Numero Group: By The Numbers

Obligatory MJ is dead post
June 26, 2009, 11:28 am
Filed under: Home Schooled | Tags: ,

My cynical self has a problem eulogizing someone who spent nearly half of his life creating garbage. Beginning with Bad in 1987, the so-called “King Of Pop” has been staying true to the album title’s promise. Throw in Invincible, Neverland, and a kid named Prince Blanket and you’ve got the makings for perfect downward spiral. 

And yet, there was so much promise. From his boyhood days living in a shack in Gary, Indiana,  it was clear he was a star. Give a listen to “Big Boy” and tell me this kid couldn’t mop the floor with every other falsetto out there:

The word unfuckwithable comes to mind. The 5’s first two records on Gordon Keith’s Steeltown imprint are by no means his finest moment, but you don’t have to squint to hear how talented he was at 9. From there he would not only shoot for the stars, but reach them on the group’s third single. THIRD. Alright, The Corporation wrote “I Want You Back” (and then went ahead and built “ABC” on the back of the same melody in true Motown/HDH fashion), but the kid was a stone cold killer with serious chops. Tito, Marlon, Jackie, Jermaine? Sure, they did their parts in a serviceable manner. Fuck it, even Randy had his moments on 1978s regrettable Destiny. But Michael was your boy. You didn’t imitate Tito. 

There were other kid performers before them and after them, but the 5 set off a trend that we couldn’t help but capture on Home Schooled: The ABCs Of Kid Soul. When a group has lunch boxes and a cartoon, they’re bound to have a pack of wolves–I mean parents–on their heels. We picked out dozens of tracks for our compilation, but as is the case with many of our genre-creating albums, not everything could be licensed for inclusion. In tribute to Michael, here’s one that you missed out on:

Brotherly Five “Losing My Girl” 

What’s left to say? We’ll never have a chance to hear a Rick Rubin comeback album. The farewell tour of 50 shows is likely the biggest ticket refund in history. Little boys in Dubain prostitution rings rejoice, plastic surgeons weep. Michael, we’ll miss your strange ways. The Captain Eo alter-ego,  the crotch-grab dancing,  your knack for creating instant Weird Al parodies….

Mostly we’ll just miss that voice.

5 Comments so far
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Ultimately in poor taste, guys. Could have been much easier to focus on the good and not refer to the bad at all. Do you go to family funerals and talk about the bad shit your grandpa may have done? No, you talk about his silly magic tricks and the like. There will be plenty of time to talk about the negative stuff. Give people a moment or two…

Comment by D McP

You gotta take the rough with the smooth. Numero is a warts and all company, and this tribute did what we would do in any set of liner notes. We’ve never glossed over the truth, never will. You can love Michael for what he did, but still remember what kind of person he was, no?

Comment by numerogroup

Dubain Prostitution rings is a bit much, though…

You can reference allegations, to be sure, and perhaps some of his later output isn’t your bag (nor mine, though there are some gems to be found), but some of that seemed a level of snarkiness reserved for the morons at Pitchfork, not the stellar work of Numero…

Comment by D McP

Me, I’m just glad we won’t hear that Rick Rubin comeback LP. Ol’ Rick’ll just have to move on to Kenny Rogers.

Comment by minister_t

Michael Jackson’s death has been the motivation I’ve needed to finally illegally download his music.

Comment by Jon Land

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