Michael Jackson: Back in the Day

Michael Jackson 1958-2009
Michael Jackson 1958-2009

Yup. I grew up in the 80’s back when Michael Jackson was huge. So, essentially, you could say I grew up with Michael Jackson. The first song I remember was Billy Jean. I was in grade 8. After that we heard him at school dances, on the radio, and especially on those hour long video shows on TV. I never bought one of his albums and I never considered myself a fan, but I always enjoyed his songs when I heard them.

I personally think the guy was an entertainment genius, regardless of my distaste for so much of his eccentric behaviour. I think he revolutionized the music video and dance in the 80’s. Thriller was one of the most impressive videos of the time – it was more like a movie, really, and the special effects were quite impressive. After that, however, I don’t remember much of what he did.

Once I left highschool and MJ seemed to get weirder by the week, I lost interest. In some ways I felt badly – he seemed to be one of those people for whom fame and fortune is almost a curse. His eccentricities overwhelmed him and took him away from his ability to tap into his genius. It was either that or his genius made it impossible for him to function within the confines of society. Who really knows but to me his life appears tragic rather than successful.

It is clear, however, in the wake of his death, he was a true music icon with millions of fans. So he did succeed remarkably in that capacity. And so, as a small tribute to his music, I’ve added a video to this post. If asked for my favourite MJ song…this would be it. Dirty Diana was one I’d never heard before until my brother-in-law introduced it to me this past fall. The video actually gave me goosebumps…this is MJ as I want to remember him – in top form. Enjoy.

Rest in peace, Michael.

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9 thoughts on “Michael Jackson: Back in the Day

  1. I, too, grew up with the music of MJ although admittedly I’m quite a few years older than you. The fact that I’ve never bought any of his albums doesn’t detract from his superstar status in the least. He is a remarkable icon of modern pop music and culture.
    He, like all of us, had eccentricities. Perhaps being in the spotlight is more distressing and fatal in the end.
    He did rather well over 50 years and he will be remembered among the greatest of the greats.

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  2. I always liked MJ, and as far as I’m concerned he’s the best dancer that ever existed.
    I think it’s always hard for us to separate an artist’s genius from his actions. What I don’t like is the outpour of fake sympathy by the media, the same media that scrutinized him while he was alive.

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    1. Yes, Omar, the media – entertainment media in particular – is very fickle and hypochritical…but I guess we already knew that didn’t we? Thanks for dropping by and for your comment!

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  3. Hello Isobel:
    After what Abufares wrote about you, I HAD to visit your blog. I’ll be taking a look around.

    About Michael Jackson, I also lost track of him after Thriller. I used to think his eccentricities were too much for me. I never considered myself a fan either, even though I grew up in the 80’s too. But his death shocked me last week. I had had a shock earlier that same day with Farrah’s departure. And in Peru we had a shocking death also: a female floklore singer was found murderd. All three on the same day!
    DespĂ­te his well known eccentricities, MJ will be always remembered for his art. I have no doubt about that!

    ¡Saludos desde Lima!

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    1. Gabriela! Thanks so much for coming by and for your comment. I had intended to visit you as well but have been out of town for the last few days. I will drop by shortly when I’m home and settled again and can enjoy your words. It was a sad day with Farrah and Michael both going…and now to learn of your folk singer. May they all rest in peace.

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  4. Hi Isobel

    Very insightful look at MJ. It’s a good question you ask about whether his genius is what made him look eccentric to us mere mortals or whether his eccentricities detracted (or subtracted) from his genius.

    Brigand

    PS. I didn’t buy his album (i.e. Thriller) either; but my sister did, so I got to listen to it as though it was my own. Maybe when we take the kids up to see the grand parents, I’ll dig up the old vinyl LP (they’ve kept all that paraphernalia) and see how it sounds on an old fashioned turn table.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Brigand. Hope you find that album…the kids should have a blast with it! Or perhaps you’ll be the one getting down… 🙂

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