“Stranger in Moscow was written when I was in Moscow on the Dangerous Tour, and it was just a strange, eerie, lonely time for me. Outside my hotel was just a sea of faces of fans, chanting and screaming, but I was inside my room and I felt so all alone like I was the last person on the planet, and in the song I say ‘how does it feel when you’re all alone, you’re cold inside?’ I say ‘it’s like a stranger in Moscow.’ That’s pretty much how I felt…and, the people were lovely and they were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and the concert was very successful, but that day I just felt this different feeling and the song STRANGER IN MOSCOW just came to me and that’s how that was written.”
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
Michael Jackson was chosen to give love, passionate and inspirational, gifted with a sense of wonder. Unexpected, and with a promise of healing restoration, his life inspired an emotional investment from all of us who fell in love. We have been chosen to save that life…save it from those who would corrupt its message. Each of us is an instrument through which HE comes. Some paint, some write, some sing, some dance, Michael’s spiritual messages filling our senses. ALL CHANNEL MICHAEL. His truth is waiting, his magic happening through our empowerment. Set free, we choose our path.
“EMOTIONALLY INVESTED,” with “thoughts that breathe and words that burn” (Thomas Gray), but, WHY? What is it that causes a trust and belief that changes our behavior? What is it that gives strength to our boundless selves? We are carried away by the desire to fulfill Michael’s unfinished dreams, realizing his words, “I will never let you part for you’re always in my heart.”
“But there is so much more to be done…” Michael started to say, but Jesus smiled. “I have a surprise for you Michael, I know your fondest wish is to help ALL children to enjoy their childhood and allow the wisdom of childhood to heal the conflict in the world. What if I told you that by coming home with me now, you will make an impact on the world that you could never imagine. People everywhere will feel the love that flows from you, entering their hearts to awaken them to their part to play in the healing of the world. Long forgotten imaginings will be remembered and people will decide to go for their dreams and truly become who they are meant to be, inspired by your example.”
We feel the beating of Michael’s heart as one with our own, pounding both in beautiful unison and in harmonies, creating a collage of storytellers. Speaking volumes, with an invisible power, repeating the words: “IF YOU THINK WE WILL BE STOPPED, THINK AGAIN!” We thrive on a deep well of blissful happiness. WE ARE EMOTIONALLY INVESTED BY ONE WHO EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN US HIS ENTIRE LIFE! It is a bond of love against all odds, surviving human struggles…storytelling from all human conditions, defending in the midst of a “rapidly spreading malady best called the arrogance of ignorance”.
STRANGER IN MOSCOW offers a complete panorama of human struggle and strength of character with the hopeful possibility of triumph.
“…a haunting expression of isolation, disillusionment, and alienation, Music Critic, Tom Molley describes it as an ‘ethereal and stirring description of a man wounded by a swift and sudden fall from grace walking in the shadow of the Kremlin.” Bruce Swedien felt it was one of the best songs the singer ever created. Armond White concurred, calling it Jackson’s finest track since BILLIE JEAN. ‘It’s tale of out-of-step but soul-deep anguish is eloquent enough to mythify alienation in pop terms and elicit a reconsideration of post-cold war, post civil rights angst.”
MAN IN THE MIRROR Joseph Vogel
The year 1993 found a cultural change for the Russian people with Michael Jackson being the first western entertainer to perform in their country. Prior to that, music from the western world was banned. “The reality of these limitations forced on the people by censorship would ensure that western artists had no audience in eastern countries. However, Michael Jackson was different. Somehow people found a way to obtain Michael’s music, sharing tapes and picking up copies of his albums on the black market. Michael became a legend among the people, fueled by the limited exposure they had of him.” (ICONIC MAGAZINE) Just as the light began to shine for the people of Russia, false accusations, advanced by extortionists and the tabloid press, spread a shroud of darkness over Michael. His arrival for the people of Russia brought with it the beginnings of a freedom they had never known, while at the same time, Michael was being robbed of the very freedom guaranteed him in the western world. While being welcomed with the pomp and circumstance of a head of state, secret police searched for drugs that had been anonymously reported. Another source alerted police that their was a bomb in the stadium. Fans were led to believe that Michael was a no-show, that there would be no concert. A report was given that a Michael impersonator would be doing the concert. Heavy rain fell and persisted throughout the day, soaking the stage. Everyone thought it was over.
Imagine the world that swirled around Michael, everyone anxious about some aspect or other, threatening secret police, false reports by media, promoters turned drama queens, Michael receiving horrific news from back home, Neverland being attacked, every manner of print and electronic media gleefully reporting Michael’s demise, excited and loving fans, hopeful of a miracle. Out of this chaos, Michael produced STRANGER IN MOSCOW…its message of loneliness, betrayal and human struggle conveys the common ache all of us are compelled to face in life, and most certainly the aching of the life demanded of the Russian people. The light and the darkness being channeled and the character of the man revealed. Just when all seemed lost, a woman asked to see Michael. She brought with her a picture her daughter had drawn. Looking nothing like Michael, she explained that her daughter was born with only 4% vision in one eye and blind in the other. She said it would mean so much to her if Michael would autograph this primitive, but loving, drawing. Even though the weather was treacherous, the gates were opened, the stadium filled, and Michael performed an entire show in the cold and rain. Cancelling his flight the next morning, Michael visited severely ill children in orphanages, providing for one to be returned to the States for treatment. Rather than head home, Michael sought his own refuge with children. His aching turned into love and rescue. Leaving Russia with a song of struggle and triumph, Michael had given the Russian people music, dance and entertainment, the likes of which they had never seen. He left hopeful, giving them hope.
“STRANGER IN MOSCOW with its depth, soul, passion and contemplation…”the lyrics are totally autobiographical. When you hear the lines like ‘Here abandoned in my fame, Armageddon of the brain…at the time…that’s how I really felt. It kind of created itself. It fell into my lap…just alone in my hotel and it was raining and I just started writing it.” Michael Jackson
“The word pictures he paints with verses are so vivid, narrating a life of pain against mental images and feelings of Cold War Russia. Toward the end, Michael samples a KGB interrogator, asking, ‘Why have you come from the West? Confess! To steal the great achievements of the people, the accomplishments of the workers.'” Jonathan Conda, Joseph Vogel
The recorded performance begins with the sounds of rain. Michael’s beatboxing and his vocals, incredible lyrics and embellishments, “the sheer richness of the instrumental and vocal scoring is probably unprecedented in the entire realm of popular recording.” D. Sweeney Meticulously arranged textures of fluidity capture the emotional turbulence of life.
The short film is quite simply a masterpiece, moving music video to high art. Filmed in black and white, the viewer is gifted with a beautiful painting, frame by frame. Strangers in the rain, individual human drama and pain, moving past one another, searching for answers. Baptized, each begins to feel cleansed and their stories become hopeful. Michael’s performance moves from despair to empowerment, finding strength in the connection with the common experience we all share.
Michael’s live performance during the HISTORY WORLD TOUR adds the dimension of body as canvas to the storytelling. Fluid and sensual, he uses his vast stage to allow his body the freedom he seeks in the lyrics. Instead of the baptism of rain, cleansing comes from listening to his body’s poetry, going inside his music. Michael’s music and dance paid back a world of false accusers. Each member of his audience felt a personal experience which changed their lives. No false accuser or media myths have the power to overcome EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT.
And I bask in the glory of us
…but only for a moment
Until once again… I inhale…
When we truly listen, we each channel Michael’s messages…millions of voices interpreting for him. We are his choir, we have become the NEW MEDIA, collectively empowered with his freedom, to do important work for this planet and its people. That important work includes PAYING MICHAEL FORWARD…defending his life, his legacy and his children. Michael knew how it felt to be alone and cold inside. He understood the loneliness felt by children all over the world. It gave him great pain, but, at the same time he believed in possibilities. He was truly emotionally invested.
I love you, Michael!
I love you all!
Wonderful – I am speechless! Thank you Jude AGAIN! With love.
One of his most haunting songs…”armegeddon of the brain”..it is awesome! Thank you Jude!
When I listen to this song I am haunted by the image of Michael being haunted and isolated. It is one of his finest works….no doubt about that. No one could trsnsmit imagery as he could.
This song reminds me of the time I was actually lost in the city of Moscow…had taken a subway somewhere and then got off…and had no idea where I was. And no one spoke English, of course. And my Russian was very rudimentary. It was quite frightening….Stranger in Moscow…yes…that is what I was…and so I understand his feelings of isolation. But his feelings go deeper than being lost in a city…”Armegeddon of the brain”…pretty much sums it up. Michael had such a talent for expressing the unexpressed…and what could not easily be expressed. (That is a tongue twister…)
I absolutely adore STRANGER IN MOSCOW….it sums up so much of what went on in his life. He was a true visionary…could see what was going to happen to the planet…the devastation of the rain forests…and the horrible shootings that go on here as a matter of course. Schools being attacked, children killed and so much more. I wonder if he were here now…what he would say about it all. I can only imagine. I have the feeling he does know…and is appalled. His last album…INVINICIBLE…was very fine….so many great songs. Many people do not know it, which seems incomprehensible to me. He has gone beyond the THRILLER days….that is for sure. How wonderful it would be if he were here again…I wish that could be so….but alas, not to be. I feel compelled to write about him in some fashion every day…so that is what I do now. Love to you, my dear Michael!
I own ‘Invincible’ and indeed it is brilliant, especially, ‘Speechless’, ‘Don’t Walk Away’ and ‘Whatever Happens’ being my favourites, but ‘Break of Dawn; ‘Heaven Can Wait’, ‘You Rock My World’, ‘You Are My Life’, ‘Cry’ and The Lost Children’ are also good; well, that’s nearly all of them!
I only found out years later that Michael had wanted to see me in Moscow, but I had disappeared from where I’d been standing since it was so rainy and very cold at the time. The special meeting – and recording – eventually took place later, in Tenerife, but when I think of how lonely he was in Moscow, I can’t help but wish I’d stayed right where I was. I think God had other plans. I’d like to say that I wasn’t meant to see him when I look like a drowned rat, but that also happened at a later date. Miss and love you Michael. Forever loved!
My feelings and thoughts about Michael never waver….and never will! This song from the INVINCIBLE ALBUM is one of his best! And so descriptive of his own life. I wish he were here now to discuss it with me! I know he would have have much to say! Bless you dearest Michael!