I don’t know if Michael Jackson was a goodie or a baddie.
I really have no idea.
But so much of his story, to be honest, makes me feel funny.
And it has affected his legacy.
I know this because, when I was looking for a great live version of my favourite Michael Jackson song this week.
I stopped looking.
Because I felt better about a studio version.
With no video.
Which is unusual for me.
To not want see a live performance.
What a strange feeling!
But I’ve always really loved ‘Human Nature’ from his 1983, Thriller album.
And I still do.
I don’t think much else sounds like this.
Before or since.
So here it is: https://www.50odd.co.uk/human/.
If you like George, please go here: https://www.50odd.co.uk/intimate/.
Please watch this full screen.
With the sound up high.
When you have 4 uninterrupted minutes.
This is an intimate, wobbly, amateur IPhone recording of George Michael on the 17th of September 2012.
Singing live in Birmingham.
It is one single shot.
With no snazzy visual or audio post production.
And I love how you see George telling one of the stories he wrote so beautifully.
And so well.
With the conductor’s hand at George’s side.
I think that the intimacy comes from being raw, vulnerable and true.
Something that I will strive to achieve when I restart my Always Wear Red storytelling in September.
I prefer real.
And so do consumers.
And that’s why I prefer this George Michael film to the rather more polished and better edited official SYMPHONICA version.
I love how we see George here.
To me, a genius.
On Christmas Day.
Please go here for your official Monday Morning Chicken Head Music Experience: https://www.50odd.co.uk/chicken-head-music/.
Chicken Head Music.
You know the kind.
Music that makes your head bob back and forth like a chicken.
(But – normally – only if no one’s looking).
Lost In Music.
This tune is particularly potent on a Monday morning.
So here we go.
Surely this has to be one of the most uplifting tunes ever?
Because of the guitar riff.
And the simple, memorable melody.
And the drums and bass coming in and out so the dynamic shifts.
And because of the quality of Kathy Sledge’s voice and how all voices are layered.
And the fashion and the dancing.
And Kathy’s smile!
Chicken head music at it’s greatest.
Grab your coffee… AND DANCE!
Have a read of this one here please: https://www.50odd.co.uk/quality/.
Rihanna and Eminem are two of the biggest names in the world.
How in earth does this happen to some people?
And not others?
Like all great brands it starts with the quality of the offering.
If it’s not excellent – don’t bother.
The whole package.
And these two are just bloody brilliant.
I used to LOVE ‘The Word’.
That thing with Terry Christian at the helm.
The twitching Mancunian.
I used to LOVE ‘The Word’ even though.
When measured against traditional ideas of television programmes at the time.
Like presenters being able to speak.
And remember lines.
And know which camera to look at.
It was shite.
Tiswas was the same.
Chris Tarrant and Sally James and Lenny Henry.
Just mucking about.
Teaching children that being unstructured and off-the-wall and messy and a little bit naughty and spontaneous is OK.
(In fact it’s not just OK.
It’s what children are for).
Vic and Bob
Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer were the same.
Nailing teddy bears to walls.
Frightening a bald man with chives.
I am not sure of the exact formula for Shite-But-Good.
But the framework for successful Shite-But-Good definitely contains:
- Being restlessly and endlessly creative.
- Running at ideas as opposed to analysing them (literally) to their death.
- Not giving a shit what people think.
- Doing things for the first time.
- Doing what you enjoy.
- Being happy.
- Being in a good team of like minded people.
- Being brave.
- Failing and being OK with failing.
- Not judging.
Give it a go.
You’ll love it.
And by the way.
A band called OASIS made their TV debut on The Word.
On the 18th of March 1994.
With a tune called Supersonic.
Here it is (https://www.50odd.co.uk/shite-but-good/):
This is the first time I ever heard Sam Smith sing.
It just kept getting better.
‘Still does (go here: https://www.50odd.co.uk/sam/):
You’ll need to go here for this one: https://www.50odd.co.uk/pressure/
This is Annie Lennox and David Bowie singing ‘Under Pressure’ at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert in 1992:
And this is Annie Lennox and David Bowie practicing for it.
A few days before.
David was pretty relaxed.
And smoking a tab.
Many great tunes start very, very quietly.
Great brands are like this, too.
Great brands slowly draw people in.
They get you to lean in.
They take you with them.
Great tunes show restraint as well.
They’re not showy just for the sake of being showy.
Just because they can be.
We know that Christina Aguilera can hit and hold the high notes as well as anyone in the whole wide world.
But in ‘Say Something’ by ‘A Great Big World and Christine Aguilera’
We wait for it, of course.
We lean in.
But it doesn’t come.
And that’s as it should be.
Because great tunes.
And they are doing it on purpose.
So we lean in.
Be really brilliant.
But show restraint too.
And go slow.
Because if you re worth waiting for.
And in the meantime.
Make us lean in.
And before you know it.
And before we know it.
You’ll have us.
Go here: https://www.50odd.co.uk/lean-in/.
50odd is 1 year old today.
I’m 1 year in to writing 1 story each day.
For 10 years.
Thanks for sticking around if you’ve been here for all 365 stories.
Thanks for joining if you jumped on board part way through.
I’ll continue to write just for me.
And if it resonates.
And if not.
Thanks for being here for a while.
Anyhow, to continue my self indulgence.
Here is Chester Bennington looking, sounding and being brilliant.
Less than a year before, aged 41, killing himself in 2017.
There is, I think, a little internal battle going on when he sings this.
Especially around 2 minutes and 25 seconds.
A battle he lost.
When you have your battles.
As you and I will have had in this last 365 days.
Be kinder to yourself.
Life is hard enough sometimes.
You can do without you making it harder.
To so much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free
Go here: https://www.50odd.co.uk/365-2/
My Saturday morning is echoing with this.
I heard it last night and was reminded how good the song is.
How good the lyrics are.
And how great his voice is – live.