Monday, June 29, 2009

King of Pop

MJ is dead. What a tragedy. There was a strange guy, but what an artist!

I feel a special connection to his Thriller album because my first born was colicky. For ninety days Jimmy cried. Mysteriously on the ninety-first day he stopped crying and became a delightful baby. But this is a common tale among old wives.

The album Thriller had recently come out, with its long rendition of the suspense-laden, building story line of the single, Thriller. Vincent Price's voice-over in the song is masterful, exciting and very grabbing. Him laughing at the end is a perfect climax.

The boy's Mother, bless her for these parenting efforts, used to put the needle of the turntable on the Thriller track of the LP when Jimmy would cry and as the song slowly built to its shattering end, dance with the balling Jimmy in her arms. Mysteriously, or miraculously, Jimmy would soon stop crying, smile, start to coo and then laugh as Sharon moved around the room dancing while Michael's voice issued from the stereo speakers.

All too soon it would be over, Jimmy would look around, his chin would tremble, and his Mother would drop the needle on the well-worn beginning of the song's groove again and the joyous whirlwind would start all over again for Jimmy.

Those are some of the good memories I have of those two.

The Thriller album is, along with U2's The Joshua Tree, the only album created after 1980 that I regularly listen to. It's not on a par with the best, most influential album of all time, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles, but it's close.


Kelly said...

I remember the thriller music video. I was very young, so time dragged... and I thought it was a movie. I used to tell my mom I wanted to watch that scary warewolf movie again.

Just_because_today said...

MJ always made me sad for some reason. Unlike most, I loved his ballads "she's out of my life" etc. He was a great performer

ShirleyPerly said...

Incredible artist. I remember growing up and hearing Jackson 5 songs as a kid and was constantly amazed how MJ reinvented himself and continued to produce hit after hit for so many years. Glad you have some good memories of MJ and your family.

Makita said...

What a great memory of your family. I remember the Thriller music video well also - MTV was just getting big but we didn't have cable. My brothers and I watched it on TBS' Night Tracks on Friday night. MJ was an amazing artist.

Black Knight said...

Indeed not my favourite kind of music but he was (is) an important chapter of the pop history. R.I.P.