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Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A thoroughly enjoyable analysis of the music and life of the most popular musician of an era." -Library Journal

"Immerses readers in a chronological exploration of Michael Jackson's remarkable solo career. Chapter by chapter and literally song by song, [Vogel] discusses Jackson's albums, videos, dances, cinematic influences, musical heroes, idiosyncrasies, and artistic transformations...Readers will enjoy." -Publishers Weekly

"Man in the Music is a sensitive, perceptive, comprehensive and compelling exploration of the creative genius of Michael Jackson.  The author provides a special insight into the imagination and magic of perhaps the greatest musical artist of our time.  All who love Michael Jackson will appreciate this original work." —Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr.

"The most thorough and accurate portrayal of Michael's musical life I've ever seen." -Brad Buxer, Music Director for Dangerous and HIStory World Tours

"Man in the Music is thankfully all about just that — the music. Vogel takes the reader album-by-album, song-by-song and examines in exhaustive detail how Jackson produced a lifetime’s worth of music that became a soundtrack to the lives of millions…. Each song Jackson recorded during his solo career is examined with a critical eye. It’s a fascinating read and really a must-have for any Jackson fan." -Mike Householder, Associated Press
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402779380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402779381
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a passionately devoted Michael Jackson fan (I was blessed enough to have been able to attend his memorial at the Staples Center), and as a musician and fellow published writer, there are many things I could say about this book. But I think the main thing that needs to be said is that in writing a book that focuses on Michael's work rather than attempting to dissect his personal life, Joseph Vogel has, I feel, more accurately and honestly captured who Michael was than any tawdry or dirt-dishing biography ever has or could. Michael WAS his music, and the music was Michael. It's time we all took a minute to give the man's unquestionable musical genius some credit without picking apart every scandalized lie he was beaten down with in the press. This book makes the reader remember just WHY Michael was the one and only King of Pop; unfortunately it also makes his loss all the more painful and deeply felt. We as fans lost a genius singer, songwriter, musician and dancer; the associates interviewed in this book lost a mentor, teacher and FRIEND. Thank you, Mr. Vogel, for writing a well-written, well-crafted and thorough book that should have been written years ago, and for presenting it in a way that makes it easier for people to understand a man who was so greatly misunderstood in life. I wish Michael were still alive to appreciate the gesture. He would have loved this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are so many books talking about Michael Jackson but very few are focusing fully on his music. Michael Jackson is an artist which people tend to forget. This book reminds people about this fact and focus only on his music and creating process. The pictures and printing are all nice. Most important, it gives lots of information about MJ's records as solo artist. For all time, I always wanted to find a book that will analyze MJ's songs. This is the book I was looking for for so long. I just wish that MJ actually can saw this published when he was alive. People should really go back an relive MJ's music and cherish his genius. For MJ fans, this is a must buy. For general public, it tell you the Michael Jackson as a professional artist.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Jackson is on record as saying he attempted to fuse his soul to his music in an effort to escape death. What better way then to understand the man than through his music? Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson does just that, focuses on the inspiration, creation, reaction and historical context of Michael Jacksons considerable library of music. I think this is the first time that anyone has shone such a finely tuned light on the subject that made the world fascinated with Michael Jackson in the first place.

Whether you're a dyed in the wool fan, a musician, or just someone curious about music this will make fascinating reading. Joseph Vogel walks readers chronologically through Michael Jackson's albums first covering the album as a whole before discussing each song individually. Mr. Vogel's research includes interviews with technicians and musicians who worked with Jackson who provide insightful glimpses into the creative process. The work even includes information on a number of unreleased songs from Jackson as well as his posthumously released material.

Undoubtedly this is the definitive book on Michael Jackson's music and therefore of the man as well. It's easy to imagine perceptions being changed and reassessed from the analysis and discussion in this comprehensive and respectful work. A treasure trove that should not be missed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Scholars, fans, and even on-the-fence doubters will find Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson by Huffington Post writer Joseph Vogel, not only an enthralling read, but a gateway into a revised perception of one of the most mysterious and massively influential artists of our time. This is definitely not another run of the mill sensationalist work.

Vogel skillfully guides the reader through the remarkable chapters of Jackson's professional career, fully capturing the cultural vibe of the `80s and `90s, while analyzing the particularities of Jackson's creative process from inception to aesthetic fulfillment. It seems the author desires to move beyond exclusively "preaching to the choir" of Jackson's loyal fan base, and has an even more expansive and restorative intention in mind.

Vogel's narrative unfolds in a unique album-by-album mode, so Jackson's career is revealed through intricately woven stories that are chronologically linked with the creation of his music. This odyssey reminds one of a mythic "hero's journey," as it evokes the visceral emotion of artistic conquest. Throughout the process, Vogel explicates Jackson's music, performance art, cinematic short films, and aesthetic incarnations, as well as exploring Jackson's myriad eclectic influences.

The book's success is due, in large part, to a trilogy of strengths the author possesses as an academic scholar and also a writer on popular culture. Vogel manages to fuse a penchant for research with an engaging gift of journalistic storytelling. Rare, however, is the sense of spiritual exegesis he also provides. This literary alchemy gives the reader an entirely fresh and valuable comprehension of Jackson as a culturally transformative artist.
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