dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy 50th, Jacko!

Today is onetime King of Pop Michael Jackson's 50th birthday. How did we ever get to the day in age where we'd see him and Madonna turn half a century old? (And Morrissey, who'll be 50 next year, is just behind them!)

I don't really have the strength to get all philosophical about Jacko again, so instead I'll redirect you to a piece I wrote for Towleroad back in February, when Thriller was re-released for its 25th anniversary.

What I can say is this: When you boil down Jackson's catalog, it leaves two standout masterpieces—"Beat It" and "Smooth Criminal." (I'm not including the Jackson 5 years, because then we'd have to throw in "Maybe Tomorrow" and "The Love You Save.")

And so, like the age-old Rick Astley debate on which is better—"Never Gonna Give You Up" or "Together Forever"—which is the better Michael Jackson classic? "Beat It" or "Smooth Criminal"?


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  • At 12:07 PM, Blogger El MarvelOso said…

    And let's remember that "King of Pop" was a title that he gave himself.

    I would have to say that best best song MJ has done is "Rock With You". Classic. Didn't care for the two songs you mentioned.

  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    You chose Smooth Criminal as one of his two masterpieces!? Blaspheme! What about Human Nature, Rock With You ('ello marvy - you are always on top of me), Wanna Be Startin' etc etc?

    That said, he's still a fucked-up pedo any way you slice it. :)

  • At 4:22 PM, Blogger El MarvelOso said…

    Yes, I would have to add Human Nature as well.

    XO, you make me blush**!!**!!

  • At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    At an undisclosed laboratory in Switzerland, the discarded body parts of “King of Pop” Michael Jackson turned 50 today.

    Employees at Advanced Cryonics LTD., marked the event by serving birthday cake and ice cream to Jackson’s former mouth. The singer’s former nose, chin and penis were also thawed out and present for the celebration.

    The noses of siblings Jermaine, LaToya, and Janet were not able to attend. They are currently being stored at a lab in South Korea. The nose of Jackson’s mother, Katherine, was eaten by an escaped lab rat in 1997.

    The rest of Michael Jackson celebrated the milestone at the singer’s home along with his children Prince and Blanket and replacement body parts that turn, 25, 24, 22, 19, 15, 14, 12, 4, 3, 2, and 1 on various dates throughout the year.

  • At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i agree with XO. Rock With You. Personally, I'd choose Don't Stop Til You Get Enough or even Thriller over Smooth Criminal! Now, re: Rick "Make-a-Bloody-Comeback-Already" Astley, Never Gonna Give You Up is the masterpiece. :')



  • At 3:09 AM, Blogger Adem With An E said…

    I'd be inclined to say "Beat It," but I tend to think "In The Closet" is his greatest song.

    No, seriously.

  • At 6:19 AM, Anonymous Arlen, Australia said…

    Exactly what Adem with an E said!!!
    Earth Song would be the 2nd best for me after In The Closet :)

  • At 8:20 AM, Blogger John said…

    "Beat It" was ground-breaking, but I don't know if I'd say it was his best. "Dangerous" was a big album for me, and I thought that "In the Closet" was pretty brilliant, but I'm going with the crowd for once, and saying "Rock With You". "Smooth Criminal" just comes off as a bit too gimmicky to me, for some reason.

  • At 8:56 AM, Blogger Moogaboo said…

    I LOVE "Rock With You," but also "Beat It." I'm voting for "Beat It" in the poll (and laughing at Anon's post). Poor Michael. He really is the most tragic case of celebrity ego implosion, no?

  • At 12:48 PM, Blogger 17days said…

    it has to be BILLIE JEAN. I feel like if we had to choose one song that summed up his solo career it would be BILLIE JEAN, for sure. and the Jackson 5 years? I WANT YOU BACK.

    how sad that clearly this man's most exciting and innovative days are now 25 years ago.


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