8 years without Michael Jackson

June 25, 2009 was the last day on Earth for the King Of Pop. Let’s remember him with the help of amazing tattoos and great, immortal tunes

First of all: Michael Jackson, who died unexpectedly in LA, on that hot morning of June 25, 2009, wasn’t a pop star at the end of his career who was trying to escape from the terrible rumors that had followed him throughout the past decade and even part of the 90’s.

The person who left us a few weeks before his London debut (50 concerts were planned at the O2 Arena and all were sold-out) wasn’t an artist who had reached the end of the road, with health problems and a delicate psychology, covered in debts. That icon was still the “King of Pop”, and his music will speak forever.

A music that was constantly speaking to us even before his tragic death, even if the perfectionist Jacko hadn’t recorded anything new since 2003 (the single ‘One more chance’), threw away a ghost-album (‘Resurrection’) and hadn’t been shopping in his favorite places since the flop of ‘Invincible’, an album of 2001 destroyed by general indifference and by the fact that it was released after the tragic events of September 11. But Michael, at that point, had already given it all.

Chris Jones, Physical Graffiti, Cardiff, UK
Chris Jones, Physical Graffiti, Cardiff, UK

Starting from his first steps with the Jackson 5 (band including his brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon, author of several hits in the 70’s such as ‘I want you back’ and ‘ABC’), when Michael started to flirt with black funk and white pop. And naturally from his first solo album in 1978 ‘Off The Wall’ (even if there had been 4 others), his meeting with producer Quincy Jones and his great hits such as ‘Don’t stop ’til you get enough’ and ‘Rock with you’. Over 20 million copies sold but soon surpassed by his following hit ‘Thriller’ (1982) which sold over 110 million (!!!) setting a record that probably will never be reached by anyone else.

Jacko’s masterpiece includes pieces like ‘Billy Jean’ (with that incredible bass line), ‘Beat it’ (featuring Eddie Van Halen guitar solo), ‘Thriller’ (whose video-horror was produced by John Landis) and naturally the infamous moonwalk, his dance move that will become a sort of legend. ‘Thriller’, of course, destabilizes Jackson’s mental health because it is difficult to imagine “another place” when your artistic empire reaches everywhere and in the meantime you worked with Lionel Ritchie on just a little charity project ‘We are the world’ in 1984.

Yet Jacko manages to do it and in 1987, after a long and tiring evolution, returns with the multi-selling ‘Bad’ (other hits include: ‘I just can’t stop loving you’, ‘Man in the mirror’, ‘The way you make me feel’, etc.) followed by a world tour and in 1991 another record – weak only apparently – such as ‘Dangerous’, his friendship with Slash (lead guitar on ‘Black and white’) and Michael Jordan (special guest in ‘Jam’ video-clip) and at least two crazy pieces ‘In the closet’ and ‘Remember the time’. What amazing tunes!

Ok, for many Michael’s world ends here: after there will only be mainstream operations, totally extreme (his collection with 15 new pieces ‘HIStory’), a techno adventure remix album ‘Blood On the Dance Floor’ and the dark period that, between one scandal and another, will lead to the production of just mentioned ‘Invincible’. And after this, another decade that was literally wasted. Up to that absurd and, at the same time, exaggerated death. Just like Michael Jackson himself: over the top, mad, genial Peter Pan of an amazing pop scene that June 25, 2009, disappeared along with him. Rest in peace, MJ!