Does anyone else remember buying a Michael Jackson cassette ? I do. “Off the Wall” was the first MJ cassette I bought. I had been introduced to the magic of Michael on some Doordarshan TV show and was told that MJ was a greater dancer than disco-dancer Mithun (“was that even possible?” my young mind wondered at the time I must confess). In fact, it is quite possible that my mom is still hoarding that cassette along with the collection of Cliff Richard and Nescafe Runa Laila kind of tapes that are hidden in some attic of our house. The first introduction to Michael was magical – for all his later escapades and craziness- the man was truly fantastic.His music was like nothing we’d heard and his dancing (or the little snippets that one saw of it then) was other-worldly. And by some magic the king of pop could compel a little kid in the faraway kingdoms of Golconda to save up money to buy his album. Quite wild when you think about it – in a google-free, MTV-less, Doordarshan-only world. And now the King of Pop is back again.Many many years on from that first purchase, I couldn’t help but get smitten by the clip played frequently on TV by DoCoMo nowadays.
For those wondering what the unreleased MJ song on the Docomo TV ad is called – it’s “Hold my Hand” featuring Akon from MJs first posthumous album “Michael”. For the record, the song is exceptionally pretty (as is only to be expected from two awesome entertainers getting together) and definitely worth a listen.
Ironically, the man who holds the record for the best-selling album of all time – Thriller way back in 1982 (sales of 110 Mn albums are more than the second and third best albums of all-time combined – AC/DCs Back in Black @ 49 Mn and Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon @ 45 Mn) is back from the dead (literally) to try and jump-start the almost moribund music industry. With worldwide music sales dropping again for the 9th time this decade (and digital downloads gaining – again) MJ provided a major fillip with sales of almost 8.5 Mn units and 275 Mn USD world-wide in 2010. Will the music industry (or what we used to know as the music industry) ever get it ? Or will they just allow the mobile resellers and iTunes and co to moonwalk over them until they too join MJ in the great show in the sky.
Returning to MJ, the album “Michael” is Platinum in 14 countries already. Fans will buy this album – a combination of nostalgia and semi-decent songs will ensure that this one is a monstrous success. But there are 6 more albums already on their way and MJ will slowly but surely be Tupac-Shakured (who incidentally released 6 albums during his lifetime and has already released 8 post-humously) into a parody by an industry that has little sense and even littler sensibility. For the sake of MJ and his family (who incidentally claim that the voice on “Michael” is not Michaels) I sincerely hope iTunes destroys the music industry before the music industry destroys the legacy of the world’s greatest performer.