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Old 07-12-2013, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Michael Jackson's prime?

When was Michael Jackson in his prime, and how long did it last? At what point did he start to decline from his prime/peak?
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

Others may disagree with me ,but I tend to give Mike a long prime between 1977-1988 with the markers being The Wiz(77 production date/Off The Wall) & The Grammys(1988). Peak years 1981(Triumph Tour)-1985('Victory Tour' end).


By his late teens he was already a polished performer & was one of the few critical positive performances in the film 'The Wiz'. At the same time he was working on 'Off The Wall' & brought 3 major hits to the studio; Working Day & Night,Don't Stop 'Til..., & 'Wanna Be Startin' Something'(foolishly rejected by Quincy Jones as 'weak')


Already at the age of 19/20 the guy was polished & could have embarked on a career as an A list Choreographer(had choreographed the Jacksons dance routines for years), R&B songwriter/producer or just concentrated on singing.



Riding high on Off the Wall Album (best selling African American album at the time)& The Triumph Tour Michael Jackson was at his peak in 1981 & obvious time for Michael to cut the cord from his Brothers.


1982 -85 "Thriller" speaks for it self & his Motown's 25th performance(83) left everyone from fans to Entertainers like Sammy Davis Jr./Fred Astaire,etc...near speechless .

1988 Grammy Awards I think Michael had basically given us all he had although he was still A-list afterwards & was capable of putting on great shows ,but.....


1977-1988- Prime Michael Jackson
1981-1985- Peak Michael Jackson
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 32jazz
Others may disagree with me ,but I tend to give Mike a long prime between 1977-1988 with the markers being The Wiz(77 production date/Off The Wall) & The Grammys(1988). Peak years 1981(Triumph Tour)-1985('Victory Tour' end).


By his late teens he was already a polished performer & was one of the few critical positive performances in the film 'The Wiz'. At the same time he was working on 'Off The Wall' & brought 3 major hits to the studio; Working Day & Night,Don't Stop 'Til..., & 'Wanna Be Startin' Something'(foolishly rejected by Quincy Jones as 'weak')


Already at the age of 19/20 the guy was polished & could have embarked on a career as an A list Choreographer(had choreographed the Jacksons dance routines for years), R&B songwriter/producer or just concentrated on singing.



Riding high on Off the Wall Album (best selling African American album at the time)& The Triumph Tour Michael Jackson was at his peak in 1981 & obvious time for Michael to cut the cord from his Brothers.


1982 -85 "Thriller" speaks for it self & his Motown's 25th performance(83) left everyone from fans to Entertainers like Sammy Davis Jr./Fred Astaire,etc...near speechless .

1988 Grammy Awards I think Michael had basically given us all he had although he was still A-list afterwards & was capable of putting on great shows ,but.....


1977-1988- Prime Michael Jackson
1981-1985- Peak Michael Jackson
I agree with the peak, but his prime has to include the J5 years, if talking about Mike as a whole.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

Beat it/thrilller
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

i think 80s peak, early 70s till 2001 prime
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.Kizzle
I agree with the peak, but his prime has to include the J5 years, if talking about Mike as a whole.

Well pre 1977 it was evident that Michael was already a great singer/dancer ,but it was 1977/78 that it ALL(songwriting, dancing,singing,acting,etc...) came together.( ie The Wiz & writing for "Off the Wall").

Not that he wasn't capable before ,but with Motown's oppressive practices which crushed much creative freedom(Marvin Gaye ,Stevie Wonder & The Jackson's all had bitter creative control/pay battles with Motown) Michael wasn't allowed any growth. Never allowed to play their instruments,write songs,etc....but just 'sing/dance & look cute'.

Getting the hell away from Motown was one of the best things that happened to him. By 1977/78 (The Wiz/Off The Wall) not only was his singing/dancing brilliance already common knowledge Hollywood,Theatre /Broadway along with the music world(his emergence as a writer/artist) had to take notice.

It was 1977/78 that the world realized that Jackson wasn't just some cute little Motown produced kid who could sing or dance. Many of those are exposed/burn out when the cutenes is gone. By 1977/78 he was coming into his own & proving himself the versatile artist the World admired.

I disagree with you so far ,but what year would you say his 'prime' began if not 77/78? Agree with his 'prime' ending in around 1988?(I picked '88 Grammys as roughly the end of his prime).
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

He was insanely popular until HIStory/Scream in '95.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 32jazz
Well pre 1977 it was evident that Michael was already a great singer/dancer ,but it was 1977/78 that it ALL(songwriting, dancing,singing,acting,etc...) came together.( ie The Wiz & writing for "Off the Wall").

Not that he wasn't capable before ,but with Motown's oppressive practices which crushed much creative freedom(Marvin Gaye ,Stevie Wonder & The Jackson's all had bitter creative control/pay battles with Motown) Michael wasn't allowed any growth. Never allowed to play their instruments,write songs,etc....but just 'sing/dance & look cute'.

Getting the hell away from Motown was one of the best things that happened to him. By 1977/78 (The Wiz/Off The Wall) not only was his singing/dancing brilliance already common knowledge Hollywood,Theatre /Broadway along with the music world(his emergence as a writer/artist) had to take notice.

It was 1977/78 that the world realized that Jackson wasn't just some cute little Motown produced kid who could sing or dance. Many of those are exposed/burn out when the cutenes is gone. By 1977/78 he was coming into his own & proving himself the versatile artist the World admired.

I disagree with you so far ,but what year would you say his 'prime' began if not 77/78? Agree with his 'prime' ending in around 1988?(I picked '88 Grammys as roughly the end of his prime).
I'd say the end of the Dangerous period. The wheel chair performance at Soul Train in 1993.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

1981-1995.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 32jazz
Well pre 1977 it was evident that Michael was already a great singer/dancer ,but it was 1977/78 that it ALL(songwriting, dancing,singing,acting,etc...) came together.( ie The Wiz & writing for "Off the Wall").

Not that he wasn't capable before ,but with Motown's oppressive practices which crushed much creative freedom(Marvin Gaye ,Stevie Wonder & The Jackson's all had bitter creative control/pay battles with Motown) Michael wasn't allowed any growth. Never allowed to play their instruments,write songs,etc....but just 'sing/dance & look cute'.

Getting the hell away from Motown was one of the best things that happened to him. By 1977/78 (The Wiz/Off The Wall) not only was his singing/dancing brilliance already common knowledge Hollywood,Theatre /Broadway along with the music world(his emergence as a writer/artist) had to take notice.

It was 1977/78 that the world realized that Jackson wasn't just some cute little Motown produced kid who could sing or dance. Many of those are exposed/burn out when the cutenes is gone. By 1977/78 he was coming into his own & proving himself the versatile artist the World admired.

I disagree with you so far ,but what year would you say his 'prime' began if not 77/78? Agree with his 'prime' ending in around 1988?(I picked '88 Grammys as roughly the end of his prime).




Great post! You seem to know a lot about Michael and the music scene back then. Any books you recommend so I can learn more?


Also, what do you consider Michael Jackson's best album?


Please check your PM when you have the chance.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.Kizzle
I'd say the end of the Dangerous period. The wheel chair performance at Soul Train in 1993.

Absolute Boss when you can 'perform' in a wheel chair & bring down the house.

But I feel that was based more upon love, respect & admiration of Michael because obviously he didn't 'perform'.

Good post & I will re-evaluate that 'Dangerous' period. He did perform at the Super Bowl in 93 (?) as well & was still great.

That Super Bowl Medley could also point to a basic summation/winding down of his prime. Last hurrah.

The reason I didn't pick the 'Dangerous' period as 'prime' because by then he depended more on others for song
writing duties verifying to me that by 1988/Bad era he had given us all he had.

I'll get back with you Heillige

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Old 07-13-2013, 12:22 AM   #12
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 32jazz
Absolute Boss when you can 'perform' in a wheel chair & bring down the house.

But I feel that was based more upon love, respect & admiration of Michael because obviously he didn't 'perform'.

Good post & I will re-evaluate that 'Dangerous' period. He did perform at the Super Bowl in 93 (?) as well & was still great.

That Super Bowl Medley could also point to a basic summation/winding down of his prime. Last hurrah.

The reason I didn't pick the 'Dangerous' period as 'prime' because by then he depended more on others for song
writing duties verifying to me that by 1988/Bad era he had given us all he had.

I'll get back with you Heillige
History is probably his creative peak though. His songwriting was at his best and most deep. Just like Donald Duck Mathews from the Five Heartbeats said "You'll finally become a great writer when you suffer or go through something." His 2 most underrated songs "Stranger in Moscow" and "Earth Song" he's the only artist credited on the writing and production side. No Quincy, no Teddy, no Bruce, no Jam and Lewis, just him. Then other great tracks like "Money" and "Tabloid Junkie" among others.

And for Dangerous, that is still mostly him. Goon Too Soon is the only track he doesn't have writers credit on, obviously because it's a cover.

Record wise, you can go as far as HIStory, but performance wise you gotta stop at the Dangerous LP. Also, don't forget the live HBO concert he put on in 92.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.Kizzle
History is probably his creative peak though. His songwriting was at his best and most deep. Just like Donald Duck Mathews from the Five Heartbeats said "You'll finally become a great writer when you suffer or go through something." His 2 most underrated songs "Stranger in Moscow" and "Earth Song" he's the only artist credited on the writing and production side. No Quincy, no Teddy, no Bruce, no Jam and Lewis, just him. Then other great tracks like "Money" and "Tabloid Junkie" among others.

And for Dangerous, that is still mostly him. Goon Too Soon is the only track he doesn't have writers credit on, obviously because it's a cover.

Record wise, you can go as far as HIStory, but performance wise you gotta stop at the Dangerous LP. Also, don't forget the live HBO concert he put on in 92.


You made going/very informative points in this thread and I wanted to ask you the same I asked 32jazz

You seem to know a lot about Michael and the music scene back then. Any books you recommend so I can learn more?


Also, what do you consider Michael Jackson's best album?
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:57 AM   #14
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

On the real, Mike as in his prime as far back as 1967 before he stepped foot in a Motown office. At that time, the Jackson 5 were sharing bills with the like of Gladys Knight and the Pips, The O'Jays, Temptations, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Etta James, Sam and Dave, Isley Brothers, The Impressions oh and all of those artist are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.



If you search the web and read stories about their early years, it's fascinating. A lot of artist did not want the J5 to open of their show. They were so good, so young you could not follow them. Some used to think he was a midget.

There first single for the small Steeltown label even made the Jet top 20 in early 1968.


http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=UTgDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA65&dq=jackson%20five%2 0big%20boy&pg=PA65#v=onepage&q=jackson%20five%20bi g%20boy&f=false




Word of mouth about this group spread like wildfire. They were even invited to appear and perform the David Frost Show in Jul of 68. A few weeks earlier, they were sharing a bill with Motown's Bobby and the Vancouver at the famed Regal Theater in Chicago (one of the members went on to be a comedy legend, Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong.) Taylor heard of these guys but never seen them, he was blown away. He said "I'm taking you guys to Berry Gordy right now." And that's were this clip comes from. And the rest is HIStory


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Old 07-13-2013, 12:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Michael Jackson's prime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heilige
You made going/very informative points in this thread and I wanted to ask you the same I asked 32jazz

You seem to know a lot about Michael and the music scene back then. Any books you recommend so I can learn more?


Also, what do you consider Michael Jackson's best album?

I'm from 'back then'.

Not gonna lie to you as if I have a library on these guys ,but outside of Stevie,Marvin & MJ I am not a huge Motown fan. I am a little older & witnessed Mike during his Peak.

I get my information from album liner notes which I have (ie Marvin Gaye': The Master, 'Stevie: At the end of the Century' among other albums), documentaries & interviews over the years about these guys & Motown.


I am more a Jazz/Blues fan(my username) & can give you several books on that subject however?
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