The King of Pop is dead.
Michael Jackson’s music is the soundtrack of the ’80s for me. Part of the reason may be that mom banned everyone from Poison to Motley Crüe to Guns N’ Roses from the house (I could want my MTV till the cows came home, but I wasn’t getting it). Still, I think most of it is that everything Michael did was so unique in so many ways that he offered something for everyone–even us drive-in mutants:
When the music video for “Thriller” first came out, my aunt thought it was ridiculous. My grandma thought it was a work of genius.
Watching it just now, I thought: “Did I just hear a John Landis reference?” Then I found out that Landis directed it and co-wrote it with Jackson, and felt silly. Then I watched it again, saw John sitting right up front in the movie theater (see him? on the far right?) and felt sillier still.
Who doesn’t love “Ben”? And who’d guess that it was written for a horror movie about killer rats? Almost no adult could get away with singing a ballad about a pet rat (Crispin Glover only did because he’s Crispin Glover), but after Michael grew up, it still sounded sweet: