Customer Review

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the Music?!!!, 21 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: Michael Jackson: The Magic, the Madness, the Whole Story (Paperback)
This book is a good read for the fans as it paints a vivid portrait of MJ's character revealing the complex, gifted and sometimes emotionally immature person the King of Pop was. It shows what a great business man MJ was in the 1980's- detailing how he made his fortune, and it also goes behind the mask to reveal his low points. Such as how during the 2nd Leg of the Dangerous Tour in Mexico, 1993, while addicted to pain killers and heartbroken over the Chandler Scandal, he destroyed his suite - leaving dents in the walls, and vomit & chewing gum stained floors. Incredible to think that despite all this was he was still able to execute some of the greatest concerts the world has ever seen.

Unfortunately this book is lacking in one HUGE area- namely the stories behind the music and concert tours- essentially what made Michael Jackson a legend! Instead the book focuses on the personal life and business decisions of MJ. All of that stuff is interesting, but I would have preferred a little less of that and more about the music. The author, obviously a big fan of the J5 days, goes into detail about the recording sessions of the 1970's and about Thriller, but then in predictable and disappointing fashion glosses over the subsequent albums as MJ's personal life takes up his focus.

The stories behind the key songs on Thriller are divulged, but after that point nadda. The Dangerous album (my personal fav & MJ's second highest selling) is not even mentioned until at one point it is referred to by the author as his current album... wtf. This is disappointing to say the least. Anyone hoping to hear the stories of how Princess Stephanie of Monaco came to sing on `In The Closet' or how Naomi Campbell came to star in the video should look elsewhere because there is nothing about any of that here. Similarly disappointing- descriptions of the stage shows, special effects, themes & attendance figures of MJ's record breaking world tours are not mentioned. Finally big names in MJ's personal life- Princess Diana, music career- Teddy Riley & stage show- Jenifer Batten are not even mentioned once. :(

At least JRT recognized the quality of Jackson's latter albums. History, BOTD & Invincible are the sole subject of one chapter in which he talks about them one at a time. That's another thing that is annoying about this book- some of it is not in chronological order such as the aforementioned chapter & photo pages which often do not correlate to the era you have just read. The final two areas of the book which are either pointless/incorrect or again a disappointment are as follows-

-JRT's need to offer his opinion on MJ's music- criticizing the BAD album as having some less than stellar tracks when in fact -EVERY- song on BAD is killer, the same of which cannot be said about Thriller `The Girl is Mine' hello... and also his occasional moralizing about what MJ should have done, or why didn't he do it this way, when talking about MJ's continued friendships with minors after the 1993 scandal. A biographer is supposed to tell the story of someone's life, not moralize.

-The post trail years 2005-2009 are glossed over in a matter of a few pages as if MJ was doing nothing. No studio sessions are detailed despite the fact MJ was recording with will.i.am for a few years. JRT admits he lost interest in writing about him after the trial and it shows, apparently he wrote the chapters for MJ's last few years in a month. To summarize I would say that if you are a hardcore fan this book is worth reading to get a deeper understanding of MJ's personality, just don't go in expecting too much about the music.
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Location: England

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