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Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson Hardcover – 1 Oct 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (1 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402779380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402779381
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 20.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JOSEPH VOGEL is the author of three books. He writes about popular music and culture for The Huffington Post and PopMatters and lives in New York.

Product Description

Review

"The many fans of the King of Pop are going to love this book. Huffington Post writer Vogel began it in 2005, long before Michael Jackson's untimely death, and he wisely focuses on the music and groundbreaking recordings of Jackson's solo career. Scandals and eccentricities are relegated to the background in this critical musical analysis, which will delight even the most knowledgeable Jackson fan. Each track on each record, fr om 1979's Off the Wallthrough 2001's Invincible, including posthumously released recordings, gets a thorough analysis, with listings of the involved writers, producers, and musicians. There is plenty of contextual biographical detail, and Vogel describes the cultural and political backdrop that makes Jackson's achievements all the more remarkable. VERDICT A thoroughly enjoyable analysis of the music and life of the most popular musician of an era."--"Library Journal ""Vogel produced a smart...study of Jackson's creativity and legacy. He achieves moments of intimacy and insight: a glimpse of Jackson, an ambitious perfectionist. Vogel occasionally undermines his hard work by giving Jackson a makeover as a romantic hero rather than a celebrity. Readers will enjoy."- "Publishers Weekly "

About the Author

Joseph Vogel writes about popular culture, music and politics for The Huffington Post. He has been featured in numerous newspaper, radio and TV interviews, including Democracy Now! And the award-winning documentary This Divided State. He currently resides in upstate New York where he teaches and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Rochester.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Constance on 19 Oct 2011
Format: Hardcover
Scholars, fans, and even on-the-fence doubters will find Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson by Huffington Post writer Joseph Vogel, not only an enthralling read, but a gateway into a revised and truer perception of one of the most mysterious and massively influential artists of our time.

Vogel skillfully guides the reader through the remarkable chapters of Jackson's professional career, fully capturing the cultural vibe of the `80s and `90s, while analyzing the particularities of Jackson's creative process from inception to aesthetic fulfillment. It seems the author desires to move beyond exclusively "preaching to the choir" of Jackson's loyal fan base, and has an even more expansive and restorative intention in mind.

Vogel's narrative unfolds in a unique album-by-album mode, so Jackson's career is revealed through intricately woven stories that are chronologically linked with the creation of his music. This odyssey reminds one of a mythic "hero's journey," as it evokes the visceral emotion of artistic conquest. Throughout the process, Vogel explicates Jackson's music, performance art, cinematic short films, and aesthetic incarnations, as well as exploring Jackson's myriad eclectic influences.

The book's success is due, in large part, to a trilogy of strengths the author possesses as an academic scholar and also a writer on popular culture. Vogel manages to fuse a penchant for research with an engaging gift of journalistic storytelling. Rare, however, is the sense of spiritual exegesis he also provides. This literary alchemy gives the reader an entirely fresh and valuable comprehension of Jackson as a culturally transformative artist. Vogel's book also illuminates the voluminous breadth, depth and influence of his artistic oeuvre.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By BAZ316 on 11 Oct 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't yet finished reading this,but it's clear this is the book i was hoping for. It's a great in depth look at the man's music,his albums and the tracks on them. There's a fair bit of talk at the start of the book to remind us of how important he was,not just to his fans,but to the world of music. This really would be a different shaped world without his impact on it,the imprint he left behind is indelible. After giving a decent take on each album,the author goes into each track and gives us his view on what makes this particular track worthy of the praise fans heap upon it. When i heard about this as an upcoming book,i considered it a really exciting idea,not only is it not just another book on MICHAEL JACKSON,it is a book on his music and why it touched so many,not just that it did.
Each track's detailed look not only goes into the lyrical side of it,but the musical side too,pointing out just what was achieved. MICHAEL didn't just make music,he perfected it.
This book really isn't strctly for fans,where as the auther is clearly a great lover of his music,it's written is such a style as to include everyone's interest rather than just that of his millions of fans.
So finally a book that takes a closer look inside the music that came from unquestionably a genius in his own right,someone who earned the title KING OF POP. If you want a book that takes a close look at the man,i recommend JERMAINE's book,if however you want a book that takes a fair insight into what each much loved track actually gives it's listeners,this is it!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Maryon on 24 Oct 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joe Vogel has achieved something Michael Jackson would be proud of and would have endorsed had he still been with us. In many interviews Michael Jackson was at a loss as to why the interviewer was more interested in tittle tattle than the content of his music. Well here we have it.

This is a book for all music lovers, Michael Jackson fans and those who want to understand the intricate nature of popular music. Michael Jackson's talents are undisputed. This book explains these talents in terms anyone can understand without being the least bit patronising. It takes the reader on a journey through Michael Jacksons albums, track by track discussing their content, developing a clear and logical argument about the quality of his body of work.

It has been all too easy to dismiss Michael Jacksons work as simple pop. No more. This reminds us of Michael's intelligence, dedication and genius.

Thank you Joe for this amazing book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Captain EO on 3 Mar 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's nothing short of ridiculous & tragic that it took Michael Jackson to pass away to finally see credible books released about his art. Considering his genius, sales figures & cultural impact there was scant material available up until 2009 - now it seems not a month goes by when a new book of some variety is released that focuses on Michael Jackson - from the incredibly lavish Opus to Jermaine's autobiography, from the re-release of Moonwalk to a graphic novel, if you want to read all about Michael Jackson, you've now got plenty of choice. The sole focus of this particular book however is what made Michael Jackson famous in the first place, his music. With this in mind & as a fan of over 25 years I was really looking forward to Joseph Vogel's account of MJJ's creative life however I'm sorry to say that it's someway short of what I'd hoped but that's not to say that's not a decent read.

The intentions of the author are on-the-money. Vogel should be applauded for looking beyond the headlines & heaping praise on Michael Jackson the musician. The book is also very nicely laid out, generally very well written & has a nice balance of facts, figures, narratives & photographs (several of which are incredibly rare & fascinating). The thing that ultimately lets the book down somewhat is Vogel's text when it comes to much of the track-by-track listings. Far too much of this is simply lifted from a number of media reviews & it's clear that Vogel has managed to locate plenty of old copies of Rolling Stone, etc & simply slipped in the most positive reviews that relates to any given song.
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