Friday Five

The Friday Five: June 25, 2010

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson (from Bad, 1987)

It’s a bit hard to fathom that it has been 12 months since Michael Jackson passed away. I remember clearly that upon learning of his death, this was the song that was left ringing in my ears, and in my heart. I’m dedicating this week’s Friday Five to him, and his legacy.

“Human Nature” by Michael Jackson (from Thriller, 1982)

A few weeks ago I finally felt prepared to sit down and watch “This Is It,” the film documenting Michael’s final days, as he prepared for his return to the stage. What struck me was how alive he was in the moment. And it was the performance of this song, in particular, that set the hair on my arms on end. There were no signs of frailty, rather an incredible, engaged performer breathing life into one of his masterworks.

Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson (from Thriller, 1982)

This video actually came on while I was listening to this week’s five, and moved me from the iPod to the television – VH1 is running a marathon celebrating the King of Pop – and it instantly brought me back to the first time that I saw this video.

Beat It” by Michael Jackson (from Thriller, 1982)

I was never felt as emotionally attached to “Beat It” as I suppose I should. I mean it’s Michael and Eddie Van Halen, how can you go wrong. It’s not that I don’t love the tune and crank if up every time it comes on, but it was never my favorite. This oddly enough leads into…

P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” by Michael Jackson (from Thriller, 1982)

Going out on a high note, this was – and remains – my jam. I’m planning on letting this shuffle play all day, so I might be back in the comments with another five. In the meantime, I encourage you all to drop your five — MJ-related or not – and get out and enjoy the hell out of today.

What’s on your shuffle today?

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  • Mike

    Here’s my MJ-related five.

    1) “Centipede” by Rebbie Jackson (1984)- I love this song, but can someone please tell me what the hell it’s about?

    2) “The Man” by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson (1983)-The only one of the three songs Paul and Michael recorded together that wasn’t a single. It’s definitely not as commercial as “The Girl is Mine” or “Say Say Say”. It sounds much more “Paul” than “Michael”.

    3) “Stranger in Moscow” by Michael Jackson (1995)-My favorite song from “HIStory”. Very sad and melodic. If I remember correctly, the same team behind “Human Nature” helped Michael compose this song. There are definitely similarities between the two.

    4) “Do What You Wanna” by The Jacksons (1977)-Excellent harmonies from the brothers on this song.

    5) “Whatzupwitu” by Eddie Murphy featuring Michael Jackson (1993)-Yes, I own this song. I actually own the entire Eddie Murphy album. Is there something wrong with me?

    R.I.P. MJ

  • Michael Fortes

    No MJ for me today. I played him out extensively last year and it’ll be a while yet before I can dig in again. Might start with J5’s Dancing Machine album when I do. Till then…

    1. “Chitlins con Carne” – Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
    [As MJ might have said, “gone too soon”.]

    2. “Milk Money” – The Invasion!
    [Late, lamented noisy punk rockers that featured the wife of one of my coworkers on drums. Got to jam with them once. Good times.]

    3. “Black Swan” – Greg Dulli
    [Today’s a Greg Dulli day for sure. It feels miserable outside, but in a way it does look good.]

    4. “Thu The Eyes of Ruby” – The Smashing Pumpkins
    [This is one of many gems on Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, one of the last rock double albums that really felt like an event. Maybe someday the double album will command some respect again. Nowadays, double albums seem to signify arrogance, foolhardiness, poor editing skills, or an excuse for yawning… anything but respect.]

    5. “What Jail Is Like” (live) – The Afghan Whigs
    [Like I said, today’s a Greg Dulli day. Apparently ye olde WinAmp shuffle agrees.]

  • Kristi

    My Five:

    1) I Need A Lover – John Mellencamp
    2) Black – Pearl Jam
    3) God Damn Lonely Love – Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
    4) Sweet Jane – Cowboy Junkies
    5) Feels Like The First Time – Foreigner

  • EightE1

    Jules Shear, “The More That I’m Around You.” Great song from his wonderful Allow Me album. This has, like, at least one Bangle, a couple Cowsills, and some other excellent singers. This whole record, actually, is a very good one if you enjoy singing, kinda like Rickie Lee Jones’ Traffic in Paradise. To tie this in with my bit of mourning for Kirsty MacColl last week, I bought this record along with a couple Kirsty records shortly after her death. I do recommend Allow Me if you just like really good adult pop music.

    Bob Dylan, “Honest with Me.” Released on 9/11/2001, on the Love and Theft record. I bought it in a mostly deserted Borders Book Store, having driven down a mostly deserted stretch of Route 22 in Harrisburg to get there. Love and Theft is, in my opinion, a major Bob Dylan record (Bob Lefsetz disagrees, but Lefsetz can’t be right about everything, can he?). Why do I like the record so much? It sounds organic, like it couldn’t have been created had everyone not been in the same room together, playing. It has humor, even goofiness. Dylan reveals himself to be a, you know, flesh and blood human, much to the chagrin of some listeners. “Honest with Me” is funny, straightforward, rollicking, and real. Nearly six minutes of realness. Love it.

    The Clash, “Death or Glory.” From London Calling. I had a dream the other night that I was DJ’ing my high school reunion and played five Joe Strummer songs in a row, before my old girlfriend and her husband approached my turntable desk to complain. I don’t recall if this was one of the Strummer medley. And I don’t remember if I stopped playing Strummer just because my old girlfriend and her husband complained. “Death or glory becomes just another story.”

    Smashing Pumpkins, “Landslide.” I have a good friend who back in the day thought this was am original Pumpkins song, and was quite surprised when I played him the Fleetwood Mac original. This told me several things: a) he listened to Smashing Pumpkins way too much; b) he hadn’t listened to classic rock or AC radio nearly as much as I’d given him credit for; c) he was probably not going to like the original very much. If you learn a song as good as this with a voice like Billy Corgan’s as the central reference point, you’re probably not going to like Stevie Nicks’ vocal that much. I like them both plenty, but then again, I knew it was a Mac/Nicks song.

    The Stylistics, “Betcha By Golly Wow.” God, I love this song. I get into moods sometimes, usually in winter, when all I want to listen to is 70s soul music of this style. I love Prince’s version of “Betcha,” too. “You’re a genie in disguise / Full of wonder and surprise.” It takes something to pull off a line like that. But this is one of the great slow dances of all time; I almost envy teenager who got to slow dance to this when it was a hit. The Stylistics were a great, great group; they had this song, “Break Up to Make Up,” “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” “You Are Everything.” Wonderful ending to this week’s Five.

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