Michael Jackson

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I’ve been paying attention to the Michael Jackson media frenzy quite a bit. Not because I was the biggest MJ fan on the planet, but because ultimately we create our own epitaph. Especially when a person is a polarizing as the King of Pop, it’s crazy to try to understand his legacy outside of individual opinion. When someone is obviously as talented as Michael Jackson is, yet so openly flawed, the ink may never dry on his obituary.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus on the music and his legacy as the King of Pop. This isn’t because we’re eager to turn a blind eye to the last 10 and the controversy which encompassed his life. On the contrary. It’s not even much of a discussion if he wasn’t who he became as an artist and a performer.

For all intents and purposes, pop music has seen three or four larger than life figures that have transcended not just pop culture, but life and culture itself. Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Madonna (debatable) sit on a short list of icons so big, that they change the rules for everyone. Whereas mega pop stars exist in a world that is music centric (like the cover of Rolling Stone) , icons like the above list lived in the fabric of everyday life (like the cover of Time magazine). However, even when you compare him to the very short list of peers, Michael Jackson’s musical accomplishments stand apart. 750 million albums sold globally. Thriller sold over 100 million copies which is more than double the next closest album. Plus, MJ has two other albums which sold over 30 million copies each (Dangerous and Bad). Only the Beatles have more than one album on the 30 million plus list, and one of those was a greatest hits (1) album. Additional accomplishments as far as number one hits, weeks on the charts, and top ten hits are right up there near the top of every category.

A lot has been written already about Michael. There will be plenty more to come. Everyone will have an opinion. There’s no denying the fact, however, that pop music will always be richer for having the talents of Michael Jackson to remember. Tragically, that’s only part of the story.

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15 Responses to “Michael Jackson”

  1. bigaboy Says:

    Correct view imo. Everyone has to parse their feelings about the man, and there’s no denying that he was troubled emotionally, even outside the allegations. There’s also no denying that he was a musical genius and as you pointed out, he changed the rules of the game. I was working in a record store when Thriller came out. Crazy times.

    Glad to see you’re back in the saddle!

  2. I was looking forward for the Uk (London) concerts, I was really excited to be seing him on the stage after a decade… RIP King…

    I would have never imagined that I would literally cry after a Pop Star….

  3. Here is another.

    Jackson had just finished speaking at a vertical tasting held away from the Great American Beer Festival hall. Before heading off for a beer writers’ dinner, then to sign more autographs at the hall, he stopped at the restroom.

    As he turned to leave the urinal a fan emerged from a stall, holding a piece of toilet paper. Jackson paused. The man passed by, shyly mumbling how much he enjoyed the tasting.

    The chap who would drive Jackson to the beer writers’ gathering, like Jackson sure that they had just missed a person asking for an autograph on toilet paper, had to ask: What was the strangest thing he had ever been asked to sign?

    “Well last night two women asked me to sign their beavers,” Jackson said.

  4. A very nice column from Robert Hilburn in the LA Times. Does a nice job of balancing the scale of his musical accomplishment with all the rest that followed.

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-me-jackson-hilburn27-2009jun27,0,1996233,full.story

    • Yeah…that ran in our local fish wrap as well. Hilburn’s a great writer with solid credentials, but frequently wrote himself into many stories. Stockholm syndrome among journalists. However, in this case, it offered a good perspective.

  5. I’m perplexed how journalists can make a statement like this BEFORE the product is fully launched in its true form. Talk about putting the cart before the horse…

    New article from Billboard:

    “Qtrax, the other great hope for free services, has little chance of remaining a going concern.”

    http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i3a983edc0e93a51bcaf7f3b9deecfb50

    • Yeah I know. In this case, it’s more like piling on. Instead of doing my own research, I’ll just look through our own archives for a tidbit on free and legal. We wrote it before, so it must be accurate.

      The article is so all over the road topic-wise, I’m surprised it didn’t mention the Madoff sentencing, the all-field power of Justin Morneau or the Sham-Wow guy.

  6. Qtraxer, does AK and team realize that this is the last day of June and there are probably lots of bloggers refreshing their Qtrax home page, waiting for midnight to start trashing, once again, if deadlines are not met or updates are not updated? If not, can you communicate to them that they don’t really need negative press right now? Thanks!

    • bigaboy Says:

      You know, if you take the phrase from the Corporate Update:

      “New Round of Funding” and change the letters around you get:

      “Unfunded, Info Wrong”

      Okay, I’m bored waiting. So what? C’mon Qtrax!

  7. luckybleu Says:

    who can’t remember the 1st time they saw Michael Jackson moonwalk?The 25th motown anniversary special I think I saw him …unbelievable.It became such a phenomena a meaning for the word even became part of american slang.
    Moonwalk (verb)To bypass or divert attention from a delicate issue.often by glancing over or omitting facts.

  8. bigaboy Says:

    QTraxer,
    Can we assume that Sony’s just-announced deal with IODA will make available an additional 2 million indie tracks for QTrax? Is this automatically a done deal, or do the artists associated with IODA have to approve it separately since the deal with Sony is for distribution, rather than ownership?

  9. QTRAX is going to be the google of the music… yeah sure, we should have bought two fishes and slapped ourselves instead…

    RIP KING

  10. bigaboy Says:

    Qtraxer,
    Where’s all the chatter in the Qtrax blogosphere? Writer’s block…Blog jam… or did the Mad Hatter say everything there is to say for the moment? Is the next issue going to be post-launch?

    You COULD share some secrets. We promise not to tell.

  11. bigaboy Says:

    Qtraxer, where are ya?

    Do you know if there is a proactive plan to somehow integrate or at least interact Qtrax users directly with Twitter? It’s crucial imo. This is how Limewire’s doing it.

    http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/07/yahoo-pipes-app-helps-twitter-users-share-limewire-files/

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