Episode 52: Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Let it never be said that we’re not a podcast of the people. Yes, our past few episodes have been deeply entrenched in the kind of hardcore esoterica that birthed a thousand blogspots, but that doesn’t mean we can’t devote our latest to literally the best-selling musical artists of all time: Michael Jackson (no, we do not recognize The Eagles on our island).

Which is pretty hard to do—what’s left to be said about the King of Pop? You know Michael Jackson. You know he started as Motown’s child star, you know he created some of the greatest singles in music history, you know he was buds with Kevin McAllister. Hell, you were probably born into the world singing “Billie Jean”. But now that his music has become the background radiation of the universe, it’s easy to forget how he got to that point, and why he was so skilled to begin with. We know his singles by heart, but his albums? Not so much. There’s a lot to dig into here.

And digging is what desert islanders do best, my friends. So there’s plenty of talk about the soggy Motown of his pre-Off the Wall solo career, about the ineffable heights of his creative peak, and the weird and winding path he took to the bottom. It’s a complete retelling of HIStory, with all the fawning and groaning that entails. Also: Imitations of Hair, the Joe Jackson Bullet Train to Hell, and the strange, pirate-filled fate of the Free Willy franchise.


Love Never Felt So Good
People Make the World Go Around
Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough
Rock With You
Working Day and Night
Billie Jean
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
Liberian Girl
The Way You Make Me Feel
Smooth Criminal
She Drives Me Wild
Will You Be There
You Rock My World
Burn this Disco Out
Somebody’s Watching Me (feat. Michael Jackson) – Rockwell


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