Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson Dead at 50 from Cardiac Arrest

CNN: Michael Jackson dead at 50 after cardiac arrest

They're doing an autopsy today, the results of which should be interesting. I mean, "cardiac arrest" in a 50 year old man who had been dancing since he was 5 doesn't make a whole lot of sense; a dancer's cardiovascular system is usually outstanding. My money's either on some weird heart defect no one knew about or....knowing the Michael Jackson of today, a side effect of some weird drug from Thailand that turns your skin whiter or promises eternal youth or something.

To many, Jackson's Thriller was his best work (and it had the kabillion sales to prove it. I think it may still be the best selling record of all time). For me however, it was its precursor, 1980's Off the Wall. I was 9 years old, but the minute I heard "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," I knew this record (and Jackson) were something altogether different and unusual. (In fact, now that I think about it, it may have been the first record I ever owned.)

As I said to someone last night though, the sad thing is that anyone under the age of what, 30, will only know the tabloid-Jackson from more recent years, the sad, loony, and probable pedophile, not the guy who made Thriller and changed the face and view of music videos forever. If it weren't for the Thriller videos like "Billie Jean" and the title track (especially the title track) ushering in a much more creative and serious approach to music videos, (the album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools), I'm pretty sure that genre would have died long ago.

And don't even get me started on the Jackson 5...tracks like "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "I'll Be There" are super-infectious. And I double-dog dare you to not want to get up and dance the minute "ABC" starts....or keep a smile from crossing your face. I think if you ever need a song that best symbolizes unabashed happiness-love-summer-ice cream-puppies-babies-joy, "ABC" is the only one you need.

Give a Listen: ABC-Jackson 5

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