I Can’t Sleep, No”. This is another personal favourite of mine from the album and a highlight for me. I always look forward to this song.

It’s The Falling In Love – very Jackson Five-ish. Cute bop. This introduced me to Patti Austin and I love her now :wub:.

Burn This Disco Out – great disco track to end the album with and probably the most underrated from it.

What I love about this album is that like Jarryl said, it’s by far his most urban yet it has the most pop appeal even to this day. Controversial opinion here – but I feel like this album is what B’Day was trying to be. I can’t believe it’s only 8x Platinum after all these years? Surely it needs re-certifying? It’s gotta be Diamond by now? As overplayed as Don’t Stop and Rock are – they STILL make you want to get up and dance. They’re ultimate classics tbh. I love the whole vibe of this album. It’s so fucky and groovy and just makes you want to put it down. A common opinion I hear from your normal every now and again MJ ‘listener’ is that they wish he explored this route more instead of gradually getting socially conscious. It’s such a classic, vibrant and a definitive album. I wish there was more music videos for it.

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I can't talk about Michael Jackson's discography without discussing the man himself and the impact he had on my formative years. Like just about every MJ fan, my fascination started early. My father had Off The Wall on vinyl and I remember being impressed because it was about the only artist in his collection who I'd heard on the radio or seen on TV. My favourite aunt (RIP) was a huge fan and I really must credit her for properly introducing me to the magic of his music. I know that word gets bandied about but he truly was a musical genius and each of his "Big 5" studio releases coasted out of the speakers like a grand illusion. I remember when Damita Jo was released, Kanye West commented that being part of a Janet Jackson album was that much more special because each one was an event. True. And the originator of "event" releases was Michael Jackson. He was lord paramount of special event music, of special event visuals, and of special event performance. Whether conscious of it or not, every act on the radio today has been influenced by the man. I don't want to undervalue any of the great artists we've lost over the years, but Michael Jackson is the only one whose aptitude and sheer brilliance was properly acknowledged before he passed. The music snob in me will always take issue with Michael Jackson not ranking as the greatest artist of all time, be it on a publicized list or in a casual conversation. He wasn't simply unrivalled as the King of Pop, he was irrefutably unchallenged.

As with Janet's discography, I didn't discover MJ's work chronologically. And I believe it's partly for that reason why, Got To Be There aside, I don't hold a special place for any of his pre-Epic releases (no pun intended). The title track and 'Ain't No Sunshine' sound as glorious now as they ever have, and no cover has bested either of them more than forty years later. But even though it was Michael Jackson, Ben, Music & Me and Forever, Michael still play to me like most records from a child star do, with a characterless air about them. The day Michael picked up a pen was the day music changed forever.

Off The Wall is near perfection. Few opening seconds of a song set the pulse racing like 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough' (for unmitigated adrenalin only Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or MJ's own 'Billie Jean' and 'Bad' come close), and from there it rides a wave to the far edges of disco and back - a track so dazzlingly enjoyable you can hear the grin on his face throughout. I wasn't around at the time, but surely the consensus must have been that with Michael being the sole writer on 'DSTYGE' the future of pop looked staggeringly bright. Here was a man who with one song had not only broken the shackles, he'd taken an axe to them. And the gems just kept on coming. 'Rock With You' and the title track are two of my all-time favourite MJ cuts, 'It's The Falling In Love' is one of the biggest hits he never had, and 'She's Out Of My Life' was Michael Jackson at his most vulnerable. What I love about the album is that you could class it as disco, as R&B, as soul, but you could never pigeonhole it. Its overwhelming sense of independece meant that Off The Wall was a true statement-pop record, and it set the bar for breakthrough success until Janet's Control overrode it seven years later.

He produced superior music either side of Thriller, but it was and will forever be the measure of Michael Jackson. And that's okay. When I talked earlier about "event" albums, I could have easily called them Thrillers. Conceding that he wanted to be the biggest star on earth, it's no wonder this project conquered every corner of the globe. Three things in particular have always surprised me about the title track: 1) He didn't write it. 2) It didn't reach No. 1. And 3) It was the last single to be released from the album. Yet 'Thriller' is the juggernaut of all juggernauts and just goes to show the astounding wealth of Michael Jackson's name that it is still celebrated and regarded as a benchmark three decades on. Obviously there are better tracks on the album, namely 'Billie Jean' which is quite easily one of the Top 5 tracks of the '80s, and despite saturation both its message and melody still send a chill up my spine. 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' is the perfect opener, with its one-two-three of the drums all that was needed to set the tone for the rest of the album. Like others have said, 'The Girl Is Mine' lays on the cheese way too thick, but I will give it points for musicality as I love the actual tune. Same goes for 'P.Y.T.' which I seem to skip half of the time. The best of a great bunch for me here, though, is 'Beat It'. Its opening bars are so menacing they're almost comical, but when the beat kicks in and that guitar riff - oh, that guitar riff! - starts to shred it's pretty much the greatest thing in the world. It's also my favourite video from the era.

Where it started for me in terms of long players was Bad. It's the first MJ album I owned (and even then it was a few years after its release) and it was the first I became infatuated with. 'Bad' smashes the second you press play. What a cracking way to open an album. Millions will argue that it was all downhill after Thriller because when you've scaled such dizzying heights there's only way to go from there. What I say to them is go and listen to Bad properly. Take it in. MJ's intensity was never as in-form up until that point as it was on Bad. There was a bigger percentage of creative control here and it was for the better. Disco was a distant memory by this stage and in its place was a fascinating blend of pop, rock and dance. Sophistifunk. It just sounded so sharp and every beat and every note cracked and popped in all the right places (a brand he would later polish to perfection on Dangerous). The highlights for me are many, but I can't go past 'Smooth Criminal'. That loop can only be described as infectious and his falsetto in the chorus is electrifying (likewise on the bridge to 'Speed Demon'). It is my second-favourite MJ song of all time. Elsewhere, 'The Way You Make Me Feel' and 'Man In The Mirror' are feelgood marvels, 'Liberian Girl' is some of his most understated and underrated work, and the blistering 'Dirty Diana' is the splendid second act in his rock trilogy which began with 'Beat It' and ended with 'Give In To Me'. One gripe is the Stevie Wonder duet. As is often the case with superstar pairings, the track just wasn't strong enough. The fact that neither of them had a hand in writing it obviously shows as it's the weakest song on the album for me. I've also never fully warmed to 'Leave Me Alone' either. Message, yes. Tune, no. Having said that, I don't skip anything on Bad.

Dangerous is my favourite Michael Jackson album. This said "superstar" to me more than any world's best-selling album or statue floating down the Thames. The music could never truly match the hysteria but it came pretty damn close here. I remember sitting with my family waiting for the premier of 'Black Or White' and being enamoured by everything I saw and heard. Here again was an event. It's difficult to discuss this album and particularly 'Black Or White' without addressing his appearance. Back then as it does today, it means nothing to me. Michael Jackson was no less of a luminary because of how he looked. And even though I was very young, I remember admiring him for touching on it in 'Black Or White'. As I got older, I respected the decision even more. Musically speaking, I was a bigger fan of the follow-up singles 'Remember The Time' and 'In The Closet', the latter especially. They both showed an artist who had grown tremendously and in truth, Off The Wall and Thriller were not that long ago. His development as a writer, vocalist, and visual artist were astounding. The two songs which I hold dearest are among the most overlooked of the era; 'Who Is It' for its tongue-clicking beat (I will never forget his acapella version for Oprah) and the magnificent 'Give In To Me', which is my all-time favourite Michael Jackson song. The melody of the verses is breathtaking, the ad-libs are sublime and the drama of the whole piece is just spellbinding. There are no least-favourites on this album. 'Jam' and the title track are killer, and both speak to the polished snap I touched on during Bad, 'Will You Be There' and 'Gone Too Soon' are executed (and positioned) beautifully, and 'Why You Wanna Trip On Me' is one of my favourite album tracks in his catalogue.

Whilst I love HIStory and believe it contains some of his most ambitious work, there is definitely a sense of discontent about that record. In the face of crippling adversity I think recruiting Janet and her hitmakers was a slick move. He'd obviously addressed the scrutiny in the past (on 'Leave Me Alone') but he'd never been up against it like he was post-Bad. 'Scream' is the best kind of F-You because it was just pure ferocity - the two of them doing what they did better than anyone before or after. But there are far better tracks to love on HIStory. 'They Don't Care About Us' was out-and-out MJ originality. He had things to say and had crafted such a bewildering platform to shout them from. Its clattering beat was so sparse yet so enthralling, and another example of not only how much he had evolved, but how there truly was no impairing his creativity. Other standouts are the rollicking '2 Bad' and 'Tabloid Junkie', the bittersweet tones of 'History', and the exquisite 'Stranger In Moscow' - his best ballad. Where the record falls down for me is with his ill-advised Beatles cover, 'Come Together', and too many duds in the second half - namely 'You Are Not Alone' and the mawkish duo of 'Little Susie' and 'Smile', which make for a really displeasing close to the album for me.

I've never really been a fan of remix albums, so thankfully Blood On The Dance Floor included five original tracks - 80% of which I rank among favourites of his '90s output (sorry 'Superfly Sister'). The title track could have been lifted straight off Dangerous and is therefore one of my favourites here. But the best of the new material for me was and still is 'Morphine'. Like 'They Don't Care About Us' it has an industrial feel to it but was infused with such a rich melody that somehow ties it all together - there really aren't many songs like them. Of the remixes I really couldn't list favourites because I tend to get bored with them two minutes in.

I'm neither here nor there when it comes to Invincible. In the beginning I found it a very tough record to gel with. The era just had a fragmentary vibe to it, like the album only producing two videos (only one of which featuring MJ in it). Yes, there were hell-ish label disputes going on but the disjoint was felt right down to the album's cover which - I know how this sounds - didn't even look like Michael. 'You Rock My World' was a classy comeback single, 'Butterflies' even more so. But as great as they were, I never fully warmed to them. With time I grew to appreciate the album, and now count gems like 'Speechless', 'Break Of Dawn', and 'Whatever Happens' as essentials. At times I consider it a shame that Invincible was his final studio album, but I'm reminded that had another eventuated it could have been with Akon or will.i.am at the helm and it's suddenly not so bad.

Michael did offer up a few repeat plays, thanks largely to my - and everybody's - favourite, 'Behind The Mask', but it honestly falls in line with a remix album for me. Even if the final version of each song was how MJ intended for it to be, there would always be that cloud of imperfection hovering above the album because he wasn't around to assemble it. I have little to no hope for Xscape.

And so it is that like the man himself, Michael Jackson's discography is one which faced enormous objection yet always delivered. Referencing once again his "Big 5" studio releases, it can never be undone that from Off The Wall to HIStory he was always thinking and proved to be incredibly consistent. And not once did he surrender his crown. All of this without really delving into his videography or live shows. He remains the eighth wonder of the world.

My ranking:

01. Dangerous

02. Bad

03. Off The Wall

04. Thriller

05. HIStory

06. Invincible

07. Blood On The Dance Floor

08. Got To Be There

09. Music & Me

10. Forever, Michael

11. Ben

12. Michael

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The album of albums. The ultimate. The one everyone is compared to. This album is an enigma. Funnily enough it’s not even his best album – in fact I prefer it least out of his “Holy 5”.

Wanna Be Startin' Something – As soon as the song starts something comes over and I’m on my feet or on my seat swerving and thrusting and all sorts. The song never made sense to me as a kid, mainly due to the vegetable line :lmao:. The infamous sample of “Mama say mama sa mamakosa” is so infectious that I used to go around the house singing it all the time. I never knew it was actually written for LeToya who apparently was crying one night after a disagreement with her brothers wives.

Baby Be Mine is easily Michaels most underrated and slept on song on both this album and his catalogue as a whole. The demo and studio version are both perfect that I can never decide which one I like most. But this song is one of my ultimate MJ songs. I hate that he and the public paid it dust <_< lol!

The Girl Is Mine – goodbye Paul :umm:. See you on Say Say Say – the only time I use you with MJ :filenails:. In all seriousness though this is better than Girlfriend :lol: and it did inspire The Boy Is Mine. Plus I’m always here for two ‘rivals’ coming together (*looks at the Janet and Madonna collab that never happened*). I actually prefer the demo – the strings and that intro are great and less cheesier. It has a more R&B feel to it in the demo.

Thriller – Like Mariah has Christmas on lock, MJ has Halloween on lock too. I’m pretty sure it charts every year in the UK. The song is just amazing even to this day. What I love about it is that although the music video is hugely celebrated you can still enjoy this song without it. Vincent Fucking Price always scared the fuck outta me. His voice – such a perfect addition. I read that VHS player sales went through the roof after this was released and a deal was set up where you could get a copy of the VHS of Thriller with a VHS player. G’wan MJ! :lol

Beat It – one of the most classic guitar riffs EVER. Eddie Van Halen is amazing! I hear Ed wasn’t paid for it :lol:. His riff is so good on this song that he set fire to the control room haha. I’ve no doubt that this introduction of a rockier MJ helped him score points with an audience that would never have paid attention to him – like Black Cat. I’m not a fan of MJ covers but I feel that Fall Out Boy did it complete justice. I have a Beat It t-shirt btw! YAS!

Billie Jean – this is one of those songs that you can recognise from the moment it starts. This songs video changed the landscape for black artists everywhere tbh. I don’t know what to say about this track that hasn’t already been said. I would say this is his most important song tbh. I find it astonishing that this is the song that almost had them scrap the entire album due to frustration lol. I mean there’s 91 versions of it ffs :lmao:. I mean imagine if Quncy and MJ didn’t make up after falling out over it? Lord.

Human Nature – Listen to the demo by Steve and then listen to this. That is proof itself that MJ was what brought his music to life. This song was one of the few MJ songs I couldn’t listen to after his death…it just brought this form of sadness and pain to me that I was avoiding at the time. His vocals are mesmerising on this and it’s another one of those “trance” songs. It’s also another song I didn’t understand as a kid – but I think it’s about wanting to go out and explore a city at night…which is ironic considering Mj found that hard to do.

PYT – UGH! Another song that has me moving from the get go and another one I love getting ready to. It’s one of the ones you sing into your toothbrush or hairbrush in the morning and dance around in your underwear after waking up haha. Definitely a great wake up song. Yas at Janet and Toya being on the background

Lady In My Life – If he never supposedly had sex then this song is the next best thing -_-. A sheer brilliant baby making song imo. Simply beautiful with so much soul and oomph. The ad libs alone >>>. The full version is AMAZING!

I don’t even have to say it – you all know it. Those disgusting remixes on Thriller 25 should have NEVER happened. As great a musician as MJ was he seriously made a mistake in hiring those losers for the remixes. I don’t understand Kanye’s contribution at all – I had faith in him to give something good but he made that piece of shit. IMO what Thriller 25 should have been was the original tracks remastered and then a disc two with “Thriller: From The Archives” (a fan-made bootleg) as CD 2 that had the demos, some instrumentals and also the leftovers on it. The leftovers being:

Niteline – I do enjoy this but I totally understand it being left off. It’s weak compared to the songs on the album. The start is cheesy but I do think it’s good haha. It’s very dated and sounds quite typical of the era at the time. It’s very “background music” to a scene in a movie.

Carousel – a nice laidback groove. I feel like it’s actually about a one night stand haha. This could have easily replaced The Girl Is Mine but I think TGIM may have helped MJ at the time purely because of the Paul connection. I’m not entirely sure on that though haha.

Hot Street – like Niteline it was a good decision leaving this off. The song just goes nowhere.

Starlight – i.e. Thriller before Thriller. It’s so weird hearing this knowing how different it ended up being :asham:. MJ’s call for having a ‘scarier’ song was definitely a good call. You can sense in his vocals on this that he wasn’t too keen on this version lol.

She’s Trouble – I’d love to see where MJ would have gone with this. It’s clearly unfinished (with the na na na’s he sings to pad out where there’s no lines). I think it would have been a great song.

Slapstick – I’d love a complete version of this too. He sounds great on this and a finished version would have been interesting. It’s very groovy and very 80s too :lol:.

Got The Hots – This song would have slaHAYED as a finished product. Would it have suited the album? I don’t know but this song is great! It’s catchy, it’s got a memorable hook and it makes you want to dance – what more does a song need? Haha.

I bet even the most notorious MJ “haters” would be caught trying to moonwalk or attempting the Thriller routine. It’s always great hearing peoples stories of where they were when this was released. It truly was a moment in history and not just pop history – but history in general. This album has me wishing that I was born 10 years earlier. I just don’t know how to describe this album and I don’t need to because everybody knows it.

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