Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Do you remember your first Walkman?

The Late Michael Jackson was making top ten records long before i was born, both as a member of the Jackson five and also as a solo artist. Since I was old enough to remember I've been in love with the music that came from his creativity and the dance moves and routines that always had every vein in your body itching to just move. Many times I even tried to copy them, didn’t we all.

The first tracks I listened to on my walkman, were Michael Jackson tracks and I'll never forget the joy that came with enjoying sounds from my own personal music player, my love for technology and music infused in that instant. The Walkman was a revolutionary device in the days before the design office at apple were in full swing, but it wasn’t fun losing your cassette tapes, or having it "borrowed" by your numerous cousins, only to never be seen again. In an era where there were no mobile phones and personal computers, the cassette was a top form of entertainment .

Sony introduced the walkman in 1980, to great applause, although it didn’t stop the B-boys and hip hopers from carrying their boom boxes, it finally meant you could listen to your cassettes in your own privacy, the walkman is an iconic symbol, and had a dramatic influence on the music industry. However the technology swiftly moved on to CD’s and portable CD players came along soon after. The form factor of the actual CD’s made the portable CD players larger than the original walkman, making it bulky and less attractive to users although it had much better sound quality.

Before the walkman we always used to rock to the "bad" album on my fathers LP player, dancing around madly in the living room trying not to break anything. It was also the most common music played at all the birthday parties I went to, the dancing competitions were always held spellbound by the sounds of Michael, and everyone trying to do their best impression, yeah "Who's bad!". Parents smiling and thinking my son can dance, but of course he's going to grow up to be a doctor one day. Fast forward many years and I remember buying the CD of the Invincible album while I was at university. I was older and technology had changed dramatically but the world still had Michael, and although he too was trying to evolve just the same, many of his fans felt he didn’t really have to and loved him just the way he was. Now I listen to him on my laptop and MP3 player, his sound, timeless, no matter the year, and no matter the technology platform. As children today nod their heads to tracks the Jackson five made decades ago and as we all reminisce about the first time we saw the thriller video, his voice remains a part of our history and our life's story.

Old and young, sharing the same moment, like " Do you remember the time when bad was an absolute thriller and it didn’t matter if you were black or white, when MJ said beat it you actually got up and ensured that there would be blood on the dance floor because he absolutely rocked your world just like a smooth criminal and you let out a scream because of the way he makes you feel but you don’t wanna be starting something since its just human nature and you cant stop till you get enough and although they didn’t really care about us, we say say say we are the world and we cant just stop loving you, and for all the joyful memories, you are not alone".

With all that divides us, the love of music has the power to unite us and inspire us to defy the odds and get our voice heard. This is what Michael did, with his words and his songs, he brought many around the world together, no matter their backgrounds he tried to heal the world. Michael Jackson would always be remembered for his many achievements, his contributions to the worldwide music industry and for inspiring many countless musicians all over the world. For all his hard work, his music will live forever in our hearts , MP3 players. And hard drives. It will be played at countless more parties honoring my children and even perhaps my grandchildren's birthdays. "Hey Kids, listen to this one, grandpa used to dance to this when he was your age, you're going to love it".

Thank you Michael,

May your soul rest in peace.

Michael Jackson (29th August 1958 - 25th June 2009)

Michael jacksons U.S top ten's
* 1971: "Got to Be There" #4
* 1972: "Rockin Robin" #2
* 1972: "Ben" #1
* 1979: "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" #1
* 1980: "Rock With You" #1
* 1980: "Off The Wall" #10
* 1980: "She's Out Of My Life" #10
* 1983: "The Girl Is Mine" (with Paul McCartney) #2
* 1983: "Billie Jean" #1
* 1983: "Beat It" #1
* 1983: "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" #5
* 1984: "Human Nature" #7
* 1984: "P.Y.T." #10
* 1984: "Say Say Say" (with Paul McCartney) #1
* 1984: "Thriller" #4
* 1985: "We Are The World" #1
* 1987: "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (with Siedah Garrett) #1
* 1987: "Bad" #1
* 1988: "The Way You Make Me Feel" #1
* 1988: "Man In The Mirror" #1
* 1988: "Dirty Diana" #1
* 1989: "Smooth Criminal" #7
* 1991: "Black or White" #1
* 1992: "Remember The Time" #3
* 1992: "In The Closet" #6
* 1993: "Will You Be There" #7
* 1995: "Scream"(with Janet Jackson) #5
* 1995: "You Are Not Alone" #1
* 2001: "You Rock My World" #10

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