Page 4 - Michael Jackson Songs: The 20 Most Loved

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4. Bad (1987)

Michael Jackson Bad Single Cover

The title single from his 1987 album is one of the more 'edgy' of his biggest hits. Although it was initially meant to be a duet with Prince, it still worked out as one of his major landmark singles. It is accompanied by an 18 minute long video directed by Martin Scorsese and featuring a narrative about a boy from the 'ghetto' who comes back after a lengthy stay at a private school to find that he's not as 'bad' as he used to be. MJ has confirmed that it is in fact based on a true story that he read about in an article that ended much worse than his own version. It was at number one for 2 weeks in the US and was a major hit in Spain with 14 whole weeks atop the charts making it the most popular of his singles in that country.
Watch the video for Bad

3. Say Say Say [ft. Paul McCartney] (1983)

Michael Jackson Say Say Say Single Cover

This collaborative single wasn't actually released on any Michael Jackson album but instead appeared on Paul McCartney's 'Pipes of Peace' record. It's technically not really 'featuring' one or the other, rather it is a duet that they chose to add to McCartney's album after 'The Girl Is Mine' went on to 'Thriller'. We felt that it had to be included, however, after it topped the US chart for 6 weeks. The music video was one that introduced the concept of a narrative to videos with McCartney and MJ playing two sly (albeit charitable) conmen called Mac and Jack.
Watch the video for Say Say Say

2. Billie Jean (1983)

Michael Jackson Billie Jean Single Cover

'Billie Jean' is widely considered as one of the most revolutionary songs of its time following its release on his 'Thriller' album and its video features some of Jackson's most incredible trademark dance moves. The storyline of the song has been subject to much debate with many analytical minds suggesting it is based on a woman who was hospitalised after harassing MJ for months over allegations that he fathered her twins despite him having never met her. He has, however, explained that it is in fact based on the numerous groupies he and his brothers encountered in Jackson 5. The song was initially slammed by co-producer Quincy Jones but ultimately won him two Grammys and featured in his famous (and disastrous) Pepsi commercial. Covers of this much-loved track have been done by punk band The Bates, Linx, Ian Brown and Chris Cornell; it was even performed by Westlife on their Face to Face tour.
Watch the video for Billie Jean

1. Black or White (1991)

Michael Jackson Black Or White Single Cover

This track is without doubt the world favourite topping the charts in 15 countries after its release in 1991, partly due to the fast growing globalisation of music sales in the early 90's. It featured on his eighth studio album 'Dangerous' and its counterpart video turned into an equally major hit. It wasn't without controversy, however; the last four minutes of the video were cut on MTV and similar networks after it showed the star performing a 'sexually suggestive' dance including numerous of his famous crotch grabs and him zipping up his flies. Despite the taboo performance though, it has been covered by 'Glee' in a 2012 episode and even parodied on several occasions by the likes of Weird Al Yankovic, hip hop outfit Das Racist and even rock group Genesis.
Watch the video for Black Or White

They are not necessarily the most respected songs for die hard fans and this is not including the numerous hits he had with Jackson 5 such as 'I Want You Back', 'ABC' and 'I'll Be There' but it cannot be argued with that these are some revolutionary tunes for the music industry. There is always the possibility that MJ could even achieve a posthumous number one; it is not unlikely that one of his songs could be re-released in other circumstances.

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Comments

77lotusflower's picture

77lotusflower

I wasn't expecting this order

1 year 2 months ago
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rosemary moly gomes's picture

rosemary moly gomes

Elvis or who u r want to suggest...MJ is.....is MJ.So we don't care what they say.

1 year 4 months ago
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corlista's picture

corlista

Elvis never left the United States. Michael was a global entertainer whose influence was felt all over the world and still is. There's no comparison.

1 year 5 months ago
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YANNI54's picture

YANNI54

Are you people at Contactmusic all on crack?? Which part of global do you need to get someone to explain to you? Michael Jackson by passed Elvis in record sales, in the amount of money made, and in time spent in show business. WHY is it so hard for all of you so called experts to just admit it once and for all that MICHAEL JACKSON WAS NOT ONLY NUMBER ONE BUT HE WAS BETTER THAN ELVIS AND THE BEATLES. This man started as a young child genius and continued until the day he died 40 years later. Even you had to admit he is/was "A GLOBAL PHENOM", which is something Elvis wished he could have done. There was nothing that MJ didn't do in the entertainment business from singing, writing, acting, humanitariun, a scholar. He was without a doubt the most wonderful man, son, brother, uncle and father. Shaking your hips like Elvis doesn't put you in front of all the accomplishiments of Michael Jackson which is still continuing to this very day. If you can't admit that then the time has come for you to quit!!

1 year 5 months ago
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riversbend's picture

riversbend

MJ is the biggest selling solo artist--globally. He fared much worse in his own country than Elvis Presley, however (where after all the media lynching took place--that boy had to be kept down.) Presley was not the songwriter or innovator that Jackson was but he was extremely prolific, churning out close to 100 albums, considerably affecting quality. Given Jackson's originality, superior talent, groundbreaking contribution, and lasting influence on other artists, it seems likely his sales will in time surpass those of Elvis even in the good ol' USA.

1 year 5 months ago
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vallieegirl's picture

vallieegirl

Can you please explain AND provide proof of how Elvis is the biggest selling solo artist of all time when Michael Jackson has the world's top album selling of all time? I don't understand how you came up with that determination.

1 year 5 months ago
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vallieegirl's picture

vallieegirl

Can you please explain AND provide proof of how Elvis has beaten Michael when he has best selling album in the entire world? That statement doesn't make sense to me.

1 year 5 months ago
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