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4.6 out of 5 stars
Number Ones
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97 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2003
It may seem like overkill for MJ to release another greatest hits album after 2001's "Michael Jackson Greatest Hits HIStory Volume 1", but these songs are strong enough to warrant it (all of them were number one hits). This set omits the songs "She's Out of My Life", "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", "The Girl Is Mine" and "Remember The Time" that appeared on the 2001 greatest hits disc but adds 8 (!) other hits. "Smooth Criminal", "Dirty Diana", "You Are Not Alone", "Earth Song", "You Rock My World", "Break of Dawn", his newest song "One More Chance" and the concert version of "Ben" from The Jacksons live album. Although there are some number one hits still omitted, this CD is the more complete of the two. As a bonus, the songs are presented in chronological order this time too.
The CD has been released in four different covers representing separate eras of his solo career. Who knows which one Amazon will ship, but the cover pictured is my favorite. Don't worry about not getting your favorite cover though as all are included in the bookelt. Which brings me to the only downside to this collection - the skimpy liner notes. Every greatest hits colection should list release date and chart information. Not all of these songs were number one hits in the U.S. It would be nice to know where it hit number one and how long it held the position.
MJ fans probably already have all 6 of his CD's and therefore the main reason to get this CD is for the new song "One More Chance" which is classic MJ R&B. If you only have one or two of his CD's then NUMBER ONES will be a perfect addition to your collection. Highly recommended.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2003
Despite the recent controversy surrounding his personal life, Michael Jackson has long been known as the King Of Pop, and with good reason. For most pop stars, their time in the spotlight lasts maybe 2-3 years before they are reduced to guest appearances on weekly sit-coms or the occassional "info-mercial". This is not true of Jackson, whos reign at the top has carried him through the past 2+ decades since the onset of his solo career after leaving the Jackson Five.
This collection of Number One hits is therefore a must have for any fan of the pop genre. Since the 1980's, Jacksons eclectic, diverse style has seen many landmarks in the music industry, setting new standards, breaking new ground and re-inventing a style that was in its infancy when Jackson came into his own. His pioneering sound created a whole new generation of music and for that he was rewarded the title "King of Pop".
The album features 18 of Jackson most beloved songs, featured in the order which they originally made it to number one. Included on the album are some of his largest breakout hits like "Billy Jean" and Beat It" which both became such huge hits that they are immediately recognizable by audiences today.
The song "Thriller", which also emerged early in Jackson's solo career, firmly planted the superstars reputation as a serious talent in the industry. Not only was Jackson re-inventing the style of music, he was setting a new standard unprecedented in the industry at that time. Music television was only a few years old when the video for "Thriller", a 10+ minute short film, was released for the first time. The video, which was so well produced that it rose immediately to the head of the video industry, set a new level of quality in the genre that artists have been struggling to match since.
The album also features a number of other large hits for Michael, including the songs which added to the early controversy in Jackson's professional career. "Black or White", a song about racial equality again put Jackson in the spotlight for his controversal portrayal of violence against authority. "Bad", "Smooth Criminal", and "Dirty Diana" also feature Jackson's hard driving rythems and smooth, sometimes aggressive lyrics covering a range of topics that has often lead to speculation and ridicule by the press, while at the same time leaving his world-wide hordes of fans clammoring for more.
Some of the more poignant pieces in this collection include songs like "Man In the Mirror", a song where Michael points the finger at himself while pondering the choices in his life.
In all, the album is a great collection of all his number one hits, and is a great look back at the man who created a genre that has grown since he stepped to the front of the class, but never outgrown his talent. With the onset of this generations pop superstars like Justin Timberlake, Brittany Spears and Chrsitina Aguilera, it is a further testimony to his talent and sheer ability that Michael Jackson has remained such a huge part of not only the genre, but the music industry as a whole. Love him or hate him, his talent is unmistakable and unquestionable.
This compilation of hits is a great addition to any music collection, and is a must have for any Jackson fan. For anyone who isn't already familiar with his music, this collection is a great introduction into the mind and soul of a man who reshaped the music industry. Jackson truly is the King of Pop, and through this album, you can enter the gates to his kingdom. Give this album a listen, you won't be disappointed.
Scott Kolecki
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2004
Michael Jackson is still #1 to a lot of music lovers, and "NUMBER ONES" quickly shows you why! His vocal versatility and unique creativity cannot be denied. This CD has something for everyone, and "One More Chance" is at the top of the list. Jackson faves like "Billie Jean," "Black or White," "You Are Not Alone," "The Earth Song," and "You Rock My World" are also included for good measure, and this Michael Jackson effort may be one of his very best yet. Buy it; you'll be glad you did!
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117 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2003
Michael Jackson's sanity is clearly a matter of debate, but only a fool would deny his talent and chart supremacy since leaving Motown. "Number Ones" is yet another collection featuring the usual lineup of his classic hits: "Billie Jean," "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough," "Beat It," "Rock With You," and so on. The tracklisting is presented in chronological order, starting with material from "Off the Wall," right up to the previously unreleased R. Kelly ballad "One More Chance" and a somewhat unnecessary live performance of "Ben." There isn't much for me to comment about the hits themselves, except to say that unless you've been living in a 25 year coma, you're already familiar with 90% of this album. But the problems with "Number Ones" are twofold: first, the tracklisting overlaps Jackson's previous hits album "HIStory." Do we really need yet another recycling of songs millions of us already have? Also, not all of the tracks on "Number Ones" topped the chart, such as the excellent "Smooth Criminal" and "Break of Dawn," a cut off 2001's "Invincible" that was never even released as a single. Is "Number Ones" a competent survey of Jackson's biggest hits? Yes, it is. But is it a necessary purchase? Not if you already own "HIStory." While listeners green to Jackson's work should pick this up, "Number Ones" brings almost nothing new to the table for those who already own his prior albums.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2004
As the first few weeks of 2004 are upon us, and I'm sure Michael Jackson will be hoping that this year will bring him better luck than 2003 did. Despite dominating the tabloids with his appearance, the baby-dangling incident and THAT Martin Bashir interview, Michael Jackson still remains the King of Pop. There's some people who are famous. There are some people who are superstars. There are some people who are icons - and then there's Michael Jackson. Arguably the most famous entertainer alive, Jackson's 30 years reign on the charts is unchallenged.
So that's precisely why Michael's latest release, "Number Ones," is essential for all fans of brilliant music. Since the early 1980's Jackson has captivated the world with his music. We've had fun dancing to his music and cried to his emotional ballads, and that's why he's the greatest male performer ever. His talent is undeniable, and even though he's gone a bit off the rails in recent years, the world and his die-hard fans have never forgotten the music which is what matters the most.
First off, Number Ones is a title that tricks the buyer somewhat. There are eighteen songs on this album, and Jackson has had no where near eighteen US No.1 hits. He's had a total of 13 US No.1 singles, and his last was in 1995. Michael has had 7 UK No.1 hit singles, and his last was in 1997. His first UK No.1 hit was in May 1981 with "One Day In Your Life," which isn't included on here strangely enough. Michael's sixth US No.1 "Say Say Say" is also not included, and I have the UK version which includes "Human Nature" instead of "Man In The Mirror." Silly different regions and record companies! What is the point? Why not just have a complete tracklisting?! Also, "Ben," Michael's first ever US No.1, is included on the US version, but not on the UK version. Instead the UK gets "Blood On The Dancefloor," Michael's last UK No.1 single.
Apart from these minor hiccups, all of Michael's biggest and most popular hits are included here. The album opens with "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock With You." Both songs are from Michael's debut album Off The Wall and both hit the US top spot. "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and "Thriller" are up next and all from Thriller, Michael's signature album. 50 million copies shifted worldwide, and nothing's going to take over it any time soon! Up next, we have six songs from the follow up to Thriller. Bad was Michael's third album, released in 1987 and sold 25 million copies as well. The songs from Bad on here are "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," "Bad," "Smooth Criminal," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Man In The Mirror" and "Dirty Diana." All these songs were huge hits and all were US No.1's, apart from Smooth Criminal.
After this we get "Black Or White," which was a huge US and UK No.1 hit. It's the only song on this compilation album from Michael's fourth album - 1991's Dangerous. "You Are Not Alone" was one of Michael's biggest hits ever, and is next on here, followed by Michael's biggest selling UK single, "Earth Song." No.1 for six weeks and shifting more than 1 million copies this masterpiece is a perfect world peace anthem. Michael's 2001 comeback single "You Rock My World" follows. It wasn't a No.1, so by rights it shouldn't be included here, but it's a great track, so why not? "Break Of Dawn" wasn't even released as a single, so it's got no excuse to be here! It's from Michael's trans-atlantic chart topping Invincible album from 2001. "One More Chance" is Michael's latest single, and will not top the charts by my 'expert' predictions. "Ben" closes the album, which goes back to the very beginning of his career.
OVERALL GRADE: 8/10
I think it was a wise move for Michael Jackson to release Number Ones. It provides new fans in their teens a chance to get to know Michael's best music, for those who were too young to be digging it when 1995's "HIStory" was released, because let's face it, even people in their early teens love Michael's music! I think some minor adjustments could have been made to the tracklisting to improve this album, but it's still not a bad collection and definitely worth the money. Upon its release this album didn't even crack the US Top 10 - Britney stormed to No.1 that week, but in the UK, Number Ones did just that, and went straight to the top of the charts! All in all a brilliant record to add to any Michael Jackson collection.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2009
This is an exceptional collection because they're all hits from an exceptional entertainer. The only reason it gets 4 and not 5 stars is because about half of the tracks are the "Single Version" or "Radio Edit." This means many instrumental intros and breaks have been shortened or taken out all together.

The track listing for HIStory doesn't tell you whether a song is an edit or not. You'll just have to compare the lengths. If you already own Number Ones, you should get HIStory as well for the full-length tracks. If you have neither, go with HIStory.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2003
There's nothing wrong with the songs on this CD. It's a good Hits album- as strong as Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (it repeats 10 songs from that CD), and a worthwhile purchase for Michael Jackson beginners. But the concept has some flaws. Number Ones? Glancing over the US and UK charts, these songs didn't go #1 in either Country: Thriller, Smooth Criminal, You Rock My World, Break Of Dawn. The version of Ben on this CD is a live cut from a 1981 Jacksons live LP (couldn't they license the original?, which was a #1). Earth Song went to #1 in the UK. As for the above 4, it's a mystery as the where they went to the top. There are no liner notes or chart information. Oddly, the title track to Michael's 1997 remix CD, Blood On The Dance Floor, which went to #1 in the UK doesn't get a nod here. Nor does Say Say Say, the duet with Paul McCartney. One note: the version of Don't Stop is the DJ 3:55 version-not the LP version. All of this may sound like nitpicking. But if you're gonna market a CD called Number Ones, then be prepared to back up your facts. This is a good Hits CD. If you're new to Michael Jackson and just want the goods, then this or Greatest Hits Vol. 1 will do.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2003
Some of the most memorial songs plus the new incredible performance "One more chance" has turned Number Ones into a number one album ever.
For those who have grown up with Michael Jackson this is a perfect diary which reminds their life process. It is really fabulous to have all these tracks in one CD.
No need to write about tracks because every one have at least heard them for one time except the last masterpiece "One more chance" which is a prove of a great return and makes fans eager for his exclusive performance "Xscape".
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2003
Interestingly enough, this new Michael Jackson disc isnt all number ones. I compiled a track listing with their original charting years and peak position on the billboard hot 100:
1. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough- 1 for 1 week (1979)
2. Rock With You - 1 for 4 weeks (1980)
3. Billie Jean- 1 for 7 weeks (1983)
4. Beat It - 1 for 3 weeks (1983)
5. Thriller - number 4 (1984)
6. I Just Can't Stop Loving You- 1 for 1 week (87)
7. Bad - 1 for 1 week (87)
8. Smooth Criminal- number 7 (88)
9. The Way You Make Me Feel- 1 for 1 week (87)
10. Man in the Mirror - 1 for 1 week (88)
11. Dirty Diana - 1 for 1 week (88)
12. Black or White- 1 for 7 weeks (91)
13. You Are Not Alone- 1 for 1 week (95)
14. Earth Song - did not chart in the US, however #1 in UK
15. You Rock My World - #10
16. Break of Dawn- did not chart
17. One More Chance- new song
18. Ben - 1 for 1 week (72)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2009
"Number Ones" is Michael Jackson's most concise and comprehensive greatest hits collection, that spans his entire solo career from the late seventies all the way to the early '00s.

from Michael's '79 album Off the Wall:
1) DON'T STOP 'TILL YOU GET ENOUGH - 3:55
This is pure dance. It's like Michael's version of Saturday Night Fever because it totally has a disco feel with its rhythms and beats. I really enjoy it.

2) ROCK WITH YOU - 3:40
"Rock With You" picks up where "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough" leaves off. But this is more of a smooth and sexy lyrical track. Michael sounds so confident and assured as he sings "I want to rock with you all night..."

from Michael's '82 album Thriller:
3) BILLIE JEAN - 4:52
This is the Michael that millions and millions of kids, all over the globe, completely fell in love with. Even though I was only a baby when this song came out, "Billie Jean" has always been my very favorite Michael Jackson song. It's the type of song that you can dance to, listen to when you're feeling down, or load it into your iPod and listen to it on a regular basis. Because it has a great hook, a fantastic beat and awesome lyrics that are both powerful and universal. "Just remember to always think twice..."

4) BEAT IT - 4:17
"Beat It" is almost like the precursor to Michael's #1 hit "Bad". It's a very fast and danceable song that is just as much eighties as any of Michael's earlier tracks are seventies staples. This song really helped bridge the gap between the urban dancers and suburban listeners who didn't know what break-dancing was until this song.

5) THRILLER - 5:11
Again, this is one of my very favorite songs and I am sure it's one of your favorites, too. It's a frightening mix of dance, R&B and hip hip. Every time I listen to this song I think of the classic slasher movies of the eighties; it's like a roller coaster, it's scary, but in a thrilling and safe way.

from Michael's '87 album Bad:
6) I JUST CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU - 4:11
This is one of Michael's first big hit ballads and one of his biggest hits from the "Bad" album. "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" showcases an entirely new sound and proves that Michael is a multidimensional artist who can sing, write and perform a large array of melodies.

7) BAD - 4:06
I just adore this song, it's one of Michael's signature hits. I enjoy how it starts out with the horns and then the drums; it's very creative. Michael's voice sounds even more beauteous and enigmatic on this track and this is another one of his songs that showcases yet another incredibly successful and incredibly unique sound.

8) SMOOTH CRIMINAL - 4:16
This is almost like a notch below "Bad" in terms of the beat and the pace of the track. Michael is singing to a lady named Annie as he pushes through this fast-paced song. The ending instrumental sounds almost like an extended remix because it goes on with the repeat of the chorus which sounds perfect together, as one.

9) THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL - 4:57
This is one of my very favorite songs from "Bad". It's a great dance song to rock to, or a fantastic date song. It's moving and beautiful and both the lyrics and background melody match like that missing piece that you've been searching for to go into your jigsaw puzzle; it's all a precise fit.

10) MAN IN THE MIRROR - 5:03
Besides "Billie Jean" this is probably my very favorite Michael Jackson track. And as any longtime or casual fan knows that's no easy accomplishment from a man who's career spans 5 decades and countless hit records. But this song is so moving and so tremendously powerful. The lyrics are eternal and like Michael's legacy will live on forever. "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and change," those are words to live by, as far as I'm concerned. Like the man who sang it, this song will always be a reminder to me to show others compassion and understanding.

11) DIRTY DIANA - 4:40
The song starts out a little slow but boy does it pick up pace. It hits you like a ton of bricks. This is a fast-paced R&B hit that is extremely underrated. It also has a hard rock feel to it which isn't unusual for a man that crossed all musical borders.

from Michael's '91 album Dangerous:
12) BLACK OR WHITE - 3:18
This is why they call Michael The King of Pop, because this is truly why he's the King! I was in junior high when this song came out and I can remember listening to the cassette every morning on the bus to school. It's another fast and danceable track that has a very firm and grounded message that is just as important as it is beautiful.

from Michael's '95 album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I:
13) YOU ARE NOT ALONE - 4:33
This is a slow pop hit with lots of catchy background beats. It's the type of song that will comfort you when you feel like you're alone or otherwise forgotten.

14) EARTH SONG - 5:00
This song mixes a wide rang of musical genres and is another one of Michael's signature ballads. With it's moving phrases and lyrics, perhaps it no coincidence that this is one of Micahel's singles that he was most the proud of.

from Michael's '01 album Invincible:
15) YOU ROCK MY WORLD - 4:26
This is one of Michael's newer songs that has such a retro sound. The background sounds with the strings are amazing. And, Michael as usual sounds flawless and has matching lyrics to go along with the beat.

16) BREAK OF DAWN - 5:29
This is a mid-tempo song that's somewhat fast and somewhat slow. It's reminiscent of some of Michael's earlier tracks on "Bad". But "Break of Dawn" firmly has its own identity as one of Michael's very best and most powerful songs of the new millennium.

brand-new track for this album:
17) ONE MORE CHANCE - 3:48
This is a new single that was released for "Number Ones". Michael doesn't disappoint as this song is just as fresh and danceable as any of the other tracks. Of course it's a mix of pop, rock, R&B and a little hip hop thrown in for good measure.

from the '81 album The Jacksons Live:
18) BEN (LIVE) - 2:58
The very first time I can remember hearing this song was on a Simpsons episode. At the time I was too young to realize that it was one of Michael's greatest hits. Nor did I know that it was a song about an animal. But it's a sweet and perhaps even sad song that showcases Michael's early affinity to the animal kingdom.

MICHAEL JACKSON...

The greatest entertainer of the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s & '00s...

...Past, preset & future

The King of Pop will live forever as his legacy will always be in his art...

... that is (t)his music.
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