Spin #45 : Michael Jackson : Dangerous
SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #45
If you are reading this, then that means you have either stumbled across our page here at R'nR with Rylo by mistake or you are excited by this weeks Sunday Spin. Now, this week I have gone easy on you in regards to the clues because this record is an absolute classic piece of wax that should be owned by each and every one of you. Forget the track listing for a moment, the cover alone should be worth the price of pick up and would look really good as a puzzle. Can you believe that MJ managed to release 9 singles from this album and it is still regarded as the under-the-radar album of his discography. Put on your diamante gloves and get ready to grab some crotch as it's time for our 45th Spin!
I want to play this one loud and across the loungeroom range of speakers, so I can showcase the King of Pop to our children. There are just so many beats and sounds on Dangerous that I have to do it justice by spinning on our Sherwood Turntable (PM-9805) and Sherwood Receiver (RX-4508) complete with 4 x Sherwood Bookshelf speakers.
Image : Michael Jackson
How good was Michael Jackson? That is a question I will have to answer to our children when they are old enough to ask it. I'm certain they will have a diverse musical taste just like their parents and I can't wait to show them some of the best albums of all time. MJ for me would have to be right up there on my musical pedestal, sitting alongside The Beatles for me as the best. I remember walking around in the backyard of my childhood home in Thirroul with the fisher price cassette player that came with an attached microphone. You probably had one yourself growing up as everyone I tell this story to seem to agree.
I remember putting on the tapes of all of MJ's work and singing out loud in the backyard as I explored the creek and under the house. I am keeping an eye out for something similar so I can let our children do the same thing. Still on the hunt for History (not as a picture record) for the collection too. I don't exactly know where my love for MJ came from or started other than listening to my parents record of Thriller and loving every minute of what I heard. Well, to be completely honest, the music video for Thriller scared the crap out of me as a young boy and I will wait a while before I show K and Q that one. As we drop the stylus on this weeks spin and 45th from the Rylo collection, I can hear the quality already coming through the speakers with the first song, 'JAM'. It starts off with breaking of glass and the counting of 1-2-3 before you hear the softly spoken MJ start to build towards the body moving chorus. I'd bet anyone that they are unable to sit still whilst listening to this track.
Second track on Side A of Dangerous is 'WHY YOU WANNA TRIP ON ME', which starts off with such a great guitar solo and back beat tracking. It is coming clearly through the 4 x speakers in our loungeroom and is pure funk/pop. MJ's vocals are never better than right now and he seems to never lose his talents. I did find myself singing along to this one a lot and joke with our daughter when she was starting to walk by saying, "Q, Why you wanna trip on me?". There is a lot of feeling on this track and love how our son , K just knows how to groove like it is in his blood or something. Last track on Side A is called 'IN THE CLOSET' and closes out this first side nicely. Starting a lot softer than the songs prior, the piano playing and voice over lead you towards the shoulder moving beat before another sound of breaking glass comes through the speakers. I don't remember a lot of this album as a child but growing up, I did find myself always coming back to it because of the funk/pop/ballads. So easy to sing along or dance along with.
The pinnacle of this song for me is when MJ starts singing, "Ah, because there's something about you, baby. That makes me want to give it to you". The stylus finds itself spinning in the dead wax and letting us know that it is time to flip LP1 over to Side B.
I have to be really quick as Q (our daughter) is getting really quick on her tiny legs now. Also, she is really silent so before you know it she will be right on top of you as you are trying to change the record out. First track on Side B is called 'SHE DRIVES ME WILD' and is probably one song that I find myself zoning out on (sorry, it's just the other tracks are so so much stronger). It might just be the car horns going off and mechanical back beat playing too loud over MJ's vocals. One thing that is probably a negative is because this is produced so well and the clarity is 10/10, the vocals are softer than the backing sounds. Not a terrible song at all.
Feeling a bit out of place after the last song due to it being such a hit is 'REMEMBER THE TIME'. I like the music video for this one as it has MJ, Eddie Murphy, Magic Johnson and Ancient Egypt! Click here to check it out. Probably top two favourite track on the album and got the children laughing their heads off as they danced around to this track. Second song on Side B is 'CAN'T LET HER GET AWAY'. It starts with a catchy dance beat that is easy to get up and dance along with. Jammed in between the two mega hits was always going to be hard but I really like this one. Last track on Side B is the universal mega anthem, 'HEAL THE WORLD'. If only people listened to this song more often and incorporated the meaning into their lives, then the world would truly be a better place. I like the introduction to this song because it has children trying to tell us what is needed. If gives a lot of perspective as I listen to this song and I find myself always singing along. Once again, it is time to change LP1 and place it back into the record sleeve before placing LP2 onto the turntable and drop the stylus.
Whilst the stylus is playing, I do remember the next track's music video because I wanted to be Macaulay Caulkin at the start. He had the speakers, guitar, glasses on as he hits play and says, "Eat This". Then the wildest start to an MJ song comes through the speakers before balancing itself out. That song is of course 'BLACK OR WHITE' and it has a pretty powerful message to treat each other equally and with kindness. It's a shame that not many people seem to have taken MJ's message.
'WHO IS IT' keeps Side C rolling on and for a moment our children think that the record has stopped. It has been quite a stressful time lately, over Christmas and with lots going on in our lives, it is important to take a moment to yourself. As this track plays, I can hear the pain in MJ's voice as he sings, "And it doesn't seem to matter and it doesn't seem right. 'Cause the will has brought no fortune, still I cry alone at night. Don't you judge of my composure, 'cause I'm lying to myself". Not a dance track for this record but an important one for listeners. It kind of gave me 'Dirty Diana' feelings as I heard this one.
The stylus is moving along and the last track on Side C is 'GIVE IN TO ME'. This one sounds like it could be used as the opening theme to a television show like Charmed or Angel from the 90's. I do remember singing along to this one on my cassette player as a small fella and didn't really understand what I was singing, but I understood feeling. One artist that I was hoping to see one day but sadly got taken from this world too soon.
I was quick enough flipping Side C to Side D before the children realised. First track on the last side of Dangerous is called, 'WILL YOU BE THERE'. I thought that I was listening to a Ghost album at first because of the the grand church style introduction. A couple of sad songs complete this album and would be interesting to read an MJ biography during the making of Dangerous to get insight. Great tempo and large scale band usage by MJ on this track and could be used as a meditation song if you felt the need. 'KEEP THE FAITH' follows next and I am following along with the lyrics on this one because they included lyrics! (Awesome). I feel that this song was added before the next song because it slightly boosts the mood.
'GONE TOO SOON' has some of the saddest lyrics ever when you think about it. "Like a comet, blazing across the evening sky. Gone too soon". Now I'm not saying sad because the comet is gone, but MJ is talking about that important person or people in your life that have burnt bright and made a positive impact in your life. Now they are sadly not here and it is tough to listen too with the children playing with their blocks on the ground. It really makes you think of how short life is and perspective is to start living. Also not easy to listen to MJ starting to break down towards the end of the song. I would have liked to see him sing this one live, as I feel like it would be one he would find it hard to hold it together on stage. Thankfully the last song and title track on the album picks up the energy and dance moves. 'DANGEROUS' - click here to see the dancing on stage from the 90's as it is incredible. The beat just makes me want to start dancing all around the room and start singing, "Dangerous....the girl is so dangerous. Take away my money, throw away my time. You can call me honey but you're no damn good for me". At almost 7 minutes, the stylus moves across the last notes of 'DANGEROUS' and hits the dead wax.
Dangerous by Michael Jackson will go down as one of the 'King of Pop's greatest albums that will forever be loved by his fans. Thank you for taking the time on your Sunday this week and enjoying our 45th Spin. I have quite a busy month ahead at work so I will endeavour to keep spinning and reviewing on a weekly basis. If I stumble one week, I will not be gone for long. Like I said last week, there are a few changes being worked on in the background here at R'nR, so please be patient. If you enjoyed the album this week make sure you look out for our MWSP clues coming up as next week will be something to soothe your souls.
Until our next Spin, be Kind to people who love to dance and be Kind to your Wax!
MICHAEL JACKSON, BRUCE SWEDIEN, BILL BOTTRELL, TEDDY RILEY
SPEED PLAYED AT
HISTORY: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE (1995)
BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR: HISTORY IN THE MIX (1997)