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Customer Review

58 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This Isn't Definitive, But It Does Cover The Bits And Pieces, March 5, 2005
This review is from: The Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
Well, it started in 1995, when Michael released HIStory: Past, Present, & Future-Book 1. It was a double album which consisted one disc with 15 hits and the other disc being a new album. The problem with that compilation was that the new album was overbloated with ego, anger, childhood issues, and depression. It was a disappointment to both critics and fans. Not only that, the disc with the hits seemed shoddy. The collection, as a whole, was flooded with overindulgence and flaws. Then, in 2003, Michael released another compilation, Number Ones, which consisted 18 of his #1 hits. The problems with that collection was that most of the tracks were edited and it was still incomplete, missing some key tracks like the Paul McCartney duet, "Say, Say, Say" or even "She's Out Of My Life". Now, we finally get the box set we've been waiting for a long time to be released. The Ultimate Collection is a mammoth 4-CD and 1 DVD set with hits, rarities, and demos. I will begin by saying that this whole package is a little out of place. It begins at the Jackson Five period, with the hits, "I Want You Back", the bubblegum pop classic, "ABC", "I'll Be There" and "I Wanna Be Where You Are". The first disc then delves into the period where his maturity evolves with songs like "Dancing Machine", "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground), and "Enjoy Yourself". Then it goes to the Off The Wall period, which was his breakthrough project with the hits, "Rock With You", "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", and "She's Out Of My Life". The disc also includes unheard demos like the funky, "Sunset Driver". The first disc seems to be the only disc in this collection that is not really flawed. This set starts to go downhill with the second disc which covers the Thriller period, which was, and still is a milestone in popular music. The album is the best-selling record of all-time, but the tracks that were on that album, included on the second disc, seems pretty spotty because there are only six tracks from the album. The disc has tracks like the thundering, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", the funky, "Thriller", the rocking, "Beat It", and the career-defining jam, "Billie Jean". The disc also includes P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing), which is included here as a demo version and it sounds pretty different from the original version off of the Thriller album. The thing that really makes this disc spotty are the rarities like "Someone In The Dark" from the E.T Storybook and "Scared Of The Moon". On the third disc, the Bad period is covered along with the uneven, yet ambitious Dangerous album. On the fourth disc, the HIStory and Invincible projects are covered. On the last two discs, there are so many rarities, demos, and hard-to-find material, that eclipse some of the missing key tracks those albums featured. On the fourth disc, there are two new recordings that sound like the material from Invincible which are "The Way You Love Me" and "We've Had Enough". I found it very strange that Mike included a DVD containing the 1992 Dangerous concert that was shot in Bucharest. The DVD is an utterly waste and he could've used the fifth disc as a collection of rarities, demos, and hard-to-find material.

Overall, The Ultimate Collection is a package that could've been better, but it's a good effort. Most of the rarities seem interesting, but some of them make the discs very puzzling to finish and listen to. The DVD that consists the Dangerous concert is disappointing. The booklet is skimpy, offering a very brief and incomplete essay on his career, a poorly detailed timeline, and many rare pictures. The Ultimate Collection does a great job covering periods of his career, but don't think of it as a "definitive" compilation becuase it just isn't; and casual fans shouldn't come near it. C+
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 30, 2009 8:53:40 PM PDT
e22 says:
Very helpful and comprehensive review. Thanks for the info.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 4:11:48 PM PDT
EJ says:
It's not gonna take me as long as it took Brandon. All I can say is everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Truth is, if you're a TRUE FAN, then what's included on the compilation of MJ songs is unquestionably a long-awaited treasure. No matter what MJ or anyone else would have added or deleted - as far as songs, DVD footage, etc.,- everyone isn't gonna be happy. Whatever's not included, I'll just add from my MJ collection of songs from other CDs I have. Thank You MJ for sharing with the world your God-given giftedness! Forever a fan and proud about it!!!

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 8:14:13 PM PDT
I can't believe that they put The Jackson Five songs on there but they didn't bother to put "Scream" with Janet...hmmm.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 10:26:33 PM PDT
too late.....I bought the cd package.....It's okay... MJ is my star and I love everything he did....KG

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 4:01:59 PM PDT
Thanks. I think that I will purchase the Bucharest DVD instead of purchasing the "Collection".

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2010 1:23:52 PM PST
Janice B says:
I know you're not buying into that stuff about the Ultimate Collection by someone who obviously is not a real fan? The Bucharest HBO DVD was one of his best concerts. There are some great new songs in this collection. My favorite is "We've Had Enough". Did you not see a line taken from this song on the big screen at his memorial..."There's nothing that can't be done when we raise our voice as one".

Posted on Jan 30, 2013 8:17:44 AM PST
K. Weiss says:
Obviously, you don't recognize Michael's genius in any sense of the word. To you he is just a pop star with issues. If you would take the time to actually research (all available on YouTube) this man and who he was as a human being, as an artist you would come to appreciate the genius, the profound genius of this man's work. A good starting point would also be to read "MAN IN THE MUSIC" by Joseph Vogel. I normally do not like reading such books, but this one I could not put down. It traces Jackson's musical genius throughout all the stages of his life and how it affected his lyrics, etc. A must read even for a non-fan. As far as his life, I discovered who MJ was sadly after his death like millions did as well. We, the public, were duped and believed the caricature painted by the yellow and mainstream press of who they percieved him to be. And most of us bought into it. In short, I and millions of NEW fans have to come to discover that Michael Jackson was a unique, rare, humble, gentle soul who would never hurt a fly, let alone a child. His humanitarian efforts on behalf of children is profound. One need only to listen to his lyrics (the lost children, little susie, we've had enough, etc), his speeches (Oxford University speech which garndered more ratings than that of the Dalai Lama and the press had a field day mocking him as they usually did. His Heal th Kids speech at Carnegie; his speech at the World Economic Forum in 1992 He was beloved by hundreds of millions globally and yet the media turned him into a "self loathing black man....". So he dies in 2009 and the autopsy report confirms that he had Vitiligo and discoid lupus. My point is, that he was a humanitarian the likes of which we haven't seen in a pop star. He travelled often to Africa and spoke with African leaders about poverty and aids. He worked tirelessly on numerous charitable organizations for CHILDREN, yes children. He spoke often of why he cared for them so much. If the slurred taped recording while Michael Jackson was heavily sedated by Conrad Murray doesn't convince people of the innocence and purity of this man's heart than nothing will.

Posted on Jan 30, 2013 8:56:12 AM PST
K. Weiss says:
correction: Not world economic forum but instead: Southern African Economic Summitt about Namibia and the physical, emotional, sexual, educational neglect of children
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