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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 23 November 2000
HIStory starts with fifteen greatest hits, and has the curse that only genius can suffer; there aren't enough! Where is Smooth Criminal, Will You Be There, Leave Me Alone, Who Is It... Some greatest hits albums resort to fillers, but HIStory Begins could have been bigger and better and still left you complaining that it wasn't enough!
HIStory Continues, the second disc, has fifteen new tracks, inlcuding the cover of the Beatles' Come Together, previously only available as a B-side to the Remember The Time single. It's slightly more hit-and-miss than his last two albums; of Bad's eleven tracks, nine were released as singles - how's that for quality? But the best songs on the album are among his best ever. Scream is a monumental comeback single. While it was expected he would brush the recent controversies under the carpet, here he is at his angry best, fighting back. The same can be said of They Don't Care About Us, and potential buyers should be aware that the alleged anti-semitism is a myth. Here, any racist words that appear in the lyrics are used to show the stupidity of racism, not to endorse it. Stranger in Moscow is his most adult song to date, a beautiful and haunting ballad that shows how far this album has moved from his 80s heyday. These first three tracks are by far the best on the album, but there are other highlights: the title track is a messy epic; Childhood is MJ at his most open and honest; Tabloid Junkie and 2Bad kick ass; and Earth Song doesn't need anything more written about it!
His previous albums had a little more balance between the best and the slightly-less-best songs, but this is the most important album Michael Jackson has made. It has an honesty in the lyrics which makes his earlier work seem slightly empty, and will make you realise that "King of Pop" is too narrow a title for this guy. I would recommend this album to everyone. The greatest hits and the new tracks are stunning.
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on 6 May 2003
Michael Jackson's HIStory album is constantly labelled a dissapointment. This has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of music on this album and everything to do with the quality of music on his previous albums. In a nutshell, when you've produced masterpiece's of the quality of Off The Wall, Thriller & Bad, people are always going to shoot down any future releases that don't quite meet the impeccably high standards you've reached as an artist.
HIStory contains two quite separate discs. The first being a collection of 15 of Michael Jackson's greatest solo hits. The second containing his most recent music at time of release. The first album is a retrospective showcase of musical genuis. Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, Billie Jean, Beat It, The Way You make Me Feel, Man in the Mirror, Black or White, etc, etc, etc. This is quite simply a soundtrack to the popular culture that most of us have been exposed to over the last two decades.
It's the 2nd half of HIStory that can only classed as a "proper" Jackson album and when you consider quite how strong many of the tracks really are, it's unfair to discard this as the beginning of the end for "The King Of Pop". The 15 songs that make up the 2nd disc yet again demonstrates MJ's diversity, with several songs almost impossible to categorise. This is both good and bad. Good becasue none of us want to listen to an album where every songs sounds the same, bad however as some songs quite simply don't fit in with the overall vibe of the album.
Onto the actual songs. They Don't Care About Us and Earth Song are breathtaking. There's not another popular artist around in the world releasing music anywhere near this creative. These songs could quite comfortably be wedged between any of Jackson's more famous classics. This is a legend at his best and whilst some may snipe at the planet-saving theme of Earth Song, you'd be hard pressed to deny it's impact. Scream is a thumping opening track, You Are Not Alone is a stunning ballad, Stranger in Moscow is brilliantly haunting and there's another half-dozen typical Michael Jackson slices of pop. People are split into two camps over the epic title track featuring sound bytes of some of the world's most famous moments in ... history. Take away the glitz of the track though and you are still left with a superbly melodic chorus. Things all turn a bit odd with the disturbing Little Susie and Michael bizarrely ends the album whistling along to Charlie Chaplin's Smile !
Stranger moments aside though, HIStory contains enough superb music to be regarded as a brilliant album. If anyone other than the much-maligned Jackson released this collection I wouldn't be surprised if it scooped award after award. Ignore the back-stabbers, listen to this album and listen to a living legend STILL producing the goods.
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on 28 August 2001
This is a great double album! In the first CD there are real classics from Michael, although I would have put some more in there, and the second CD is just amaizing new meterial! You can hear his atitude change in every single song. Earth Song is just beautiful, as is the video made for it, fantastic! I reccomend this album to anyone, fan or no fan!
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on 12 November 1999
Although I was only 11 when I heard this, I was amazed and being 14 now, I am still amazed. This music is thought provoking and the lyrics are fantastic. You just cannot compare it to anything you hear today. Admittedly it took me a while to apreciate it but once you have, it is great!
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on 8 November 2000
The legend that is Michael Jackson has proved that he is, without doubt, the KING OF POP!!! This superb compilation has everything a Jackson fan could wish for with such hits as THRILLER and DANGEROUS. There is only one word that can be used to describe this masterpiece by Jackson- SUPERB!!!
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on 28 March 2003
For micheal Jakson fans this album is a must, a compliation of his very best tracks as well as some new ones.
The early stuff such as 'Billie Jean', 'Thriller' and'Bad' are still classics to this day.
My personal favourite track is 'rock with you', it shows to me, how good vocally Jackson really was.
Id recommend this album to anyone who likes his stuff, im sure you wont be disappointed, i know i wasnt.
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on 14 October 2001
CD 1, quite possibly one the highest consitent quality CD's in existance. Unfortunately, the sheer quality of the greatest hits CD completely overshadows CD2, which is by no means poor, but will be under-appreciated due to the awesome CD1.
Of course Jackson fans will be looking for the new material, but for the rest of us, it has to be "Bad" over "2 Bad" every day of the week.
Having said this, newcomers to the artist MUST buy this to sample MJ's broad range of hits, although a heavy bias is placed on tracks from Bad.
Personally, the slow tracks which are thrown in don't do it for me (apart from a couple) and I'm sure there a few shocking exclusions from CD1 which you'll all pick up on.
Having said that, "Remember The Time" is just so damn good :) - actually they nearly all are.....so beat it and order this now.
With so much lower quality pop around these days, do yourself a favour and get something which isn't just pretending to be well produced........
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on 10 October 2002
Michael Jackson has to be the most talented artist ever. Even though there is no Artist of the Millenium award, he undoubtedly is. CD1 features the greatest songs of his career, Billie Jean is and always will be a classic. Thriller was groundbreaking, Beat It too, Black Or White still has everyone singing to it, and The Girl is Mine with Paul McCartney shows Michael's versatility. CD2, Scream, with his sister, Janet Jackson, shows how frustrated he is with the world. Earth Song, 1995 Christmas Number 1 in the UK, shows it is possible to care about the world via song and still be popular. Money, 2Bad, HIStory, all fantastic songs. My personal favourite from CD2 is Stranger in Moscow. He has the most fantastic voice and long live the King of Pop! I hope he visits Exeter City FC again soon because I would love to see Michael Jackson right outside my doorstep.
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on 1 December 2000
Firstly I would like to say that this album is one of his best and forms a comprehensive collection of many classic songs. A few of my favourites are 'Remember the time','They dont really care about us', 'This time around' and 'You are not alone'. I like these because they express how he is feeling at that time and they have a good beat to them which really get stuck in your head. If I had to choose out of disc 1 and disc 2 it would have to be disc 2 as it has a lot of his newer songs.
Although disc 2 has a lot of good recordings too I'm not so keen on his older ones. I also like this album as he dedicated it as he quotes "To the healthy the sick and the dying" of which I thought was very thoughtful and kind. It also has a lot of his best selling records including the brill Thriller and Billie Jean. All in all I would like to sum it up to a very good album with songs for every one. And from the songs I have heard produced from Michael Jackson I would certainly recommend this to any of his fans ........He is the true KING. HIStory....I couldn't resist it!
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on 6 January 2003
Disc One:
All the songs on this disc are classics. Although people point out that some tracks have been left out, the King of Pop has had so many hit singles it would be impossible to fit them all on one disc. The disc is evenly balanced with tracks from Michael's first four albums - Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad and Dangerous, with funky tracks like Don't Stop... sitting alongside hard edged classics Beat It and Black or White. It's a brilliantly varied collection.
Disc Two:
Following a disc full of over 15 years of classics was always going to be hard. Unsurprisingly MJ hasn't quite managed it, though it's a fair effort. The best tracks reflect his personal feelings - Earth Song, Scream and Stranger in Moscow in particular. There are a couple of instantly forgettable tracks, but overall it's a good disc in its own right.
Overall this album is an essential purchase for fans, and those who want to get in to Michael Jackson's music.
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