March 27, 2011

I Just Can't Stop Loving You

To R and F
May your life be blessed with joy !
"Only in love are unity and duality not in conflict." - Rabindranath Tagore

Michael Jackson had an extraordinary talent, he was able to put confer a physical dimension to his songs - I can see the rhythm, I will cry, laugh, love, protest, dance, feel empowered  – every time I listen to his songs, I feel them. It’s an unique, rewarding experience.

"Each time the wind blows
I hear your name so
I call your name ...
Whispers at morning
Our love is dawning
Heaven's glad you came ...
You know how I feel
This thing can't go wrong
I'm so proud to say
I love you
Your love's got me high
I long to get by
This time is forever
Love is the answer"

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” was the first single of Bad album. It was received as rather a second hand song, maybe because of the fact it featured unknown, at the time, Siedah Garrett. Whitney Huston, Barbara Streisand and Aretha Franklin, rumored to have been asked for the duet but declined due to previous obligations, might have brought more star power to the song 
but it is my opinion that would have not brought the chemistry.
(Well in a total different way a duet with Aretha Franklin would have rocked our world.)

In spite of what has been said about the song the fact remains it opened the list of 5 consecutive number one songs in Billboard’s Hot 100 and went on to top R&B and Adult Contemporary singles charts (Michael's 2nd number one hit in the later after, coincidentaly, his duet from 1982 
with Paul McCartney, “The Girl Is Mine”)

Truth is at this point in time the duet needs no introduction. Michael and Siedah created magic.
In the studio and on stage. 
Two wonderful artists who were brought together by their 
deep understanding of how music can touch people.

In an interview with SongTalk Magazine, Siedah talked about how she found out 
she will record a duet with Michael:

"It came as a total surprise. Quincy called me after I had worked with him doing the background vocals for 'Man In The Mirror' to come back to the studio to do more work, but when I got there, I was surprised to discover that there was nobody else in the studio but Quincy, Michael and me. And the song they were working on wasn't 'Man In The Mirror.' It was a song that Quincy had given me a tape to learn. But I had no idea – I do lots of vocals on demos for Quincy, so this was nothing unusual. So Quincy said, 'You got the tape, right? Did you learn the song?' I said, 'Sure, I know the song.' He said, 'Well, go in there and sing it.' I go into the booth: there's two music stands. Michael Jackson is standing at one of them in front of a microphone and there's another microphone for me. This is the first time I realized what was happening. On the sheet music it said, 'Michael, Siedah, Michael, Siedah, etc.' I said, 'Wow! I get it.'"

“I hear your voice now
You are my choice now
The love you bring
Heaven's in my heart
At your call
I hear harps,
And Angels sing

You know how I feel
This thing can't go wrong
I can't live my life
Without you”

The song originally had a spoken intro (which was added for later version of the BAD album) and a longer musical opening. The song was also recorded in French as “Je Ne Veux Pas La fin De Nous” 
and in Spanish as “Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu”.
But what stands out is the perfect match up between Siedah’s and Michael’s voices. Marvin Gaye described Michael as having “the quality that separates the merely sentimental from the truly heartfelt, …. rooted in the blues”. Siedah Garrett definitely had the quality as well – whatever Michael brought to the song she answered.

Rolling Stone magazine, in their 1987 review of Bad album, described the song as “quivering with the kind of desire that makes men walk bent at the waist”.

You know how I feel
I won't stop until
I hear your voice saying
"I do"

"I do"
This thing can't go wrong

This feeling's so strong

Well, my life ain't
Worth living

If I can't be with you
I just can't stop loving you

And even though it is my opinion their review only describes part of the song, they did very well underlined the songs power to transmit the ache and the embodiment of love.
In my opinion, the explanation behind the song’s success it’s the deep emotional connection, that the two shared and the lyrics talk about. 

At night when the
Stars shine
I pray in you I'll find
A love so true . . .

When morning awakes me
Will you come and take me
I'll wait for you

As Siedah remembers not everything about recording the song was all serious. 
In her interview with SoulTalk magazine she said: 
"Michael is funny. He has a real keen sense of humor. Which surprised me, because you hear all these stories about how strange he is. I guess he felt relaxed with me because I wasn't in awe of him when we met. I was kind of, 'Yo, Michael, what's up?' I think he found that refreshing."
"If I was talking to Quincy and we were serious for some reason, Michael would toss cashews and peanuts at us. I would be talking to Quincy and these peanuts would fly by. You know, the duet is a very serious love song. And when I was doing my verse, Michael was making these faces at me so that I would mess up. Quincy would say, 'Siedah – come on! You're holding up the whole album!' And I would get in trouble!"

In his autobiography “Moonwalk”, Michael said he did not write the song with someone in mind but that while performing it live he did.

The song did not had a video but eventually it didn’t needed one. The live performances during the Dangerous Tour become the visual support of the duet. Though Michael also performed alongside Sheryl Crow during Bad Tour, I don’t think too many of us think of that when we are talking or listening to “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”.
It will always be Michael and Siedah.
The on stage performance of the song, their on stage attraction to one another created a lasting impression
that will never fade away.

Michael, you are, and will forever be the thread of velvety voice, so intricately woven into the
fabric of the soundtrack of my life. Your music, talent, heart and soul has touched every cell of
my being. More than enough to last a lifetime. You are magic. And I will miss you.
May your vibrant soul rest in eternal peace. You changed my life, and for that I will love you forever.

AKA "Miss Gayree"

We can change all the world

We can sing songs of

I can say, hey ... 
Farewell to sorrow

This is my life and I,

Want to see you for always
I just can't stop loving you

Written and composed by Michael Jackson
Vocal duet with Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett
Bass: Nathan East
Drums: N'dugu Chancler
Guitar: Dan Huff
Percussion: Paulinho Da Costa
Piano: John Barnes
Synclavier: Christopher Currell
Synthesizers: David Paich and Greg Phillinganes
Synthesizer programming: Steve Porcaro
Rhythm arrangement by Quincy Jones
Synthesizer arrangement by David Paich and Quincy Jones
Vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson and John Barnes

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AA said...

This is a wonderful tribute to our friends R and F on their special day.. Perfect for them!

Thanks for sharing the story behind it too!

Cassarah said...

May our friends R and F just never be able to stop loving each other...

Thank you so much mike1909 for this beautiful and very moving post.

R and F said...

Thank you sooooo much for this dedication!!!! It was one of the songs we used in the banquet. Love you all!

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