Saturday, March 23, 2013


Many of you have indicated that you are interested in seeing the return of Inspirational Song Saturday. Well, okay. I am going to cheat a bit and do a repeat of one of my VERY EARLY posts to give you an idea of what you are in for with these Saturday posts.  If you like them, I might post a list of all the bands/singers that have already been "done" and you can Search those posts if you want to go back and read them.

The way this post goes down is with one song at the beginning that is feeling Inspirational to Me Right Now. That means it is one song hitting me in my Happy Place right this very minute. It is not limited to any decade. So, while the rest of this post is a feature of 80s music and MTV, and how these two things are meshing, or maybe not meshing, though I haven't really gone there yet, but I am sure that I will, that has nothing to do with this first song.

 I actually dedicated this song to Jasmine a couple of months ago on my Thursday post. However, I love love love it. Back in December, I felt like I was dying inside. Or maybe I was already dead. I don't know... just hollow. It felt like all the good things were gone and were never coming back. I had to very deliberately change my life, and what I was doing, so that I could start feeling again. It was a glorious thing to feel after months of not. So, when I heard this song it almost felt One Republic wrote and sang it just for me. It is one of those songs that I could listen to repeatedly. Every time I hear it I want to play it again. Yep. It's one of those.

Do you have songs like that, or days like that, or moods like that? When I get like that, I just sit on YouTube and keep hitting the repeat until it is out of my system. So here goes:

Well I took two trips; I almost went a third time, but I decided that this blog wasn't going to write itself. So, I decided I better stop watching and listening and grooving - and get back to the writing. How many times did you hit the repeat? I warn you that is the BIGGEST PROBLEM with these posts. Especially with the upcoming music if you are an 80s lover... you are about to watch videos you haven't seen in FOREVER and you are going to fall in love all over again. So, don't say you weren't warned...

Okay, now let's get down to business.

You can't talk about the 80s, MTV, and NOT talk about Michael Jackson. Unlike some other musicians, Michael Jackson wasn't an unknown in the industry. He was part of the Jackson 5. He was the youngest member of the Jackson 5, but the one that spent the most time in the spotlight. So, one could safely argue that he was the most talented member of the Jackson 5. In 1982, something phenomenal happened. Something that hasn't happened again. THRILLER was released. Would it have been the success that it was if not for MTV? I don't know. However, the combination of MTV and Michael Jackson was magic. And THRILLER set the music industry ablaze and the public went wild. I don't think Michael Jackson knew what hit him. THRILLER was not his first solo album, but it might as well have been, because nothing could have prepared him for what was to come. To this day, THRILLER is the best selling album of all-time. Let that sink in. (best selling album of all time) There were nine tracks, and all but two, hit the charts, which is unbelievable! Here they are:

1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" Michael Jackson 6:02
2. "Baby Be Mine" Rod Temperton 4:20
3. "The Girl Is Mine" (with Paul McCartney) Michael Jackson 3:41
4. "Thriller" Rod Temperton 5:57
5. "Beat It" Michael Jackson 4:17
6. "Billie Jean" Michael Jackson 4:54
7. "Human Nature" Steve Porcaro, John Bettis 4:05
8. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" James Ingram, Quincy Jones 3:58
9. "The Lady In My Life" Rod Temperton 4:58

Let's take a look at what had the fans in such a frenzy.

Do you remember when I talked about how some stars knew how to rock a video and some didn't? Michael Jackson knew how to rock a video. People watched that and their jaws hit the floor. It wasn't just that the concept was awesome, there was some story there, the singing was incredible, but how cool was the dancing? He hit you in every sense you had. In fact, it was sensory overload. You wanted to call MTV and ask them to play it again. Please, pretty please play it again. Just two or three more times. Billie Jean knocked it out of the park. Michael Jackson understood the power of video. Video and song. They fed each other. You could do a video of yourself in concert, but why would you? So, he didn't. And he hit one homerun after another while everyone else stood around with their mouths hanging open wondering, "How is he doing that?"

I found this video looking for other videos and it isn't a song, but more of a "what they were thinking back then" video. I thought it was really interesting. If you find it tedious. You know where the stop button is. You can move on...

Of course, the last song has to be Thriller. The video is 13 minutes long and people couldn't get enough of it. We waited for Thriller to come on. Even me. And the only other thing I waited on was Duran Duran videos. So, that should tell you something. It was like a mini-movie. If this doesn't indicate that Michael got the connection between video and music, nothing will.

The only two videos I picked were from the Thriller album. That doesn't mean that Michael Jackson's career ended there. In fact, one of my favorite songs of his is Man In The Mirror.

It made me really sad that Michael Jackson died so early in his life. It made me even sadder that he felt the need to change his appearance so dramatically. I like these videos, not just because it is Michael in his prime, but it is because Michael when he still looks like himself. Just because you have the money to lighten your skin and have all kinds of plastic surgery to make yourself look different, (in his case, more Caucasian) doesn't mean you should. If I could have given him one thing, it would have been simply loving what he saw in the mirror.

RIP Michael Jackson. You are one of a kind. There will never be another musician like you.

Did you notice how much more important it became to be a good dancer or to have good dancers after Michael Jackson and MTV?  What is your favorite song by Michael Jackson?  What is your favorite video by Michael Jackson?


  1. Robin,
    I wonder where I was during this era of which you post. Me thinks it was when we first moved to the ranch and lived in totally rural seclusion. I was never much aware of Michael Jackson so I'm going to skip commenting and say I had a gorgeous, beautiful day and hope you did too. What a grand life!

  2. All I can say is...WOW! Amazing post and such great music. I have never heard that One Republic song before...not sure if I've even heard of that group before, but that song was great!

    What can you say about Michael Jackson. He was the consummate entertainer...he sang, danced, wrote music, and was a -true- talent in the music business. The first time I saw him Moonwalk I was one of those 'jaw hit the floor' people. It was a great time for music back then...I miss those days.

    Again, great post! :)

  3. reminds me of the song mirrors by justin timberlake..he is a real star. Not a trashy wannabe. That guy is well on his way to being a legend.

  4. Although my favorite artist is NOT Michael Jackson, the Jackson 5 have the distinction of being the first record I ever purchased (Diana Ross Presents The Jackson Five) some forty three years and seventeen thousand titles ago.

    I, too, felt very sad when Michael died, but I'd already felt the sadness for the tragedy of his life. Even before the lawsuits, it was obvious he was not happy in his own skin (I do not buy the skin-lightening disease story), despite his incredible fortune (or, perhaps, because of it).

    Loved the post,


  5. Manzi ~ All I can say is that the music of the 80s is the music of my teens. It is the Music You Never Forget. I know that you know what I mean. The music that was popular when you were a teenager probably will always be YOUR favorite, too:) I got the added bonus of having mine set to video and dancing became the rage as the backdrop. It was musical bounty for the EYES and EARS. I did have a pretty good weekend, even though we had terrible thundercrackers almost all weekend long...

    Mark ~ So glad you enjoyed this piece. Yes, that moonwalk was something. I remember practicing it. And it was so funny to watch other people try it. MJ did it so effortlessly. In fact, he made dancing look effortless. He could MOVE.

    Christine ~ Since MJ is already a legend, I am going to assume you are talking about One Republic??? I love that band. I will have to check out Mirrors...

    DiscConnected ~ I don't know that MJ is my favorite artist from the 80s... just that he impacted the 80s in a huge way. Certain artists rode the MTV wave really well, and MJ was one of them. I, too, loved the Jackson 5, but that was way before MTV and the 80s. I agree that MJ was not happy in his own skin. I think that sometimes fame becomes overwhelming. I think it is very possible that was the case here. Sometimes too much adoration is not a good thing and makes you actually NOT like yourself so much. Very sad. It seems like those with the brightest flames burn out the most quickly. Maybe it isn't healthy to run so hot.

  6. oh sorry. lol...I was thinking of a majority of todays popular music...mostly kesha. mind/keyboard sometimes they don't meet.

  7. I feel YOU the most in these kind of posts. I can tell how much the music means to you. And you are so insightful with the details. It is amazing to see how much you have to offer on the subject of 80's stuff in particular.
    As to your questions: I loved the video Thriller. I would stay up late to watch it on Saturday nights on the one video countdown show that I got because we didn't have cable. I also watched the making of Thriller about a hundred times when I visited my aunt. Her Mom worked at a video store and we would rent it on every school holiday and then watch it over and over!


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