Wake up everyone! It’s Friday. We are on the cusp of another weekend. Sports-wise, there is no football, but plenty of basketball, as the college teams are trying to begin their push toward the tournament, March Madness. The biggest thing this weekend will be the Grammys, Sunday, on CBS. I usually spend the program on Facebook making snarky remarks about the show, winners, clothing, music, whatever makes me feel better about myself.
Well, enough about the Grammy Awards Show, let’s get going with My Top 20 Jackson Songs! I’m sure you have been wanting this countdown, so here we go!
20. The Jackson 5 – “ABC” (1970 – ABC). At the time this song was released, the J5 were riding high with several consecutive number one songs, including this one.
19. Michael Jackson – “Ben” (1972 – Ben). Here was the first clue that Michael had a creepy song, as he sang this song about a rat with so much emotion.
18. The Jackson 5 – “The Love You Save” (1970 – ABC). Here is another J5 song that was part of the original number one streak that started their career.
17. MJ with Siedah Garrett – “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” (1987 – Bad). Michael wrote this song with the hopes of singing a duet with Barbra Streisand. He ended up sharing the song with an up-and-coming Siedah Garrett, from whom I haven’t heard much ever since.
16. Janet Jackson – “Runaway” (1995 – Design of a Decade). You never know what kind of song you will get when an artist tacks a song or two on their latest greatest hits. In the case of this song, we got a classic.
15. MJ – “Remember the Time”/”Come Together” (1992 – Dangerous). This double-sided hit was a great pairing.
14. MJ – “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (1979 – Off the Wall). This is where the adult version of Micheal Jackson started. Which meant he was leaving his brothers behind.
13. MJ – “Beat It” (1983 – Thriller). Although many dance/disco songs had guitar solos, none of them featured Eddie Van Halen, who was the Guitar God of the moment.
12. JJ – “Doesn’t Really Matter” (2001 – All for You). This album was the last great Janet Jackson album. You can still hear the Janet magic in every song.
11. The Jackson 5 – “I Want You Back” (1969 – Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5). This is the song that started the whole Jackson phenomenon off. To this day, this song sounds very bit as urgent as it did when it was released.
10. MJ – “Rock with You” (1979 – Rock with You). This is Michael’s first great make-out record. And, it was performed long before we found out how strange he was.
9. JJ – “Again” (1993 – janet.). Janet did go through a stage where she was titling her songs with single, monosyllabic words, but how great were they all?
8. The Jackson 5 – “I’ll Be There” (1970 – Third Album). What a great ballad! And the brothers cut this during their initial streak of number one hits.
7. MJ – “Black or White” (1991 – Dangerous). This song was Michael’s largest statement on race relations ever. Side note: anyone remember who knocked Dangerous from the top spot on Billboard‘s Top 200 Chart? Nirvana’s Nevermind.
6. JJ – “Together Again” (1997 – The Velvet Rope). This is Janet’s big hit from her soft porn hit album, The Velvet Rope.
5. Paul McCartney & MJ – “Say Say Say” (1983 – Pipes of Peace). This song was recorded during the same sessions that resulted in that schlock classic “The Girl Is Mine”. This song, however, was saved for the next McCartney album. And thank goodness that it was, because that was the only good song on that album. Think about what would have happened if the songs had been switched on albums. Thriller would have sold another 5-10 million copies, and Pipes of Peace would have been completely forgotten over time.
4. MJ – “Billie Jean” (1983 – Thriller). This song changed everything. First, supposedly, the video got other black artists’ videos on MTV. Next, it blew Thriller into the stratosphere. Finally, when Mike performed this song on the Motown 25 TV show, he gave us “The Moonwalk”. And, did you know that this song hit #1?
3. MJ – “You Are Not Alone” (1995 – HIStory). Unfortunately, this was MJ’s last gasp of true greatness. Still, what a beautiful way to end one of the greatest runs of songwriting in rock history.
2. JJ – “All for You” (2001 – All for You). Can you believe Janet has the second biggest selling single ever? If this is a surprise, guess what? No one should have underestimated the Jacksons’ youngest sister.
1. JJ – “That’s the Way Love Goes” (1993 – janet.) That’s right! Janet Jackson has the biggest selling song of the Jackson Family. Timing had everything to do with this. This fantastic song was released at the beginning of the “Go-Go Nineties”. Think about this: how many copies of Thriller would have been sold if it have been released in the 90s? Honestly, who cares, but the 90s were a great decade for music sales.
And, that’s the Top 100 Songs by the Jackson Family. I was every bit as surprised to find out that Janet had the top two best-selling songs of the family. I think that list should go a long way to proving that she belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, joining Michael and her other brothers. Hey Hall! Make It Happen!