I have to admit that I have been rather digusted at how much publicity he has gotten over his death. There are so many things that he has done that have prevented him from being classified as a “legend”. He has made many wrong decisions that have caused him to be portrayed as a “freak”. I do not know if he has done everthing that the media claims he has done, but I know God knows the truth about him. I also know that Michael now knows Jesus is the Son of God for SURE, I just hope he knew this BEFORE he died. That is the test.
But I wanted to write this article about more than his passing, but about an album that he created some 20 years ago. The album was “Bad”. This album is an absolute masterpiece of “pop” music. I can not think of any album that can compare to the mastery of this album. He wrote 9 out of 11 songs on the album. Even though he did not write every song, I guarentee that he created the melodies for EVERY single song. The album when it came out was a sonic journe, and to this day still is. His use of vocal overdubbing and harmonization is the bar at which all other “pop” artists aspire to. He defined the art with this album. I believe it is better than “Thriller” (which is not a “Bad” album if you know what I mean ;). The recording company is EPIC. I remember when I bought this album I could not be believe the precision and musicality of it. Nothing at the time I purchased it could touch it. His stereo vocal work is incredible. Just listen to “Can’t Stop Loving You” and you can just see how his mastery of music comes out. “Liberian Girl” is so incredibly well recorded that MP3’s can not do it justice. You must listen to this album on a CD in order to really hear it. He completely opened up the sound stage with his vocal work. It made you feel as if you were in a MUCH larger room. As if the music enveloped you. That is mastery in recording. Very few recording companies can do this well (GRP, Telarc, Polydor, Atlantic, are a couple). I am listening to the album right now as I write this and it reminds me why I do sound reinforcement. I love music. I sometimes forget how Jesus has given me the abilty to emerse into it, almost like I enter a another world. I have met a few people in my life that love music like this (Nathan Gaddis, Jamie Wigginton, are a few names that come to mind). I have to tell you that they site Michael Jackson as the master of his art. I have to agree. But I hesitate to elevate him any more than that. When it came to music, he knew what he was doing. I don’t know many artists that have a mastery of music like he did. John Mayer may be one. He is a master.
My greatest desire for Michael Jackson is that I can hope he knew Jesus personally. We may never know who he really was. The media can do many things that can distort our view of someone. But God knows everyone for who they really are. I really hope I can meet Michael in heaven. I would like to thank him for inspiring me to be a better muscian and sound engineer.