Few artists are as compelling and enduring as the King of Pop. He brought music to an entirely new area, and it’s his legacy of amazing music that still stands up. He inspired various entertainers in a multitude of genre’s. Quite simply there’s no one like him. Today we talk about his top ten best song. Hope you enjoy.
10. Bad, Bad
While Jackson’s vocals are almost always perfect. there’s even more you can say about this when it comes to beats and production quality. It’s so high up there, it’s difficult to compare it to anyone, even decades after he emerged on the scene. One of the first songs I ever heard was our number ten in our top ten best songs, “Bad.” The beat is clean, and polished as much as you can hope for, and the vocals are a declaration of awareness. He wants you to know his status, and he doesn’t want you surprised when he brings the power in this classic track.
9. Jam, Dangerous
I remember when this song came out. I’m pretty sure it was featured on the “Space Jam” movie, right? Either way, it’s a pretty straight forward song, and the opening especially promises that this is Jackson at his most rebellious, on the defensive best. Those horrible allegations were making their way to the swarming media around the time of this album, and the turmoil probably propelled the music to a more personal place. The lyrics here are intense to say the least, and he’s not holding back how he feels. To say the least, this song has the hooks you love from Jackson,and it certainly lives up to it’s title.
8. Scream, History
This video is still one of the coolest things of the 90’s. When the clip came out it was one of the most innovative for sure, but the song also is a supremely powerful song. Jackson at this point wasn’t huge on collaborations, but when Janet jumps into this track, your mind is totally gone, in the best way possible. This is the best team up he ever did with anyone, and the song is a full blown club anthem if ever there was one. The video was reportedly very expensive, and the subtle nature of the lyrics pull you in. The guitar at the end also delivers another surprise element to the song, and with the two most well known and talented Jackson’s working hand in hand to deliver a classic song, you can’t really go wrong.
7. Man In the Mirror, Bad
Few of his songs are as poignant as "Man in the Mirror" which finds our countdown of the top 10 Michael Jackson songs at number six. It's a slow building song the features Jackson’s gorgeous crooning. The chorus however is where it really opens up and a deep moment of self reflection is upon us. It's heartfelt songs like this that really show how much of an important figure pop in music he was. While he was known to be a bit of a recluse(after all the torment he went through, who could blame him)it’s in his music where he’s the most honest about his life, and struggles.
6. Black Or White, Dangerous
From the opening of the song you know it's going to be a mega hit. As a kid I could perfectly relate to trying to hear my favorite song right when my parents were telling me to go to bed. After the interlude the real song starts though and its here where the track truly takes off. It has one of the best hooks in all of music and before long Jackson is singing and the song is in full swing. Above all else “Black or White” it is a song about how everyone is ultimately the same even though we all have different colors of skin. This song came out at the peak of his popularity and showed a depth and understanding in terms of music. Although he was huge before the track came out I think its this track, “Black or White” that really changed everything.
5.Beat It, Thriller
The opening sequence and subsequent beats are things that are still recognizable today even to casual fans. The guitar part at the 30 second mark however is where things just go full blown energy. As you might know this is the best selling album of all time and its songs like this that propelled it to that status. Decades after its release date it is still a song everyone knows, and the video really steps it up in terms of what they were doing at the time. Jackson's vocals here are in your face but its not abrasive and hard to get into in the way you think it might be. His voice is amazing and in this track and even to this day “Beat It” is a really bad-ass songs.
4. Billie Jean, Thriller
We will likely never know the truth behind the inspiration of this song but the thing is it doesn't make a difference because the song is so solid all the way through. “Billie Jean,” which finds our countdown of the top ten Michael Jackson songs of all time at number four is a perfect example of how good Jackson was a storytelling. The song to me has always felt like its from the point of view of a naive young girl while it is also clear that the singer is that a similarly naive point of his life. In terms of mid-tempo songs this is his best and although it's not as in your face as so some of his other songs it doesn't have to be because it's such a quality track through and through.
3. Thriller, Thriller
While this song is without a doubt his best known song, the video also changed everything. Before “Thriller” hit our ears and our eyes no one knew things like this could exist, especially in video form. Thats why he captured everyone’s attention so well. One could argue that the Beatles are the most important band of all time but what Jackson did almost single-handedly is staggering. Apparently as a young boy I wore out multiple tapes and records because I couldn't get enough of the whole album but this song is especially important. The song, full of haunting beats and an incredible melody, is a classic in every way it can be. Its probably the number one reason people know who the King of Pop is While “Thriller” only hits the number 3 spot of my top ten Michael Jackson songs there's no denying how influential it was not only in terms of Pop music but also terms of what could be done during that period in video form. All the Music world owes him a debt of gratitude, and it's very likely that we're never going to be in a world where don’t know about this perfect song. .
2. The Way You Make Me Feel, Bad
This song simply just has that funky bass every pounding going that is really hard not to get excited about. It's an upbeat song that's all about the heart and how once you meet the amazing person you have no idea how you lived your life without them. You can literally feel the happiness overflowing in the song. Everything from the gorgeously layered instruments and the overwhelmingly positive lyrics really move the song to its own island. So many songs are great, but its“The Way you Make me Feel” thats up there with his best. Might not be as popular or well noticed as his other songs but it's not as one you should shrug off eithe. Iit's a perfect example of how good he was for so long and it's still a song that's loved today.
1. Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough, Off the Wall
“Don't Stop til You Get Enough” is the quintessential Michael Jackson song. The perfect build up explodes and before you know it you’re dancing in a disco infused world that makes it impossible for you to escape. Other songs again may be more popular, but this song says everything I told him that you need to know. His voice especially in this track is able to go from suave and velvety to his signature high pitch and everything in between. There are good songs and then there are songs like this that will forever remain in the public consciousness. The number one song on my countdown of the top 10 Michael Jackson songs, off the excellent “Off the Wal”l album, “Don't Stop til You Get Enough.” Thank you for reading, see you Wednesday.
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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