Michael Jackson, Thriller
John Landis, the famous film director, turns 59 today. And what a 59 years he’s had. He’s been responsible for movies like Animal House, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, Trading Places, Spies Like Us, Coming to America, and then he famously did the Thriller video for Michael Jackson. There’s a good chance that he’d make our top four directors of all time – more of that to come. Anyway, we decided to get him a gift, so we all hid behind wheelie bins in the town centre and walkie-talkie’d ideas until it boiled down to a toss up between a cap with The Boss emblazoned on it, or the entire 11-minute Thriller video, which we haven’t seen in full since Jackson got killed/had a heart attack a few weeks ago. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday John Landis!
Yes, we thought YOU might…
For those of you sitting in an air conditioned office, hungry for more words to read, we have been doing bits and pieces for the fantastic grown up gossip site Hecklerspray. This week, we turned our attention onto Michael Jackson and his incredible discography. After listening to every single song about one to one-and-a-half times, we decided that perhaps Thriller, Billie Jean and Dirty Diana aren’t his greatest hits after all. Find out what the best ones really are here.
Apparently this guy died… or something
No doubt the next seven or eight months are going to be taken up with newspapers really trying to figure out a few Jackson mysteries. How did he die? Did he really monkey around with those kids? Did he actually do it with a woman to make babies? All questions that we can’t answer, so we won’t be wasting your time by even remotely trying. When it comes to Jackson, we know two things: 1. Waking up with the man must, even just for a nanosecond, have given you a glimpse into what it’s like to be Ronald McDonald’s wife. And 2. These are the four best cover versions of MJ classics…
1. Billie Jean, Shinehead
A slower version of the classic song about a deranged stalker, this one even features a big doff of the cap to spaghetti westerns. A brilliant reggae track. Just brilliant.
2. Thriller, Ian Brown
Ian Brown has never had the most syrupy voice in the world, but his drawling monotone somehow works when singing Thriller. An unexpected masterpiece.
3. Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, Derrick Laro and Trinity
Another reggae interpretation of a Jackson classic – this time Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough from Off The Wall. This very nearly, but not quite, improves on the original. Excellent.
4. Human Nature, Miles Davies
A few rock versions almost took fourth spot, but in the end we plumped for this Miles Davis trumpet version of Human Nature. Not because it’s particularly good, but because it’s Miles Davis doing Michael Jackson. Yes, Miles Davis doing Michael Jackson. That’s Miles Davis doing Michael Jackson. The legendary trumpeter Miles Davis doing Michael Jackson…
James Brown, Michael Jackson and Prince
Much is going to be written about Michael Jackson for the coming weeks, after he finally lost out to a bastard heart attack or some such. He was only 50. And what a life. Brilliant Jackson Five records, often overlooked but completely fantastic tracks during the band’s young-adult incarnation as The Jacksons, and then all of the solo magic – particularly Off The Wall. Obviously the whole thing was slightly marred by his weird monkey, the melty-face stuff, and the eyebrow-raising sleepovers. Still, we thought we’d get him a couple of gifts as a thank you for the music, so we drank heavily until we became forgetful, and it soon boiled down to a toss up between a James Brown gig clip in which Michael is invited on stage, shortly followed by a far more overconfident Prince, or a dodgy recording of Rock With You… ahhh, or the James Brown clip! In the end we got him both. RIP Michael Jackson!
Michael Jackson, Rock With You
Nothing weird about this guy
Even on his fearsome Thriller album cover, Michael Jackson had the look of a young lothario attempting to woo a bedmate. Lying back in a shiny white suit, flashing those “come to Neverland” eyes. But Bad saw him embrace the inner rebel. Gone were the well-cut suits, replaced by the kind of all-leather outfit that you’d probably find worn by terrifying gangs of ballerinas prowling around underground carparks. The cover is also startling for two more reasons – Jacko’s skin had decided to take on a more pallid tone, whilst the name of the album is scrawled upon the cover graffiti-style, in red spray paint. This was Michael’s way of letting the punks on the streets know that he was down with them. He had their backs. It was also around this time that he took persistant pelvic thrusting to a whole different level. Great days.
See him in action after the jump…