December 2, 2007

[released December 1, 1982]

As some of you may know, I am a December baby, and I distinctly recall my 11th birthday party in 1982 because my aunt Margaret gave me an album with some black fellow reclining in a white suit on the cover. Yes, I typed "album" as it was a vinyl record, one of the few I owned at that time. The others I had plundered from my mom's impressive 70s collection (Styx forever!).

I had no idea who this Michael Jackson character was, and as far as I can remember none of my friends had a copy of what would become a landmark pop culture phenomenon, so I guess for once in my life I was ahead of the curve.

25 years later and I can't help but have a bittersweet reaction to this cover. Michael was a legend and somewhat of a hero to millions of fans. Somewhere along the way he got lost. For the sake of nostalgia, I prefer this youthful and compelling Michael, and just keep in my mind the memory of putting "Thriller" on my turntable for the first time, and listening to the opening of what would become a decade-defining soundscape.

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