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Featuring Michael Jackson: Collected Writings on the King of Pop
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2012
This book is a collection of the some of the most eloquent articles written on Michael Jackson since his passing in 2009. Among tons of memories, musings, speculations and attempts to reassess Michael Jackson's art over the last three years, the work of Joe Vogel stands out the most profound, articulate and substantial. He makes important points about Michael Jackson's artistry and cultural impact, sometimes even in quite unexpected areas (such as comparing Jackson's Dangerous album with Nirvana's Nevermind), but nonetheless convincingly.
The books contains a number of pieces that had been published on various online media sites before, as well as a never before published chapter on Michael's childhood. This collection is a must-read for every Michael Jackson fan; and to those who are not familiar with Jackson's lesser acclaimed work, it will reveal new dimensions of the singer's persona and creativity.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2012
This book is a compilation of articles written about Michael Jackson since his passing in 2009, with some modifications, as Mr. Vogel clearly states. While I have read them all individually over these years, it's great to have them all in one location, as there has been such a growth in appreciation for Mr. Jackson's work over the past several years. Mr. Vogel also lists his own personal top ten Michael Jackson songs and while at first blush I didn't agree with all, Mr. Vogel is so great at explaining lyrics, textures and nuances of music, that I soon changed my mind as to most of his choices. Surprisingly (but not to me) he listed Stranger in Moscow, with its poignant, emotional lyric, as one of his top ten. Vogel also references Hollywood Tonight, contained in the posthumous album, Michael (so controversial when originally released). I gained a new appreciation for HT from Vogel's background on this song. Personally, I would prefer to listen to Michael's unreleased demos all day, than to even one more overproduced posthumous song which, obviously, does not have MJ's personal stamp of approval.

In the introduction, Vogel refers to current articles about Michael, the artist, becoming more objective, rather than the trivial and sensational rehashes we were forcefed in 2009. With Joe Vogel's help, and that of certain other informed, intelligent authors, hopefully the objective swing will continue. I found Featuring Michael Jackson to be a step in that right direction.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2012
At this point, Joe Vogel can do no wrong in my eyes.

His superb writing, storytelling skills & eloquence have won me over with Man In The Music (A MUST READ FOR all music lovers) and this new collection follows the same format. He presents behind the scenes stories for several songs (including recent releases Hollywood Tonight & Don't Be Messin' 'Round) pulled from interviews and discussions with Michael Jackson's associates. Joe Vogel's talent really shines when he gives voice to those collaborators, engaging and pulling the reader in and making him feel like he is privy to something really special. Often times, the reader feels like he or she is right there in the room with Jackson & the producers or co-writers, witnessing these creativity bliss filled moments.

I hope Mr Vogel keeps writing about Jackson's masterpieces. His writings give us an exclusive behind the scenes peek of a creative genius at work.

Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2012
This thought-provoking and very informative collection of writings by Joe Vogel is excellent! It is something that fans and non-fans will enjoy reading and offers them the chance to view glimpses of Michael Jackson's life and genius artistry in a refreshingly new and honest way. I found the chapter on Michael Jackson's childhood very interesting as it is written using many of his own words. You won't regret this purchase. I thoroughly enjoyed this read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2013
Another winner by Vogel!! Bravo! No one captures the essence of Michael's artistry as well as Vogel does. This book had me listening to the 10 songs he writes about again and again to hear the layers of pure genius that is uniquely Michael Jackson. After you read this book you will run for your headphones to listen to these songs as loud as the speakers will go. I rarely listen to any other artist. Everyone pales in comparison to M.J. His work is as unique as he is and Vogel can guide you through it like no other author on Michael's work can. This was my third Michael Jackson book by Vogel and I cannot recommend it highly enough to fans and especially to critics. It really shows how shallow, racist, ignorant and pathetic the haters are for judging Michael by sensational tabloid trash. My hope is that positive truths about Michael continue to emerge as his art is rediscovered and appreciated until the end of time. I will always stand up for him. We all owe him that much, at the very least. Read this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2013
This book captures Michael as the artistic genius he was as well as the compassionate, loveable soul, who was so unfairly demonized by mass media. What a tragic loss for an unworthy society...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2013
This book is a collection of articles, features and reviews that Vogel wrote about MJ after his death, and which were originally published in reputable news magazines like Huffington Post and The Atlantic. These articles provide a serious evaluation of MJ that is reliable, accurate and insightful, beginning an important task which the mainstream media have so far largely neglected. The articles, which include material from interviews with some of MJ's closest creative collaborators, provide rare insight into MJ the creative artist, the cultural icon and the man.

One of the most interesting and important subjects covered is the impact of race on MJ's career. Other articles go into behind-the-scenes history of MJ songs which have not been covered in Vogel's other books, including songs like Morphine, Blood on the Dance Floor, Gone Too Soon, Hollywood Tonight and demos from the Bad era. Vogel also looks perceptively at the cultural abuse of MJ and his musical response, and at MJ's singular (re)definition of pop. Overall, these articles begin to explore the complexity and genius of Michael Jackson, and to situate his life and work, their meaning and significance, in relation to larger social issues and dynamics.

This book needs to be read by everyone, not just MJ fans, for - as this book begins to show - Michael Jackson's life and legacy have a wide and deep impact that transcends the man himself. MJ's life and work hold up a mirror to society. His memory matters, and it behooves us all to reflect upon how we, as individuals and as a society, choose to remember him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2012
Finally, a music critic who actually reviews the music Michael Jackson left, instead of dissecting, examining and prodding his private life to within an inch of sanity. Mr. Vogel's intelligent, well-researched and documented analysis of the music that made the world pay attention for nearly forty years and transcended every boundary and obstacle placed before it is long overdue. Kudos to Mr. Vogel. I have "Earth Song: Michael Jackson's Magnum Opus" and "Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson." "Featuring Michael Jackson: Collected Writings on the King of Pop" will take it's well-deserved place in my Joe Vogel shelf.

A personal note to Mr. Vogel: Thank you. We have waited a long time for someone to treat Mr. Jackson seriously ... as an artist ... as a person. Our wait has ended. I'm just sorry it didn't end before he left us so that he could feel the respect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2012
I would give any American who writes positive things about our beloved Michael 4 stars, so Joseph Vogel deserves 10 stars if I could give them!! Almost all the articles in this book are available online and I had downloaded them, but I am old fashioned enough to still want a book in my hand, and it is just wonderful to have this fantastic book in my hand. Joe really does get Michael and his art and the messages contained therein, so for any Michael fan, or indeed for anyone who wants to hear positive things about Michael's art, this is a must, as is Man in the Music which is also wonderful and deserves to become a best seller. Please people get past the media "odd eccentricities" and learn about the 'real' Michael from someone who truly understands his art and its legacy. More power to your elbow Joe and please keep them coming, and publishers, please continue to publish him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2013
I enjoyed this book by Joe Vogel, who provides such great information about Michael Jackson's music and the inside stories of its creation and meanings. All of Mr. Vogel's writings are interesting and informative.
I also recommend Dr. Karen Moriarty's "Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy," caring and comprehensive coverage of Michael Jackson in 526 pages, 19 chapters - each with its own theme.
From these two books, the reader will know all about Michael Jackson and will also avoid the lies and distortions, the sensationalistic and salacious material, that are -- sadly -- incorporated into so many other publications about Michael Jackson.
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Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson
Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson by Joseph Vogel (Hardcover - November 1, 2011)
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