Throughout Michael Jackson’s storied career, he has given us many songs that have became soundtracks to our lives. We’re always asked what’s our favorite Michael Jackson song and some will honestly tell you that they can’t decide. Well I have my list of records and notice how I’m being possessive. Let’s get to it. (Note: This will include Jackson 5/The Jacksons records as well)
20. “I Can’t Help It” (Album: Off The Wall): Stevie Wonder wrote Michael a hit record right here. One of my favorites to just vibe out to. (“Love to run my fingers/Softly while you sigh/Love came and possessed you/Bringing sparkles to your eyes/Like a trip to heaven/Heaven is the prize/And I’m so glad I found you/You’re an angel in disguise)
19. “2300 Jackson Street” (Album: 2300 Jackson Street): The entire family (sans LaToya) all came together for a family reunion on a record. It was an enjoyable record featuring the The Jackson siblings.
18. “Dancing Machine” (Album: Dancing Machine): “Automatic, Systematic/Full of color self contained/Tuned and channeled to your vibes/Captivating, stimulating/She’s such a sexy lady/Filled with space age design” and if you didn’t find yourself trying to hit that robot dance sequence like Michael, I don’t know what to tell you.
17. “All I Do Is Think of You” (Album: Moving Violation): Although Troop remake is more popular, the Jackson 5 version is where it originated from.
16. “Butterflies (Trackmasters Remix)” feat. Eve: I had already enjoyed “Butterflies” but then Eve smooth vocals were added and I was on it ASAP!
15. “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” (Album: Destiny): “You tease me with your loving to play hard to get cause you do/Know that I want ya/You walk around this town with your head all up in the sky and you/Know that I want ya” This is another one that I couldn’t sit still when it came on.
14. “You Rock My World (Remix)” feat. Jay-Z: Trackmasters laced this remix and I remember seeing this on mixtapes back in 2001. This was around when MJ did uncredited vocals on Jay-Z’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” and when Jay-Z brought Michael Jackson out at Summer Jam.
13. “The Way You Make Me Feel” (Album: Bad): “Hey pretty baby with the high heels on/You give me fever like I’ve never, ever known/You’re just a product of loveliness/I like the groove of your walk, your talk, your dress” So I was definitely seven years old singing this trying to be cool.
12. “This Place Hotel” (Album: Triumph): I remember my cousin playing this record and it instantly caught my attention. (“We came to this place, where the vicious dwell/And found that wicked women run this strange hotel/There was Sefra and Sue, every girl that I knew/And my baby said, “Love is through”“)
11. “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” (Album: Thriller): “Lift your head up high and scream out to the world/”I know I am someone,” and let the truth unfurl/No one can hurt you now because you know what’s true/Yes, I believe in me, so do believe in you/Help me sing it” That’s the part I belt out loud acting real foolish.
10. “In the Closet” (Album: Dangerous): Remember when Michael Jackson used to premiere videos on Thursday nights on FOX? That’s what he did with “In The Closet”. Michael Jackson and Teddy Riley crafted a classic record. (“It’s just a feeling/You have to soothe it/You can’t neglect it/You can’t abuse it/It’s just desire/You cannot waste it/Then, if you want it/Then, won’t you taste it“)
9. “Scream” (duet with Janet Jackson) (Album: HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I): I still love this record. Michael was fed up with the media’s bullshit and brought baby sister, Janet to vent their frustrations. (“I’m tired of injustice, I’m tired of the schemes/The lies are disgusting, so what does it mean, damn it?/You’re kicking me down, I got to get up/As jacked as it sounds, the whole system sucks, damn it!“)
8. “Dirty Diana” (Album: Bad): “She looked me deep in the eyes/She’s touching me so to start/She says: “There’s no turning back.”/She trapped me in her heart” Another record that I had no business singing in my childhood but this song definitely went hard.
7. “The Love You Save” (Album: ABC): This one was tough because ABC had some joints on there. But this record was the slight winner out of them.
6. “Remember The Time” (Album: Dangerous): Mike and Teddy wasn’t playing around on this record. (“Do you remember how we used to talk?/You know, we’d stay on the phone at night till dawn/Do you remember all the things we said?/Like, “I love you so, I’ll never let you go”“)
5. “The Lady in My Life” (Album: Thriller): You definitely couldn’t see MJ on his ballads. This was the perfect record to close out Thriller. (“There’ll be no darkness tonight/Lady our love will shine (Lighting the night)/Just put your trust in my heart and meet me in paradise (Now is the time)/Girl, you’re every wonder in this world to me/A treasure time won’t steal away“)
4. “Heaven Can Wait” (Album: Invincible): When I first heard this record, it was a wrap. A WRAP! You might catch me on SnapChat singing this. (“Can’t stand to see nobody kissing, touching her/Couldn’t take nobody loving you the way we were/What good would Heaven be/If the angels come for me I’d tell them no“)
3. “Beat It” (Album: Thriller): I was trying to avoid adding the obvious favorites but NO WAY I could leave off “Beat It” in any capacity! (“Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it/No one wants to be defeated/Showin’ how funky and strong is your fight/It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right“) Plus it’s always funny looking back and seeing Michael DeLorenzo and Stoney Jackson in this video as dancers.
2. “Smooth Criminal” (Album: Bad): Basically, all I wanted to do was the lean. The Smooth Criminal lean was everything and I wanted to do it. Unfortunately, I would either fall or stumble forward. This song is forever great and I love everything about it. (“So they came into the outway/It was Sunday, what a black day/Every time I tried to find him/He’s leaving no clues, left behind him/And they have no way of knowing/Of the suspect or what to expect/Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation/Sounding heartbeats, intimidations“)
1. “Take Me Back” (Album: Forever, Michael): Now, folks may look at this list and ask why would this be number 1? Well, I stumbled on to this record by accident. I was looking for The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and I came across this record. Ever since I heard it, I just kept it in rotation for just reasons that I could relate to. (“In my search to find myself/I saw your face and nothing else/Every place I go with everything I do/I still feel the need for you/Come on and“)
I’m sure that those that are fans of Michael will have different and maybe even more songs. But these are the songs that I hold dear to my heart and nothing can change that. Happy Birthday, Michael!