Hi all! I hope the rush of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl comeback (begrudgingly here – I’m a Colts fan!), Saturday Night Live‘s brilliant performances, 18 Executive Orders signed by our new President and a third straight weekend of marching protests. I know my head is spinning. So, when I get sociological sensory overload, I always go back to my “Music Room” and, my apologies to MC5, “Kick out the jams!”
I am certain many of you do the same thing: find refuge from the world by hiding in a world of our own design, listening to music under our control, possibly reading books/magazines of our own choice. That room represents the freedom that we all wish to have. And no law or Presidential decree should take away from that, regardless of the “pie in the sky” promised outcomes from said law.
So, let’s check out the research that I completed last week about the greatest musical family from Indiana…er…the world (?)…uh…the universe(?). Whatever! Let’s see what I discovered about the Jackson family’s single chart action on Billboard‘s Hot 100 Singles Chart over the years. Today, I am tackling #61-80.
80. Michael Jackson – “They Don’t Care About Us” (1996 – HIStory). Who else could write an existential song about one’s marriage except for Michael. It’s songs like this one that make us all wonder if the child molestation charges/rumors were true.
79. MJ – “Jam” (1992 – Dangerous). This was back in the days of the first Olympic basketball Dream Team, with the other “MJ” of the time, Michael Jordan, decided to shoot some hoops with the singing genius MJ. The highlights of the video for the song were Jordan’s soaring dunks. I guess no one wanted video of Larry Bird’s creaky back “jump” shot.
78. MJ – “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” (1983 – Thriller). This song was the lowest performing song of the singles from Thriller. To me, this was a great pop song. I prefer to think this song is about the pretty young coeds just entering college at the time, and not for some other group of young things.
77. Jermaine Jackson – “Daddy’s Home” (1972 – Jermaine). Sorry, Jermaine, this song is nothing but a shlock-fest.
76. MJ – “Another Part of Me” (1988 – Bad). Of all the great singles released from the Bad LP, this is the one I never can remember was a single.
75. MJ – “Human Nature” (1984 – Thriller). What a great slow dance/make-out song! ‘Nuff said. [Microphone drop].
74. The Jackson 5 – “Looking Through the Windows” (1972 – Looking Through the Window). A song that sounded so innocent at the time, now just sounds creepy. Take it away!!!
73. The Jacksons – “Lovely One” (1980 – Triumph). First off, I was shocked that this song ranked so low. And, finally, doesn’t this song sound like a dry run for Michael’s next solo, which ended up to be Thriller.
72. MJ – “One Day in Your Life” (1981 – One Day in Your Life). This “sucky” song comes from Motown’s first vault raid of Michael’s and his brothers’ earlier rejected songs. Sorry Motown! You all ready released their best songs.
71. MJ – “Blood on the Dance Floor” (1997 – Blood on the Dance Floor). Was anyone fooled by Michael’s attempt to make some “gangsta pop music?” Me neither!
70. Jermaine Jackson – “Do What You Do” (1984 – Jermaine Jackson). All of the Jacksons were riding Michael’s long Thriller coattails. This really isn’t a bad song.
69. MJ – “Earth Song” (1995 – HIStory). Michael was becoming very concerned about the health of Mother Earth, and many of his song signaled this. Not only was he trying to save Planet Earth or the rain forests, but he was also freeing Willy.
68. MJ – “Who Is It” (1992 – Dangerous). Is it just me, or did the label release ALL of the songs from this album.
67. Janet Jackson – “State of the World” (1991 – Rhythm Nation 1814). It’s almost like Janet and Michael were playing some form of musical poker, with Janet saying, “I’ll match your ‘Man in the Mirror’ and raise you a ‘State of the World’.” Oh, Janet! Michael’s just getting started.
66. The Jacksons – “Enjoy Yourself” (1976 – The Jacksons). The brothers proved they could write their own stuff on this song.
65. MJ – “Off the Wall” (1980 – Off the Wall). This song set a quaint record back in the day as Michael scored his FOURTH Top 10 hit off of one album. He will change everything with his Bad album.
64. MJ – “Heal the World” (1992 – Dangerous). Welcome back to our Janet vs Michael Jackson’s Battle of the Socially-Conscious Songs, as Michael ups the ante with this song.
63. JJ – “Because of Love” (1994 – janet.). Well, here’s the first song from Janet’s best album, janet. Yes, her hot streak is about to end, but what a battle she and her brother waged for the better part of a decade.
62. MJ – “Smooth Criminal” (1988 – Bad). C’mon! Forget that stupid cover version of this song by Alien Ant Farm, because this song was Michael’s most muscular song to date, including “Beat It”.
61. JJ – “Control” (1986 – Control). This was the song that Janet used to signal to her family that she was going to exert her independence. Or, in other words, stand down Joseph!
Can you believe that some of these songs are not in the family’s Top 10, let alone the Top 50? Other artists would kill for hits like any of these first 40 that I have listed, yet they have all been created by the offspring of two parents. Mind-boggling thought.