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Essential Michael Jackson
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Tracks

1. Disc 1

2. I Want You Back

3. ABC (The Jackson 5)

4. The Love You Save (The Jackson 5)

5. Got To Be There

6. Rockin' Robin

7. Ben

8. Blame It On The Boogie

9. Shake Your Body

10. Don't Stop Til You Get Enough

11. Off The Wall

12. Rock With You

13. She's Out Of My Life

14. Can You Feel It

15. The Girl Is Mine (With Paul Mccartney)

16. Billie Jean

17. Beat It

18. Wanna Be Startin' Something

19. Human Nature

20. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)

21. I Just Can't Stop Loving You

22. Thriller

23. Disc 2

24. Bad

25. The Way You Make Me Feel

26. Man In The Mirror

27. Dirty Diana

28. Another Part Of Me

29. Smooth Criminal

30. Leave Me Alone

31. Black Or White

32. Remember The Time

33. In The Closet

34. Who Is It

35. Heal The World

36. Will You Be There

37. You Are Not Alone

38. Earth Song

39. They Don't Care About Us

40. You Rock My World

Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Michael Jackson (vocals, soprano, percussion, background vocals); Paul McCartney (vocals, background vocals); Christa Larson, Ashley Ferrell, Siedah Garrett (vocals); L.T.B., Vincent Price (rap vocals); Linda Harmon (soprano); Larry Carlton, Michael Sembello, Roland Bautista , Slash, Steve Stevens , Tito Jackson, Trevor Rabin, David E. Williams , Marlo Henderson (guitar); Greg Phillinganes (electric piano, keyboards, synthesizer); David "Hawk" Wolinski (electric piano); Brad Buxer, David Paich, Michael Boddicker (keyboards, synthesizer); George Duke, Rhett Lawrence, Steve Porcaro, Teddy Riley (synthesizer); Laudir DeOliveira (drums, congas, percussion); Rick Marotta (drums, percussion); Ed Green , Jeff Porcaro, John "4 Daddman" Robinson (drums); Claudio Slon (congas); Paulinho Da Costa, Randy Jackson , Richard Heath, Bryan Loren (percussion); Becky Lopez, Zedric Williams, James Ingram , Jim Gilstrap, Julia Waters, Maxine Willard Waters, Andra Crouch Choir, Oren Waters, Paulette McWilliams, Mortonette Jenkins, Augie Johnson, Bunny Hull (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixers: Don Murray ; Jeff Tarsia; Jay Marks; Peter Granet; Rodney Jerkins; Bruce Swedien.
  • Liner Note Author: Nelson George.
  • Recording information: Record One, Los Angeles, CA; Sony Studios, New York, NY; sony Studios, NY.
  • Introduction bys: Chris Tucker; Michael Jackson.
  • Photographers: Todd Gray; Kenny Rogers ; Neal Preston; Dick Zimmerman; Sam Emerson.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: Frank DiLeo; The Winans.
  • Arrangers: David Paich; Bobby Martin ; Jackie Jackson ; James Ingram ; Marty Paich; Michael Jackson; Quincy Jones; Steve Lukather; Steve Porcaro.
  • The title might sound like hyperbole, but this two-disc collection is, in fact, a pretty fair summation of Michael Jackson's career up to 2005. Of course, it's impossible for two discs to hold every hit single Michael Jackson has ever had, but THE ESSENTIAL MICHAEL JACKSON starts with the Jackson Five's debut single, "I Want You Back," and ends 38 tracks later with the 2001 comeback attempt "You Rock My World." In between is a chronological overview of some of the most significant pop music in the last three decades of the 20th century, climaxing with about two-thirds of THRILLER and half of OFF THE WALL, the album that in retrospect sounds even fresher and more exciting than its blockbuster follow-up. Disc Two starts in 1987 with eight tracks from the underrated BAD, and its second half does the listener the handy service of compressing the second act of Michael Jackson's life story (a time when the tabloid headlines were overshadowing his increasingly formulaic music) into nine entirely respectable, if not earth-shattering, singles.
Professional Reviews
Uncut (p.119) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[T]his is magical pop."
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