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Michael Jackson BILLIE JEAN live New York 2001 MSG HD

Billie Jean

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"Billie Jean"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Thriller
B-side "It's the Falling in Love"/"Can't Get Outta the Rain"
Released January 2, 1983
Format 7" single
12" single
Recorded 1982
Genre Dance-pop, R&B, funk
Length 4:55 (album/single version)
6:22 (original 12" version)
2:20 (home demo version)
Label Epic
Writer(s) Michael Jackson
Producer Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones
Certification Platinum
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"The Girl Is Mine"
(1982)
"Billie Jean"
(1983)
"Beat It"
(1983)
Thriller track listing
"Beat It"
(5)
"Billie Jean"
(6)
"Human Nature"
(7)

"Billie Jean" is a song by the American recording artist Michael Jackson. It is the second single from the singer's sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). It was written and composed by Michael Jackson and produced by him and Quincy Jones. Originally disliked by Jones, the track was almost removed from the album after he and Jackson had disagreements regarding it. There are contradictory claims to what the song's lyrics refer to. One suggests that they are derived from a real-life experience, in which a female fan claimed that Jackson had fathered one of her twins. Jackson himself, however, stated that "Billie Jean" was based on groupies he had encountered. The song is well known for its distinctive bassline and Jackson's vocal hiccups. The song was mixed 91 times by audio engineer Bruce Swedien before it was finalized.

"Billie Jean" became a worldwide commercial and critical success; "Billie Jean" was one of the best-selling singles of 1983 and is one of the best-selling singles worldwide. The song topped both the US and UK charts simultaneously. In other countries, "Billie Jean" topped the charts of Spain and Switzerland, reached the top ten in Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden, and peaked at number 45 in France. "Billie Jean" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1989. Rolling Stone magazine placed "Billie Jean" in the 58th spot on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Awarded numerous honors—including two Grammy Awards, one American Music Award and an induction into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame—the song and corresponding music video propelled Thriller to the status of best-selling album of all time. The song was promoted with a short film that broke down MTV's racial barrier as the first video by a black artist to be aired in heavy rotation. Also, Jackson's Emmy-nominated performance on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, in which Jackson premiered his "moonwalk" also helped to popularize the song. The song was also promoted through Jackson's Pepsi commercials; during the filming of one commercial, Jackson's scalp was severely burned. Covered by modern artists, "Billie Jean" sealed Jackson's status as an international pop icon.

Contents

Background

There never was a real Billie Jean. The girl in the song is a composite of people my brothers have been plagued with over the years. I could never understand how these girls could say they were carrying someone's child when it wasn't true.

Michael Jackson, Moonwalk (1988)[1]

Jackson stated several times that "Billie Jean" was based on the groupies he and his brothers encountered while part of The Jackson 5.[1][2][3] "Billie Jean is kind of anonymous. It represents a lot of girls. They used to call them groupies in the '60s." He added, "They would hang around backstage doors, and any band that would come to town they would have a relationship with, and I think I wrote this out of experience with my brothers when I was little. There were a lot of Billie Jeans out there. Every girl claimed that their son was related to one of my brothers."[4]

Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli promoted the theory that "Billie Jean" was derived from a real life experience the singer faced in 1981. The Magic & The Madness documents how a young woman wrote Jackson a letter, which informed the singer that he was the father of one of her twins.[5][6] Jackson, who regularly received letters of this kind, had never met the woman in question and ignored it. The woman, however, continued to send Jackson more letters, which stated that she loved him and wanted to be with him. She wrote of how happy they would be if they raised the child together. She pondered how Jackson could ignore his own flesh and blood. The letters disturbed the singer to the extent that he suffered nightmares.[5]

Following the letters, Jackson received a parcel containing a photograph of the fan, as well as a letter and a gun. Jackson was horrified—the letter asked that the pop singer kill himself on a certain day and at a specific time. The fan would do the same once she had killed their baby. She wrote that if they could not be together in this life, then they would be in the next. To his mother's dismay, Jackson had the photograph of the woman framed and hung above the dining room table of their family home. Afterwards, the Jacksons discovered that the female fan had been sent to a psychiatric hospital.[5]

Production

Jackson wrote "Billie Jean" with his female fans in mind, and later stated that when he wrote the song, he knew it would be a success. "A musician knows hit material. Everything has to feel in place. It fulfills you and it makes you feel good. That's how I felt about 'Billie Jean'. I knew it was going to be big when I was writing it."[1][7] The singer explained that he was so absorbed by the song that, in one instance, he did not notice that his car had caught fire as he drove down a freeway with a friend until a passing motorcyclist informed him. Jackson noted, "The kid probably saved our lives."[1][7]

A African-American male, who has very little hair on his head and a mustache, with his hands crossed in front of him. The male is wearing a black shirt, black satin pants and a black jacket with golden colored designs.
Quincy Jones felt "Billie Jean" was too weak to be a part of Thriller.

The pop singer faced numerous disagreements with the song's co-producer. Quincy Jones did not want "Billie Jean" to appear on Thriller; he felt that the song was too weak to be part of the collection.[5][8] The producer disliked the demo and did not care for the song's bassline.[9] Jones wanted to cut Jackson's 29 second introduction, which was the longest one ever created at the time.[7][10] The entertainer, however, insisted that it be kept. "I said, 'Michael we've got to cut that intro'", Jones later recalled. "He said, 'But that's the jelly!'[...] 'That's what makes me want to dance'. And when Michael Jackson tells you, 'That's what makes me want to dance', well, the rest of us just have to shut up."[7][11] Jones also wanted to change the track's title to "Not My Lover", as he believed that people would think the song referred to the tennis player Billie Jean King.[12][13] Jackson refused to change the title and asked Jones to give him co-producing credits for the track; he felt that the demo tape sounded exactly like the finished product. In addition, Jackson wanted extra royalties. Jones granted neither and the two fell out for several days.[5][9]

Having resolved their differences, Jones had Jackson sing his vocal overdubs through a six-foot-long cardboard tube.[7] Jackson's entire lead vocal was performed in one take; he had received vocal training every morning throughout the production of the song.[2] Jazz saxophonist Tom Scott played the lyricon, a rare wind-controlled synthesizer. Bass guitarist Louis Johnson was then brought in and he played his part on every guitar he owned, before Jackson finally settled for a Yamaha bass.[7] Greg Phillinganes was also drafted in; he played the keyboard. He later said of the song, "'Billie Jean' is hot on every level. It's hot rhythmically moving action got Michael excited. It's hot sonically, because the instrumentation is so minimal, you can really hear everything. It's hot melodically. It's hot lyrically. It's hot vocally. It affects you physically, emotionally, even spiritually."[7]

The song was mixed by Bruce Swedien ninety-one times—unusual for Swedien, who usually mixed a song just once.[9] Jones had told Swedien to create a drum sound that no one had ever heard before. The audio engineer was also told to add a different element: "sonic personality". "What I ended up doing was building a drum platform and designing some special little things, like a bass drum cover and a flat piece of wood that goes between the snare and the hi-hat", Swedien later wrote. "The bottom line is that there aren't many pieces of music where you can hear the first three or four notes of the drums, and immediately tell what the piece of music is." He concluded, "But I think that is the case with 'Billie Jean'—and that I attribute to sonic personality."[7][9]

Composition

"Billie Jean" is considered a dance-pop R&B song. It opens with a standard drum beat: kick, snare and hi-hat, and it contains hardly any reverberation. The pattern continues unchanged throughout the entire song. After four bars, a repetitive bassline enters. Each time it passes through the tonic, the note is doubled by a distorted synth bass. This accompaniment is followed by a repetitive three-note synth, played staccato with a deep reverb. The defining chord progression is then established. Jackson's quiet vocals enter, accompanied by a finger-snap, which comes and goes during the verses, as the rhythm and chord progression repeats.[2]

According to Daryl Hall, when Jackson was recording “We Are the World,” Jackson approached him and admitted to lifting the bassline for "Billie Jean" from a Hall and Oates song (apparently referring to Hall's "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" from the 1981 album Private Eyes): "Michael Jackson once said directly to me that he hoped I didn't mind that he copied that groove." Hall says he told Jackson that he had lifted the bassline himself, remarking, "it's something we all do."[14][15]

According to Inside the Hits, the lyrics refer to the commotion created by Billie Jean on a dance floor. She entices the crowd with a seductive come-on before luring Jackson to her bedroom, through the fragrance of her perfume. Jackson's vocal range spanned from a high baritone to a falsetto and he usually wrote melodies to show this range. However, in the verses of "Billie Jean", the singer's vocals range from a tenor to a low falsetto. A four note falsetto is showcased in the chorus and, during the last line, Jackson peaks at a full octave.[2] The song has 117 BPM and is in the key of F# minor. Following the first chorus, a cello-like synth eases in at the beginnings of both the third, and later, the fourth, verses. Upon the announcement that the baby's eyes resemble Jackson's, a voice laments, "oh no". This is met with Jackson's signature falsetto "hee hee".[2] The bridge debuts the strings, and holds a pedal tone tonic with the exception of two lines and a chord leading into the chorus. Violins are then played, followed by a four-note minor guitar solo. During the solo, vocal shouts, screams and laughs are added. Throughout this, the chord progression remains unaltered and is laced with Jackson's vocal hiccups. All the musical and vocal elements are then brought together in the final chorus. In the fade, Jackson repeats the denial of fathering Billie Jean's child.[2]

Release and reception

On December 1, 1982, Thriller was released to critical and commercial success.[16] A month later, on January 2, 1983, "Billie Jean" was released as the album's second single; it followed Jackson's successful duet with Paul McCartney on "The Girl Is Mine".[17][18] The song reached number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, where it remained for eight weeks. "Billie Jean" topped the R&B chart within three weeks, and became Jackson's fastest rising number one single since "ABC", "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There" in 1970. It remained at number one for nine weeks, before the single was eventually replaced by The Gap Band's "Outstanding".[17] "Billie Jean" peaked at number nine on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.[18] It was also number one in the UK Singles Chart. "Billie Jean" and Thriller topped both the singles and album charts in the same week. This occurred on both sides of the Atlantic simultaneously, a feat very few acts have ever achieved. The song was the third best selling single of 1983 in the US and ninth in the UK.[17] "Billie Jean" also reached number one in Spain and Switzerland, the top ten in Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden, and number 45 in France.[19]

In a Rolling Stone review, Christopher Connelly described "Billie Jean" as a "lean, insistent funk number whose message couldn't be more blunt: 'She says I am the one/But the kid is not my son'". He added that the track was a "sad, almost mournful song, but a thumping resolve underlies [Jackson's] feelings".[20] Blender stated that the song was "one of the most sonically eccentric, psychologically fraught, downright bizarre things ever to land on Top 40 radio". They added that it was "frighteningly stark, with a pulsing, cat-on-the-prowl bass figure, whip-crack downbeat and eerie multi-tracked vocals ricocheting in the vast spaces between keyboards and strings". Overall, the magazine described the track as "a five-minute-long nervous breakdown, set to a beat".[7] Stylus said of the song, "It's one of the best representations of film noir in pop music, ending with no resolution except a single mother and selfish, careless scumball."[21] In a review of Thriller 25, AllMusic observed that "Billie Jean" was "startling" in its "futuristic funk".[22] The track also won praise from Jackson biographers. Nelson George stated that Jerry Hey's string arrangement added danger to "Billie Jean", while J. Randy Taraborrelli added that it was "dark and sparse" by Quincy Jones' production standards.[5][23]

"Billie Jean" has been recognized with numerous awards and honors. At the 1984 Grammy Awards the song earned Jackson two of a record eight awards; Best R&B Song and Best R&B Male Vocal Performance. It won the Billboard Music Award for favorite dance/disco 12" LP, and the magazine's 1980's poll named "Billie Jean" as the "Black Single of the Decade". The American Music Awards recognized the track as the Favorite Pop/Rock Single, while Cash Box honored the song with the awards for Top Pop Single and Top Black Single. The track was recognised with the Top International Single award by the Canadian Black Music Awards, and awarded the Black Gold Award for Single of the Year. "Billie Jean" has also been awarded for its sales. It won the National Association of Recording Merchandisers Gift of Music award for best selling single in 1984. By 1989, the standard format single was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of at least one million units.[24][25] The digital sales of "Billie Jean" were certified gold in 2005, for shipments of at least 500,000 units.[26] The total number of digital downloads of the song in the US, as of March 2009, stands at 864,000.[27]

Promotion

Music video

A male is shown standing in a bent down position on his toes on top of an illuminated tile. He is wearing a black jacket and pants with white shoes and a pink shirt. Behind the male a grey narrow path can be seen as well as buildings in the far background.
Jackson landing on his toes and illuminating a tile in the music video for "Billie Jean".

The short film for Jackson's "Billie Jean" is considered the video that brought MTV, a fairly new and unknown music channel, into mainstream attention. It was the first video by a black artist to be aired regularly by the channel, as the network's executives felt black music wasn't "rock" enough.[28] Directed by Steve Barron, the video shows a photographer who follows Jackson. The paparazzo never catches the singer, and when photographed Jackson fails to materialise on the developed picture. The entertainer dances his way to Billie Jean's hotel room and as he walks along a sidewalk, each tile lights up at his touch.[28][29] After he performs a quick spin, Jackson jumps and lands, freeze framed, on his toes. Upon arrival at the hotel, Jackson climbs the staircase to Billie Jean's room. Each step lights up as he touches it and a burnt out "Hotel" sign illuminates as he passes. The paparazzo then arrives at the scene and watches as Jackson vanishes under the covers of Billie Jean's bed. Trailed by the police, the paparazzo is then arrested for spying on Billie Jean.[28] Jackson sported a new look for the video; Jheri curled hair. Jackson's clothes, a black leather suit with a pink shirt and a red bow tie, were copied by children around the US.[28] Imitation became so severe that, despite pupil protests, Bound Brook High School banned students from wearing a single white glove like Jackson had on during the performance of "Billie Jean" at Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.[30][31][32]

Walter Yetnikoff, the president of Jackson's record label, CBS, approached MTV to play the "Billie Jean" video. He became enraged when MTV refused to play the video, and threatened to go public with MTV's stance on black musicians. "I said to MTV, 'I'm pulling everything we have off the air, all our product. I’m not going to give you any more videos. And I'm going to go public and fucking tell them about the fact you don't want to play music by a black guy.'"[7] MTV relented and played the "Billie Jean" video in heavy rotation along with Prince's "Little Red Corvette".[7] After the video was aired, Thriller went on to sell an additional 10 million copies.[33] The short film was inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame in 1992.[24] In a 2005 poll of 31 pop stars, video directors, agents and journalists conducted by telecommunications company 3, the music video was ranked fifth in their "Top 20 Music Videos Ever".[34] The video was also ranked as the 35th greatest music video in a list compiled by MTV and TV Guide at the millennium.[35]

The music video is featured on the DVDs Video Greatest Hits - HIStory, Number Ones, on the bonus DVD of Thriller 25 and Michael Jackson's Vision.

Motown 25

On March 25, 1983, Jackson performed "Billie Jean" to critical and popular acclaim. Staged at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever was a celebration of Motown Records' twenty-fifth anniversary (Motown was actually at its 24th year as a record label and was supposed to be done year after in 1984 for Motown was launched in 1959). Organised by Suzanne de Passe, the event was to feature all of the most popular Motown acts, both past and present. The Motown stars were to reunite for one evening, to pay tribute to Berry Gordy and acknowledge his effect on their lives. Jackson initially refused the invitation, and stated that he did not want to perform live, or perform with his brothers again. Jackson reconsidered after a personal visit from Gordy, for whom the singer had great respect. Jackson would perform on the condition that he have a solo spot. Gordy agreed and it was decided that the singer would perform "Billie Jean".[36]

Jackson debuting the moonwalk during his acclaimed performance of "Billie Jean" on Motown 25.

Following performances by Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Mary Wells, The Jacksons took to the stage for their first group performance together in eight years. The brothers sang a medley of their old hits. After they finished with "I'll Be There", they left Michael alone on stage. Jackson addressed the audience and then went into his routine. He wore black pants, leather penny loafers a black sequin jacket, and a single white rhinestone glove. To begin his performance, Jackson snapped a fedora to his head and struck a pose—his right hand on his hat and his left leg bent. He then threw the hat aside and lip synced to "Billie Jean".[36] During a musical interlude, the singer executed a move which many claim to have sealed his status as a pop icon.[37][38] Jackson glided backwards to perform the moonwalk, before he spun on his heels and landed en pointe.[36] It was the first time Jackson had performed the moonwalk in public; he had practiced it in his kitchen prior to the show.[39]

Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever was watched by 50 million people and Jackson's routine earned him an Emmy nomination.[40][41] With the performance, Jackson reached a new audience and increased the sales of Thriller, which eventually became the best-selling album of all-time.[39] The day after the show aired, Jackson was called by his childhood idol Fred Astaire, who commended the singer. Another childhood idol, Sammy Davis, Jr., had admired Jackson's black sequined jacket during the performance and later received it as a gift.[39]

Jackson stated at the time that he was disappointed in his performance; he had wanted to remain on his toes longer than he had.[36] Jackson subsequently said that "Billie Jean" was one of his favorite songs to perform live, but only when he did not have to do it the way he had on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. "The audience wants a certain thing - I have to do the moonwalk in that spot", he later said. "I'd like to do a different version."[24]

In a Top 100 list compiled by VH1 and Entertainment Weekly in 2000, Jackson's performance was ranked as the sixth greatest rock 'n' roll TV moment.[42] Five years later, Entertainment Weekly named Jackson's Motown 25 performance as one of the most important pop culture moments in history. "It was a moment that crossed over in a way that no live musical performance ever had. There was a messianic quality to it", Entertainment Weekly editor Steve Daly commented.[43]

Pepsi commercials

In 1984, Pepsi sponsored The Jacksons' Victory Tour. In return, Michael and his brothers were to star in two commercials for the company.[44] Jackson had reworked "Billie Jean" for the commercial and entitled it "Pepsi Generation". The song was used as the official jingle for the commercials and released as a 7" promo single. The launch of "The Choice of a New Generation" campaign in February 1984 was attended by 1,600 people who were issued with a programme and the 7" single.[45] During the filming of the second commercial, a firework exploded and Jackson's hair caught fire. The incident left the singer in need of reconstructive surgery.[46][47][48] The commercials were premiered at the Grammy Awards, where Jackson wore a hairpiece to cover his burns as he collected a record eight awards.[44][49]

Live performances

Billie Jean always remained a staple of Jackson's tour concerts and had been performed from the Victory Tour of 1984 to his last 30th Anniversary concerts in Madison Square Garden in 2001. After the ending chorus, the drum solo is always extended for a period of time as Jackson dances under one spotlight. The song almost always ends with Jackson singing "Billie Jean is not my lover" and throwing his hat towards the audience. Exceptions are some of the concerts in the Victory Tour, where he held his hat up and threw it afterwards. Since the Victory Tour, the performance has evolved in terms of dance moves and overall song length.

  • Victory Tour - Performance around six minutes in length; only about thirty seconds is the spotlight dance ending.
  • Bad tour - Flashing lights and sounds transition Beat It to Billie Jean. The first leg and second leg performances are considerably different as Jackson did more dance moves in the second leg and the ending was therefore longer in the second leg, around seven minutes in length. One such dance move was Jackson hopping and pointing to the beat, with the background singers yelling "ho!", which appears in most subsequent tour performances as well.
  • In the Dangerous Tour, an illusion was made for Jackson to appear on the upper floor the moment "Thriller" ended through the use of a masked dancer posing as Jackson who he had switched with in the middle of the song. Jackson performed the song at a slightly slower speed than the Victory and Bad tours, but still faster than the studio version. The choreography was very similar to the second leg of the Bad tour with a few more dance moves. The first and second leg performances were about seven minutes in length while the 1993 leg was typically over 8 minutes. In the 1993 leg Jackson often did not pose on his toes after the first moonwalk.
  • 1993 Super Bowl - Jackson performed a part of Billie Jean consisting of only the first refrain, second chorus and instrumental bridge where he did the moonwalk before ending with a pose.
  • 1995 MTV Awards - Shortened version performed as part of a medley during the 1995 MTV Awards. Preceding "Billie Jean", a megamix of Jackson's other songs was performed, followed by a guitar improvisation by Slash. Jackson's enlarged shadow then appears behind a lit curtain. The song consisted of the second chorus, instrumental bridge and a drum ending with the bassline and drums from "Why You Wanna Trip On Me". The same medley was performed during the 1999 Michael Jackson & Friends concerts with live instrumentation but is still lipsynced except for the last line. Here, Slash appears to be "out of control" on his guitar as stage crew try to "stop" him before Billie Jean starts.
  • Royal Brunei Concert 1996 - Slower tempo than studio version, with similar instrumentation to the HIStory Tour. Unlike the HIStory Tour it was sung live and the snare from "Why You Wanna Trip On Me" is played throughout the spotlight ending along with the drum.
  • HIStory Tour/Madison Square Garden - Performances of the song itself was usually eight minutes with some up to nine minutes as well as a two-minute intro. Jackson walks on stage with a briefcase before he opens it to dress up for the song. The first half of the song was always lipsynced until after the moonwalk, where Jackson starts to sing live. The chorus is played back until Jackson signals for the end dance to start. The spotlight dance briefly samples a snare from "Why You Wanna Trip On Me" only in the beginning of the song as Jackson grabs his crotch. In most of the HIStory Tour concerts as well as the second Madison Square Garden concert, Jackson also beatboxes prior to throwing his hat. During the concerts in Auckland in 1996, the chorus was also sung/played-back while Jackson beatboxed.
  • Madison Square Garden - Very similar to the HIStory Tour in instrumentation and vocal mixing, but some verses before the moonwalk are sung live and switches back and forth with playback. First performance was over 8 minutes in length and was more improvised at the end with robotic dance moves. To some fans, Jackson appeared more disoriented in the first concert as he only did one short moonwalk and improvised the ending. The second concert was 7 minutes and featured a shorter end dance routine that had a moonwalk. The broadcast combines both versions into a 6-minute mix and dubs any verses sung live before the moonwalk with the studio a cappella. To explain Jackson's disoriented appearance, David Gest claimed in his film Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon that Jackson was on drugs during the concerts. However, Jackson himself stated that he did not rehearse for the first concert.
  • This Is It - One of these rehearsals was filmed completely and shown in the film This Is It. Here, the song is approximately six minutes in length and Jackson does not moonwalk during the bridge but does in the end chorus. Although it is known Jackson sang at least some parts live, the much of the vocals were dubbed from an early demo of Billie Jean in the final production.

Billie Jean 2008

Jackson's original version of "Billie Jean" was remixed by rapper and hip-hop artist Kanye West for Thriller 25, a 25th anniversary reissue of Jackson's Thriller. Entitled "Billie Jean 2008", the remix garnered a mixed reception; most critics felt that it was impossible to improve upon the original. Bill Lamb, of About.com, described the remix as "lifeless", and added that it sounded like West had "entered the studio fully intimidated by the genius of the original".[50] Pitchfork Media's Tom Ewing explained that a guest verse "might have added dynamics to the mix's clumsy claustrophobia".[51] Mike Joseph, in review of Thriller 25 for PopMatters, described the track listing of the reissue as "pleasant" but West's "lazy" remix was the only exception. He added, "You've been given the opportunity to remix the most iconic single from one of the most iconic albums of all time, and all you can do is stick a drum machine on top of the song's original arrangement?".[52] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone disliked the removal of the original bassline, and compared it to "putting Bobby Orr on the ice without a hockey stick".[53] IGN's Todd Gilchrist praised West's remix and stated that it was a "pretty great track". He added, "it almost overplays the track's originally understated drama, his additions enhance the song and demonstrate that in a contemporary context."[54]

Notable cover versions

German punk rock band The Bates covered "Billie Jean" in 1996. It peaked at number 67 on the UK Singles Chart. British funk group Linx recorded the track in 1997 and retitled it "Billie Jean Got Soul".[35] English musician Ian Brown took "Billie Jean" to number five on the UK charts in 2000. It was the B-side of "Dolphins Were Monkeys". Brown later commented, "I love Jackson. I want to do a Jackson EP with 'Thriller', 'Beat It', 'Billie Jean' and 'Rockin' Robin' or 'ABC' on it. Hopefully I'll get it done". The singer later covered "Thriller" on Golden Gaze, from his second solo album, Golden Greats.[35][55]

"Billie Jean" was recorded by American rock musician Chris Cornell for his Carry On album in 2007. Cornell said of his cover, "I didn't plan on it. It just sort of happened organically. I changed the music quite a bit, I didn't touch the lyrics." He added, "And it's not a joke. I took a completely different approach to it, musically."[56] Cornell had previously performed the song live in Europe, including an acoustic set in Stockholm, Sweden in September, 2006.[35][56] He later said, "I was getting ready to do some acoustic shows on a promotional tour for Revelations and I just wanted to have fun with it."[57] The cover received favourable reviews from critics. MTV noted the "bluesier, more pained and impassioned feel" which stripped away "any pop elements of the original".[57] Los Angeles Times described the track as "a grim, spooky take" on Jackson's "Billie Jean", and added that it was "amusing enough, even if it sounds a lot more like Metallica's 'Nothing Else Matters'". The newspaper concluded that "Jacko's mega hit [survived] the stunt translation".[58]

Other covers

1980s/90s
  • In 1986, Brazilian composer Caetano Veloso covered the song.[59]
  • In 1990, Italian singer Mina covered the song included in the album [Ti conosco mascherina]
  • In 1997, British funk group Linx recorded the track and retitled it "Billie Jean Got Soul".[35]
  • In 1999, hip hop group Invisibl Skratch Piklz perform a live cover of the song at the end of "Shiggar Fragger: Volume 2" with DJ Yogafrog providing an impression of Jackson's original vocals over a vinyl single instrumental.[60]
2000s
2010s
  • In 2010 and 2011, American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars covered this song during his Doo-Wops & Hooligans tour.[64]
  • In 2010, rock and pop artist Terra Naomi covered the song acoustically on YouTube and on the album MJ Acoustic Covers - Tribute to Michael.[65][66]
  • In 2011, Patrick Stump covered the song in an a cappella mash-up tribute to Jackson along with several other songs over pre-recorded backing vocals.[67]
  • In 2011, hard rock band Nonpoint covered the song and made it available for free download from their Facebook page.[68]
  • In 2011, Drew Ryniewicz covered the song on X Factor - USA.
  • In 2011, The Civil Wars covered the song on their album Barton Hollow.
  • In 2011, Nana Tanimura covered the song for the Japanese Free: Cut the Rhythm & Beat, Jam with Super Vocalists & Artists-project.
  • In 2012, In Fear and Faith covered the song in the form of a piano ballad and released it as a music video worldwide in June of that year.
  • In 2012, Breathe Carolina covered the song for the Punk Goes Pop series.
  • In 2012, Thelma Aoyama covered the song for her first cover album My Covers.

Remixes and samplings

Legacy

Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" is considered one of the most revolutionary songs in the history of pop music.[74] To accompany a single with a high-production music video was groundbreaking. "Billie Jean" aided Thriller in becoming the biggest selling album of all time and has been referenced by performers such as Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown and Usher.[74][75] The Guardian reflected that "more thought went into the production of this single than would go into the entire recording careers of Axl Rose, Coldplay, Shania Twain or Gwen Stefani."[74] Jackson's live performances of the song overshadowed the track; many preferred to watch him dance to "Billie Jean" rather than to simply listen to it. The song and accompanying performances contributed to Jackson's status as a pop icon.[74]

Frequently listed in polls of the best songs ever made, "Billie Jean" was named the greatest dance record of all time by BBC Radio 2 listeners. After the announcement of the winner, presenter Zoë Ball said, "I'm delighted that "Billie Jean" has been voted the greatest dance record ever made. This is Jackson at his best." She continued, "This track is way up there for me - Jacko's rendition of it at the Motown 25th anniversary show has got to be one of the great live performances of all time. The bassline is awesome, the production is killer. It's just perfect."[76] In a list compiled by Rolling Stone and MTV in 2000, the song was ranked as the sixth greatest pop song since 1963. "I Want You Back" and "Beat It" were placed at numbers nine and twenty-two respectively. The Beatles' "Yesterday", which Jackson owned the rights to, was placed at number one.[77]

In a 2005 poll conducted by Sony Ericsson, "Billie Jean" was ranked as the world's third favorite song. Over 700,000 people in 60 different countries cast their votes. Voters from the UK placed "Billie Jean" at number one, ahead of "Thriller", with a further five of the top ten being solo recordings by Jackson. The song was placed at number seven in MTV Europe's All-Time Top Ten R&B Songs. In a survey of over 600,000 people, Channel 4 and HMV revealed "Billie Jean" as the 16th best song in their Music of the Millenium poll.[35]Rolling Stone placed the song at #58 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2010).[78]

In an interview, R&B artist Pharrell Williams stated that "Billie Jean" was one of his favorite songs. "It is hard to say if there is a greater song than "Billie Jean". I think there will never be a song like this one again, with this bassline, with this kind of effect, this eternalness, this perfection."[79] The song has featured in the film Charlie's Angels and the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. When re-released as part of the Visionary campaign in 2006, "Billie Jean" charted at number 11 in the UK. It remained in the top 200 for over 40 weeks and was the most successful reissue by some distance.[35] To this day, "Billie Jean" is still in heavy rotation; it is played on over 90% of the world's radios and receives more than 250,000 spins per week in clubs around the world.[79] In 2010, the song was played in advertisements for Michael Jackson: The Experience.

Billie Jean was voted number 2 in the 'The Nation's Favourite Number 1 Single", a British TV programme airing on ITV on 21 July 2012. The British public had to choose their favourite number one from the past 60 years of music. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen was voted the favourite.[80]

Author:Bling King
Published:Mar 6th 2013
Modified:Mar 6th 2013
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There is no such thing as time
Posted by Bling King

    

     Upon further ponderance I have come to the conclusion that time does not exist except in the law of physics. I have come to this conclusion through the observation of how things change and why they change at the pace in which they change. To me it seems that every change that takes place  in the universe is not dictated by time but rather physics. It is the law of physics that dictates the rate and speed at which all things change. For example if you have a car  that is traveling at 100 miles an hour the speed at  which the car travels is all dictated by physical changes and therfor controlled by the law of physics..Therfor it seems that for any change to take place all you need is physics and the law of physics that governs the physical changes. Time does not need be a factor and bears no relavance. As long as we have the law of physics everything will happen in accordance with those laws.

The composition of time
Posted by Bling King

   

    Time has 3 components. A front a middle and a rear. In the front time has what appears to be something of perspectual perspectualness that will move things forward at a set forth proponent. This part of time is easy to see and witness. However it is not easy to predict at which point time will make forward momentum happen. It would seem that this forward momentum is always in inactment but I would disagree with this. To me it seems more as if time interacts with things on its own accord leaving somethings unchanged for long standing periods of time. An example of this would be how time occasionally interacts with the speed of light. The speed of light remains constant but occasionally time will manifest itself into the equation and make modifications of the speed that light travels. For instance light will move forward forthwittingly at a billion miles a second but if it encounters any kind of resistance then time will inject itself and change the speed at which it was moving. Which leads me to the assumption that in order for time to inject itself into any equation a proponent has to take place that makes a physical change that would cause time to interject itself. If no physical change takes place than time has also not been a factor.

    The middle proponent of time is the area in which time is manipulating  the change that takes...Read More

👄What turns me on
Posted by Bling King

    I get turned on by some funny stuff. I'm not really into like full blown kinkiness or at least I wouldn't consider myself to be a kinky person but I do have a few fetishes. Some of them are a little out of the ordinary. For instance I have this one fetish about being tied up  and thrown in the ocean and then rescued by a mermaid. I think this fantasy comes from when I was a kid and I used to dream of mermaids and always wanted to meet one. Well one day its gonna happen. Now don't go telling me mermaids don't exist. You don't know cause they are in fact real and as soon as I meet one I will prove it to you. As far as some of my other turn ons  I guess what really gets me excited is people who  tell other people to shut the fuck up. I love when a woman just looks at a man and tells him to shut his mouth. To me thats a big turn on because the woman seems assertive like a dominatrix or something. If she will be assertive in a conversation she will be assertive in the bedroom or so I  would like to believe.

Time is a dialectable derelict
Posted by Bling King

To fathom the fortrighteousness of time one has to contemplate the personification of forthwittial forthwittil. Time forthwittingly will only listen to the commands of its on inner personification to which there is no directional direction or so it would seem but on further inquisitories I have come to realize that there is a forthwittingly forthwittal of which time has pronounced and those commands seem to speak to the nature of to which time corresponds. To review these pronouncements for your own bemusement look at time as if you had it captured it  in a bottle. What would happen? We know on the inside of the bottle time would force the inner workings of the bottle to correspond to times diabolical commands. Causing everything to change to times everlescent rules. however on the outside of the bottle things would not change, everything would stay in constant neutrality or would it? The question remains if there was no time would things still be allowed to happen and if so at what pace and what would dictate the pace at which things would change. There seems to be no rule in place for the dictation of the pace change which takes place. So it would seem that time has decided that factor somehow within itself. There could be a correlation at which things change and the pace being dictated by physics and the amount the physical world can be allowed to change within its own accord of set boundaries. To actually find...Read More

Free from time constraints
Posted by Bling King

 

 

 

There was a time when time did not matter. The thing that was an utmost relevance now was of no matter. The diffrence it made seemed miniscule and now it is constantly dictating everything that takes place before me. What is this thing that controls and makes everything manifest itself to its constraints and why and how does it do this. Time is nothing but the utmost miracle before us. Something that has always had to exist for anything ever to take place. There is no changing its course there is no variance in its absolute everlasting existance. To control time would be the utmost  crown jewel of all accomplishments if indeed it could ever be controlled. The only way I ever see time being manipulated to change its values is to speed up everything that time has interacted with. In order to do such a thing you would have to understand the nature of the objects in question and how they are effected by time. For instance a speeding car will slow down in time without constant force being distrubuted by the engine. To slow down the car one only has to take their foot off the accelarator and gradually time will do the rest but if you could freeze time at the speed at which the car was traveling then time would not  exist because the...Read More

the truth about time
Posted by Bling King

        I have looked at time many times and I have noticed a few components. There is a precise proponent that ushers in a manifestation. Whenever something new is going to happen you can look at that event which is about to take place and precisely predict exactly when it has started. Once you realize a manifestation has taken place you can precisely predict its out come. If you know that a manifestation has started to take place then you will know you are being guided through the realm precisely by the forces of an enlightenment. Throughout time this manifestation will remain constant starting with a beginning and an end and ending in a preconcieved enlightenment. Sometimes an enlightenment can take weeks and some times an enlightenment can take centuries. It depends on how many times that enlightenment has been benounced to the realm. 

 

nothing
Posted by Bling King

I suspect a suffcient of sufficence of suffiacantel suffiance of suffiance of absurdity of absurdanace. In all actual actuality there is an  actual actuality of actualityness in retrospect to the retorospective respect in which every person who has an intellectual intellect can see that the world is a prominance of prominance in which the order will reside as long as the order is maintained. Once that order is relinquished chaos will ensue. For chaos to be a calamity there only needs to be a perspectual perspective of perspectance that escalates the chaos to that height. What would cause that is a person or persons in the realm of the realmatical realmatics looking beyond thier own existance to the existance of there forfathers to see what has become of thier existance. If you look at your own existance for what it is you will see that it is neither logical nor illogical for it makes all the sense of a sensimatical sensematic. As long as you have a reason for your own existance then it is fruitful for you to exist. Once that reason or reasons are gone you will no longer care whether it is you live or die. In the realm in which we live is a prospectus prospectant of prospectantin which all will ensue. To change the prospectus prospectus you need to look to the realm and see what the prospectus prospectant is and manifest it to your own liking. My...Read More

The conclusive conclusion
Posted by Bling King

In all actual reality the realm is manifested of certain procedural procedures that come forth frequently to forthrightous forthrightenous. In the place of predicament I have found that I can properly place things in the procedural sequence unbenowst to people of the realm. In order to conflict the conflictions you have to equate the equation of equationalness in to proper equations. Very simple but also very tedious. You do this by equating the equation into percise preciseness. An example of an equation would be a placement of perdicament of a certain event in which you wish it to be. The next manifestation I could manifest is a manifestual manifestation of manifests of a sequance of certainal circumstances. Put together a sequence by asking the sequence in order to manifest itself and then tell the manifestations to happen in frequence in which they will unfold.

The Unattainable future
Posted by Bling King

     If the future is a grain of sand and its falling through an hour glass nothing in the world can stop it. It will eniquivaocalby blind as to where its going when it comes to its rest it has befallen its fate and will remain where it lay for an eternity knowing nothing about itself or it's surroundings. I am that grain of sand. Nothing ever can change my destiny for only time here makes a diffrence.. To benounce the future is the only way to change ones fortune. The time it takes to make an equivical change remains the utmost mystery of the universe.

🤯In the eyes of myself
Posted by Bling King

 

 

There where three men. All who seemed frightened. They stood on the edge of the canyon looking on as a fourth man tumbled to his death. We could have saved him said one of the men. He should have saved himself said another. The third man just look at them bewildered and brought a handgun to his own head and pulled the trigger. Blood spattered. The two men watched as he slumped to the ground. The first man screamed and the second threw himself to the side of the man on the ground. Why?!! he screamed. It was the only sound heard. Sobbing he looked at the man standing and said you did this! You and your frigging righteous speech about the lives we leave and the sacrifice we must make. Your the devil. I am not the devil said the standing man only the truth. The truth about what? The other man screamed. Your life he said and he jumped.

The man heard a ringing and he sat up slowly. It was over the dream but his thoughts where still on the side of the canyon. How did this happen. How did it all just fade away? The dream came and went in an instant leaving his mind boggled and his eyes heavy. I knew I was there thought the man but how? It was all to familiar the...Read More

The story Elijah and Ellen
Posted by Bling King

The story of Elijah and Ellan. This is the story of Elijah and Ellan. Ellan is a beutiful temptress and Elijah is a dutiful servant of Ellan's. Together the pair fell in love and soon became a duo of in excessible excession. They frolicked in the sun under the rare occurance of rain they took shelter in the arms of each other. One day while hiding from the glares of the sun under an oak tree that provided an abundance of shade they looked into each others souls and realized there where no people suited for each other then the two of them where suited for each other. They basked in the notion that they where the most two compatible souls on the planet. As they where thinking this a giant unforseen acclamaited acclamation occurred. The planet began to tremble and shake beneath them and the stars came out. The sun hid amongst the clouds and everything from start to finish began to take shape. There where huge explosions and giant surges of wind and rain. The two began to run for their shelter knowing at the exact moment the trembling and violent agressions of unacclaimated weather started that they most likely wouldn't make it to see another sunrise. The planet was exploding with molten lava and the tempertures where unbearable as for the two of them could remember they had never seen a winter climate and didn't expect they ever would. The planet had been warming out of...Read More

today was a day of dismal despair
Posted by Bling King

Things have gone down hill drastically now for a very long time. We seem to be some what defeated but yet i know we still have some power and prominance. We are fighting an up hill battle and there is no way forward from here from what i can see. We are trudging along a path that goes nowhere.

⚔️The Greatest Warrior of All Time
Posted by Bling King

 

 

Today i conquered and beat all adverseries there where to beat. Tomorrow new adversaries will arise. I will be ready, there is never a shortage of enemies who wish to dethrone me from the top of the world. I didn't get here by being passive and yeilding to the oppostion. I got here by defeating them both mentally and physically and in entiriety.

In a time of desilute despair
Posted by Bling King

     There was a time when I was in desilute despair. The only thing I had was me myself and I to fall back on. I looked at the person who was my opponent and I knew one of  us was going to die and I was going to do everytrhing I could to make dam sure it wasn't me. I pulled my six shooter from its holster and aimed at the guy looking at me  about 30 yards away. He also went for his gun and in lightning speed he was laid sprawled out on the dirt bleeding and moaning. I had heard a shot but new that it had come from my own gun. He never even got a shot off. I was unscathed and again undeafeted. Anybody who ever tried to kill me was dead and their where over 30 who had tried and failed to kill yours truly.

Gravity
Posted by Bling King

Gravity is the force of nature that pulls cellestrial bodies toward one another. The cause of gravity is the enertia of a bodies movement through space and time. This happens by an object preconcievably traveling through the cosmos at an alarming rate of acceleration. The faster an object travels the more enertia it will build up and then will therefore have a greater ability to move. the more it moves the more other objects will cling to it. the way this can be proved is by taking an object and hurtling it towards another object the two objects would collide do to the enertia pulling them towards each other. Thy would not stay on their current trajectory but their paths would alter towards one another in a greater force than their initial gravitational pull. the best test to accomodate this theory would be tow baseballs flying through the air at speeds over one hundred miles an hour. The baseballs would not interject themselves with one another normally but at this speed would do so do to the balls enertia pulling them towards one another.

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