Retrospective: Michael Jackson In The 80's

By @TrueGodImmortal and @SpeedontheBeat

Introduction By @TrueGodImmortal
-A few weeks ago, we took a look back at the enigmatic Prince and his historical run during the 80's.  There had been nothing quite like Prince and his run during the 80's, nor was there a bigger star than Prince in the 80's. Except one man. That man is Michael Jackson. Michael was truly special during this decade and there's nothing that compared to him. While we could put a ton of focus on his music, which is only two solo albums and two group albums (though one could say he was a part of the 2300 Jackson Street album as well), there was so much more that defined Michael Jackson in the 80's. Today, we take a look at Michael Jackson in the 80's and what impact he had overall. Let's get into it.

*The Jacksons- Triumph (1980)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-This is the first stop on the journey of Michael in the 80's. After a starring turn in the Wiz and a mega hit album in Off The Wall, he came back with his brothers to make what I feel is their best album in the Jacksons era. Michael is of course the strongest here on the album, and he shines extremely bright on the songs "Walk Right Now", "Time Waits For No One", "Everybody", and of course on the big single "Can You Feel It?". The song that always sticks out to me on this album is the classic "This Place Hotel", which is more so regarded as a Michael song than the Jacksons (and often known as "Heartbreak Hotel"). The song is everything we loved from the Off The Wall era Michael, as he effortlessly coasts through the funky production to create something timeless.

What followed the Triumph album was the Triumph tour and a Live album from the Jacksons that was taken from a performance in Pittsburgh. Everything that surrounded Triumph was amazing, and after going through some ups and downs as they transitioned into adulthood, the Jacksons found their footing with this project. I think Triumph is honestly one of the best projects of the early 80's musically, and the word classic certainly fits for it. There's not one bad song on it, it plays through perfectly, and when you have Michael during his most prized era between Off the Wall and Thriller, you can't go wrong. After Triumph, the tour, and the live album. Michael would embark on his greatest journey thus far.

*Thriller (1982)
By @SpeedOnTheBeat

-So, lookie here. Thriller defines a generation (mostly mine, since you still see folks under 50 line up and do the “Thriller” dance, even if it’s not Halloween). Is it the greatest album to come out of this era? Eh… it is debatable, but there’s a little dude in purple riding a motorcycle that might have something to say about that claim. Hell, I don’t even think it’s Michael’s best album, but it's still a classic. Gasp if you want and send all hate messages to @SpeedontheBeat. I’m here for it. It’s a classic album, but there are other albums I personally hold as better than Thriller, mainly because of tracks on Thriller like “The Girl is Mine.” However, again, it’s a classic album (and the fact that a classic isn't even Michael's best album speaks volumes in itself about his ability).

Now that we got the long-ass intro out the way, let’s get into the album. Released three years after my personal favorite Off the Wall (seriously, guys. Go check it out and give it its due. Even with the disco vibes, the album goes), Thriller is a lot more political, angry, and aggressive than his earlier efforts. Additionally, you can tell he just went in the studio like “let’s make some smooth, slightly sociopolitical ish that still gets people up and moving.”

On top of that, seven of the nine tracks on the album were chart-placing singles (and “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” lends itself well to a classic Baltimore Club break). You just don’t see artists really doing that anymore. Yes, I know. The Weeknd and Beyonce and ‘em did similar stuff. But, 7/9 is greater than 5/14 (sorry, my fellow Weeknd fans) for BBTM.

What made Thriller stick out for me is, like Prince’s Dirty Mind or Purple Rain, MJ finally started to feel comfortable, musically, in who he was: a friggin’ legend in the making. On top of that, he was a lot more active behind the boards and with the pen than he’d really ever been. If Off the Wall was MJ’s less-dirty Dirty Mind, in that it comes at a crazy musical time period where he’s starting to show signs of legend, then Thriller is MJ’s Purple Rain.

While they’re both, obviously, incredibly different projects, both have that aura of perfection around the Yes, that's even if Thriller’s aura is a bit more super-pop than Purple’s. Just a bit, because “Purple Rain” epic as its solo is and the lyrics are, it’s still pretty poppy.

Regardless, how can you go wrong with this album? It's the highest selling album of all time and the beginning of the pandemonium that came and changed the life of Michael forever.

*Motown 25 (1983)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-If there was ever an iconic moment in his career that stands the test of time, this is it. Michael had released Thriller to solid success, but I truly think this is one of the biggest moments that pushed the album over the top sales and importance wise. Berry Gordy was celebrating the 25th anniversary of Motown and asked Michael to perform. Michael surprisingly turned him down, and felt he was on TV too much at the time. His album was burning up the charts, he was preparing for more videos to come from his album, and he was just all around busy. However, Michael came to his senses, realizing the performance could become bigger than anything he had done, and his change of heart would come with one condition: he'd do songs with his brothers only if he could get a time slot for a solo performance. Gordy agreed and what followed would be on the biggest moments in music history.

For all the hoopla about Michael's performance, the show itself was honestly something magical. Marvin Gaye gave one of his final performances and a beautiful speech on black music history. Smokey Robinson reunited with the Miracles for another moment etched in music history, Stevie Wonder gave one hell of a show, and The Temptations went toe to toe with The Four Tops in a "Battle of the Bands" style competition, while a hilarious rift between the Supremes on their one night reunion is storied. What a stacked night, right? Every performer there was a legend in their own right, but tonight would be the night that the true legend of Michael Jackson would be born.

As the Jackson 5 began performing, the synergy was back yet again. Jermaine was there, marking his first time performing with his brothers since he left the group, and Michael seemed to be in rare form, though a bit reserved in the performance. He was riding the wave of having the no. 1 song in the US with "Billie Jean", and sure enough, when his time came for his solo shot, that's the song he would go with. As the spotlight shined on Michael and the opening drums of "Billie Jean" played, he got in formation. On his hand, a sequined glove. On his head, a fedora. On his back? A black sequined jacket. He stood in a perched stance, and moved to the beat, creating the iconic portrait that is synonymous with "Billie Jean" and the opening of the song now.

Throughout the performance, Michael pointed, he danced, he walked around the stage with a certain aura and confidence, and as he was commanding the stage, he got ready for one of the final breakdowns of the song. He would spin, stand on his toes (a feat that's certainly impossible unless you're Michael Jackson at the time), and then Moonwalk, using his body and force to walk backwards. The instant response from the crowd and the world that would eventually watch it catapulted Michael into a status that he would never relinquish. It was the crowning achievement in his career at that moment from a performance standpoint, and it remains one of his biggest moments, not just in the 80's, but his entire career.

*The Thriller Music Video (1983)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-December 2, 1983. That is a day forever etched in Michael Jackson history. His song "Thriller" carried a horror vibe to it, and with the production, combined with the lyrics, Michael wanted to do something special for the video. He employed John Landis to do the job, and the result is yet another iconic accomplishment for Michael. The true basis and reason for the video? His drive for having the biggest album in the world seemed to be the fuel for this video, as he watched sales of Thriller begin to decline. He would frantically place calls to his manager and label reps to figure out what he could do to keep the album going. The idea became to make something scary based on this particular song, and after Landis agreed to do it (which was groundbreaking in itself), Michael and company went to work.

The video is essentially a short film, and it would be released as a world premiere video on MTV, making it an event in itself. The video is truly silly in essence, starting off with Michael and his girlfriend walking together, until he turns into a werewolf and chases her. This then leads us to a movie theater, as Michael and his girlfriend are shown watching the scene unfold in a movie titled "Vincent Price's Thriller". Michael's girlfriend is truly scared of the film, but Michael is enjoying it, and he creates an iconic scene as he eats his popcorn (that's been a GIF for a while now), before having to leave and catch up to his girl, who has walked out of the theater now. This is where the real fun begins in the video, and where the music begins.

As Michael and his girl walk down a foggy road, he begins to tease her by singing the verses of Thriller, until the undead start to rise and we reach the height of the video: zombies dancing. The undead begin to catch up with Michael and his girl (those are some fast zombies I guess), and eventually they have the two cornered. The hilarity starts here, as Michael then randomly turns to a zombie and begins dancing with the zombies, but then he goes back to his regular human form. This is where the dance moves and the "Thriller Dance" was born during the sequence where Michael and the zombies dance until his girl attempts to run for cover (Michael conveniently turns back into a zombie). Michael and the zombies begin to chase after his girlfriend and soon enough, there's nowhere for her to go (these really are some fast zombies).

Just as she's about to reach her doom with the zombies, she wakes up and realizes it was just a bad nightmare. He reaches out to her and they get ready to leave, but not before he turns around to reveal his eyes, which are back to his werewolf/cat like shape. The video at its core is not necessarily scary or terrifying, but it captures all the elements of a horror film, combines it with music, some great choreography, and a lot of makeup. The video broke barriers and won Michael awards for this as well. Michael would end up setting a new fashion trend also, as his red jacket would become a big deal due to the video. Michael could do no wrong with this video, and the effect it's had on music since it released is truly amazing. He pioneered a new wave of music videos, a new wave of expression, and crowned him the true King at the time.

The legacy of this video lives on forever, and it is registered in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, a feat that has never been duplicated since. The dance from this video also remains a Halloween festivity that people partake in every year. In my opinion, if we're talking about all time greatest music videos, then Thriller is no. 1 and it's not even close. It's really the greatest piece of video work ever.

*Victory and The Victory Tour (1984)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-Michael was nearing the end of his tenure with his brothers. He knew he had to break away from them and continue on his solo journey. However, at the behest of his father, who probably felt the rest of the family should benefit off of Michael’s success, the Jacksons embarked on a new album and tour, titled Victory. Michael would only appear on about 3 songs on this album, and while this was a rather underwhelming project, the tour didn't disappoint. It was the final tour for Michael and his brothers, and it allowed Michael to go out and perform the Jackson hits, as well as the Thriller hits that he didn't get to tour for. I've always wondered why Michael never really created the Thriller tour, but regardless, the Victory Tour was his chance to present those songs to the world live.

The Victory Tour wound up as a big success, and Michael would walk away from his brothers and their work together as the biggest star in the world. This tour proved it. What's not often reflected on is the impact Michael had as the biggest pop star in the world at the time. He was one of the most recognizable names in the world at the time, women loved him and would faint anytime that he approached them or even got close. Some even fainted from just seeing him on TV. I guess being the biggest superstar in the world comes with some perks. When you see older tape and more of the performances from this period, it was evident who the biggest singer in the world was. Michael was in a class of his own, and as he walked away from The Jacksons, he had set his legacy up to continue. Michael had toured. Made group albums and successful solo albums. I think he wanted more success though, and that would manifest itself in future endeavors.

*Business Deals And Endorsements (1983-1986)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-Michael was becoming more business savvy by the day. He was already the highest paid artist in the game, receiving 37% of the profit per record, a feat that hasn't been matched for a solo artist. After securing the highest royalty rate, Michael began receiving a number of endorsement deals, one of which would change his life in some way. In addition to his endorsement and advertising deals with LA Gear, Suzuki, Sony, and a few others, nothing is more infamous than his Pepsi deal. The first deal was cut with his brothers, and they began to shoot a commercial. An accident occurred as the pyro during the shooting of the commercial burned Michael's scalp and he was taken to the hospital. In a bit of irony, one of the more popular photos in his career is him waving to the crowd as he's on a stretcher with his head bandaged. After the Pepsi deal, many expected Michael not to work with them again, but he would eventually sign another endorsement deal for twice the amount that he had before. This time there were no pyro accidents.

One thing that began intriguing Michael was the publishing side of the music business. It's one side of the business that doesn't often get publicized, but in that day and age, publishing was the key to royalties and money. He would begin to look into buying ATV Music Publishing, which had many, many songs that would earn for him, including a majority of the Beatles catalog. He placed a bid of 47.5 million and eventually closed the deal. Now that may seem to be very expensive considering most of the songs included were old, but they would prove to be earners and a solid investment for Michael, likely his biggest and smartest investment in general. Imagine that. A black artist, with the highest royalty rate of 37% and ownership of a huge publishing catalog that's sure to bring in the money. While Michael is revered for his music, his business sense and savvy is truly top notch.

*We Are The World (1985)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-This would be a huge deal in 1985, as Michael and Lionel Richie worked together to create an anthem to promote peace and love. I'm not a big fan of the song itself, but it's a big moment in the career of Michael. They helped to gather some of the biggest artists in the world at the time and sing together about making the world a better place and much brighter for all to see. This was in response to the disastrous famine taking place in Africa, and they would raise 63 million from this song (though I honestly couldn't tell you how much actually went to helping out Africa). The song would sell 20 million copies, a feat that is damn near impossible these days and was very very seldom back then. Though this isn't his biggest moment of his 80's, it is certainly up there.

*Captain EO ( 1986)
By @SpeedOnTheBeat

-QUICK! Name a movie that Francis Coppola and George Lucas collaborated on. Give up? Fuck it (ah, there’s my first one of the day) and let’s get into Captain EO.

A 17-minute Epcot and Tomorrowland presentation that evolved, like most Jackson things do, into this crazy-ass cult phenomenon, EO tells the story of Michael Jackson pretty much playing Cowboy Bebop meets Space Thunder Kids meets Glee. Jackson’s intro is kind of badass, even though his crew is fucking annoying as hell. But, what was with the 80's and “cute” talking creature things? Fuck! Just because Snarf was kind of useful doesn’t mean that we need those damned things in the whole decade.

Oh, where was I? So, Jackson and the rejects from Fraggle Rock are piloting through space, waging war against people who don’t want them to deliver their package (oh, did I forget that? Well, the crew’s been tagged to deliver the package to someone called “The Supreme Leader,” played by Morticia Addams herself, Anjelica Huston). There are a cool couple of Star Wars references within the space fights (hi George. We know you made people choke each other with their minds and slice each other with laser things).

But, after EO and ‘em crash-land, they’re charged with, still, getting to The Supreme Leader. We get more sidekick bullshit and MJ trying to look badass. It’s some really schmaltzy shit, like straight out of those old-school sci-fi films. For that, I’ve got to fuck with it.

…until you see The Supreme Leader looking like some weird mix between a Kraang, an old-school XBOX controller, Rita Repulsa, and Giant Rei from Eva. Of course, this leads to EO saying she’s beautiful (because women are conceited creatures, apparently). This then leads to some MJ musical craziness that also goes all Voltron for no reason other than, you know, MJ in a sci-fi movie in the ‘80s. After shit gets real, MJ gets the power, starts going Super Saiyan (because, again, MJ) and we get a pretty cool DITC track, “We Are Here to Change the World.”

And then MJ—I mean, EO, starts fighting Power Rangers villains with the power of song energy. Or something. I don’t know, I kinda zoned out when the little bird thing stopped the villain things from beating the crap out of EO. After he gets his groove back, EO and his army of dancing machines blow the fuck out of everything and turn The Supreme Leader into, well, Anjelica Huston because, again, women are conceited and we only like women who appeal to the European standard of beauty. Or, you know, it’s a logical conclusion for a movie about shooting fucking rock lasers out of your hands to make things pretty and alive to have its protagonist “save” its antagonist and make her pretty.

To close out the movie, we get an early mix of “Another Part of Me” while everyone dances in some sort of Greek paradise. So, overall? This movie is fucking bonkers as hell. I mean, it fulfills what it should for being an EPCOT/Tomorrowland attraction. Lots of flashy shit, lots of hokey high-energy situation, and (apparently) a buttload of lasers. Is it bad? Ehhhh…I laughed my ass off at the insanity more than I was pissed at it. But it could always get worse, I guess? Yes, it could. You’ll see.

Oh, believe me…you’ll see.

*Bad (1987)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-This is my favorite Michael album. Period. Granted, based on when I was born, this is also the first Michael album I listened to and experienced (as well as the Moonwalker video.... which Speed will likely shit on in the next section...), and even today I still love it. It is a more aggressive side of Michael, along with letting his creativity shine, the results of what occurs when your fame reaches the highest level possible and you're searching for more still. The topics on Bad range from salacious groupies to the media tabloids to love to self-worth and appreciation, with other elements sprinkled in between. Bad features Michael at his most involved in the writing process and it shines through, as I feel like he sounds his most comfortable on this album.

The title track is still epic, as Michael sings a song that he intended to be for him and Prince, but the story there is truly too long to go into here (aka: keep reading). While I'm not a big fan of "Speed Demon", I do have to admit, it carries a certain energy and dark creativity about it that Michael would explore in later projects. I think what truly captivated me about this album was that it's the most rebellious album from Michael. It feels like he's looking at himself, the world, and asking them all to improve and be better, while shining a light on the good to influence greater. Songs like the iconic "Man In The Mirror" and "Another Part of Me" felt like huge anthems sung beautifully by the King. "Man In The Mirror" is especially one of my favorite songs from Michael, as the stars align for something special when this plays. From the lyrics to the production to the choir in the background to his breakdown of his vocals near the end, everything about this song is perfect.

I've always been a fan of the smooth sounds of "Liberian Girl", which is one of the more often sampled songs of Michael in his career. The epic rhythm of "The Way You Make Me Feel", coupled with the video also made it special. That's another thing about this album that was special: the music videos. While Off the Wall didn't have an emphasis on videos, and Thriller only had a few videos and and epic mini movie, Bad would release almost every song as a single with a video attached to it. The rockstar aggression displayed in the "Dirty Diana" video, the chase of the girl he wanted in "The Way You Make Me Feel", the sea of people and images he used for the "Man In The Mirror", the strange video for "Leave Me Alone", the epic clash in the video for the title track, the celebrity laced video for "Liberian Girl", and of course, who could forget the iconic video for "Smooth Criminal". That's the thing about Michael: everything he does is a production and with Bad, he crafted one of the greatest albums ever and in my opinion, his best.

What I also love about Bad? The leftover songs. Michael was in his prime musically, from a writing standpoint to a singing standpoint. The songs that didn't make the actual standard release of the album are all amazing. "Fly Away", "Price of Fame", "Streetwalker", "I'm So Blue", these are all flawless songs and if you're not familiar, I suggest you take a listen. With the release of Bad, and over 39 million copies sold worldwide, Michael enforced his status as the biggest artist in the entire world. Nothing or no one could stop him it seemed. He could do no wrong at this point (aside from Captain EO).

*Moonwalker (1988)
By @SpeedOnTheBeat

-Well, he could do no wrong, except when it came to film. Honestly, this is a pretty self-loving project. It’s…difficult to really process Moonwalker without knowing it's a really weird collection of MJ’s Bad videos tied together—very, very loosely—with some sort of weird-ass narrative about MJ saving the kids through transformation or some sort.

Anyway, our film opens with “Man in the Mirror.” It’s more so MJ singing in front of a crowd while we’re given images of Jesus, MLK, African children, and Gandhi. Nothing really to say about this section other than “ok, MJ we get it. You’re the King of Pop and your music potentially can heal the world.” But, “Man in the Mirror” holds a special place in my heart because, during my college years, one of my favorite bars would play it when it was closing time. Ah, so many beer-drenched memories.

Next, we get a film-within-a-film, taking the audience through the J5 days all the way up until Bad. Now, I’ll be honest. If we’re here, watching a Michael Jackson film called Moonwalker, I’d like to think it’s pretty safe to assume we know who Michael Joseph Jackson is. I’d like to think we know his story. Is it great to hear some of the lesser-known MJ and Jackson tracks? Yeah. Did we need this to take up a pretty large chunk of the “movie” without adding anything new, other than a ton of MJ performing? I'd say no.

After this, we get the “Badder” video. It’s kids performing the “Bad” video. It’s fucking adorable. Nothing bad to say about it. Besides, folks like Bilal appeared in it as kids. So, yeah. Anything that has Bilal attached gets my vote of confidence. The dialogue is hokey as hell. But, you get Bilal and a bunch of other kids reenacting “Bad.” This one gets a “yes.” Good work.

…and then we go into the “Speed Demon” video. Uhh…go get some coke and watch this one. It’s like what’d happen if a Wile E. Coyote cartoon got mixed with Bugs Bunny then got tossed together with Ren and Stimpy with a side of Morel Orel for good measure because why not. Yeah, just get your lines ready, because this is going to be a crazy-ass ride for the rest of it.

If you’ve seen the “Leave Me Alone” video, you know what I mean. Why? Because that’s our next segment. And from here, we go all badass with the “Smooth Criminal” segment of the movie. Kids aplenty. A dog runs off. Michael and a girl (is that Annie?) stumble upon The Foot Clan, as led by Joe Pesci. This gang is hellbent on hooking everyone on drugs and wants to blow MJ’s brains out because he and Little White Girl (LWG) found out their secret.

So, LWG goes to hide while MJ runs like all hell. Why not, right? Leave the Black guy to run against dogs and shit while you hide. But, then shit gets incredibly drug-needing. Michael Jackson turns into fucking KITT. Yep. This motherfucker goes full Animorphs and turns into a car, drives away from the gang, and meets up with the kids. Strange? Sure, but it continues from there.

…someone just get me to the “Smooth Criminal” video. It’s one of the greatest videos of all-time. It’s art. It’s something you just shut your ass up and watch it. You don’t say shit. You watch the video and partake in GAWD-level awesome. Until…the gangmembers come to the club. MJ pulls out a tommy gun and starts trying to blow holes in everything moving. So, lemme get this straight. The man who’s trying to heal the world, he’s now trying to, and pardon me for this, put holes in niggas because…uhhh… someone help me out with this one. It makes no sense, but does it need to? Probably not. It's entertaining at least.

LWG gets kidnapped. MJ goes to find her (duh). Joe Pesci beats on the kid and the gang beats on MJ. But, then MJ hits his Captain EO powers and goes all G Gundam on our asses. Then he turns into a Robotech to major lazer the fuck out of Joe Pesci. After doing so, he leaves. He leaves the kids in some random-ass Hell-meets-Tron wasteland and he flies away on…himself?

After this happened, the kids decide to head back home, they meet up with MJ (?), and MJ performs “Come Together” after the kids randomly seem to get hit with a Quartz Gun of some sorts (see, now this fucking thing’s got me referencing Eureka 7: AO. It’s a monster that should be killed with fire). Closing out the movie, we get some behind-the-scenes stuff and a shortened version of “Smooth Criminal.”

So…was it really that bad? On the right combination of drugs, this is the greatest movie ever. I mean, you see MJ turn into a goddamned Transformer-meets-Eva unit. You see the most mind-boggling visuals in “Leave Me Alone” and “Speed Demon.” You get to see purple Michael Jackson dolls dance and sing Jackson 5 songs and a proto-Amber Ro—I mean, a proto-Svedka robot dancing to, what else, “Dancing Machine.”

Back to Moonwalker. Again, on the right type of drugs, it’s the greatest movie ever. Sober, though? It’s a confusingly bad mesh of story wrapped around some Bad songs. Nothing more, nothing less. I’ve seen worse vanity projects. But, it’s still pretty crappy. I’ll say it like this: I’d rather watch what’s, apparently, a worse vanity project, Graffiti Bridge, than watch this horrible acid trip.

The music is great. The autobiography of the same name was enjoyable to read. However, this film? Not exactly. Michael mastered music, dance, and he would master business also, but film was the one thing he didn't and couldn't master. Of all his great accomplishments in the decade, these film endeavors are his only failures.

*The Bad World Tour (1987-1988)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-I feel this is the biggest tour of all time. Bigger than the Triumph tour of course and even bigger than the Victory Tour, which was huge. 123 shows. 125 million dollars earned from the tour. If you add inflation to that, that would be 240 million in 2016. Insane. From Tokyo to London to Australia to all the way back home in the United States, Michael put on a show like no other. It would be his first solo world tour and he wouldn't disappoint at all with it. What sticks out about it in this case is the fact that Michael donated time, money, and effort into the children's foundations and charities, utilizing his celebrity to shine a light on important causes. The fact that Michael was the biggest star in the world at the time when he did this tour led to a ton of sell out crowds and more importantly, a lot of fainting. Everywhere he went, Michael would have fans, mostly females, faint in front of him and during his performances. It was at that moment that it became obvious that there was NO competition and that Michael was no. 1. Period. The whole world tour served to prove the point and no solidify that Michael was unstoppable. The Bad World Tour is the greatest world tour of all time.

*Feud With Prince (198?)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-This isn't confirmed. And there's no true timetable on it. But there was a feud and getting details on it definitely is hard, if not impossible. Michael had attempted to get Prince on Bad, but Prince declined and that also set off more rumors. Over the years, Prince had taken shots at Michael in a very subtle way, but those close to the two say they've hung out a number of times and even played basketball at Paisley Park. They also were rumored to play a game of ping pong, where Michael didn't know how to really play, so he put his hands up to block the ping pong ball from hitting his face. Imagine that, two of the biggest stars in the world, playing ping pong (or attempting to) and basketball together. Musically, they were miles ahead of the rest of the world, and as usual, the media probably hyped this up more than what it was, but Prince in all honesty, seemed to be a bit more outlandish and some would say insecure when It came to Michael. Michael had a lot of positive things to say about Prince and seemingly supported Prince, but the signs were there that Prince wasn't interested in really working with him (or anyone else really for that matter).

However, Michael and Prince would compete heavily throughout the years secretly. John Landis would mention that Prince showed up to the Thriller premiere, but mostly as a tactic to size up the competition. This is similar to Michael seeing an advance screening of Purple Rain and making a comment that he didn't necessarily like Prince nor his acting. There is the story of Michael inviting Prince to his home, and Prince making a pass at his sister Latoya, along with giving Michael a strange gift, seeking to easily psychologically bother the easily disturbed Michael. There's the story of Prince and Michael having an awkward and uneasy dinner at Quincy Jones' house in Encino. The feud continued behind the scenes and it was apparent that despite a respect for each other as artists, that personally they didn't mesh and we're heavily competing. Michael went so far to say that Prince was trying to put a spell on him. Hilarious now that you think about it.

Prince turned down "We Are The World", which was odd, but I think I'd understand his reasoning considering how he moved in the 80's. The only thing we have of Prince and Michael together in public, was when they were on stage with James Brown together, but that doesn't really count. Michael had moved off stage by the time Prince attempted to do his thing, but that seems to be a starting point of the feud coupled with the success of Thriller and Purple Rain, as some said Prince felt like Michael set him up by calling him up to the stage and putting him on the spot. Regardless, it's a shame that we never got these two legends working together or a tour together. Imagine how big it would have been if egos were put to the side.

*Accolades And Awards (1980-1989)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-The list of awards and accolades that Michael racked up in the 80's is absolutely amazing. He was invited to the White House to win a Humanitarian award, and during the 80's, he would receive a number of American Music Awards, Grammys, MTV Awards, Billboard Awards, Black Gold Awards, an award for entertainer of the decade by Entertainment Tonight, and many, many more. It was that type of dominance that asserted Michael as not only the biggest star of the 80's, but the biggest star of all time. While he would have success in the 70s and the 90's, the run in the 80's can't be compared to anything else we've seen in the history of music. Period.

Outro By @TrueGodImmortal
-Michael Jackson is missed dearly. While we never got to see that epic comeback that was sure to put him back in the forefront, we can still hold onto those memories from the 80's that will forever be etched in history. If you want to define dominance and star power, all you have to do is look to Michael Jackson in the 80's, as he experienced a run like we've never seen before. And never will see again.



  1. loooooooooooove michael jackson this will definetly help with my project on him Thanks and love your article. Period. :)


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