My iPod #553: Michael Jackson – Human Nature

What a blunder. This wasn’t meant to be published yesterday. A complete error on my part. To those of you who saw two posts up and were expecting two good reads, I’m sorry I could only provide you with one. Though in the end, you did get a sneak peek of what was coming.

“Human Nature” was released as the fifth single from his Thriller album. It is one of the four songs that were not written by Jackson himself, having initially been a rough demo by Steve Porcaro of Toto given to producer Quincy Jones in hopes of being included on the album. Jones loved the music, the original lyrics not so much. And so lyricist John Bettis was asked to write some new ones. “Human Nature” was finished in its entirety in a matter of two days, and was the last song to be included to Thriller‘s track-list.

The song is, what can be described as, an ode to New York City – the city that never sleeps – an its enticing scenery and vibrant atmosphere during the nighttime. Jackson sings of abandoning the four walls of his room to take full advantage of what the city has to offer from the ‘electric eyes’ of streetlights to the beautiful ladies he can’t help but stare at. The morning after sees him back in his room, looking out to the city with the urge to do it all over again later.

Upon Jackson’s untimely death in 2009 his music videos were played non-stop on almost every music channel. Of course it was a sad time, but I had seen/heard all of those songs before. I had not with “Human Nature”, and it was when it played on the radio a few weeks after that I could comprehend that he was gone. Was such a sad time and he continues to be missed.

My iPod #104: Michael Jackson – Black or White

Michael Jackson. A name that brings up so many memories… so many questions. Too many that I won’t go through in this blog. Whether you hated or loved him, you can’t say that the guy didn’t make some damn fine music. That will go down forever in history.

I remember where I was when the news came out that he died…. I was in my bed, asleep. My sister came home from a night out screaming to my aunt that Jackson had died. “Pffff… no way,” I thought to myself “It’s just a rumour.”

Next morning on BBC News – BREAKING NEWS: MICHAEL JACKSON DEAD. Holy shit… he was gone. I didn’t really care for the guy, his music was fantastic and all. It was a shame though. It was raining. Everyone on the public bus to school was quiet, except for this one guy blaring Michael Jackson songs in his ears. My friend hastily ripped of the front page of The Sun and stuck it on the notice board in our form room as some sort of ‘tribute’, and MTV played Michael Jackson videos all day. It was crazy. Four years has flown by.

Enough with the sadness. Let’s talk about “Black or White”. I can’t remember the first time I heard the song. Michael Jackson seems like a name that had been around forever. I have a feeling my sister had a cassette that showed all the videos for “Dangerous” somewhere. It must have been on that. The faces morphing into different people near the end of the song is something I can remember. It’s very vague.

“Black or White” was the first single from “Dangerous” in 1991. I wasn’t born, my sister had been for a few months. It’s a very happy song, singing positively about equality and people getting along with one another. The chorus of the song is, if you… were thinking of getting with Michael, it didn’t matter if you were black or white. If you were fine – and not like ‘feeling fine’ but if you were fine – then you had a good chance with him. And this is all sung over a joyful riff, not played by Slash of Guns ‘n’ Roses. It reached number one almost everywhere, and was another song to add to Jackson’s classics.

Until tomorrow.

Jamie.