Showing posts with label Michael Jackson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Jackson. Show all posts

Friday, 24 June 2016

Do the Bartman - The Simpsons

I wasn't really planning on spending a lot of money on a single called 'Do the Bartman', despite the fact that I have an impressive amount of Michael Jackson singles in my collection. It is an amusing little song but songs by cartoon characters don't do very much for me. I finally found the single last month at a price that can't be beat.

There has been a lot of confusion about Michael Jackson's involvement in this song, mainly because he was under contract with Epic Records at the time of this single's release. However, the song's writer Bryan Loren has conceded that Jackson's contributions included back up vocals, providing the title "Do the Bartman" and that Jackson insisted his own name to be mentioned in the lyrics (read the story here).

My collection: 7" single no. 5852
Found: Kringloop, Leiden, May 14, 2016
Cost: 0,1 euro
Tracks: 'Do the Bartman (7" House mix/edit)' / 'Do the Bartman (LP edit)'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Gone too soon - Michael Jackson

If you look at the list of singles by Michael Jackson on this blog, it's hard to believe that I haven't got them all already. But somehow I managed to miss this one. I only discovered it recently and fortunately I was able to get a copy of this single while I was buying a few others online.

As you can hear, the vinyl isn't exactly clean but as with most Michael Jackson tracks, I've already got it on CD anyway. Which probably makes you wonder why I need to have this on vinyl anyway. Well, you either have a collection or you don't. That's a logic in itself, I guess.

My collection: 7" single no. 5850
Found:, received May 10, 2016
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Gone too soon' / 'Gone too soon (instrumental)'

Listen to the song

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Say say say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson

Why not start the new year with two music legends? I received this 12" single just before the turn of the year, after a month of waiting. Released for Black Friday (November 27), this disc was pressed on clear vinyl and originally only slated for release in the United States. Fortunately, Europe followed suit and eventually I was able to order this via Amazon.

I would actually have preferred a CD release, because 12" singles are rather big and take up a lot of space, but it has to be said that this is a beautiful record. The 2015 remix of 'Say Say Say' adds some nice touches, such as reversed vocals on the verses and some added instrumentation throughout - without destroying  the feel of the original track.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: Amazon France, received December 29, 2015
Cost: 8 euro
Tracks: 'Say say say (2015 remix)' / 'Say say say (Jellybean Instrumental remix)'

Listen to the 2015 remix & listen to the instrumental remix

Friday, 14 November 2014

Happy - Michael Jackson

No, this is not the big - and sometimes very irritating - hit single by Pharrell Williams, but a song recorded in 1973 by Michael Jackson for the movie 'Lady sings the blues' (although it doesn't actually appear in that movie). According to Smokey Robinson, who wrote 'Happy', the song was inspired by the film's melody, which was originally composed by Michel Legrand. He explained, "I was looking at the movie one day, and I was listening to that melody, and I thought it was just such a beautiful melody, until I wanted to write some words for that melody, which I did, and I went and I sang them for Berry Gordy, and he was really upset because I didn't write them before he finished the movie so they could've been in the movie." Jackson continued to perform the track in concert as late as 1977, citing it as one of his favorite songs.

Record companies are always eager to cash in on success, and so Motown re-released this track in 1983 when Jackson hit it big with the many hit singles from his album 'Thriller'. 'Happy' appeared as a regular single, a limited edition in a poster sleeve and this, a picture disc.

My collection: 7" single no. 5645
Found: Alan's Records, London, September 9, 2014
Cost: 3,5 pounds
Tracks: 'Happy' / 'We're almost there'

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I want you back '88 remix - Michael Jackson with the Jackson 5

The second half of the Eighties was littered with remixes of old tracks. Somehow record companies thought it was a cheap way to make profits without having to pay for studio time - except the time for the remixer of course. But in some cases, even the remixers didn't even spend that much time on it.

Take this one for example: an '88 remix of the old Jacksons hit 'I want you back' with a young Michael Jackson. In 1988 the name Michael Jackson meant a lot to a lot of people. Popular remixers Phil Harding and Ian Curnow were recruited for a remix. They added a drumbeat, and there you had it: a new single. A poor effort, however. But even this reached number 8 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 5269
Found:, received January 24, 2012
Cost: 1,5 pounds
Tracks: 'I want you back '88 remix' / 'Never can say goodbye'

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Eaten alive - Diana Ross

It's a strange combination, the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson, but they both appear on this track, and it's a track by Diana Ross! Originally produced and written by Barry and Maurice Gibb, it was not until Michael Jackson heard the demo of it that he suggested the chorus could be improved. He worked with the Gibb brothers on the track and contributed his vocals to the chorus as well.

On this 12" single you can hear three versions of the track. In the instrumental version in particular you can hear the vocals by Jackson and the Gibb brothers very well.

My collection: 12" single no. 608
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 19, 2011
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Eaten alive (extended remix)' / 'Eaten alive (edited remix)', 'Eaten alive (instrumental)'

Friday, 11 November 2011

Human nature - Michael Jackson

Now that his doctor/quack has been declared guilty of making him 'gone too soon', Michael Jackson can finally rest in relative peace. Although pop stars will never push the daisies without being talked about ad infinitum. I certainly hope the talk will be more about the man's music and less about real or fictitious scandals.

'Human nature' is a good example of what this man could do with his voice and a beautiful melody. It was released in July 1983 as the fifth single from his bestselling album 'Thriller'. It reached number 7 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 35 in the UK singles chart and number 14 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 3532
Found: Empire Records, Den Haag, January 9, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Human nature' / 'Baby be mine'

Monday, 13 June 2011

9 fragmenten uit de nieuwe elpee Bad - Michael Jackson

When Michael Jackson released a follow-up to his hugely successful 'Thriller' album in 1987, it was nothing less than a sensation. The lead single 'I just can't stop loving you' was a big hit and the album was sure to be big as well.

This promotional single was released in Belgium, featuring nine snippets from the album. Why the track 'Just good friends', featuring Stevie Wonder, was not included on this preview I do not know, but I'm sure that 'Leave me alone' was omitted because, well, it was a bonus track on the cd only at the time. In the Netherlands, this single was released as a flexi disc as a freebie with the magazine Top 10. This Belgian single was sponsored by the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad and the bank Spaarkrediet. The title? '9 fragments from the new LP 'Bad''.

My collection: 7" single no. 5154
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, June 9, 2011
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: Medley of 'Bad', 'The way you make me feel', 'I just can't stop loving you', 'Liberian girl', 'Dirty Diana', 'Another part of me', 'Speed demon', 'Smooth criminal' and 'Bad' (Plays the same both sides)

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Centipede - Rebbie Jackson

The single 'Centipede' by Rebbie Jackson was always quite an elusive disc for me. I saw the music video in 1984 and have been searching for this 7" single ever since. Two months ago, I managed to find the 12" single, which was also quite stunning.

And yesterday, my fortunes took an amazing turn when I found this copy of the 7" single. Granted, the sleeve has been written on, but what to expect for a disc that only cost me 50 cents. I'm satisfied: it only took me a quarter of a century, and I saved some money in the process...

My collection: 7" single no. 4775
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 10, 2010
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Centipede' / 'Centipede (instrumental)'

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Centipede - Rebbie Jackson

At the height of his fame, in 1984, Michael Jackson still had time to help his siblings with their career. Rebbie Jackson was his eldest sister, and also the eldest child of the Jackson family. At 34, she released her debut album 'Centipede'.

The title track was written and produced by Michael Jackson and featured backing vocals by Michael and LaToya Jackson. This 12" single features an extended mix of the track, which is not found on any other release. In 1997, it was included on the cd-single for a later Rebbie Jackson single, 'Yours faithfully'.

My collection: 12" single no. 534
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, February 26, 2010
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Centipede (extended)' / 'Centipede (instrumental)'

Friday, 12 February 2010

State of independence - Donna Summer

Donna Summer has been around for such a long time, that many of her singles are still wellknown. From her output in the Eighties, 'State of independence' is quite probably her best known song. The track was originally written and recorded by Jon Anderson & Vangelis on their 1981 album 'The friends of Mr. Cairo'.

Donna Summer recorded her version a year later on her 1982 self-titled album, with Quincy Jones producing. Her version of the song features an all-star choir including among others Michael Jackson, Brenda Russell, James Ingram, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Loggins, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder. Upon its original release, it became a number 1 hit in the Dutch Top 40, peaking at number 14 in the UK singles chart and number 41 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Remixes were released in 1990 and 1996.

My collection: 7" single no. 293
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1985
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'State of independence' / 'Love is just a breath away'

Friday, 15 January 2010

Do what you do - Jermaine Jackson

After Michael Jackson's phenomenal success with 'Thriller', it seemed like all of his siblings wanted a piece of the pie as well. Janet Jackson started a very successful career together with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Jermaine Jackson signed with Arista records to release 'Dynamite', an album featuring a couple of hit singles. One of them was 'Do what you do', which some say featured Michael Jackson on backing vocals.

The main revelation for me was the music video at the time. I was already familiar with the fact that belly buttons can be 'innies' or 'outies', but I'd never seen a spine so deeply hidden in someone's back (scroll to 3'21 to see this anatomical phenomenon). Meanwhile, 'Do what you do' reached number 4 in the UK singles chart and the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 257
Found: LP Top 100, Den Haag, 1985
Cost: 5,5 guilders
Tracks: 'Do what you do' / 'Tell me I'm not dreamin' (Too good to be true)' (duet with Michael Jackson)

Monday, 23 November 2009

Ease on down the road - The Wiz Stars

'Ease on down the road' is one of the lesser known Michael Jackson hits. It was taken from the 1978 movie soundtrack 'The Wiz', based on the Wizard of Oz tale. The track was produced by Quincy Jones, with vocal performances by Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. In the song, Dorothy (portrayed in the film by Ross) and the Scarecrow (played by Jackson) dance their way down the Yellow Brick Road, and give each other words of encouragement.

Released as a single, it reached number 41 in the Billboard Hot 100, while peaking at number 45 in the UK singles chart. It was a number 1 hit in Turkey, though.

My collection: 7" single no. 4221
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Ease on down the road' (Diana Ross & Michael Jackson) / 'Poppy girls' (Quincy Jones)

Monday, 9 November 2009

A brand new day - The Wiz Stars

In 1978, the soundtrack album for the movie 'The Wiz' was released. Chiefly produced by Quincy Jones, the soundtrack features cast performances by the stars of the movie, including Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell and Ted Ross, amongst others.

This quartet also starred on the first single taken from the soundtrack, 'A brand new day', which was released as a single in the summer of 1979. It reached number 1 in the Dutch Top 40. The soundtrack marks Jones' first collaboration with Michael Jackson; he would go on to produce Jackson's hit solo albums 'Off the wall', 'Thriller' and 'Bad'.

My collection: 7" single no. 4155
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, November 7, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'A brand new day' / 'Liberation ballet: a brand new day'

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Wanna be startin' somethin' - Michael Jackson

Late last year, I started trying to complete my Michael Jackson singles collection. It started when I found the red vinyl collectors set of 'Thriller' singles. It's gone on from there, until I had almost every Michael Jackson single from 1978 onwards (The early years are much harder, as Motown singles are always expensive). The only single still missing was 'Wanna be startin' somethin'', a single I left standing in the racks numerous times back in the Eighties and Nineties. That omission has now finally been rectified.

The song was released as the fourth single from 'Thriller', and another smash hit. The song includes references to the sometimes unhealthy nature of fandom: 'Still they hate you, you're a vegetable / They eat off of you, you're a vegetable'. The song ends with a chorus repeatedly singing 'Mama-se, mama-sa, ma-ma-coo-sa'. The chant is a riff on one first used by Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango, who broke into the American market in 1973 with his classic 'Soul Makossa'. That track was a big hit in Africa, Europe and America. Dibango named his song after the makossa, a Cameroonian dance, but he stretched the word out and played with it: 'Ma-mako, ma-ma-ssa, mako-makossa'.

My collection: 7" single no. 4014
Found: Vinylfabriek, Haaksbergen, September 14, 2009
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Wanna be startin' somethin'' / 'Rock with you (live)'

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Stranger in Moscow - Michael Jackson

'Stranger in Moscow' was the fifth and last single from Michael Jackson's album 'History'. While writing the song, Jackson used elements of Russian imagery and symbolism to help promote the concept of fear and alienation in the track. It concludes with a narrative, spoken in Russian, by a KGB interrogator. Translated into English he says, 'Why have you come from the west? Confess! To steal the great achievements of the people, the accomplishments of the workers...'. The single was a number 1 in Spain, and reached number 4 in the UK and the Netherlands.

Although before this year I assumed there were no 7" singles released after 'Scream' and 'You are not alone', now I find myself owning 'They don't care about us' and 'Stranger in Moscow'. So now, obviously, I'm after 'Earth song'. Where can I find that one?

My collection: 7" single no. 3992
Found:, received August 6, 2009
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Stranger in Moscow (radio edit)' / 'Stranger in Moscow (Tee's radio mix)'

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Girl you're so together - Michael Jackson

Not content with one hit single, 'Farewell my summer love', from their archive-plundering album of the same name, Motown released a second single, 'Girl you're so together'. While the previous single charted in several countries, this one only made the charts in the UK and Ireland, peaking at number 33 and 29 respectively.

I'm still curious what Motown will come up with, now that Michael Jackson is no longer with us. There still must be a lot of material in those vaults...

My collection: 7" single no. 3850
Found:, received July 15, 2009
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Girl you're so together' / 'Touch the one you love'

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Blood on the dancefloor - Michael Jackson

I already wrote about 'Blood on the dancefloor' on an earlier entry. I'd found a rare UK pressing of the single and I assumed it was just about the only 7" vinyl that existed of this title. But how wrong I was! The single was also made in the USA, and what's more: it's got a different B-side! I ordered this copy right away, because those latter day Michael Jackson singles are very appealing to me.

The remix of 'Dangerous' by Roger on the B-side also appeared on the cd-single for 'Blood on the dancefloor', and so it isn't that rare. But circa 1997 all 7" singles were becoming rarities, and so it is still a worthwhile addition to my collection.

My collection: 7" single no. 3898
Found:, received July 22, 2009
Cost: 10 dollars
Tracks: 'Blood on the dancefloor' / 'Dangerous (Roger's Dangerous Edit)'

Friday, 17 July 2009

Who is it - Michael Jackson

'Who is it', to me, is one of the standout tracks on Michael Jackson's 1991 album 'Dangerous'. Michael Jackson sang it a cappella during his 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, and the positive reaction to this prompted Sony to issue it as a single in the U.S. instead of the planned 'Give in to me'. The single peaked at number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 10 on the UK singles chart and number 15 on the Dutch Top 40.

Vinyl pressings exist from various countries, but this limited edition from the UK is by far the most interesting. It contains a free-standing cutout portrait of Michael, like it says on the sleeve. In the days after Michael's death, the price of this item shot up to 20 pounds, so I was very relieved to find a more reasonably priced copy in an online shop.

My collection: 7" single no. 3852
Found: Disc Covery records, received July 15, 2009
Cost: 4 pounds
Tracks: 'Who is it' / 'Rock with you (Masters at Work remix)'

Thursday, 16 July 2009

They don't care about us - Michael Jackson

'They don't care about us' was released as the fourth single from Michael Jackson's album 'History'. The song attracted a lot of critiism for its lyric, which includes the line 'Jew me, sue me, everybody do me / Kick me, kike me, don't you black or white me'. The word 'kike' is an offensive term referring to a jew. Jackson responded to the allegations of antisemitism several times in the American media, commenting: 'The song in fact is about the pain of prejudice and hate and is a way to draw attention to social and political problems. I am the voice of the accused and the attacked. I am the voice of everyone. I am the skinhead, I am the Jew, I am the black man, I am the white man. I am not the one who was attacking. It is about the injustices to young people and how the system can wrongfully accuse them. I am angry and outraged that I could be so misinterpreted.'

In the end, the song was censored. In this single version, the words 'Jew me sue me' are replaced with 'Sue me sue me' and the words 'Kick me, kike me' are replaced with 'Kick me, kick me'. There's also a different censored version in which the offensive words are replaced by loud sounds.

This vinyl single was an utter surprise to me. As far as I knew, 'You are not alone' was the last Jackson single from 'History' released on vinyl. This copy has no picture sleeve, but it does have a 'normal' label (something which is omitted from later 'jukebox' releases). The single, meanwhile, reached number 4 in the UK singles chart and the Dutch Top 40, and number 30 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

My collection: 7" single no. 3851
Found:, received July 15, 2009
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'They don't care about us (LP edit)' / 'They don'tcare about us (Love to Infinity's Walk in the Park radio mix)'

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