“INVINCIBLE is just as good or better than Thriller, in my true, humble opinion. It has more to offer. Music is what lives and lasts. INVINCIBLE has been a great success. When the Nutcracker Suite was first introduced to the world it totally bombed. WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS HOW THE STORY ENDS.”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkj2vL19J3g
Best Album of the Decadehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juZVW5lYb8k
“BUT, I DON’T FEEL THAT WAY…THOSE PROBLEMS AREN’T ‘OUT THERE,’ NOT REALLY. I FEEL THEM INSIDE ME. A CHILD CRYING IN ETHIOPIA, A SEA GULL STRUGGLING PATHETICALLY IN AN OIL SPILL, A MOUNTAIN GORILLA BEING MERCILESSLY HUNTED, A TEENAGE SOLDIER TREMBLING WITH TERROR WHEN HE HEARS PLANES FLY OVER: AREN’T THESE HAPPENING TO ME WHEN I SEE AND HEAR ABOUT THEM?”
DANCING THE DREAM
This morning, my need was great to turn to the music that lives and lasts in my psyche. I yearned to sing at the top of my voice and move with Michael’s rhythmic layers. Someone said if you ask me what is my favorite Michael Jackson album I would say that it would be as if you asked what is the favorite breath I’ve taken. That answer fits me. Each experience offers inspiration for the moment at hand. This morning, I needed to be moved to another level and so I wept as I sang “I just don’t know the right thing to say…I try but all my pain gets in the way.” My body then wildly danced to “Threatened” as I spit the words out into the air hoping to hit a nearby “journalist.” My heart ached for “The Lost Children.” And, then, there was “CRY.” Michael makes a lot of classics. “CRY” is one of them. As with all of Michael’s anthems, our hearts are captured and our souls won. With each phrase emotions build, our bodies join the dance and we are moved as one voice to join Michael’s worldwide movement of love. All the world’s problems become a part of us when we are in Michael’s arms. Instead of being a spectator, we yearn to make a little space to make a better place and try to heal our world. Michael does that to us.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj3MfUR35CM
“CRY revisits a sentiment Michael Jackson had been delivering his entire solo career. He cries because he sees tragedy all around him and internalizes it. He sings of people barely holding on, not knowing when the pain will end; he sings of ‘stories buried and untold’ of people ‘hiding the truth’; he sings of illusions and masks (‘faces filled with madness’; people laugh when they’re feeling sad”). Then, in the chorus, he makes a plea (with his listeners and with himself) to somehow overcome. What connects us isn’t pretending the tragedy doesn’t exist, but seeing it for what it is and confronting is as a collective. Released shortly after 9/11, CRY was exactly the kind of song that was needed in such a devastating moment. The core of the song is much deeper, looking inward and outward at the same time, and offering no easy answers. As a lamentation, it conveys the ‘sound of trauma.’ Listen to the desolate wind blow in the beginning and the slow, aching drumbeat. It conveys an alienation that recalls the intro to STRANGER IN MOSCOW. Jackson’s vocals are not celebratory, but melancholy and restrained. As with previous anthems, it takes the help of the choir (symbolizing community) for him to find hope and resolve. The majestic call and response he engages in at the climax is classic Michael Jackson, demonstrating the purposeful communication that must take place if we are ever to ‘change the world’.”
Over the years, I have collected dozens of wonderful books giving me vast amounts of information to PAY MICHAEL FORWARD. MAN IN THE MUSIC is one that I return to time and time again when I am looking for brilliant assessments of Michael’s artistry. I have become a student of Joseph Vogel’s books. I might be a little embarrassed if he ever saw the condition each is in, for they are written on, and have sticky notes coming from all their pages. For me, his dedicated research and stunning writing educates the amateur music student that I am. He sees the artist and the musical genius clearly.
ONCE WE WERE THERE
BEFORE THE BEGINNING, BEFORE THE VIOLENCE
BEFORE THE ANGUISH OF THE BROKEN SILENCE
A THOUSAND LONGINGS, NEVER UTTERED
PANGS OF SORROW, BRUTALLY SMOTHERED
BUT I HAVE CHOSEN TO BREAK AND BE FREE
CUT THOSE TIES, SO I CAN SEE
THOSE BONDS THAT IMPRISONED ME IN MEMORIES OF PAIN
THOSE JUDGMENTS, INTERPRETATIONS THAT CLUTTERED MY BRAIN
THOSE FESTERING WOUNDS THAT LINGERED HAVE GONE
IN THEIR PLACE A NEW LIFE HAS DAWNED
THAT LONELY CHILD, STILL CLUTCHING HIS TOY
HAS MADE HIS PEACE, DISCOVERED HIS JOY
WHERE TIME IS NOT, IMMORTALITY’S CLEAR
WHERE LOVE ABOUNDS, THERE IS NO FEAR
THE CHILD HAS GROWN TO WEAVE HIS MAGIC
HIS LIFE OF SORROW, ONCE SO TRAGIC
HE IS NOW, READY TO SHARE
UNFOLD HIS HEART, WITH NOTHING TO SPARE
JOIN HIM NOW, IF YOU DARE
DANCING THE DREAM
Together, My Dear Friends, we are ready to care, unfolding our hearts and joining Michael as WE ALL CRY AT THE SAME TIME TONIGHT. He is inside each of us, his music lasts and his message is forever. I love you.
I tweeted this article to Joe Vogel. I agree as usual with every word you write.
“I would say that it would be as if you asked what is the favorite breath I’ve taken.”
Wow, Jude… what a profound and perfect expression.
I love you xxx
Ah Siren, you beat me to it! My favorite line, too, Jude. And thank you for this very beautiful posting.
“All the world’s problems become a part of us when we are in Michael’s arms.” This is the line that captured me. Thank you Jude, I love the quotes you find, but I love your own words that express so much feeling and and demonstrate so much love and passion.