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CEREMONY | The Michael Jackson Number Ones Rate


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Cruelty

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14 YOU ARE NOT ALONE – average 8.44
The highs: 10 x 6 [Voter 5 @Animal Claws @Cello @Chromatislaps @Cruelty @Teletubby]
The lows: 6 [Voter 3]

1995’s HIStory album is half-greatest hits, half-new songs (and therefore the best-selling double album of all time). Nominated for five Grammys and now 8x Platinum certified in America, it notably boasts the first song ever to debut at the top of the Billboard Hot 100: this one.

Recorded in Chicago by its writer (who we simply don’t need to name here), the song is a tender ballad about the end of a relationship, with the heartbroken partner being comforted by… well, by who? Who is it saying “you are not alone, I am here with you, though you’re far away, I am here to stay”? Is it God? Is it the ghost or soul of a deceased loved one? Is it just about holding on to yourself and always being kind to yourself through troubled times? The song remains pleasingly open-ended.

I think “You Are Not Alone” is a perfect 90s R&B ballad. The song takes a break from the thick paranoia of HIStory to offer something that feels authentic without being overdone, sentimental without being mawkish, a lyrical breath of fresh air which still retains some connection to the album’s theme of isolation. Modulating up and up through its final choruses, the song attains the air of triumph; you can feel the speaker becoming emboldened by that crucial realisation that you are not alone.

Comments:

Voter 2 Love singing this song. It’s a little whiny to me at times tbh, that sounds harsh idk
@PartySick Apparently Kenny Ortega wanted to ditch this song for This Is It but Mike was so proud of having the first song to ever debut at #1 that he refused to let it go and it ended up being placed near the end of the show.

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Cello

Ugh, I love Ben. 

You Rock My World was robbed! 

she/her
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Cruelty

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13 DON’T STOP ‘TIL YOU GET ENOUGH – average 8.60
The highs: 11 [@androiduser]
The lows: 5 [@Little Monstera]

“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” was a landmark release in the career of Michael Jackson. It’s the lead single from Off the Wall, his first solo album as an adult – one of the undisputed greatest albums of all time and the studio album which inaugurated the legendary partnership of MJ and Quincy Jones. Building tension with an insistent bassline and spoken introduction, the piece explodes into a dizzying disco groove, where chugging percussion is complemented by nagging guitar lines, feverish vocal hiccups, confident strings and an immediately captivating falsetto lead vocal.

A lyrically simple ode to pleasure, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” was a monumental lead single, allowing Jackson to break free from his child-star image and begin to establish an adult solo career. After topping the charts in ten countries, the song is now certified 5x Platinum in the United States, is widely regarded as one of the most iconic disco songs of all time, and is guaranteed to get a dancefloor moving.

Comments:

@TheSine A legendary song that makes you want to move and groove.
Voter 2 A classic, obiv one of Off The Wall’s best
@PartySick If you haven’t heard the home demo of this song, complete with Janet Jackson banging on soda bottles, you’re missing out
@Werewolves Wanted Incredible, banger, insanely good

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Cruelty

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12 ROCK WITH YOU – average 8.72
The highs: 11 x 1 [@Cruelty :saladga:]
The lows: 6 x 2 [@Little Monstera @dimitristhe]

You guys, this is genuinely an outrage.

The second single from Off the Wall, “Rock With You” was written by Rod Temperton (he of “Thriller” fame) and was recorded by Michael Jackson after the demo was turned down by Karen Carpenter. The song oozes with charm and desire, a silky-smooth vocal performance complemented by swooping analogue strings and a chugging disco rhythm section. Boasting the best lyric in MJ’s discography (“girl, when you dance, there’s a magic that must be love”), “Rock With You” is just a song that inspires hyperbole and evokes magic in every note.

As every commenter pointed out, this is just such a smooth piece of music, and yet it never feels saccharine or inauthentic. Despite possessing all the hallmarks of a 70s disco banger, the lush production and sensual lyricism make the piece feel almost like a ballad… but a ballad that you can’t help but dance to. Confident, sophisticated, and undoubtedly one of the best songs ever put to tape, “Rock With You” cultivated Jackson’s new romantic image, and was ranked the 354th best song of all time in a recent Rolling Stone list. Not even cracking the top 10 tonight is… unbelievable, and testament to the quality of the rest of Michael Jackson’s discography.

Comments:

Voter 2 One of my fave MJ songs, TOP TIER fave songs of all time. We’ve never heard another song this smooth since
@PartySick One of his smoothest tracks. There’s a reason it made it to every tour (except for the Dangerous Tour… but it was rehearsed!)
@Werewolves Wanted Smooth as all hell, classic Michael

michael-jackson-dismayed-stare-pn7dx7tc1

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Cruelty

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11 BEAT IT – average 8.96
The highs: 11 x 1 [@HookerOnAChurch]
The lows: 7 x 4 [Voter 2 @EdX @phantasmas @Cruelty]

Michael Jackson’s first take on contemporary hard rock, the immortal “Beat It” appeared on Thriller in 1982, inaugurating a tradition that would later sire “Dirty Diana”, “Give In to Me”, “D.S.” and “Privacy”. The singer explained “I wanted to write… the type of song that I would buy if I were to buy a rock song… and I wanted the children to really enjoy it”, and this explains the song’s success. It’s inspired by hard rock, but because it’s Michael Jackson it’s dance-rock, and it’s slightly cheesy rock, and it’s massively more marketable and convincing because of it.

The song’s music video, in which Jackson brings two rival gangs together through the power of doing some cheesy choreo around a snooker table, was massively influential in establishing him as a creator of unbeatable music videos. “Beat It” was also a popular staple of Jackson’s live show, performed atop a crane which carried him high above the audience.

A double Grammy and double AMA winner boasting a screeching guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen, the song triumphed in a 2005 poll by Sony Ericsson, where it was ranked the UK’s fourth favourite song (not just fourth favourite MJ song, fourth favourite song overall) – but in a shock twist, it doesn’t even make Gagadaily’s top 10!

Comments:

Voter 2 I could never really get into this one idk why. It is catchy tho
@PartySick Who doesn’t love this song, let’s be real.

michael-jackson-disgusted-looks-iufd30j8

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Cruelty

Top10.png

So now we have our top 10! Which one do you think we’re losing next?

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Teletubby
1 minute ago, Cruelty said:

Which one do you think we’re losing next?

human nature

i no longer ❤️ @Juanlittlem. Stream "All I Want For Christmas Is You" 🎄⛄🎅🏼❄️☃️
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HookerOnAChurch
1 minute ago, Cruelty said:

Top10.png

So now we have our top 10! Which one do you think we’re losing next?

I bet on Earth Song

Adele Hello GIF

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Cruelty

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10 BAD – average 9.00
The highs: 10 x 12 [@RAMROD Voter 6 @Blackout19 @Ziggy Stardust @HookerOnAChurch @Little Monstera @Animal Claws @Jeroen Bloeming @Werewolves Wanted @M i K E Y @Chromatislaps @dimitristhe]
The lows: 6 x 3 [Voter 2 @EdX @Cruelty]

Ah, the 80s. Rooted in gloriously 80s street slang, “Bad” is undeniably funky. Built on a sharp, jaggedy bassline, the song adds layers of subtle wah-wah guitars and funk BVs to create a piece that… never quite knows what it wants to be. Put simply, I think the whole “Bad” single package aims to achieve an aesthetic that Michael could never quite pull off. There’s something about that juxtaposition of streetwise imagery with lush backing vocals, cheesy organ with edgy lyrics, that doesn’t quite cohere for me, and I’d venture to say that the song verges on ridiculous these days.

But as I said, it is deliciously funky, the potion completed by a riotous Hammond solo courtesy of jazz organist Jimmy Smith. As with the rest of its parent album, “Bad” was slightly sped up from the original recording to achieve the mix that we’re familiar with, a technique used to create a sense of urgency – here it really works. There are some really shocking live versions of the song, which is testament to the razor-sharp production on the original. Regrettably, Prince infamously rejected the chance to co-star on the track, later giving the immortal quote: “The first line of that song is ‘your butt is mine’. Then I said ‘Who’s going to sing that to who?’, because you sure aren’t singing that to me, and I sure ain’t singing it to you”.

Complemented by the 18-minute “Bad” short film, directed by Martin Scorses and introducing Michael’s new edgier image, the song spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, and notched up top 10 peaks across Europe too. Landing just inside your top 10, “Bad” earns the honour of being the highest-ranking song without a single 11 score.

Comments:

Voter 2 The chorus of this song is so gritty to me. The whole song can be at times, but I love the verses and of course the video
@Blackout19 He looks so good in this music video!!!
@PartySick Pure funk. The rhythm guitar, the bassline, the organs and synths, and the smooth, confident delivery interspersed with gritty adlibs and choruses. You can’t sit still with this one spinning.
@dimitristhe Who’s bad? Definitely not this song, because is a banger.

giphy.gif

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M i K E Y

I knew it :traumatica:

surprised Human Nature is still in 

Edited by M i K E Y
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TheSine
1 minute ago, Cruelty said:

Elim10.png

10 BAD – average 9.00
The highs: 10 x 12 [@RAMROD Voter 6 @Blackout19 @Ziggy Stardust @HookerOnAChurch @Little Monstera @Animal Claws @Jeroen Bloeming @Werewolves Wanted @M i K E Y @Chromatislaps @dimitristhe]
The lows: 6 x 3 [Voter 2 @EdX @Cruelty]

Ah, the 80s. Rooted in gloriously 80s street slang, “Bad” is undeniably funky. Built on a sharp, jaggedy bassline, the song adds layers of subtle wah-wah guitars and funk BVs to create a piece that… never quite knows what it wants to be. Put simply, I think the whole “Bad” single package aims to achieve an aesthetic that Michael could never quite pull off. There’s something about that juxtaposition of streetwise imagery with lush backing vocals, cheesy organ with edgy lyrics, that doesn’t quite cohere for me, and I’d venture to say that the song verges on ridiculous these days.

But as I said, it is deliciously funky, the potion completed by a riotous Hammond solo courtesy of jazz organist Jimmy Smith. As with the rest of its parent album, “Bad” was slightly sped up from the original recording to achieve the mix that we’re familiar with, a technique used to create a sense of urgency – here it really works. There are some really shocking live versions of the song, which is testament to the razor-sharp production on the original. Regrettably, Prince infamously rejected the chance to co-star on the track, later giving the immortal quote: “The first line of that song is ‘your butt is mine’. Then I said ‘Who’s going to sing that to who?’, because you sure aren’t singing that to me, and I sure ain’t singing it to you”.

Complemented by the 18-minute “Bad” short film, directed by Martin Scorses and introducing Michael’s new edgier image, the song spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, and notched up top 10 peaks across Europe too. Landing just inside your top 10, “Bad” earns the honour of being the highest-ranking song without a single 11 score.

Comments:

Voter 2 The chorus of this song is so gritty to me. The whole song can be at times, but I love the verses and of course the video
@Blackout19 He looks so good in this music video!!!
@PartySick Pure funk. The rhythm guitar, the bassline, the organs and synths, and the smooth, confident delivery interspersed with gritty adlibs and choruses. You can’t sit still with this one spinning.
@dimitristhe Who’s bad? Definitely not this song, because is a banger.

giphy.gif

Who ever made it rank 10 is bad. :partysick:

🖤TheSine🖤
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Cello
22 minutes ago, Cruelty said:

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14 YOU ARE NOT ALONE – average 8.44
The highs: 10 x 6 [Voter 5 @Animal Claws @Cello @Chromatislaps @Cruelty @Teletubby]
The lows: 6 [Voter 3]

1995’s HIStory album is half-greatest hits, half-new songs (and therefore the best-selling double album of all time). Nominated for five Grammys and now 8x Platinum certified in America, it notably boasts the first song ever to debut at the top of the Billboard Hot 100: this one.

Recorded in Chicago by its writer (who we simply don’t need to name here), the song is a tender ballad about the end of a relationship, with the heartbroken partner being comforted by… well, by who? Who is it saying “you are not alone, I am here with you, though you’re far away, I am here to stay”? Is it God? Is it the ghost or soul of a deceased loved one? Is it just about holding on to yourself and always being kind to yourself through troubled times? The song remains pleasingly open-ended.

I think “You Are Not Alone” is a perfect 90s R&B ballad. The song takes a break from the thick paranoia of HIStory to offer something that feels authentic without being overdone, sentimental without being mawkish, a lyrical breath of fresh air which still retains some connection to the album’s theme of isolation. Modulating up and up through its final choruses, the song attains the air of triumph; you can feel the speaker becoming emboldened by that crucial realisation that you are not alone.

Comments:

Voter 2 Love singing this song. It’s a little whiny to me at times tbh, that sounds harsh idk
@PartySick Apparently Kenny Ortega wanted to ditch this song for This Is It but Mike was so proud of having the first song to ever debut at #1 that he refused to let it go and it ended up being placed near the end of the show.

Love this song so much

she/her
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HookerOnAChurch
1 minute ago, Cruelty said:

Elim10.png

10 BAD – average 9.00
The highs: 10 x 12 [@RAMROD Voter 6 @Blackout19 @Ziggy Stardust @HookerOnAChurch @Little Monstera @Animal Claws @Jeroen Bloeming @Werewolves Wanted @M i K E Y @Chromatislaps @dimitristhe]
The lows: 6 x 3 [Voter 2 @EdX @Cruelty]

Ah, the 80s. Rooted in gloriously 80s street slang, “Bad” is undeniably funky. Built on a sharp, jaggedy bassline, the song adds layers of subtle wah-wah guitars and funk BVs to create a piece that… never quite knows what it wants to be. Put simply, I think the whole “Bad” single package aims to achieve an aesthetic that Michael could never quite pull off. There’s something about that juxtaposition of streetwise imagery with lush backing vocals, cheesy organ with edgy lyrics, that doesn’t quite cohere for me, and I’d venture to say that the song verges on ridiculous these days.

But as I said, it is deliciously funky, the potion completed by a riotous Hammond solo courtesy of jazz organist Jimmy Smith. As with the rest of its parent album, “Bad” was slightly sped up from the original recording to achieve the mix that we’re familiar with, a technique used to create a sense of urgency – here it really works. There are some really shocking live versions of the song, which is testament to the razor-sharp production on the original. Regrettably, Prince infamously rejected the chance to co-star on the track, later giving the immortal quote: “The first line of that song is ‘your butt is mine’. Then I said ‘Who’s going to sing that to who?’, because you sure aren’t singing that to me, and I sure ain’t singing it to you”.

Complemented by the 18-minute “Bad” short film, directed by Martin Scorses and introducing Michael’s new edgier image, the song spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, and notched up top 10 peaks across Europe too. Landing just inside your top 10, “Bad” earns the honour of being the highest-ranking song without a single 11 score.

Comments:

Voter 2 The chorus of this song is so gritty to me. The whole song can be at times, but I love the verses and of course the video
@Blackout19 He looks so good in this music video!!!
@PartySick Pure funk. The rhythm guitar, the bassline, the organs and synths, and the smooth, confident delivery interspersed with gritty adlibs and choruses. You can’t sit still with this one spinning.
@dimitristhe Who’s bad? Definitely not this song, because is a banger.

giphy.gif

:excusemeno:

This song is pure perfection. 

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Cruelty

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EARTH SONG – average 9.00
The highs: 11 x 1 [@Animal Claws]
The lows: 6 [Voter 3]

As his solo career developed, Michael Jackson turned to his attention towards humanitarian causes, raising awareness of issues such as climate change, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, and children’s healthcare. By some estimates he donated over $500 million to charity during his lifetime, including touring profits donated through his own Heal the World Foundation. 1996’s “Earth Song” was his first song to overtly discuss environmental issues and animal welfare.

The track had a long history, being written in 1988 and demoed for Dangerous, although its final adlibs were the last vocals recorded for the HIStory album. Yes, the shortened edit featured on the Number Ones compilation sucks, but how do you even begin to create a single mix of something like “Earth Song”?! It’s a towering, infernal seven-minute juggernaut, devouring everything in its path with layers of bluesy guitar and strident bass. In its final minutes, the piece ascends to new heights, with an earthshattering key change and thunderous gospel call-and-response. This is a simply extraordinary piece of music, benefiting from a gorgeous arrangement. Although a really illogical choice for a single, “Earth Song” topped the UK charts in time for Christmas 1995; it was also the final song Michael Jackson ever rehearsed.

Comments:

Voter 2 The chorus is so catchy to me, love the questioning form of the verses.
@Blackout19 It’s a nice song, but it was never my favorite.
@PartySick The radio version sucks! Long live the REAL version!! Anyway, I love that Michael was a climate activist before it was cool. The video is always hard to watch. We inflict so much pain on ourselves, our planet, and the creatures we share it with.
@dimitristhe The second part of the song always gives me chills. His screaming is like classic music to my ears. A masterpiece of a song.

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HookerOnAChurch
23 minutes ago, Cruelty said:

Elim14.png

14 YOU ARE NOT ALONE – average 8.44
The highs: 10 x 6 [Voter 5 @Animal Claws @Cello @Chromatislaps @Cruelty @Teletubby]
The lows: 6 [Voter 3]

1995’s HIStory album is half-greatest hits, half-new songs (and therefore the best-selling double album of all time). Nominated for five Grammys and now 8x Platinum certified in America, it notably boasts the first song ever to debut at the top of the Billboard Hot 100: this one.

Recorded in Chicago by its writer (who we simply don’t need to name here), the song is a tender ballad about the end of a relationship, with the heartbroken partner being comforted by… well, by who? Who is it saying “you are not alone, I am here with you, though you’re far away, I am here to stay”? Is it God? Is it the ghost or soul of a deceased loved one? Is it just about holding on to yourself and always being kind to yourself through troubled times? The song remains pleasingly open-ended.

I think “You Are Not Alone” is a perfect 90s R&B ballad. The song takes a break from the thick paranoia of HIStory to offer something that feels authentic without being overdone, sentimental without being mawkish, a lyrical breath of fresh air which still retains some connection to the album’s theme of isolation. Modulating up and up through its final choruses, the song attains the air of triumph; you can feel the speaker becoming emboldened by that crucial realisation that you are not alone.

Comments:

Voter 2 Love singing this song. It’s a little whiny to me at times tbh, that sounds harsh idk
@PartySick Apparently Kenny Ortega wanted to ditch this song for This Is It but Mike was so proud of having the first song to ever debut at #1 that he refused to let it go and it ended up being placed near the end of the show.

A classic :traumatica:

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