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The Essential Michael Jackson

4.7 out of 5 stars 490 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 19, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

The Essential Michael Jackson, a 2-disc greatest hits set compiling songs from as early as 1969's I Want You Back with the Jackson 5 to 2001's Invincible release You Rock My World. Sony. 2005.
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Disc 2
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 19, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0009XNUK0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (490 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Whoa!!!!! Where did this come from? Without any hype or media attention, Sony has just released "The Essential Michael Jackson" (37 tracks, 157 min.), perhaps the ultimate Michael Jackson compilation.

CD 1 (20 tracks, 79 min.) cover the period up to and including the "Thriller" album, starting with the best known Jackson 5 singles such as "ABC" and "I Want You Back", then shifting to the Jacksons. It would have been better to include "State of Shock" or "Lovely One" instead of "Enjoy Yourself". CD1 finishes off with 7 of the 9 "Thriller" album tracks (the other 2 being "Baby Be Mine" and "The Lady in My Life"; it's still hard to believe how successfull that album really was, and how many hits were relased from it, in the days when "radio tracks" meant actual vinyl single releases). This was of course Michael at his absolute best, now 23 years ago.

CD2 (17 tracks, 78 min.) compiles 8 tracks from "Bad" and 7 from "Dangerous", and finishes off with "You Are Not Alone" from HIStory and "You Rock My World" from Invincible. In other words: only 2 tunes from the post-1992 era, and rightfully so, even though the HIStory and Invincible albums are not nearly as bad or mediocre as many would like you to believe. The only track that arguably should be on here (but, at 78 min. already, at the expense of what other track then?) is "Scream", the No. 1 duet with sister Janet.

In the end, this "essential" compilation is better than any other compilation available (HIStory Vol. 1; Number Ones, etc.) as it covers both the Jackson 5/Jacksons era and his solo output. It's very strange to me that this was released without any hype or advertizing campaign, but the main thing is that it's out and available. Hihgly recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
Thjere are many Michael Jackson CD's on the market. This is the one to own however since it captures all of his big hits and well represents my two favorite albums "Off The Wall" and "Thriller". His best songs are all here" Rock With You, Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, Beat It, Billie Jean,The Girl Is Mine, Human Nature, etc. as well as his early hits with the Jackson Five and the great later albums like "Bad" and "Dangerous". THIS IS THE BEST SOUNDING representation of these hits I have ever heard. There are 37 cuts. Michael was indeed an American tragedy and a pop music icon. If you can only own one CD, this is the most logical choice. My only quibble is the omission of "Never Can Say Goodbye" which was my favorite Jackson Five song. At one time, he was selling over one million albums-CD's a day (1983-84). He changed the course of pop music history and his legacy will live on despite the cynics. Highly recommended!
2 Comments 48 of 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
All the positive reviews here have neglected to comment on one thing, and that is the songs on this collection are not the full length versions. Rather they are the edits for radio versions. I prefer the original full length songs that come from the respective albums so prefer HIStory to this.
3 Comments 37 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Greatest Hits albums are always difficult to rate. Realistically, no compilation will ever be able to gather every last "hit" from a particular artist, and "The Essential Michael Jackson" is no exception. And despite its (very few) limitations, "Essential" does an A+ job.

For starters, the amount of material in this package is quite staggering; it extends from the early #1's of the J5 under Motown up to Michael's latest solo work for a total of 38 songs. Ordered chronologically by single release date, "Essential" shows the impressive transformation of a child star into one of the most impressive musical forces in pop-music today. But despite the stylistic evolution and technological adaptions made along the way, the energy and emotion (neither insufficient nor overpowering) remain at the core of each and every song.

The first disc begins with the Jackson 5ive's first three number ones, as well as some of Michael's early solo work. Then, the J5 become The Jacksons, switching labels and becoming disco icons with hits like "Shake Your Body" and "Blame It On The Boogie". Of course, Michael finds the biggest success behind solo albums "Off the Wall" and "Thriller", which dominate the last half of this CD.

By disc number two, Michael is no longer splitting duty with his siblings and is 100% solo. "Bad" and "Dangerous" take up all but two tracks on this disc, which makes sense because those two LPs are both studio albums and greatest hits packages, considering the majority of the songs from those albums turned platinum. Lastly, the biggest hit of "HIStory" and "Invincible" round out the last two tracks.
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Format: Audio CD
While some might gripe about the lack of new material on this collection, very few (and I only say this because I don't own all of them) of the sets in the "The Essential" series of compilations have anything new on them. The point is to make available an affordable compilation of an artist's hits over the course of their career. This is especially useful in the cases of artists who have had career highlights on various labels, such as Johnny Cash or Michael Jackson. In the case of Jacko's collection, this is the only 2-disc set on the market that contains tracks dating from the J5 years to the present, so it's valuable to those who want a lot of his hits in one purchase but don't want to buy the J5's greatest hits, a compilation of pre-Off the Wall hits and then another compilation that covers from Off the Wall to the present.

There are a few glaring omissions to be noted, though: "Dancing Machine," "Scream" (with Janet), and "Say Say Say" (with Paul McCartney) deserve to be on here. "Blood on the Dancefloor" is a personal favorite of mine that would've been nice to get without having to buy a remix album, too, but it's inessential (then again, so is "Dangerous," which made it on). Overall, though, I recommend it for those who want a 2-disc Jackson fix in 1 purchase.
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How come this doesn't have the song Jam?
Its on the 3 disc addition which is sold in Target stores!!
Nov 12, 2010 by Xavi |  See all 2 posts
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