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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Farewell, Michael

Yi Lin had made it pretty clear in an earlier post that I am a fan of the Michael Jackson, the self-styled King of Pop.

Truth be told, though, while I am saddened by his passing, I fear that I will not miss him as much as everyone on TV is saying they will. I have long accepted the fact that Death will come to one and all, and when your time is up, it's up.

Sure, I remember my first contact with him. A cousin (whose home was in Johor) had recorded a top 10 music countdown wayyy back in the 1980s. And I remember watching this recording over and over again, because that was really my first brush with pop music. At that time, Michael had 'Beat It' at number 10, and 'Billy Jean' at number 1, sandwiching all the other oldies but goodies like Eurhythmic's 'Sweet Dreams', Lionel Ritchie's 'All Night Long' and Sheena Easton's 'Telephone'. But think about it, this guy had 2 songs in the Top 10 charts! And the dancing was really funky too!

As we were winding down for the night, we started watching BET (I think it stands for Black Entertainment TV, because this channel just seems to showcase blacks), and what the station was doing was that it was asking people who were gathered around the UCLA Medical Centre what were their favorite Michael Jackson music videos. Then they would play it. And as I watched the TV, I would lean over to Yi Lin and say stuff like, "Hey, I used to copy this dance move", or "I like this part of the choreography", or "this song is amazing".

Michael's music videos were really wonderful as long as he was dancing. I know that I would get glued to the screen if the following videos were ever played:

- Bad
- Beat It
- Billy Jean
- Speed Demon
- Smooth Criminal (the movie version)
- In the Closet
- Black or White
- They Don't Really Care About Us
- Thriller
- Say, Say, Say (with Paul McCartney)
- Leave Me Alone
- The Way You Make Me Feel

And to balance off the good, these videos really sucked:
- Remember the Time (too cheesy)
- Stranger in Moscow
- You Are Not Alone
- Earth Song
- Man in the Mirror (though the song is really good)

Unfortunately, if you bother to research on the dates the good videos were released, you would find that it's been a long, long time since he did anything that made me go 'wow'. I don't mind an eccentric star, but the songs have to speak to the common people (i.e, me), and sadly, they don't seem to do that anymore.

So yeah, call it living in the past if you want, but I know I will be remembering the Michael who gave me good songs and entertainment. In this way, I guess I am celebrating the best of the man, the legend, the King of Pop.

R.I.P, Michael.


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