Thriller: The Musical Life of Michael Jackson

Thriller: The Musical Life of Michael Jackson

4.0 6
by Nelson George
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

From legendary hip-hop and R&B journalist Nelson George, the definitive chronicle of the bestselling album of all timeSee more details below

Overview

From legendary hip-hop and R&B journalist Nelson George, the definitive chronicle of the bestselling album of all time

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kirkus, May 2010
“[A] reverent—but not wholly uncritical—blend of memoir, music journalism and pop sociology to commemorate the untimely death of the controversial but immensely gifted pop icon…A worthy postmortem tribute that admirably avoids both easy sensationalism and knee-jerk sentimentalism.”

Booklist, June 2010
“A brief if heartfelt assessment of Jackson’s career and life…George reappraises his own earlier writings about Jackson and reinvestigates the incredible work ethic that defined Jackson and producer Quincy Jones in the days when they produced Thriller…As one would expect from George, the narrative goes beyond surface concerns…George’s analysis and insight are laudable…A more than useful retrospective on the man and his music.”
 

Milwaukee Shepherd Express, 6/24/10
“[George] offers many penetrating insights in the space of this succinct biography”
 

Newsweek, 6/25/10
Thriller is like having a refreshing and fascinating conversation with a man who’s spent far more time thinking about Jackson’s music than his demons.”

Kirkus Reviews
A sympathetic revisiting of the King of Pop's rich musical legacy. In 1983, writes noted music critic and memoirist George (City Kid: A Writer's Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success, 2009, etc.), "Dell published my first book, The Michael Jackson Story, a pocket-sized quickie biography of the singer" that capitalized on his unprecedented success. Fittingly, the author now offers this reverent-but not wholly uncritical-blend of memoir, music journalism and pop sociology to commemorate the untimely death of the controversial but immensely gifted pop icon. George traces his own memories of the Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson's solo career, both as a live act and through the recordings, while growing up in '70s Brooklyn. He depicts the rise of the Jackson family from working-class Gary, Ind., as partly stemming from patriarch Joe Jackson's own frustrated ambitions as a musician. George expertly examines important turning points in Jackson's career, including the profound influence of disco (Saturday Night Fever, especially) on his work, leading to the smash album Off the Wall in 1979, which set the stage for the paradigm-shifting 1982 breakthrough, Thriller. That album's barrier-breaking influence opened doors for not only black performers but African-Americans as a whole. (George posits the success of Thriller as a catalyst for the rise to power of Oprah, and even Barack Obama.) The author helpfully acknowledges the behind-the-scenes session players and producers who kept the Jackson juggernaut rolling for so long-most importantly, Thriller mastermind Quincy Jones. But George also considers the downside of Thriller's runaway success. Jackson's newly inflated commercial ambitions, among other things, led to the infamous Pepsi ad rehearsal during which the performer's hair caught fire, an incident that may have begun his longtime addiction to painkillers. Sadly, the post-Thriller era ushered in the weirdly "eccentric" side of Jackson, which ultimately led to bad business deals, failed marriages and ignominious sex scandals. A worthy postmortem tribute that admirably avoids both easy sensationalism and knee-jerk sentimentalism.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306819070
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
06/08/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,051,640
File size:
0 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >