Michael Jackson: Music Legend Performed At The National Bowl 27 Years Ago Today (September 10)

Sources: OneMK – Chris Knight | All Things Michael


American music icon Michael Jackson performed live at The National Bowl in Milton Keynes 27 years ago today (September 10), as part of the Bad world tour which spanned 127 shows.

Opening with Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, the singer reeled off hits such as Smooth Criminal, Dirty Diana, Thriller, and Billie Jean, before finishing with Man in the Mirror.

Take a look below at news coverage of Jackson’s sensational showing in Milton Keynes:

The Bad tour was the singer’s first ever solo world tour, opening in Tokyo on September 12, 1987. Concluding on January 27, 1989, the tour spanned a total of 16 months and reached more than four million fans across the globe.

Below is another snippet of Jackson’s performance at The National Bowl:

Despite an impressive collection of hits, Jackson is undoubtedly best remembered for his hit Thriller:

Were you at Jackson’s concert at The National Bowl 27 years ago today?


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Michael Jackson At Aintree: 27 Years Since The Landmark Concert

Sources: Liverpool Echo – By Jade Wright | All Things Michael

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The King of Pop had a special place in his heart for Liverpool.

“I have always considered Liverpool the home of contemporary pop music, by virtue of its being the birthplace of the incomparable Beatles,” he said.

And at the height of his fame, in September 1988, he came to Liverpool to play at Aintree.

Some 125,000 flocked to see him play – it was reported to be the largest concert ever performed by a solo artist in the UK at that time.

It was the last British date in the iconic Bad world tour, that covered Japan, Australia, the United States and Europe.

The tour, sponsored by Pepsi and spanning 16 months, included 123 concerts playing to 4.4m fans across 15 countries. When the tour concluded it had grossed a total of $125m, adding two new entries in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest grossing tour in history and the tour with the largest attended audience.


It was nominated for Tour of the Year 1988 at the inaugural International Rock Awards.

He’s been to the city before, performing with the Jackson 5 at the Liverpool Empire in 1972. He was only 14 at the time.

The ECHO the night before reported: “The biggest thing happening to Liverpool this weekend is the arrival of The Jackson Five for their show at the Empire tomorrow night. It should be enough to put their new single single Looking Through The Windows, right into the charts. It is already selling very well in some local stores, coinciding with their visit to Liverpool is today’s release of Michael Jackson’s new single Ben which is going very big in America.”

On the day of the sell out concert, fans brought the city centre to a standstill, and their dad Joe had to stop the show on two occasion and plead for calm amongst the hysterical fans who where trying to storm the stage.

“Traffic outside the theatre was brought to a standstill by hundreds of fans who hadn’t been able to get a ticket but who had come along just to get a glimpse of their idols. The final word on Liverpool’s long day of screams came from Michael Jackson the group’s 14 year old lead singer and the fans heart throb when he said “It was just great the fans were really wonderful, I hope we come back again soon”


By the time he returned to Liverpool, 16 years after his first visit, excitement was reaching fever pitch.

Never one to do things by half, on his return in 1988 he took over an entire floor of the Atlantic Tower hotel in Chapel Street.

But it was hardly the rock’n’roll excess that stars these days expect.

Arriving in disguise – a parka anorak and a red polo neck – with mum Katherine, his entourage of 10 arrived by helicopter at Speke and travelled in three black Daimler limousines with a police escort, through Aigburth and Otterspool.

Day trippers to the garden festival stared on as the convoy passed by.

He’d requested the £100 a night Port of Liverpool Suite, which offered a view over the Mersey waterfront, and was transfixed by the telescope in there – watching the boats come and go on the river.

Staff at Aintree spent months preparing for the concert, which extended as far as the first three jumps in the Grand National.

Tickets were £16.50 and fans had been queuing all day in the hope of getting a place near the front. Merseyside police cancelled all leave and drafted in 500 extra officers, but despite rumours to the contrary, just 31 people were taken to hospital, mostly after fainting in the crowd.

Kim Wilde was the support act to Jackson. After his two-hour set, including a Beatles medley in tribute to being in Liverpool, the superstar left the city and returned to America.

The most famous man in the world had come back to see the city he loved. And it loved him in return.


See more pictures here. Can you spot yourself in any of these photos? 

This Week in Billboard Chart History: 20 Years Ago, Michael Jackson Was ‘Alone’ At The Top

Sources: Billboard -Gary Trust| All Things Michael

Michael Jackson during 1995 MTV Video Music Awards Show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

In 1995, ‘You Are Not Alone’ became the first song to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Plus, remembering chart feats by Metallica, the Beatles and Aerosmith.

Your weekly recap celebrating significant milestones from more than seven decades of Billboard chart history.

Aug. 31, 1991
Twenty-four years ago today, the best-selling album since Nielsen Music began tracking sales (in May 1991) debuted atop the Billboard 200: Metallica‘s self-titled set. The album has sold 16.2 million copies in the U.S. since its release. It outranks runner-up Shania Twain’s Come On Over (15.6 million) and the third-best-seller in that span, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill.

Sept. 1, 1973
Kind of impossible to hear this one without thinking of comic genius Louis C.K. Forty-two years ago today, Stories‘ “Brother Louie,” now the theme to the comedian’s FX series Louie, spent its second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Sept. 2, 1995
Twenty years ago today: Michael Jackson‘s “You Are Not Alone” becomes the first song ever to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The ballad (the last of Jackson’s 13 No. 1s) was written and produced by R. Kelly.


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Essential Musical Acts Of The ’70s

Sources: CNN – By Brandon Griggs | All Things Michael

The Jackson 5


This Motown family made history by being the first recording act whose initial four singles — “I Want You Back,” “The Love You Save,” “ABC” and “I’ll Be There” — all hit No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts. Powered by the soprano of a little, prepubescent Michael Jackson, the five Jackson brothers became one of the first black acts to achieve huge success with white audiences. With their costumes, youthful looks and synchronized dance moves, the Jacksons also paved the way for such boy bands as the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and the Jonas Brothers.

Learn more about the music of the 1970s in the season finale of “The Seventies,” which airs Thursday, August 13, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CNN.

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Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall Released 36 Years Ago Today

Sources: Soul Train – By Stephen McMillian (Published June 4, 2012)| All Things Michael


Before Thriller,  there was Off The Wall.

While at Motown Records, Michael Jackson recorded four solo albums: Got To Be There, Ben, Music & Me, and Forever, Michael. The former two did extremely well; the latter two, however, sold poorly at a time when the Jackson 5’s record sales as a whole were declining. In 1975, the group signed with Epic Records and in 1976 released their first album on the label titled The Jacksons, spawning the hits “Enjoy Yourself” and “Show You The Way to Go.” The following year they released their second Epic album Goin’ Places. Although the LP was a stronger album than their previous one, it did not do well. Both albums were produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff who had mega success with artists like The O’Jays and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes.

However, the Jacksons felt it was time to take charge of producing their own work. Though they wrote and produced four cuts on their first two Epic albums, they wanted to take control of the entire project of their next album. The result was 1978’s Destiny, an absolute smash yielding the hits “Blame It On the Boogie” and the platinum-seller “Shake Your Body Down to the Ground.”

Source: VLroundtree

Source: VLroundtree

It could’ve been destiny at work when Michael Jackson was in New York City during the late months of 1977 filming the motion picture The Wiz. During a rehearsal of the scene in which his character, the Scarecrow, is berated by a bunch of crows, he had mispronounced the name Socrates. Legendary music producer Quincy Jones, who scored The Wiz and was on the set during rehearsal, corrected Michael and told him the proper pronunciation of Socrates. From that moment on, magic (one of Jackson’s favorite terms) was created…… Read the entire article here

Michael Jackson’s First Solo No. 1 Hit Was An Ode To A Rat

Source: A.V. Club – By Gwen Ih | All Things Michael


In the animal-songs canon, “Ben” may be the only love song about a rat. The song was the title track of the sequel to the 1971 movie Willard, in which a young outsider trains a rat population to attack his enemies. Eventually the rats, led by their leader, Ben, turn on Willard and devour him. In the disaster-horror genre of the era, this film was so successful that Ben returned the following year for his own sequel. He is slightly more benevolent in this version, befriending a young boy named Danny and helping him to defeat his bullies (until the rats turn on everybody again, surprise). For the sequel, Ben also got his own surprisingly sentimental song, written by longtime composer and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory music director Walter Scharf. It was sung by then-teenaged Michael Jackson over the final credits.

The Jackson Five had been successful for some time by 1972. But Michael Jackson, like Donny Osmond in another brother act, was the the star of the show as the youngest, and had started to break out with hits like “Rockin’ Robin.” Jackson received this song after Osmond turned it down. As only he could do, the young Jackson adds a fervent emotionality as he sings to a pet that’s always running “here and there / You feel you’re not wanted anywhere.” Since Ben is a rat, this is probably true. But when Jackson hits the high notes in “They don’t see you as I do / I wish they would try to,” his vocal instrumentation is unexpectedly moving for a song so rodent propelled.

Radio listeners agreed, making “Ben” the No. 20 song for 1972, and paving the way for Jackson’s future solo career. It was the first of his solo No. 1 hits; he didn’t have another until 1979’s “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough.” “Ben” won the 1973 Golden Globe and almost won the Academy Award for Best Song, losing to The Poseidon Adventure’s “The Morning After.” Crispin Glover re-recorded the song for Willard’s 2003 remake, a foolish effort that never could have stood up to the gold-standard version of rat love songs.


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He Is Here To Change the World (Again): Captain EO Returns to EPCOT

Sources: Disney Insider | All Things Michael


In the fall of 1986 Michael Jackson came to EPCOT Center in Florida as part of “a small group, struggling to bring freedom to countless worlds of despair.” And now he’s back.

Captain EO, the breakthrough 3D science fiction adventure that starred Jackson, was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas, quietly returned to EPCOT earlier this month in all of its breakdancing, stargazing glory. The 17-minute-long attraction is right where it was when it first debuted back in 1986: the Imagination Pavilion in the Futureworld West section of the park.

It’s hard to imagine how huge Captain EO was when it first came to the parks in 1986. This was Michael Jackson at the height of his popularity, five years after Thriller broke every record there was and less than a year before his equally powerful Bad would be unleashed. It was also George Lucas’ first collaboration with the Disney theme parks, three years after Return of the Jedi closed out the original Star Wars trilogy and a year before Star Tours would be joyfully jostling Disneyland attendees. And by 1986 Coppola had cemented himself as a legendary filmmaker, having already helmed the first twoGodfather films, The Conversation, and (more recently) The Outsiders and Rumble Fish. It was almost too good.


There were a number of technical innovations that also went along with Captain EO; it is largely thought of as the first “4D” film, with in-theater effects like smoke, lasers, and a glittery star field that was draped across the theater ceiling. (In both Florida and CaliforniaCaptain EO replaced Magic Journeys, a gentle 3D fantasy.) Captain EO featured two new songs from Jackson, including one (“Another Part of Me”) that would appear on Bad. (The other, “We Are Here to Change the World,” would only be released, in truncated form, in the 2004 Jackson box set The Ultimate Collection.) Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who lensed The Conformist and would later shoot Disney’s Dick Tracy, was responsible for the 3D photography. The late, great James Horner (whose Rocketeer score we absolutely adore) provided the score. An in-depth hour-long special called Captain EO Backstage, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, premiered on The Disney Sunday Movie on ABC and another hour-long special aired from the film’s Disneyland grand opening (it was hosted by Patrick Duffy and Justine Bateman along with musical guests Starship and Robert Palmer). This was it.

And it goes without saying that the film was (and still is) totally awesome. It features dancing and monsters and Anjelica Huston as a witchy, H.R. Giger-esque space princess (when Jackson compliments her appearance, she hisses, “You find meeee beautiful?”) At 17 minutes, it tells a complete story but never feels flabby or overlong; it zigs and zags and boogies with the best of them.

Back when the film opened, the Imagination Pavilion was a much different place. Journey Into Imagination, the flagship ride, was a sprawling ode to the unlimited capabilities of the human mind, and once you finished riding the attraction, you were funneled up to a play area called the Upstairs Image Works. This is where you got to interact with exhibits like a giant, colorful tunnel (that was a favorite of Jackson’s whenever he would visit the park) and a kind of color canon that would allow you to fire paintbrushes (and virtual paint) at blank canvases. When you would complete your play, you would get on an escalator that would bring you into the specially outfitted theater where Captain EO played. Walk around versions of several of the characters would mill around outside the pavilion. It was the kind of sprawling, synchronous experience that defined those heady early days of EPCOT Center.


In 1994 Captain EO closed and a year later Honey, I Shrunk the Audience premiered. It was aired (once) on MTV in 1996 in a downscaled two-dimensional version. But after Jackson’s tragic passing in 2009, the film returned to the Imagination Pavilion theater (it also reappeared at several other parks, including Disneyland). This new version of the attraction premiered in the summer of 2010 at EPCOT and was labeled a “tribute.” It swapped some of the earlier effects for those installed for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, including a nifty gag where the floor bounces up and down as the villainess’ dark forces approach, and was digitally projected. When it returned, Captain EO was even more beautiful than when it first premiered. Audiences clapped and sung along and snapped up merchandise, including T-shirts modeled after Michael’s nifty rainbow model and plush versions of the characters.

Over the past few months, the theater has been used for a variety of purposes, mostly to exhibit upcoming Disney features like Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland and Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out. But now Captain EO is back and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s an attraction thatfeels so classically EPCOT, one that has one foot in fantasy and the other in science fiction; that is both futuristic and warmly nostalgic. It’s an attraction shares EPCOT’s view of the future as a place where anything is possible and everything is super fun. Captain EO is the story of “a ragtag band led by the infamous Captain EO,” and almost 30 years later, it’s enough to make you smile … and dance.


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Top 20 Essential Boy Band Songs

Sources: Billboard – By Jason Lipshultz | All Things Michael

It’s Boy Band Week on Billboard.com! Let’s kick things off with the 20 boy band songs you need to know and love.

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If you love the warm embrace of pop music, it’s easy to understand the appeal of boy bands — collections of (mostly) young males crooning about love and heartache, all while smoldering and winking in ways that drive audiences wild. Boy bands aren’t all about image, though, and have been responsible for some of the most enduring singles in the history of the genre. From the Motown of the 60’s to the teenybopper 90’s to the U.K. invasion of the 2010’s, boy bands continuously impact our culture — and these 20 songs are a big reason why we keep giving them opportunities to shine.

In celebration of boy bands as part of 2015 Boy Band Week, Billboard is presenting an editorial countdown of the 20 essential boy band songs! (NOTE: this list defines ‘boy band’ as a vocal group in which the majority of members are not playing other instruments, which is why you won’t see artists like the Beatles, the Monkees, Hanson or the Jonas Brothers on this list.)

1. The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back”

The boy band formula was perfected early on by the Jackson 5, who combined smooth moves, soaring harmonies and grinning bubblegum in ways that have been replicated for 45 years. “I Want You Back” is a love song aimed at young females, but it is also universal, including all listeners by hiding the heartache in a lip-smacking funk riff and seamless chord progression. “I Want You Back” is a towering pop treasure, and one that boy bands will always view as a blueprint to success.


See the full list at Billboard