September 27, 2010

Lyrics blog: Keep The Faith

... Continuing a wonderful idea that @doublebeee had ...

Ever since I first listened to the album Keep The Faith stood out for me. Back then I was only starting to learn English so I felt it before fully understanding what was about (it did help it had the lyrics on that beautifully designed sleeve).

Through the years this song has been a source of inspiration and energy for me. It has that gospel sound to it. Undeniably beautiful with powerful vocals it reaches for the depth of ones soul with an amazing effect of lifting it above hardship and trouble.

Bruce Swedien recalls the song took a lot out of Michael while recording it in a 1992 Rolling Stone article (Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" Mind) with trying to find the right key.
"I thought we'd have a major, major problem," I told him, 'Pull yourself together, face this now.' And it was late. I said, 'We're not going home until you've sung this all the way through. Then we'll go home and be able to sleep and continue.' That was scary. But he did it. He pulled himself together. We went in the studio, cut a whole new demo and recorded a scratch vocal all way through. A situation like that could have been a real block. We didn't leave studio till dawn."

I Know That Keepin' The Faith
Means Never Givin' Up On Love
But The Power That Love Has To Make It Right

Glen Ballard said Michael is an "incredible singer". "He'll spend two years making a record, then go out and sing all the lead vocals in a week. He's got such confidence and ability. I've worked with him sitting at a piano and having him sing, and it's just a religious experience - the guy is amazing... he's expressive, has great pitch, does incredible backgrounds. His backgrounds are probably as good as anybody I've ever heard - they're textures unto themselves."

While Teddy Riley is quoted to say  "I really admire the work that went into this track. Anything Michael does, I can admire. It doesn't really remind you of any of his other songs; this one's a bit different to his usual tracks but it stands out. Michael's always innovative. With this track, I just think he went another way due to the structure of the track and the instruments used. Well, that and him working with Glen Ballard with the writing on it – they kind of went head-on with that track."

If You Call Out Loud
Will It Get Inside

"The thing that sometimes seems to get overlooked about 
Michael Jackson is what an absolutely phenomenal singer he was. 
He had one of the greatest gospel shouts of the 20th Century, quite possibly the last of it's kind.
How many times have we found ourselves looking for something to hang onto. Something or someone who will save us and help us pull through? Daily struggles take sometimes the best of us and we forget we have this amazing resource inside of us. 
And You Can Say The Words
Like You Understand
But The Power's In Believing
So Give Yourself
A Chance

I find it hard to express into words the effect this song has on me. 

I Know That Keepin' The Faith
Means Never Givin' Up On Love

There have been many times when I thought about giving up. And sometimes I did. But this song always brought me back to trying. 
I almost never consciously set out to listen to it. But somehow it played when I needed to hear it. 
Lift Up Your Head
And Show The World You Got Pride
Go For What You Want
Don't Let 'Em Get In Your Way
You Can Be A Winner
If You Keep The Faith
Straighten Out Yourself
And Get Your Mind On Track
Dust Off Your Butt
And Get Your Self-Respect Back
You've Known Me Long Enough
To Know That I Don't Play
Take It Like You Want It
But You Got To Keep The Faith
"Keep The Faith" Credits

* Written and composed by Glen Ballard, Siedah Garrett and Michael Jackson
* Produced by Michael Jackson
* Co-produced by Bruce Swedien
* Recorded and mixed by Bruce Swedien
* Solo and background vocals: Michael Jackson
* Arrangement by Glen Ballard, Jerry Hey and Rhett Lawrence
* Choir arrangement by Andrae and Sandra Crouch, featuring the Andrae Crouch Singers
* Background vocals: Siedah Garret and Shanice Wilson
* Piano and bass: Jai Winding
* Drums, percussion and synthesizer: Rhett Lawrence
* Drums and percussion: Bruce Swedien
* Synthesizers: Michael Boddicker
* Guitar: David Williams
Also read:

Bruce Swedien: Recording Michael Jackson

September 22, 2010

Children´s Day: Poem: What Children Know

Children know laughter
They know tears
Children know peace
They know chaos
Children know acceptance
They know rejection
Children know joy
They know pain
Children know abundance
They know lack
Children know health
They know illness
Children know fulfillment
They know emptiness
Children know hope
They know dismay
Children know love
They know hatred
What they don’t know is WHY!

(Credits to: Namie Elisha)

"When I see children, I see the face of God. 
That's why I love them so much. That's what I see." 
~Michael Jackson, 2003 60 Minutes with Ed Bradley


September 19, 2010

One woman show

It's the soul that stands out.
Through the years I've known Jennifer Batten as (mainly) Michael Jackson's tour guitarist. I was in the stadium in Bucharest for the HIStory tour concert. Not to many people can stand next to Michael Jackson on stage and make a strong impression.
Yet again we're talking about the lady that also stood next to Les Paul and Jeff Beck and was never the sidekick but part of the main act. 
This post was triggered by my experience last night at a music event I attended in Bucharest, Romania - Ziua Chitarelor (Guitars Day) which brought together Jennifer Batten, basist Stuart Hamm (who together with drummer Mike Vanderhule deserve a statue for their marathon last night supporting all the guitarist without knowing the songs in advance), guitarists Andreas Oberg, Dave Martone, Michael Lee Firkins, Damjan Pajcinoski and Dragianni.
I went there as a Michael Jackson fan wanting to say thank you to Jennifer for being part of the magic and also because it was Michael and his passion for music that allowed me to discover my own. I also went there as a guitar addict (I picked up a guitar when I was 5 and ever since I kept on playing - I'm not a guitar player but just someone who enjoys the sound and the feel of it and plays for amusement and to shake off the bad ) and someone who cannot imagine life without music.
And I went there wanting to experience live the Two Hands Rock approach - the wonderful tapping and hear without an intermediary the sounds of Jennifer's guitar.

She took the stage for a master class and a short show but she rocked the house. What stands out is how "clean" and natural, unaltered the guitar sounds when she plays. Not a single note is forced.
On her own or sharing the stage with the others she is always leading in an powerful but not aggressive way.

Songs by Michael, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix as well as songs of her own - whatever she played was high quality rock filled with soul - that music soul that people can recognize by feel.
It's hard to describe in words the connection and the experience of it all but the energy and the joy I got from the day I'll carry inside with me.
I love Jennifer for the guitar hero that she is (about that - next to me sat a group of teenage boys, talking about band rehearsals asking themselves and me when will Jennifer be on again after her master class) and for the person that she is. 
She never developed a complex from being called as Michael Jackson guitarist and she is still now, she made herself available to the fans, and she is a musician who never stopped being herself, never stopped sharing her passion for music with the audience. She is one of the greatest guitarist of all time and by default she broke down barriers by showing the guys how to rock.

Thank you Jennifer ! It was magic.

Current shows

Jennifer Batten on Twitter

A Very Happy Birthday, mike1909

Credits for the picture:

Your birthday 
is a special time to celebrate
the gift that YOU are to us, dear sister.

The entire blog-team is grateful to have met you. We wish you for the next year of your life that some of your wishes will come true- and that some may be left so that you can dream up many new. Thank you for all your L.O.V.E and neverending support and compassion.

September 11, 2010

Remembering 9/11, 2001 - What More Can I Give

Today we would like to remember all victims of September 11, 2001 and send prayers to their families and loved ones. And all the victims that had to lose their lives as a reaction to this incident.

Let's hope and pray the world will constantly overcome religious and other differences and we begin to understand living in tolerance of our fellow humans around the world.

“What More Can I Give”
(“Todo Para Ti” in Spanish) is a song written by Michael Jackson and recorded by a supergroup of singers following the September 11 attacks in 2001. The inspiration for the song had initially come to Michael after a meeting with the President of South Africa Nelson Mandela in the late 1990s.

Michael rewrote “What More Can I Give” as reaction to the incidents of that day in 2001 and recorded that new version with fellow superstar artists shortly afterward. ”What More Can I Give” was scheduled for release as a charity single, in the hope that $50 million would be raised to aid the survivors and the families of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Due to the severe problems with Sony Music at the time Michael's dream did not come true. The song was released digitally in 2003 and all proceeds from the sale of the song went to children’s charities.

Let's remember all the lost ones today and forever. Help spreading tolerance and love and ask yourself "What More Can I Give?"

Rest in peace Michael and Luther Vandross. We miss you very much!!!

September 8, 2010

September 8th - International Literacy Day

Statistics released by UN are alarming : one is five adults is still not literate, two thirds of them are women, 67.4 million children are out of school.

The definition of literacy and a literate person is vast according to UNESCO. A literate person is one, who can, with understanding, both read and write a short statement relevant to routine life, and capable of analytical understanding of men’s condition in the world. Literacy is a means of personal liberation and development and delivering individuals educational efforts. Literacy is a method of achieving faculties to develop their economic status and general well being and inculcating values of national integration, conservation of surroundings, fairer sex’s equality, observance of standard family tradition, etc. 
"Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy."

"Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. There are good reasons why literacy is at the core of Education for All (EFA).
A good quality basic education equips pupils with literacy skills for life and further learning; literate parents are more likely to send their children to school; literate people are better able to access continuing educational opportunities; and literate societies are better geared to meet pressing development."
Education offer chances and choices to people. Education is an important instrument in fighting against poverty, violence, intolerance, AIDS and so on. Education brings hope.

"A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five."

It is in our hands to build a better future. Literacy and education for all are our best strategies against the plagues of this world.
Room to Read

4664 - Awareness and education through entertainment

Nelson Mandela Children's Fund

September 3, 2010

Some of the TT's from Michael's Birthday by his family, friends, and celebrities

this is from @Fabtasticbaby (Laura Mott) she took the time to put together all the TT's from Michael's birthday from his family, friends and celebrities I thought it was awesome so I reposted it here thanks Laura!! :)

If you post this anywhere could you please credit the page :) thankyou ♥

By Genevieve Jackson (Michael's Niece)

- #messagetoMJ my cousins & i went 2 neverland 2 visit uncle michael & had a candy fight on the seadragon ofcourse uncle threw the most candy.

- #HappyBirthdayMJ I Love you Uncle Michael!

- #MessagetoMJ Always threw my bday parties at Neverland, thanks Uncle Michael for allowing me to do that. Best Birthdays EVER!

- Uncle Michael always called me "Randy with a Wig on" #MessagetoMj

- #messagetomj thank you for teaching us how to love mother earth and one another...thank u for being the light

By Taj Jackson (Michael's Nephew)

- #MessageToMJ I promise to spoil my 3 cousins w/ the same love & joy that you spoiled us. Take care of my mom up there. I love you more.

- #MessageToMJ Thank you uncle Michael for leaving your music and legacy with us. We will take care of both with pride.

- #MessageToMJ There will never be another person who genuinely loved his fans as much as you did. Today, they are showing that love back.

By Jackie Jackson (Michael's Brother)

- We have to keep trying to make the world a better place #MessageToMJ

- Because of the messages in your music , we all make better choices in our lives today #MessageToMJ

- #MessageToMJ my favorite short film you did is "Ghosts"! Love the choreography & of course your performance of so many different characters

- #MessageToMJ I remember how one day the snake escaped & we were so scared, especially Toya, Janet & Mother

- #MessageToMJ I remember how in the 80's you turned Hayvenhurst into a mini-zoo, with giant snakes, llamas, tigers, parrots and monkeys :)

- #MessageToMJ You would be so proud of your 3 children right now, they carry on your spirit with so much pride... I love and miss you!

By Marlon Jackson (Michael's Brother)

- Mike words will never express the hole left 4 me, my kids & the world. Our bond is unbreakable. My 1st #messagetoMJ is.. I LOVE YOU MORE

- My 2nd #messagetoMJ is #HappyBirthdayMJ always my little brother! I miss you. Study Peace,Marlon J

By Omer Bhatti

- #MessageToMJ LOVE YOU FOREVER. I dedicate today and every other day in my life to you. "Big Blankets" #HappyBirthdayMJ RT

- #MessageToMJ Thank you for all the wisdom and knowledge.

- #MessagetoMj I remember u said that the world would appreciate Invincible more later.You were right: Album Of The Decade

- #MessageToMJ I was just a kid, but I remember so vividly when u gave me the nickname "Lil Monkey" I guess it will stick with me forever =)

By Austin Brown (Michael's Nephew)

- I'm so happy to see everyone celebrating the life of my loving uncle Michael #messagetomj

- I want to share one of my favorite stories about my uncle #messagetomj ...

- My Uncle was the most thoughtful person in my life and always managed to bring a little bit of magic into my (cont) (<>

By Jodi Gomes

- #messagetoMJ - I Never Can Say Goodbye, is my first of many thoughts @tajjackson3

- #messagetoMJ @1992 saw u record at Larrabee. Dancing & sweating u kept changing clothes "Smelly" & said "If it don't stink, it aint funky"

- #messagetoMJ I'm sorry for the pain inflicted on you.Id take it away if I could, but will make sure Prince Paris Blanket only see the good

- #messagetoMJ your music & presence endured my whole life. many things 2 say in only 140 words. Let's start with one word L.O.V.E - pls RT

- #messagetoMJ to whom much is given, much is required. U carried an enormous gift of LOVE, HUMANITY & TALENT.thx for sharing with the world.

- My Message to MJ... hope you can open it. -

- @7:33pm PST will tweet my last convo with MJ from June 23rd & share with world. Finally Feels good to speak bout it w/out tears (I will post when Jodi has tweeted the story)

By Teddy Riley

- This is such a special day. I'm wishing my brother a Happy birthday. Michael, today is your day. Yesterday I was called to work on your lp!!

- I know this is you sending down you blessing for me to be on the project. And of course I am honored to be working with you my big brother.

- I can't wait to put my heart and soul on the new MJ project. This is it...Dangerous was the last biggest selling MJ lp. I am proud & bless.

- Michael, Sisqo, and me.

- Randy Jackson (Michael's Brother) - I will be at Forest Lawn today between 3:00 and 3:30pm.

- Donte Jackson (Michael's Nephew) - #MessageToMJ Thank u for teaching us the true meaning of unconditional love.ur light will illuminate our souls 4ever. i am loving you,always

- Randy Jackson Jr (Michael's Nephew) - Happy Bday uncle michael miss and love you.

- TJ Jackson (Michael's Nephew) - #MessageToMJ I will forever live my life trying to make you proud. You have made me who I am. Love you forever!!! Love you, Uncle Michael!

- Orianthi (TII Guitarist) - Remembering the awesome entertainer and person we all loved on his b'day today.

- Lenny Kravitz - Happy Birthday Michael. I feel your spirit here with me as I am working on a new version of our track. Lenny ( <>

- Kendall Jenner - #happybirthdaymj !!! we all miss you!!!

- Kris Jenner - To Michael Jackson, Thank You for such generosity to our family and we will never forget all of our memories at Neverland! #MessageToMJ RT!

- Khloe Kardashian - To Michael: thank you for letting us throw birthday parties at Never Land! We miss you! #MessageToMJ

- Kim Kardashian - #messagetoMJ We miss you Michael Some of my fondest memories are at Neverland Ranch

(Between Kim & Taj - There's no place like Neverland RT @TajJackson3 -@KimKardashian Thanks Kim for your #MessageToMJ. I remember those Neverland days well.)

- Kourtney Kardashian - Thank you for changing the world in so many ways. #MessageToMJ ... You are the only person I have ever met and felt "star struck" because you are larger than life, your presence is powerful. #MessageToMJ.

- Keri Hilson - He's the perfect example of using ur God given talents, fulfilling ur purpose & leaving ur mark on all humanity. ...

- Marlon Wayans - #happybirthdayMJ 4 all the times we 4got 2 say it, 4 all the times we took u 4 granted, 4 all the love u put out. Happy bday love u. .... Did u tell MJ happy bday? In the immortal words of @KevinHart4real Say wit ya chest nigga!

- MJ's Bodyguards - Today we celebrate Who Mr. Jackson is, Not who he was. #MessageToMJ We will Honor you in Death as we did in life! Much luv Mr. Jackson...RIP, Bill, BJ, Mike.

- Kenny Ortega - May His Smile continue to light our days, His Laughter ring through our ears and His Heart Dwell in ours. Long Live the King! L.O.V.E. TOY

- Timor Steffens (TII Dancer) - Happy Bday #Michaeljackson we love u!!! RT 2 spread L.O.V.E.

- Jordin Sparks - #happybirthdayMJ #messagetoMJ You still ARE the King of Pop. Thanks for inspiring me & countless others to reach beyond the stars. <3

- George Lopez - Happy Birthday to The King of Pop .. Michael Jackson .. you continue to inspire #MessagetoMJ

- Brandy - You are and forever will be the GREATEST!!!!! #messagetomj

- James Bourne (Busted) - greatest memory of my childhood is Wembley at the Dangerous tour watching you explode on to the stage! never forget it <3>

- Justin Bieber - Happy Birthday to the best that ever did it....the greatest entertainer of all time...and my hero and inspiration. #HappyBdayMJ RIP ... #messagetomj thank u 4 giving me and so many others inspiration and dreams. Ur the greatest that ever did it and ever will do it. Ur my hero

- Scooter Braun - to the legend who changed my life and the one man I will wish but never get to meet. Thank u for everything - #happybirthdayMJ

- Neyo - HAPPY BDAY TO THE MAN THAT MADE MY CAREER POSSIBLE!!! The late, the great, the legendary MJ. We miss you like crazy.....

- Boyz II Men - Happy BDay MJ! Miss u so much man! Thanx for the inspiration, the music, and the advice, something we will always cherish!!

- Pleasure Ellis - Dear Michael Jackson. Thank you for teaching me to Love and care for People. I will always truly Love you Unconditionally. Happy Birthday. (thanks @Sashapanda)

If you post this anywhere can you please credit the page :) Thankyou ♥

Please feel free to add more from fans, family, whoever :) I've definitely missed some

September 2, 2010

Michael Jackson In His Own Words

"When I help someone & make someone happy, I feel I've won God's smile of approval. And that's all I wanted"

"Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity"

"I want to be a joy to the world"

"To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music"

"In my own heart and mind...I stand for peace, love and tolerance for the world"

"Never judge a person, nothing beats kindness and love"

"If God is the DJ, the life is the dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music"

"Don't judge a person, do not pass judgement, unless you have talked to them one on one"

"We have to bring love back into the world, to remind the world that love is important. Love each other, we're all one"