Friday, June 26, 2009

Jackson's passing should not be compared to Lennon, Hendrix, et al.

Double Fantasy album coverImage via Wikipedia

Unlike many of my fellow children of the '80's, Jacko was not the soundtrack of my youth. I was more of the U2 / R.E.M. / Bruce Springsteen type. Granted, he was a huge pop star, but the emphasis should be on WAS. People should not be comparing his death to John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix.

All these artists passed at or near the height of their powers. You could argue that Lennon was a bit past his prime, but his posthumous release Double Fantasy was a big success, and you could argue that he was experiencing an artistic rebirth.

Sure, Michael Jackson was the biggest selling artist of all time, but he hadn't had a hit (however those are determined now) in more than a decade. His shows were selling out, but it was no more than a greatest hits tour.

The Essential Michael Jackson album coverImage via Wikipedia

If anything, Jackson's passing should be compared to passing of his musical namesake: Elvis Presley. Both the King and the King of Pop had been reduced to Vegas show status. Both were the biggest stars of their time, but music had definitely passed them by.
His legal and moral issues aside, Jackson was a significant superstar. For 15 years, he ruled the charts. That was, however, 15 years ago. Don't confuse him with those artists who died still at the top of their game.

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