LONG LIVE THE KING
I never needed much excuse to listen to Michael Jackson over the past thirty years. He made some of the most sublime pop music ever. It wasn't just the exquisite Quincy records that stood out but likewise the ones he made with his brothers concurrently. They had similar qualities and production styles. And not forgetting two decades later the disregarded Invincible album which has moments on it as definitive as anything on Thriller.
Although no doubt self-inflicted, to see this man reduced to a circus freak was depressing. To have his talents ritually ignored in favour of a prurient gawping around his weirdness says more about our culture than it ever did about Michael Jackson. Still, for those with interests more decent the music was always there, important and preserved for posterity.
I can give the last word to Germaine Greer who wrote the finest of eulogies in the Guardian: "The surprise is not that we lost him but that we ever had him at all." Praise indeed.
written 2009 following the death of Michael Jackson