CC00046: Michael Jackson

  • Thriller (10)
  • Off the Wall (10)
  • Bad (8.5)
  • History: Past, Present, and Future, Book 1 (8)
  • Anthology (7.5)
  • Dangerous (6.5)
  • Ben (5.5)
  • Blood on the Dance Floor: History in the Mix (5.5)
  • Got to Be There (5)
  • Music & Me (5)
  • The Best of Michael Jackson (5)
  • One Day in Your Life (5)
Author Comments: 

This is an entry in a continuing series I call Critical Consensus. I am averaging the opinions of several excellent music critics to produce a list of each artist's albums. The albums will each have a rating between 1 and 10. The albums will be listed in a recommended purchasing order, so new fans will have an idea of where the best place to start buying an artist's work is. These are not my opinions, although, since I have chosen the critics used (and I'm using many), my taste will perhaps seep through a bit.

Terribly nerdy, I know, but maybe this will help people only now beginning to dabble into certain artists' bodies of work.

Curious that The Best of Michael Jackson is so low on the list. Misnamed, or an early 'best of'?

Both. The Best of Michael Jackson, while released in 1981, was a Motown cash-in put out to benefit from Jackson's success with Off the Wall, an album released after Michael switched labels to Epic. It only covers Jackson's 1971 - 1975 material, of which Ben is the highest ranking album on this list. It contains nothing from Off the Wall, Thriller, or any later albums. One of the two discs of History is a best-of covering the later, Epic years, and I suspect it would have earned a 10 if it was not saddled with another disc of new material that didn't tend to do much for most critics. Too bad that compilation disc wasn't released separately, as Jackson has no good Greatest Hits collection for his best years.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs