Number Ones

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
This compilation collects the King of Pop's 17 No. 1 hits, including "Rock with You," "Man in the Mirror," "Billie Jean," and "Beat It." The disc also features a new song, the R. Kelly-penned and produced "One More Chance." The concurrent DVD release, Michael Jackson: Number Ones, contains 15 of Jackson's groundbreaking music videos including "Thriller," "Smooth Criminal," and "Black or White." The initial run of both the CD and DVD consists of four limited-edition cover art designs.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Since Michael Jackson botched his first hits collection by pairing it with a new album of material in a double-disc set, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
This compilation collects the King of Pop's 17 No. 1 hits, including "Rock with You," "Man in the Mirror," "Billie Jean," and "Beat It." The disc also features a new song, the R. Kelly-penned and produced "One More Chance." The concurrent DVD release, Michael Jackson: Number Ones, contains 15 of Jackson's groundbreaking music videos including "Thriller," "Smooth Criminal," and "Black or White." The initial run of both the CD and DVD consists of four limited-edition cover art designs.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Since Michael Jackson botched his first hits collection by pairing it with a new album of material in a double-disc set, making it considerably less attractive for those legions of listeners who want just a single disc of hits, it's both inevitable and welcome that he attempted another compilation a few years later. This second collection, Number Ones, was released in the wake of the 2000 blockbuster Beatles 1, which rewrote the rules of modern-day hits collections from major artists, since it not only contained a generous, representative cross section of hits, it had a specific focus and did gangbuster business. An avalanche of similar-minded compilations by other titans followed, notably Elvis' 30 #1 Hits and the Rolling Stones' Forty Licks, and MJ's Number Ones is part of that wave. For some artists, sticking to number one hits isn't a bad way to make a collection -- the Beatles are a perfect example, actually, since even if 1 didn't contain such seminal items as "Strawberry Fields Forever," it still offered a full, representative portrait of their career. Jackson doesn't fare so well by the number one rule. First of all, he doesn't strictly follow the number one rule, leaving behind the number one hit duet "Say Say Say" with Paul McCartney, substituting a 1981 live version of "Ben" for the original hit, adding "Break of Dawn," an Invincible album cut never released as a single, and including "Thriller," "Smooth Criminal," and "Earth Song," none of which hit number one, and the latter wasn't even released as a single in the U.S. (there is, of course, the requisite previously unreleased song, the OK slow jam "One More Chance"). Then, there's the fact that Thriller changed the business, inaugurating the era of the blockbuster album that rode the charts for years, spinning off hit singles every quarter. Thriller generated tons of hits -- six of its nine tracks hit the charts, but only two of them hit number one. Its successor, Bad, had seven of its 11 songs hit the charts (one other, the CD bonus cut "Leave Me Alone," was a staple on MTV), and of those, five peaked at number one. So, by sticking to number ones, and adding "Smooth Criminal," this collection skews very heavily toward Bad, at times playing like an expanded reissue with bonus tracks. This may be a fairly accurate reading of chart positions, but it doesn't result in a particularly representative collection, since the brilliant Off the Wall is granted only two songs, leaving behind such charting hits as "Off the Wall" and "She's Out of My Life" (both gold singles, mind you), and Thriller is represented by only three tracks, with such defining songs as "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "Human Nature," "PYT (Pretty Young Thing)," and "The Girl Is Mine" being left behind. These two albums are the core of Jackson's legacy, and it simply feels wrong that Number Ones gives them short shrift. Dangerous also is neglected, providing just one selection, when on the whole it had far more memorable songs than HIStory or Invincible. But these problems are inherent with any collection that concentrates just on the charts, not the music that got the songs on the charts in the first place. And while Number Ones contains enough of the big songs to recommend it for those listeners who are looking just for a cross section of the biggest hits from Jackson's career, it is also true that the perfect Michael Jackson hits collection has yet to be assembled. Maybe next time, particularly if he's granted an entry into Sony's generally excellent The Essentials series.
Blender - Nelson George
While this set isn't comprehensive, it does testify to the myriad vocal abilities of the mature MJ.

While this set isn't comprehensive, it does testify to the myriad vocal abilities of the mature MJ.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/11/2003
  • Label: Epic Europe
  • EAN: 5099751380023
  • Catalog Number: 513800
  • Sales rank: 47,804

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (3:56)
  2. 2 Rock with You (3:40)
  3. 3 Billie Jean (4:53)
  4. 4 Beat It (4:18)
  5. 5 Thriller (5:11)
  6. 6 Human Nature (4:06)
  7. 7 I Just Can't Stop Loving You (4:11)
  8. 8 Bad (4:06)
  9. 9 The Way You Make Me Feel (4:56)
  10. 10 Dirty Diana (4:41)
  11. 11 Smooth Criminal (4:17)
  12. 12 Black or White (3:19)
  13. 13 You Are Not Alone (4:34)
  14. 14 Earth Song (5:01)
  15. 15 Blood on the Dance Floor (4:11)
  16. 16 You Rock My World (4:26)
  17. 17 Break of Dawn (5:29)
  18. 18 One More Chance (3:49)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Michael Jackson Primary Artist, Vocals, Background Vocals
Siedah Garrett Vocals
Donnie Lyle Guitar
Technical Credits
Siedah Garrett Duet
Michael Jackson Producer
Quincy Jones Producer
R. Kelly Composer, Producer
Bill Bottrell Producer
Brad Buxer Vocal Recording
David Daoud Coleman Art Direction
Dr. Freeze Composer
Bernie Grundman Mastering
Teddy Riley Producer
Rod Temperton Composer
John McClain Executive Producer
Rodney Jerkins Composer, Producer
Nancy Donald Art Direction
Julian Alexander Art Direction
Fred "Uncle Freddie" Jerkins III Composer
Adam Owett Art Direction
Rance Brown Art Direction
Sheri Lee Art Direction
Michael Prince Digital Editing
L. Daniels Composer
Dr. Freeze Composer, Producer
M. Jackson Composer
B. Bottrell Composer, Producer
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