Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Soul Tracks

*I decided to unearth a previous post, written last year in celebration of MJ's 50th birthday.

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson!!! 50 years ago Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana. The past twenty years of Michael's life have been bizarre, to say the least. However, let's try not to focus on the scandals, trials, plastic surgeries, and wacky behavior. Let's go back to 1972. Long before Michael's 'Bad' tour grossed $125 million and Off The Wall and Thriller shattered every record imaginable. Long before 47 million people watched in awe as Michael did the moonwalk on Motown 25. Long before he co-wrote the international smash hit 'We Are The World.' And long before everybody wanted to be Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson was a 13 year old basking in the success of his solo debut, Got To Be There. Four years prior, Michael along with brothers Marlon, Jackie, Tito and Jermaine, signed to Motown Records as the Jackson 5. In '71, Michael stepped out on his own and began recording his solo debut produced by Hal David and Willie Hutch. Three songs, 'Got To Be There,' 'Rockin' Robin,' and 'I Wanna Be Where You Are', put Michael on the charts. The young singer took a stab at Bill Wither's 'Ain't No Sunshine' and the Carole King classic 'You've Got A Friend.' The ten track set also featured 'Maria (You Were The Only One),' today's Soul Tracks selection. From the opening note, Michael sounds far more mature than his 13 years. He sounds like a man who has lived a lifetime of experiences. It's hard to believe the song is autobiographical. But then again, maybe it is. A then 13 year old Michael could have been experiencing the raw emotions of the break up of a teenage love affair. Either way, Michael channeled his inner David Ruffin and sang with all the emotion and conviction of a broken man pleading for the lady in his life to came back.