I became a real expert on everything The Jackson 5, Jacksons, Michael & Janet released. Of course I took great pride in being able to find something good in every song, no matter how cheesy some of MJ's early solo material was. Seriously, check out wonderful cheesefest that is Forever Michael . You could make a delicious pizza from all that dripping, bubbling sentimental silliness. Does calling it cheesy mean I hate it? NO WAY! I love this album right to my core.
see, that's what Michael's power was. He could make you love every single thing he gave you. Mainly because when Michael sang, he was in his element and sharing that simple joy with you. This was between you and MJ. His escape was yours. I don't know about you but I really believed he knew what I was going through. He stood with me, every step of the way. This was the first time music became personal and private to me. Michael Jackson actively made me a stronger person. He felt like my friend. I didn't have many close friends in school and despite being a happy child, I was lonely. I clung to my mum and my fantasy world of being a dancer on Fame and singing with MJ. Come to think of it, I bet Michael was lonely too.Fast forward to 1987, when Bad was released. At first, I played it every day, traced the album cover and drew it in art class. For the first time though, there were songs I didn't like. Namely 'Dirty Diana', 'I Just Can't Stop Loving You' & believe it or not 'Bad' - what annoyed me was that if I asked for a Michael song at youth club, the DJ would always choose 'Bad'. God, I still hate that song today. Why do I hate it? Strangely, I can't quite explain why. So, I'm going to try and examine it a little.
Firstly .. it was impossible to dance to (unless you where MJ or could dance like him.) Second, it seemed to stay in one place, somehow felt safe and repetitive. The chorus was uninspiring and spawned that god awful catchphrase 'shhhmon' which these days, is used to parody Michael. To me, it felt like he was re-visiting old ideas - he had done the gang thing in 'Beat it' and frankly 'Beat it' was superior in so many ways. Lastly, aside from the epic video, the song itself sounded weak. You're free to disagree of course. Briefly mentioning the others: 'I just Can't Stop Loving You' Michael duetting with a woman is always risky to my mind. This song had little to redeem it. Stupid lyrics, pointless vocal riffing by Miss Garrett. All around yucky. NEXT. 'Dirty Diana? Well there's a problem right there, the title. It displays a woeful lack of sexual maturity on Michael's part. Who seriously calls someone that? No matter how slutty she may be. The song itself is alright - but again, the subject of slutty girls had been covered repeatedly by all the Jacksons, starting with babymomma 'Bllie Jean'. I'm sure Michael experienced a lot slutty women throwing themselves at him. However, is it necessary to keep writing about it? Rest assured, the rest of the album was EPIC indeed. With standouts like, 'Speed Demon', 'The Way You Make Me Feel', 'Smooth Criminal' and the FANTASTIC 'Leave Me Alone' - which remains a fave of mine to this day.