Michael Jackson Thoughts

Michael Jackson

As everyone knows, Michael Jackson died last Friday from heart complications in LA.  While i wasn’t shocked by his death, I was amazed by the reaction both by people and the media.  Some of my thoughts:

  1. First off, while it’s nice to see such happy thoughts and words coming out of the media and blogosphere, i can’t believe how everyone has sort of forgotten about the past 15 years of Michael Jackson. I mean, multiple child molestation charges with 13-year old boys.  Whatever the cause of the guilt, do you know anyone who would leave their 12 year old with him alone?
  2. Some Good Articles: There is a great recount of all those stories listed here in Vantity Fair and Ebert has posted a great article that weighs both his greatness and his fragility in a good article here called “The Boy Who Never Gave Up
  3. Thinking about his legacy, he’s definitely one of the best performers of all time – his dancing and on-stage presence seems unparalleled.
  4. While Elvis brought in Rock n’ Roll, i feel that Michael Jackson brought in pop music.  He came to define the 80’s style while adding more production value to music.  To me, he invented the genre “pop”
  5. It’s interesting to see how people react once someone dies.  The immediately become forgiven and can easily take on legendary status.  While that’s ok, i wish more people who feel this way while the artist is alive.  Two months ago nobody was saying how influential MJ was. Then hie dies and everyone in the world starts blabbing off about how influential and transformative he was.  Was he awesome? Yes.  But why didn’t people post how awesome he was before? The same thing happened with Kurt Kobain, Johnny Cash, Elvis and others.  As Chuck Klosterman says (who is an expert on his subject having written Killing Yourself To Live), “You’ll hear nobody stating how influential Boy George is, but the minute he dies it’ll come out with how he was able to break down the gender barriers before anyone else”  And he’s right.  In death, people are no longer people, they become symbols.

Top 20 Albums of All Time

No, i’m not expressing my opinion but rather i want to post a clever algorithm done by Robert The Radish on Y! blog. Robert comes up with a mathematical way to determine the top albums of all time. The list is based on the American market and “Greatest Hits” albums and live albums were not eligible. Here’s how he did it:

“Album Staying Power Value + Sales Value + Critical Rating Value + Grammy Award Value”

  • Sales Value = Sales Multiplier * Staying Power Value
  • Staying Power Value (SPV) is: used CD sales data: In the secondary market you can expect to pay around $9.50 for a copy of Rumours (19 mm sold) by Fleetwood Mac, but you would only pay $1.38 for a copy of Cracked Rear View by Hootie (16 mm sold)
  • Critical acclaim: multiple reviews for each album from a diverse cross section of music magazines, newspapers and music review websites to come up with the average review number. Ratings Value = Sales Value * Rating Multiplier
  • Grammy Award Value and it simply looks at how many Grammy Awards each album has won. This is the least important of the components in our formula

So here’s the list of top 20 albums:

#20. Faith – George Michael
Year: 1987 Units Sold: 10 Million
SPV: $9.19 Rating (Stars): 4 Grammys Won: 1
Calculated value per unit based on the formula: $9.79

#19. Appetite For Destruction – Guns N’ Roses
Year: 1987 Units Sold: 15 Million
SPV: $8.81 Rating (Stars): 4 Grammys Won: 0
Calculated value per unit based on the formula: $9.81
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