Michael Jackson Tragedy

Michael Jackson rushed to the hospital.  One major news site has him as having passsed away.    More breaking news on Michael as it becomes available

MSNBC says 3:26 PM Eastern time ambulances went to the home Jackson was renting. 6:22 PM MSNBC stated that L.A. Times confirmed the death (Published in TMZ, Drudge Report, OK Magazine, etc) and 6:30 PM NBC

Not happy with the attacks on Michael Jackson on Facebook and some blogs …let’s be civil…it is a shock. There’s an impressive body of work starting with the Jackson 5 into the Quincy Jones era that will be viewed for art’s sake.  Let’s appreciate the music. Those early hits and the latter day hits have never been truly seen as one comprehensive library of good music. With his passing people will view the entire scope of the effect his music had on our culture.



By Nancy “Neon” Foster

THRILLER ,released by Epic  in November 1982 is reported to be the best selling album of all time with 45 million worldwide sales. It garnered 7 Top Ten US singles and 8 Grammy Awards.While some bands and fans got behind the “It’s Rock;Disco sucks” banner , the following THRILLER review appeared in my NYC fanzine,GROOVE ASSOCIATES. I never thought that disco was a threat to rock ‘n’ roll. I was and still am a firm believer in the idea that a great song or in the case of THRILLER -a great album transcends genre.Moreover the new wave  formula became its own downfall. As new wave became slicker, more bound by formula,more commercial, so called disco became more solid, more funky, and more soulful.

One of the members of Bow Wow Wow said that the only good thing about new wave/romantic synth groups is that they spawned  stuff like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Afrika Bambataa and the Soul Sonic Force,etc.. Although the blue eyed soul of Soft Cell, Culture Club, and so on was fun , it couldn’t really  compare with an old Smokey Robinson and the Miracles album or what was then a new Michael Jackson album-THRILLER.

FROM GROOVE ASSOCIATES PREMIER ISSUE,1982:MICHAEL JACKSON:THRILLER-This is like a greatest hits album. The album is a masterpiece of composition,performance, and production by two musical genui- Michael Jackson and Quincy Jone. Eventhough I think  the McCartney duet  is hardly the most exciting cut on THRILLER, Michael Jackson is such a rare talent that he envigorates this song which would generally be too slick and perfect for my tastes.  It is amazing  that Michael was able to collaborate so successfully with such disparate influences from Paul McCartney to Eddie Van Halen to Vincent Price. THRILLER despite these varied influences is a congruent work of art that is pure Michael Jackson.

The opener “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin‘” ,written by Jackson himself is my favorite. This has definitely crossed over to the Latin dance clubs. In fact, this song doesn’t sound right on a home system. This song and the album as a whole  deserve a monster sound system, a mammoth dance floor, and hundreds of sweatin’,writhin” bodies to do it justice-like NYC’s Roxy on a hot Friday night.

This song THROBS with a sensual,primordial pulsebeat. The Latin ending is the perfect finale!

“Baby  Be Mine” is more SWEET SOUL MUSIC with a beautiful, loving vocal treatment right down to the yelps. The pacing of the music and the cadence of the falling words is dynamic. “Thriller” is another hit complete with howls and

a Vincent Price rap. While “Beat It” would generally be too metallic for my tastes,Jackson’s amazing vocal could redeem anything. “Billie Jean” is another brilliant dance hit,this one about a paternity  suit. “Human Nature”  is soft,sweet, and relatively low key. “PYT” picks things up again with a hot, funky workout. “The Lady In My Life” is a Stylistics type slow dance  number. (NANCY NEON,GROOVE ASSOCIATES #1,1982)

The single of the season has to be “Candy Girl” by New Edition from Roxbury,MA. They are as close to the Jacksons, as we will get. This single sounds- so great back-to-back with a Jacksons classic like “The Love You Save“. Thanks to the club  of the month,the Roxy for making Friday nights fab fun! I haven’t forgotten the SOUL SONIC FORCE either. Their night at the Roxy  was one of the best nights ever!(NANCY NEON ,GROOVE ASSOCIATES,#1,1982)

Surprise! Surprise! That was NOT Michael Jackson dancing at the GRANDMASTER  FLASH show  at the Peppermint Lounge show. The very flexible young man was Laine Lassiter from Chapel Hill,NC. Lassi-ter is on SUGAR HILL records. Paul Weller of the Jam and Style Council told your truly “I really like a lot of the stuff coming out of NYC like SUGAR HILL . (NANCY NEON,GROOVE ASSOCIATES #1,1982)