Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lovely One

      I've just wrapped up the writing of liner notes for two Jacksons CDs that are being re-issued later this year (Destiny and Triumph) and had a couple of Homer Simpson "Doh!" moments while doing the writing.

1) It blew my mind and made me feel old as hell to realize that Destiny is thirty years old this year.

2) I finally "got" the thematic progression behind the group naming their three consecutive late '70s/early'80s albums Destiny > Triumph > Victory. (Yeah, I'm kinda slow on the uptake sometimes.)

      While I can't talk too much about the liner notes I turned in, I think Sony will be cool with me simply saying that going back to revisit the songs made it clear that Mike was engaged in some heavy "foreshadowing." Not just in terms of the longed-for utopia that he and his brothers repeatedly sang about and that would become a dominant theme in Mike's songwriting during his solo career, but also for pulling back the curtains on the demons that were already nudging him.

From "That's What You Get (For Being Polite)":

Jack still cries day and night
Jack's not happy with his life
He wants to do this
He wants to do that
You want to be kind
But end up flat
For love, for love

He tries so hard to give a lot
He wants to be what he is not...

And from "Bless His Soul":

I try to do what's right for me
But no one sees the way I see
And then I try to please them so
But how far can this pleasing go

      Immersed in the music of the two CDs, I was reminded all over again of the brilliance and promise of Mike and his brothers. Destiny and Triumph stomp ninety-percent of what's out now. Easily. And that's kinda depressing for a host of reasons. But check out these old videos and "remember the time." I also tossed in one at the end that is just for laughs.

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