Wow, what a weird day.
So first, Farrah Fawcett dies, and even though I knew it was coming (when Ryan O'Neal started talking to the press a few days ago about trying yet again to get her to marry him, I figured the end was nigh), I guess I hadn't thought it was going to happen quite so soon.
As a lot of my readers are in their late 30s or 40s, I know a lot of you all are as familiar with the two celebrities who died today from as far back as I am. They were two people who defined a '70s childhood.
I grew up with Charlie's Angels front and center on my radar, but more importantly, I - like almost every other little girl back then - wanted her hair. Of course, our mothers gave us cuts inspired by celebrities whose hair we HATED instead; The Teneille and The Hamill.
But we dreamed, secretly or not so, of long, feathered, curled, sprayed blond hair.
TV Theme - Charlie's Angels
And a few hours later, an almost totally unexpected death; Michael Jackson.
Before I go on, let me just get the inappropriate joke out of the way: In memory of Michael Jackson, JC Penney will be running a sale this week - boys' pants half off!
So, I have a short list of songs I consider absolutely perfect pop songs, and on it is this, the first Jackson 5 hit, from 1969: I Want You Back. I've heard various covers and remixes, and like or even love them all; it's just a damn good song, with good bones, and I'm not sure it'd even be possible to screw it up. Barring completely removing the guitar part, of course.
Another favorite from the J5 era (I'm keeping myself to two per era or this'll never get posted, and I could lose my electricity at any moment) is The Love You Save.
From there, on to well, wait ... too many people love this to skip right by it, so here it is:
Ok, now. On to Off the Wall, which is and has been, my favorite of his solo albums. Thriller was amazing, a phenomenon, to be sure, but man, Off the Wall was just plain excellent. The two biggest hits from it:
Off the Wall and Rock With You
Then, of course, Thriller. The biggest thing ever. Shit, people are still doing parodies of the title video at weddings and prisons, or they were just a few years ago, and the thing came out in '83 or '84.
By the time it came out, I was a huge huge fan; I was 13, had been a fan of his for a while, and was plastering my walls with posters of him. As I save posting "Thriller" itself for Halloween, here are two other tracks from it - I like the vaguely eerie sound of Billie Jean and I think Wanna Be Startin' Something doesn't get played into the ground anymore these days, so here it is.
Of the Paul McCartney duets (and ohh... let's not get me started on the Beatles catalog rights issue ... it was the first thing I remember thinking ill of MJ for), Say, Say, Say was my favorite.
And finally, the last song he released that I liked, from Bad, The Way You Make Me Feel.
After that, I was pretty much done with Michael Jackson going forward. But I'm willing to go backward and listen to the old stuff forever.
R.I.P. to you too, Michael.