Tuesday, June 30, 2009

5 Jackson Classics

The last seven days have been very abnormal for the staff at Freedom. Last week at this time we were up to our ears in painting the new offices. Since then everything has been moved out of the old offices and gotten somewhat set-up in the new place. I spent all of yesterday afternoon putting together a desk from Staples. I got lots of good help from Donny's four year old son Johnathan. He was very good at finding what piece I needed next. Every morning this week I have been teaching to the 160 teenagers and adults who have come to Greenville for the Power Plant project. I will write some of my thoughts about that experience on here tomorrow or Thursday.

Since everything has been so busy I haven't had a chance to write anything about the death of Michael Jackson. In the last 15 years Michael was known for some extremely strange and disturbing behavior. In no way do I condone or even understand all of the things he was involved in, but I am 40 years old and that means that Michael Jackson's music is the soundtrack of my youth. As I thought about his death last week I realized that Micahel Jackson songs were important to me from the time I was ten years old all the way through graduating from college. Instead of talking about the crazy Michael Jackson here's a list of 5 of my favorite songs by him:

(I put these are in chronological order. They aren't in order of what my favorites are, because I can't choose a favorite. Also, I have only included songs he did as a solo artist)

- Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Every time I hear this song I think about Seven Oaks Elementary skate nights at Red Wing Rollerway in Columbia. This was a perfect rollerskating song because of the tempo and crazy sounding violin part at the beginning and end. Although I loved skating to this I never was able to "shoot the duck".

- Beat It
I was in the eighth grade and my friend Jeff Caldwell came to school and told me that Eddie Van Halen played guitar on the new Michael Jackson song. I told him he must be crazy because I couldn't imagine how it would sound, then I heard it and was convinced that getting Eddie to play on "Beat It" was an amazing idea.

- Billie Jean
What can you say about this song? It's probably the most well-known song of the eighties. The moonwalk that he did on the Motown 25th Anniversary special was one of those things that everyone was talking about in Mrs. Hilliard's homeroom the next morning. The bass line to this song is one of the best ever. I dare you to listen to it and not move.

- Man in the Mirror
The best part of this song is the lyrics which Michael did not write, but the way he sang it made those words come to life. Having the choir (featuring Andre Crouch and the Winans) sing in the background gave the song a gospel flavor that took it to another level.

- Smooth Criminal
Another song that I can't listen to and sit still. I don't have any idea what the lyrics are talking about, but I think they have something to do with the plot of a movie that Michael made. Either way it's a cool sounding song with a driving, frantic sounding beat. The harder rocking cover by "Alien Ant Farm" that was released a few years ago sounds cool too.

Have a great evening! I hope to write more here tomorrow.


DMaC said...

You put together a desk from staples?! Wow. Paper clips I could see, but.. ok, sorry.
Nice list. I thought the same thing about Eddie playing on Beat It. That may have been the start of my V.H. affinity.
Yea, what the heck is Smooth Criminal about? I been asking that for years. I will add this, Dirty Diana is kinda crappy but it rocks and makes me wanna destroy things.

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