Playlist #8: The Rolling Stones
May 5, 2010
May 16, 2010

Playlist #9: Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson — His music is dance floor magic.

Michael Jackson His music is dance floor magic. Regardless of what you thought of the man, if his tracks don’t make your booty move, your booty must be dead my friend. When I was a kid, along with Jordan and Payton, this was the man I wanted to be. But I was fat. His creativity changed music and dancing and I owe a huge debt to his catalog, both as a DJ and as a fan. I for one, will miss him.

  1. Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough – Still gets a yell from the crowd every time I play it. This is disco at its’ best and a staple in my wedding dance sets.
  2. Billie Jean – A no-brainer for the top ten, this jam was largely responsible for the early appeal of MTV. Though the subject within the lyrics remained a mystery to me as a child, the funkiness did not.
  3. Thriller – The video scared me to death. I had to watch the making of, in order to keep out of a straightjacket. They really don’t make ’em like that anymore. And think about it, what is a Halloween party if you haven’t heard this song?
  4. The Way You Make Me Feel – This was the MJ track that I hand picked for my wedding. As with most of his tunes, a killer bassline gives way to an infectious chorus.
  5. P.Y.T. – Most recently sampled by Kanye West on his hit “The Good Life”, this one is a huge hit with the ladies. Additionally, the vocoder used in the breakdown is the the go-to vocal effect in creativity deprived contemporary hip-hop.
  6. Baby Be Mine – Immediately after his death, while most were glued to their TVs, I went through his catalog in search of overlooked gems. This was the shiniest. Found on Thriller, MJs greatest album, it was a disco-y throwback to the days of the Jackson 5.
  7. Will You Be There – A sentimental song that carries much more weight now that he’s gone, this track was originally composed for the Free Willy soundtrack. Much like Nirvana’s “All Apologies” this one seems to find the artist singing back to us from beyond. “I’m Only Human”. Amen.
  8. Smooth Criminal – A centerpiece in the film Moonwalker, this video found Michael defying gravity yet again. Only recently did I discover he is singing about the okay-ness of “Annie” not “Eddie”.
  9. Beat It – Way cooler than Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” but with a similar anti-fighting message, this video led to the 8th wonder of the world, Weird Al Yankovic’s “Eat It”.
  10. Man In The Mirror – As a kid, I used to listen to this outside on the radio and imagine that every goal I scored in summer soccer went to end world hunger. An urgent call to get off your ass and stop making excuses. Its’ message is just as important in the age of Obama as it was during Reagan’s tenure.


Empty Playlist