Monday, June 26, 2006


For me Musical Monday isn't really about introducing new music, I won't even pretend to be so knowledgeable about music - for certainly I'm not. I just assume that at least 70% of people who read this journal know or have heard of the artists I drone on about. The music I feature is usually stuff that's been on high rotation that week in the car or the stereo or has a personal history behind it.

Today, both. And I assume that 100% of people already know of this song and 99% of people should have this album. I say should because the album is bloody awesome.

Oh yes.
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Which I have been listening to pretty much exclusively for about a week and a bit. I play it and then I play it again and then just when I think I'm sick of it, I change my mind and it comes on again.

I know the images of him are less than impressive but before he became a crazy white lady who molests young children Michael Jackson was a cool black cat with awesome hair, killer dance moves and excellent music. The moral of the story is that you can take the boy out of childhood but you can't take the childhood out of the boy apparently. Let's all be very afraid for our own futures eh?

Obviously I'm too young to actually remember this album coming out. I don't think I was quite that in tune with the pop culture world when I was 4, but the impact of the album stayed around for years and in school we were all absolutely obsessed with Michael Jackson (and Madonna...let's not forget Madonna). It's been about 24 years since Thriller made it's debut and the songs are still fresh - especially the big hits. That, kids is what we call a CLASSIC. Pretty much every song on this album is a winner - even the craptastic The Girl is Mine is okay in an whimiscal, amusing kind of way. The opening track Wanna Be Startin' Something is one of my all time favourite first tracks on an album, ever and the trio of Thriller followed by Beat It and Billie Jean all in a row is genius.

My association with Thriller stems mostly from my cousin MT, who is about 12 years older than me and quite possibly the coolest person I knew while growing up. In the 80s she looked like Kate Bush with the dark curly hair flying about everywhere and the red, red lipstick. She actually influenced a lot of my musical beginnings - Michael Jackson, Madonna, Kate Bush, Donna Summer etc, just by playing these artists constantly. She knew I loved Michael Jackson but that I was scared shitless of the song Thriller. I had seen the video clip and that was bad enough - but it was more the sound of the screeching gate, followed by footsteps and howling in the opening minute of the song that made me go into hysterics. I mean screaming, running around with my hands over my ears and begging for it to stop, hysterics. Of course she'd trick me by getting me to sit down on "good couch" in the living room and tell me she was going to play a really cool song and then crank out Thriller - to which I wouldn't dissapoint by screaming my head off. Once the beat actually started I was fine but cue in Vincent Price and I would run out of the room again. Secretly, I loved it.

The song that really did it for me was Billie Jean though. I don't think I can love this song more than I do. It is absolute genius from the bass line to orchestration and it's smooth. The song is just really smooth. It refers to a woman who was stalking Michael Jackson, claiming that he fathered one of her children. I love the lines:

People always told me be careful of what you do
And don't go around breaking young girls' hearts
And mother always told me be careful of who you love
And be careful of what you do 'cause the lie becomes the truth

Words to live by.

I know I have told this story a million times, but when I saw the video clip to Billie Jean all I did was practise walking up and down the tiled hallway stepping inside the tiles and pretending I was Michael Jackson. I did it for years, I even brought out the lacey gloves I wore for my first communion and put them (one) on for the performance. When it was proposed that we change the hallway tiles I pleaded and begged my parents to install ones that light up when you walk on them. I brought them into the hallway and outlined exactly my plan to have glowing tiles in the hallway and how they would work you see, you step on them and then they glow! You can see where you're going and it looks really ...cool!

No dice!

Billie Jean is the song imortilised for debuting Michael Jackson's famous moonwalk via the Motown (25 years) music concert. That is one magical performance! I think everyone has attempted the moonwalk at least once. I attempted it about 25,000 times (I'm not ashamed to admit) down the said hallway until I wore a hole in my socks. I got good at it. Judging by #2's wedding on Saturday and the playing of Billie Jean there, many people from age 25 - 40 have been practising doing the moonwalk too.

So, Musical Monday - an oldie but a goodie. My personal favourite from Thriller: Billie Jean.

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