t/s: george michael vs michael jackson

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
george michael 24
michael jackson 15


the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 20:21 (three months ago) link

Michael

call me cismale (Noodle Vague), Friday, 10 May 2019 20:37 (three months ago) link

george michael.

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Friday, 10 May 2019 20:37 (three months ago) link

supported the miners, fairly early coming out for a british public figure, sexier, not a pederast, better uk xmas number 1

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Friday, 10 May 2019 20:39 (three months ago) link

MJ's the deeper artist, I would've said even half a decade ago.

In the last four years -- even before his death -- I've been re-visiting GM's music and come away astonished by its range and beauty.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 May 2019 20:42 (three months ago) link

If we're voting for the music: Michael Jackson.
If we're voting for the person: George Michael.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 20:47 (three months ago) link

xp and he produced it himself!

the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 20:52 (three months ago) link

i too am astonished by the range and beauty of GM's work as i dig into it, especially with andy ridgeley as wham!

for example i think "everything she wants" can go toe-to-toe with "billie jean" or really anything MJ ever did

the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 20:54 (three months ago) link

I mean, I will never be convinced that George Michael ever released an album as front-to-back great as the three Quincy produced Michael Jackson records, but all of those records were pretty much designed to be blockbusters. Faith, Listen Without Prejudice and Older are all on a much smaller scale, but they're full of some really beautiful moments that continue to hold up, and the best of his work with Wham! remains good fun.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 20:58 (three months ago) link

I admit to preferring post-peak GM more than post-peak MJ, but there's not a whole lot of material there in the case of the latter.

zama roma ding dong (Eric H.), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:01 (three months ago) link

Well, how are you defining post-peak GM and post-peak MJ? Because in the UK, I guess that post-peak GM would be after Older and post-peak MJ would essentially be Invincible (HIStory was huge here!)

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:04 (three months ago) link

faith is an incredibly consistent huge pop record, as is listen without prejudice

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:05 (three months ago) link

Neither has much "post-peak" music. GM has a covers album and Patience, and the latter's good to excellent.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:06 (three months ago) link

Good point. I meant post-peak on American charts, basically.

zama roma ding dong (Eric H.), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:07 (three months ago) link

faith is an incredibly consistent huge pop record, as is listen without prejudice

― american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, May 10, 2019 9:05 PM (three minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

You're right about them being pop records.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:11 (three months ago) link

idk all the songs on both of those albums are good-to-great? not sure what argument you're making here

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:13 (three months ago) link

Oh god, of all of MJ's big post-Dangerous hits, I keep forgetting about 'You Are Not Alone', which is just as well given who wrote it, let alone who sang it.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:15 (three months ago) link

for example i think "everything she wants" can go toe-to-toe with "billie jean" or really anything MJ ever did

― the late great, Friday, May 10, 2019 1:54 PM (twenty-one minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

oh weird i was about to make this exact suggestion. maybe not "billie jean" but def other mj singles

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:16 (three months ago) link

"everything she wants" will fill any dancefloor afaik

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:16 (three months ago) link

I fill every karaoke room with my version of "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go," which in its joy and risking of silliness is as great as "I Want You Back."

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:20 (three months ago) link

idk all the songs on both of those albums are good-to-great? not sure what argument you're making here

― american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, May 10, 2019 9:13 PM (two minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I'm not disputing that Faith and Listen Without Prejudice aren't good records - they are, and they've given me many hours of listening pleasure, as it were. However, they're very different beasts to those Quincy produced Jackson records. I feel that the goals with the two artists were different.

With George Michael's stuff, and even considering the fact that Faith sold a fuckton, the art feels to me to be a hell of a lot more personal. He's very much the head creator of those records in every sense - writing all the lyrics, writing all the music, arranging everything, producing the record himself. It's mostly a one-man effort, with various session musicians drafted in for embellishment. With an emphasis on personal expression as much as hits, and with all the songwriting coming from one person, naturally there are peaks and troughs.

With Michael Jackson's stuff, there is a very deliberate attempt on behalf of the singer and producer to choose the absolute best material, work with the best musicians possible, everything about those albums is calculated to the Nth degree. They have been calculated and designed to be huge records that shift a fuckton of units. On those records, you can pretty much tell they had a policy that nothing was going to go on that album unless it was of a certain standard, no matter where it came from.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:36 (three months ago) link

I think it goes without saying that Quincy's production decisions on those records were OTM. Off the Wall and Thriller are filler-free, and they got pretty damn close on Bad, too.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:38 (three months ago) link

I'm not sure if you intended it, but you created a binary between "personal expression" (GM) and commercial-minded studio craft (MJ) as if they weren't the same thing.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:43 (three months ago) link

I hear far more of "George Michael" in his music than I do of "Michael Jackson" in his.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:45 (three months ago) link

yawn

the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 21:48 (three months ago) link

george michael mostly did the album himself as one person, therefore it is more personal

michael jackson hired a professional producer, therefore it is a more professional effort

stunning insights

the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 21:51 (three months ago) link

Apart from HIStory of course, where naturally the events surrounding Jackson at the time had eroded the veneer somewhat and the showbizzy mask slipped a little bit and he made quite possibly his angriest, most personal statement.

(xx-post)

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:52 (three months ago) link

I hear far more of "George Michael" in his music than I do of "Michael Jackson" in his.

― Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, May 10, 2019

You know them personally?

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 May 2019 21:53 (three months ago) link

Okay, let's compare the two records that came out in the same year: Faith vs. Bad...

Faith has the title track and 'Father Figure' (evergreen classics), plus 'I Want Your Sex' and six other tracks that are mostly fondly remembered by the hardcore fans even if some of them were released as singles.

Bad has the title track, 'The Way You Make Me Feel', 'Man in the Mirror', 'Dirty Diana', 'Smooth Criminal' and 'Leave Me Alone', plus lesser gems like 'Liberian Girl', 'Another Part of Me' and 'I Just Can't Stop Loving You'... and all of 'em were released as singles!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:01 (three months ago) link

You know them personally?

― recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, May 10, 2019 9:53 PM (eight minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Come on now, stop being silly, you know exactly what I'm getting at.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:02 (three months ago) link

that MJ didn't address his kiddie fucking in song-form explicitly enough?

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 May 2019 22:03 (three months ago) link

plus lesser gems like 'Liberian Girl', 'Another Part of Me' and 'I Just Can't Stop Loving You' ...

what makes those "lesser gems" and not "other tracks that are mostly fondly remembered by the hardcore fans"?

the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 22:04 (three months ago) link

Exposure.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:06 (three months ago) link

Come on now, stop being silly, you know exactly what I'm getting at.

― Le Baton Rose (Turrican),

No, I don't! I write fiction. How does laboring over sentence more "personal" than making sure I had the best laptop, work space, notebooks, and lead pencils at my disposal? These things are impossible to judge and unimportant.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:09 (three months ago) link

By which I mean, I have been confronted with those MJ songs on either radio or TV at least once in the last five years alone, compared to 'One More Try', 'Monkey' or 'Kissing a Fool', which I've heard a total amount of zero on either radio or TV in the last twenty.

(x-post)

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:11 (three months ago) link

in my universe the b-sides from bad are just as obscure as the b-sides from faith

i'll give you that bad has five big pop hits to faith's three, but that doesn't necessarily prove to me that "bad" is a better album than "faith"

the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 22:13 (three months ago) link

By which I mean, I have been confronted with those MJ songs on either radio or TV at least once in the last five years alone, compared to 'One More Try', 'Monkey' or 'Kissing a Fool', which I've heard a total amount of zero on either radio or TV in the last twenty.

This is, as you correctly noted upthread, the difference between American and British airplay. Those singles are inescapable on adult contemporary radio in the States, "Monkey" aside.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:14 (three months ago) link

iirc faith was less huge in the uk that it was in the us, which might also be influencing turrican’s posts

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:14 (three months ago) link

oh i see that was covered

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:15 (three months ago) link

anyway jesus christ is this ILM or the clear channel boardroom? do ppl really vote in polls based on what gets played more on the radio?!?

the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 22:15 (three months ago) link

"people"

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:20 (three months ago) link

^^ i'm reading that post in daniel plainview's voice

the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 22:23 (three months ago) link

in my universe the b-sides from bad are just as obscure as the b-sides from faith

iirc there were no B-sides from Bad? Father Figure had a Stevie Wonder cover but otherwise I think it's just album tracks and remixes too

blokes you can't rust (sic), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:27 (three months ago) link

sorry, i use the term too loosely. i just meant non-singles

the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 22:30 (three months ago) link

"album tracks" whatever

the late great, Friday, 10 May 2019 22:30 (three months ago) link

Well, writing fiction and writing/recording music are completely different things. Do you know how many different factors are involved in making a record and how many decisions have to be made, all of which can affect the outcome of the end product in a major way?

Michael Jackson's pre-HIStory music, for me, is all sung, played, performed and written to the highest possible standard, yet very little of it reveals much about the person singing those songs, bar stuff like 'Leave Me Alone' of course. It's almost like you have to scrape through the endless layers of showbiz and carefully crafted persona to find out what's really in there, and a lot of times there isn't anything there at all - by design, as good as the music is. Whereas the production values on George Michael's albums aren't anywhere near the shiny/blockbuster record standard set by those Michael Jackson albums, but you get more of a sense of who the person is singing those songs, and of course the approach taken to recording those albums makes it more personal by default... how could it not?

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:31 (three months ago) link

yet very little of it reveals much about the person singing those songs

insert Oscar Wilde quote

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 May 2019 22:35 (three months ago) link

what is "The person" and who bloody cares? A song is an expression of a POV through a mask.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:37 (three months ago) link

It can be. In the case of these two, Jackson's mask is so thick that the person behind it is a hermit.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:40 (three months ago) link

Do you know how many different factors are involved in making a record and how many decisions have to be made, all of which can affect the outcome of the end product in a major way?

0_o

Ned Caligari (Tom D.), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:48 (three months ago) link

The dearth of the author

call me cismale (Noodle Vague), Friday, 10 May 2019 22:55 (three months ago) link

i just meant non-singles / "album tracks" whatever

ah right, agree that the "lesser" singles/etc from both are as obscure as each other in my real world of not listening to commercial radio too. but I think I've only heard pre-Bad MJ in the wild this century too

[also lol Bad famously only had two album tracks. even the CD-only bonus track had a single release more high-profile than most of the others! I definitely can't remember anything about Speed Demon, and I got Bad on LP for Christmas '87]

blokes you can't rust (sic), Saturday, 11 May 2019 00:29 (three months ago) link

same as Thriller, Faith, etc.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 11 May 2019 00:30 (three months ago) link

I was born in 1988 so I don't really have the understanding how either of them existed as ~celebrities~ in their 80s peak. I think of Billie Jean as a massive song but I don't believe a single word of it because the idea of MJ in a torrid love affair debating a baby's paternity seems so out-of-sync with the persona of MJ I grew up with - ballads like Earth Song and You Are Not Alone, all the nonsense around his kids, the accusations. It just doesn't seem believable from the angle I'm coming at it. Whereas GM singing Freeeak or Outside always felt so real, because GM was sexual and playful and basically not overshadowed by who he was.

boxedjoy, Saturday, 11 May 2019 07:45 (three months ago) link

Well every big album (or movie) is a collective effort. And a collective effort doesn’t mean you can’t express a personal point of view, does it ?
I don’t really understand this discussion, I guess !

AlXTC from Paris, Saturday, 11 May 2019 08:03 (three months ago) link

I don't know how people can bear to listen to Lou Reed, after he confessed to killing a man in the song "Kicks".

Ned Caligari (Tom D.), Saturday, 11 May 2019 10:29 (three months ago) link

Surprised that Older is getting so little mention on this thread. To me it's George's best record by miles.

It's not as good as Off The Wall though.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Saturday, 11 May 2019 10:53 (three months ago) link

Imo George acquits himself better on mid tempo and ballad material. MJ stronger on purely uptempo stuff.

(I like Freedom 90, Fastlove etc)

Master of Treacle, Saturday, 11 May 2019 11:25 (three months ago) link

Michael Jackson, easily

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 11 May 2019 13:00 (three months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 16 May 2019 00:01 (three months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 17 May 2019 00:01 (three months ago) link

I like GM but come on !
I suppose the results are not based on music/performance considerations only...

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 17 May 2019 09:54 (three months ago) link

why wouldn't they?

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 17 May 2019 10:25 (three months ago) link

Well, it's possible of course but I have a hard time thinking 60% of people like GM more than MJ if you strictly consider musical aspects.

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 17 May 2019 10:30 (three months ago) link

95% of MJs music is garbage

Οὖτις, Friday, 17 May 2019 14:01 (three months ago) link

ahah ok then !

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 17 May 2019 14:07 (three months ago) link

No challops itt, I see.

Ned Caligari (Tom D.), Friday, 17 May 2019 14:09 (three months ago) link

80% garbage is fair and generous for Jackson's solo material - even the Quincy albums have a lot of highly competent dross, and there's little of worth outside them

blokes you can't rust (sic), Friday, 17 May 2019 14:26 (three months ago) link

I like GM but come on !
I suppose the results are not based on music/performance considerations only...

― AlXTC from Paris, Friday, May 17, 2019 9:54 AM (four hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I was trying to refrain from saying "only on ILM" for the 100th time the moment the poll results came in, but yeah, this is one of those "only on ILM" things.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 17 May 2019 14:54 (three months ago) link

You mean it's only on ILM that Michael Jackson is judged on more than just the music?

Ned Caligari (Tom D.), Friday, 17 May 2019 14:58 (three months ago) link

We need a poll on who had the better post-death acts of kindness discoveries

PaulTMA, Friday, 17 May 2019 14:59 (three months ago) link

MJ could never, would never, write a song like "Outside" GM forever.

ABSOLUTELY NO SCRUBS WHATSOEVER, Thursday, 23 May 2019 04:02 (three months ago) link

yes!

the late great, Thursday, 23 May 2019 04:22 (three months ago) link

its kind of obvious of course, but it’s interesting to see how GM/Wham had hits but was not really taken seriously at all in the 80s but has now firmly been rehabilitated, while MJ had the opposite arc.

Siegbran, Thursday, 23 May 2019 06:31 (three months ago) link

Challops time: MJ was only good in the '70s (with his '79 solo album Off the Wall being his only good solo album). Not weighing in on George Michael, though, whose music I'm not as familiar with (though I did admire his singing talent).

The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Saturday, 25 May 2019 21:25 (three months ago) link


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