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Thread: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

   
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    Default Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    Joe Vogel didn’t write this blog post but he promoted it yesterday on twitter. It’s a very interesting read for those who are interested in this topic.

    It's a long post, complemented with videos and articles from the early 90's so it's better if you read it from the link here:

    http://www.allforloveblog.com/?p=7616



    Today, I am turning again, as promised, to a look at that watershed moment in 1992 when Nirvana’s Nevermind bumped Michael Jackson’s Dangerous from the number one spot. Or was this really such a huge, defining watershed moment after all? Did this really mean-as per the narrative that many grunge/rock purists have pushed ever since-that grunge had actually succeeded in toppling the corporate machine that many felt music had become by that point? For sure, it was at the very least a strong statement. But as to its lasting impact, that may be another story. And before we get too defensive as Michael Jackson fans, in the interests of keeping an objective perspective, we have to keep in mind that, for many, Michael Jackson’s particular brand of larger-than-life pomp and circumstance had come to be the ultimate representation of everything many purists felt was “wrong” with the music industry by the early 90′s. But first, indulge me one more rhetorical question. Did this really mean-as per Nirvana’s joke stunt at the 1992 VMA Awards-that Michael Jackson would be resigning his role as The King of Pop to become The King of Grunge instead?

    Well, some things to keep in mind: Kurt Cobain (who was certainly in every respect the anthithesis of the macho cult so prevalent in hard rock) was actually an admirer of Michael Jackson, and even here, the “stunt” is more tongue-in-cheek than mean-spirited, with a very subtle inside joke that many did not pick up: In essence, the fact that Michael was still king, and this was the band’s way of dissing the whole irony of winning such a thing as a “Best Alternative Video” award…on MTV, of all places!

    Another burning question may be as to whether Nirvana’s ascent to the top of the charts in early 1992 really represnted an overhaul for the music industry, or was it simply more akin to cracking a window that allowed a bit of momentary fresh air to permeate? For sure, grunge did not change the music industry, and anyone who thinks this is either sorely misinformed, or woefully naive. And for many, Nevermind’s pinnacle #1 position on Billboard represented not a birth, but a death of sorts. After all, for a musical movement whose very appeal was its rejection of the commercial mainstream, what could be more commercial and more mainstream than sitting at the top of Billboard? For Kurt Cobain, who was never cut out for the pressures of rock stardom, it was, in fact, the beginning of the end. In hindsight, most grunge purists agree that the genre’s death knell was the very moment when Nevermind overtook Dangerous in January of 1992.

    As to whether Nevermind is an overrated album is, of course, something that critics and music scholars will be debating till Kingdom Come. The opinions are widely diverse, from those who view it as a masterpiece to those who see it as just a good album with some very memorable and catchy melodies that simply had the advantage of timing and production on its side.

    Take, for example, this article by John Doran, from Virginmedia.com, which pinpoints all of the reasons why Nevermind just may have been the most overrated album of the 90′s:

    Why Nevermind Is Overrated

    By John Doran

    Rock aficionado and editor of music website The Quietus John Doran explains why he thinks Nirvana’s seminal album Nevermind isn’t worthy of all the praise.

    1. It’s a cop-out

    I guess before the death threats start pouring in and I have to undergo plastic surgery, submit myself to the witness protection scheme and relocate to Huddersfield, I should make one thing clear: Nevermind isn’t a bad album. It is full of memorable hooks, perky riffs (even the ones that haven’t been lifted off Rainbow or Killing Joke) and exciting galloping beats. It is, in the main, a collection of pretty grunge songs that are nice to sing along to. It has one generation-unifying and genre-codifying all time anthem/irritating student disco staple in Smells Like Teen Spirit, the truly sublime Something In The Way and the genuinely exciting Territorial Pissings. Mainly however it plays to the gallery and is something of a failure (or at the very least a cop-out). It’s supposed to be a sardonic dig at mainstream, MTV and FM radio culture but it shamelessly fits very neatly into the schedules of both institutions. If it had a subversive message it must have been generally too cryptic to be understood, as it was a massive hit amongst the jockish, mainstream types that they had always defined themselves in opposition to. This happened because the album was a massive compromise made to reach a mainstream audience. And it was a compromise agreed to by a sensitive, artistic, troubled frontman after he signed to a major label record deal – something he always regretted.

    Your relationship to Nevermind perhaps depends on how old you were when it came out. Anyone younger than 35 is guaranteed to have felt full impact by being introduced to it as an angst-ridden teenager. As a gateway from whatever corporate nonsense Radio1 has chosen as its token ‘heavy’ guitar act of any given year – Green Day, Muse, Kings of Leon et al – into the weird and wonderful world of heavy, underground, alternative, psychedelic, mind expanding rock, it still remains a rite of passage. But to anyone who had been following grunge for a few years back then, it represented nothing more than the genre’s cheap ascent into the mainstream.

    2. Other bands did it better

    Nirvana may have had more of an impact on the state of mainstream metal and stadium sized alternative rock in the 1990s than any other band, except perhaps Metallica, but their roots were firmly in the more obscure American post-punk underground of the 1980s. Acts such as Pixies (who they lifted their sense of high contrast quiet loud quiet dynamics from), Sonic Youth, the Butthole Surfers, The Dwarves, Big Black, Pussy Galore and Flipper were cult acts gigging relentlessly around the US in the late 1980s when bands such as Green River and Mudhoney gave a more classicist Neil Young, Sex Pistols and Black Sabbath-influenced shot in the arm to the scene. But Nirvana’s success helped to partially decimate this forward-looking music, replacing it with retro bands and arena alt-rock acts.

    But before all this Nirvana weren’t much to write home about. Their debut Bleach does not stand up to the early output of Mudhoney. Sure, Negative Creep is a great track but it is blown clean out of the water by the monumentally unhinged swamp metal assault of Sliding In And Out Of Grace. The scene was already becoming overcrowded with so-called grunge bands like Tad, Jesus Lizard and Pearl Jam; Nirvana realised they had to step their game up if they were not to become also-rans. Frontman Kurt Cobain stopped hiding his clear gift as a pop-hook writer under a bushel, they signed to Geffen and drafted in producer Butch Vig who polished everything up to a high shine, ready for their musical ascent. It’s just that Cobain had not even considered what this kind of success would entail and more importantly was simply not cut out for it, whether he wanted it or not.

    3. In Utero was better

    Almost immediately, Cobain quite clearly had misgivings about Nevermind, and what he had created with it, but what was done was done. Personally, my main reason for disliking the album is not the fact that it is – relatively speaking – bland and a compromise, but that it contributed to his subsequent death.

    When Kurt Cobain took his own life due to a horrific combination of bad company, bad drugs, an inability to deal with fame and untreated depression, he had really only just begun to reveal his true genius in the form of the vastly superior album In Utero. Recorded by alternative-rock hero Steve Albini, it is a document of a splintering personality, expending the last of his energy in one final creative surge. The undeniable, John Lennon-esque knack for a pop hook is still present on tracks such as Heart Shaped Box but his lyrics were next-level poetry and would be pored over for clues to what went wrong much more than his suicide note would be. But nudging up to this and All Apologies were Radio Friendly Unit Shifter, Scentless Apprentice and Milk It – primal screams of rage emitted too late to do him any use. Ironically, they do reveal to us in a very visceral manner exactly how he felt himself about the pop polish of Nevermind.

    4. Do you really need the box-set?

    The thing is – it doesn’t matter what I think about Nevermind. You almost certainly already have it. And my real point is: it’s not that good that you need to buy it all over again. The really sad thing is, if he was around to see this dead-eyed, late capitalist, mercenary squeezing of every last red cent out of his band’s reputation and fan base in the form of utterly unnecessary reissues, Cobain would probably pull the trigger all over again. If you genuinely feel you love this band, don’t buy the Nevermind reissue. Instead try exploring the back catalogue of one of the many bands Kurt Cobain obsessed over such as Jesus Lizard, The Raincoats, The Meat Puppets, The Vaselines, Joy Division, Pixies, The Butthole Surfers, Earth, Bikini Kill, The Melvins or Daniel Johnson. Or at the very, very least dig out your copy of In Utero.

    http://www.virginmedia.com/music/fea...-overrated.php

    But to be totally fair in assessing what this album meant for a generation, let’s turn to another article from the same website which balances out what Doran has to say. Please be patient, as I will be tying all of this back to its relevance to Michael Jackson and to Dangerous shortly:

    Nevermind: Essential Listening For A Generation

    By Chris Nye-Brown

    Imagine, if you will, growing up as a teenager in a small sleepy coastal town whose glamour has long since faded. It’s 1991 and the boom years of 60s tourism in Walton-On-The-Naze, a town on the North Essex Coast, have gone, leaving a tatty, safe, seasonal resort renowned for its retirement homes and candy floss.
    At school the ‘cool’ kids are listening to bad rave music and the rest are making do with Wet Wet Wet and Bryan Adams. The only place you can hear rock music is down the local pub – where covers bands tackle the likes of Guns ‘N’ Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden and the usual rock classics. You’ve been to see stadium behemoths G ‘N’ R at Wembley with your mates, but apart from the joys of getting horrendously drunk for the first time, you’ve gone home thinking there must be something more to rock music than a man with a screechy voice, ludicrously long rock ballads (November Rain) and a band who think it’s fine to keep their fans waiting for hours on end.

    And then Nevermind is released. My original audio cassette copy of Nirvana’s second and, widely regarded, finest album wore out after a couple of years through being played over and over again. From the unmistakable opening riff of Smells Like Teen Spirit, through the restrained pop of Come As You Are, the propulsive rattle of Stay Away to the plaintive, eerie ballad of Something In The Way – it is an album that fizzes with excitement, energy and, yes, ambition.

    For me and millions like me it was a record that would inspire us to look beyond your boring job/life/place you grew up – to a cooler, more enlightened future, away from sugary ballads and macho posturing heavy metal riffs. And it was fun. Something that is often overlooked with the heavy weight of Kurt Cobain’s suicide and Nirvana’s now mythical legacy is that Nevermind was a record of balls-out, no-holds-barred fun. Indeed, the band themselves had a playful sense of humour, despite the personal demons Cobain was dealing with.

    But what elevates Nevermind to rock record for a generation status? Kurt’s voice is one of the most distinctive in rock music (so much more emotion than the generic grunt of an Eddie Vedder). Dave Grohl’s drumming is more explosive than anyone’s, certainly in my lifetime (sorry Dave, but you’re better behind the kit than behind the mic), and bassist Krist Novoselic just kind of held things together with his relaxed air. Most importantly, Nevermind brought the unlikeliest of genres into the mainstream. If it hadn’t been for Nevermind, thousands of kids may not have discovered the joys of The Jesus Lizard, Pixies, The Vaselines, Butthole Surfers, Smashing Pumpkins, Mudhoney and many other more obscure and cult acts. Not only that, but Nevermind’s crystallisation of punk, hard rock, lo-fi and pop hooks encouraged that generation to look back to its origins in bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, the Sex Pistols and even The Beatles.

    I’m not suggesting you have to go out and buy the expensive 20th Anniversary Reissue of Nevermind with all the bells and whistles bolted on, but if you’re a serious collector you’ll surely be tempted. And if you’re a teenager looking for something beyond the tepid likes of Kasabian and Kings Of Leon, just get hold of the 12-track original. It might just change your life.

    http://www.virginmedia.com/music/fea...generation.php

    Truth, as they always say, usually lies somewhere in the middle, between the two extremes. It is true that Nevermind’s impact cannot be underestimated for its impact on Generation X. And if it’s true that its ascent into the commercial mainstream actually heralded the death of grunge as a viable alternative, it is nevertheless equally true that if it had not been for this commercial exposure (and others such as Pearl Jam’s Ten) then it is unlikely that most kids growing up in middle America-let alone the other side of the globe-would have ever been exposed to “the joys” of discovering many of these more obscure acts.


    But for our purpose, what did this really signify as far as Nirvana taking on The King of Pop? Many like to equate this to a kind of “Celebrity Death Match” competition (and if you have ever seen Celebrity Death Match, you understand the reference!). There remains, in some circles, a belief that Nirvana essentially delivered a fatal punch that knocked Michael Jackson flat-and with that knockout punch, symbolically stood victorious over corporate, mainstream music. Just as rock music had effectively reclaimed its crown from disco in the early 80′s, many saw this as another kind of symbolic victory. This time, it was perceived as a kind of “taking back.” Rock music had dominated the 80′s. But it had become overblown and pompous, toppling of its own weight as the hair got bigger, the guitar solos longer, and the videos more extended (sometimes to ridiculous extremes). Guns n’ Roses’ November Rain is often pointed out as the pinnacle of this excess. Not surprisingly, it was Michael Jackson himself who had been largely responsible for the trend of over-the-top, extended videos that went on for minutes on end, and by the early 90′s, most artists, Guns N’ Roses included, were simply following the trend that Michael had started.

    Just two months before Nevermind became the #1 album in America, Michael Jackson had released the album Dangerous and its first single, Black or White. The video for Black or White (as had become to be expected for any debut avideo for a Michael Jackson album) was a twelve-minute extravaganza that debuted simultaneously on Fox, MTV, VH1, and BET and in 27 countries around the world, to an estimated audience of about 500 million. The Black or White single, spurred rather than hampered by the controversy over the video, shot to #1, where it remained for an astonishing seven weeks, setting a few records in the process (according to Lisa Campbell, it was the fastest moving single up the charts since The Beatles’ Get Back in 1969, and also established Michael Jackson as the first artist to have a #1 single across three decades-the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s). The Dangerous album, released November 26th, 1991, went to number one and remained there for four weeks. Sales of the album were shipped for seven million under two months, breaking his record for Bad, and the album was certified seven times platinum.

    http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumd...ch&perPage=100

    This, of course, doesn’t even begin to account for global sales. According to the album’s wiki page:

    Globally, Dangerous dominated worldwide charts debuting at number-one in the United Kingdom while also reaching number-one in seven other territories including Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. It was also a huge success in Asian countries. Sales of the album eventually reached between 30 and 32 million copies worldwide.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangero...Jackson_album)

    This is why I have to laugh every time I happen to see that ridiculous TV movie Man in the Mirror and that even more ridiculous scene where the fictitious manager “Ziggy” is giving Michael a lecture about how “Dangerous isn’t exactly burning up the charts.” I think the line even has him referring to Dangerous as a glacier! Of course, that is just one of many inaccuracies in that god-awful film, but that is another subject for another time.

    That Dangerous was a hugely succesful album is an undeniable fact. Its success, however, was no doubt due to the name behind it. Michael Jackson, by 1991, had become a solidified brand, and it was expected that everything he touched would turn to gold. Michael could have sung the phone book in 1991, and we would have bought it! But the general consensus of the time was that Michael had also delivered a darn good record. Even Rolling Stone was impressed. Here was their original review of Dangerous, which accompanied their four star rating, placing it squarely between excellent and a classic! (Lol, I wonder if they might blush now to know they ever published this?).

    By Alan Light

    January 1, 1992
    The booklet for Dangerous begins with a short prose poem by Michael Jackson describing the release the singer feels while dancing: “Creator and creation merge into one wholeness of joy” until “there is only … the dance.” It is Jackson’s version of William Butler Yeats’s “How can you tell the dancer from the dance?” and a revealing introduction to the first album in four years from this generation’s best-known and bestselling superstar.

    Dangerous might seem to be a chance to separate this dancer — the “eccentric” Michael of the chimps, the Elephant Man bones, the hyperbaric chamber — from his dancing and singing, which remain among the wonders of the performance world and, lest we forget, were the real reason we paid so much attention to Jackson in the first place. According to this plan, we must consider Dangerous on its own terms and listen without images of llamas and Macaulay Culkin dancing in our heads.

    But of course this polarity between Jackson’s on- and offstage lives is exactly what makes him so fascinating, and the triumph of Dangerous is that it doesn’t hide from the fears and contradictions of a lifetime spent under a spotlight. This edge of terror electrified Thriller‘s Jackson-penned break-through cuts “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” but was diverted into an unconvincing nastiness in 1987 on Bad. It also drove the “controversial” segment of the “Black or White” video, but this tension is presented much more effectively on the album itself.

    Teddy Riley replaces. Quincy Jones as Jackson’s primary collaborator on Dangerous, an inspired selection that is the key to the album’s finest moments. Riley — the producer of groundbreaking tracks by Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat and his own combo, Guy — is the godfather of New Jack Swing, which merges hip-hop beats with soul crooning and has dominated the R&B charts in recent years. This choice clearly represents Jackson’s pursuit of a more contemporary sound, an attempt to come to grips with the changes that have swept pop music since Bad — most significantly, rap’s successful attack on the mainstream. Riley’s work on Dangerous is reminiscent of Jackson’s solo album Off the Wall (1979) and that record’s distillation of disco to its perfect pop essence. Riley’s tracks don’t offer the revolutionary genre-busting of Thriller, but they dramatically illustrate the versatility of his style. Instead of the cocksure strut of a New Jack classic like Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative,” the stacked layers of keyboards on Dangerous shift and percolate, varying textures over insistent, thumping rhythm tracks.

    The aggressive yet fluid dance grooves Riley helped construct — and his emphasis is on writing grooves, not traditional songs — prove a perfect match for Jackson’s clipped, breathy uptempo voice. The fit is especially striking on the songs dealing with women. Exactly half of Dangerous is concerned with affairs of the heart, and Jackson’s greatest fears are brought right up front — there’s not a single straightforward love song in the bunch. Instead we get betrayal in “Who Is It” and repressed lust in the titillatingly titled (and determinedly heterosexual) “In the Closet.” Even “Remember the Time,” the most lighthearted musical track on the album, tells of a blissful romance only to ask, “So why did it end?” The tense, stuttering beats mirror these anxieties compellingly Riley’s melodies may seem secondary, but he carefully plants unshakable hooks in the least likely places — a jittery rhythm track in “Can’t Let Her Get Away,” a snaky, unexpected bridge in “In the Closet.”

    There’s nothing on Dangerous as anti-female as Bad‘s “Dirty Diana,” but Jackson’s persona is much more assertively sexual than the accused victim in “Billie Jean.” He stalks and preens in “She Drives Me Wild.” “Give In to Me” flirts with something more disturbing as Jackson sings, “Don’t try to understand me/Just simply do the things I say” in a grittier, throaty voice while Slash’s guitar whips and soars behind him. Neither this slow-burn solo nor the Stones-derived riff on “Black or White” offers the catharsis of Eddie Van Halen’s blazing break on “Beat It,” but they demonstrate that what seemed like a stunning crossover fusion in 1982 has now become an established part of the pop vocabulary.

    Less impressive are the ballads on Dangerous, where Jackson turns to more global concerns. He has always had a weakness for sappiness, and over the years his delivery has grown increasingly constricted on slower numbers. “Heal the World” is a Hallmark-card knockoff of “We Are the World,” while the grandiose “Will You Be There” never catches fire. “Keep the Faith,” with its power-of-positive-thinking message, is looser and sets off fireworks with a call-and-response gospel coda. It’s easy to overlook, though, because it immediately follows “Will You Be There,” and both tracks feature the Andrae Crouch Singers; the sequencing of Dangerous often clusters similar songs in bunches when a more varied presentation would have been stronger.

    “Jam,” the album’s opener, addresses. Jackson’s uneasy relationship to the world and reveals a canny self-awareness that carries the strongest message on Dangerous. “Jam” features a dense, swirling Riley track, propelled by horn samples and a subtle scratch effect, and includes a fleet rap by Riley favorite Heavy D. Though it initially sounds like a simple, funky dance vehicle, Jackson’s voice bites into each phrase with a desperation that urges us to look deeper. He is singing as “false prophets cry of doom” and exhorts us to “live each day like it’s the last.” The chorus declares that the miseries of the world “ain’t too much stuff” to stop us from jamming. To Jackson, who insists that he comes truly alive only onstage, the ability to “Jam” is the sole means to find “peace within myself,” and this hope rings more sincere than the childlike wishes found in the ballads.

    At such moments, Dangerous rises to the impossible challenge set by Thriller, the commercial and artistic juggernaut that will always loom over Michael Jackson’s work. At his best, then and now, the dancer and the dance come together and reveal a man, no longer a man-child, confronting his well-publicized demons and achieving transcendence through performance. What got lost in the uproar over That Video is that, despite his offstage Peter Pan image, Michael Jackson’s finest song and dance is always sexually charged, tense, coiled — he is at his most gripping when he really is dangerous.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/al...erous-19920101

    I also have to give kudos to Alan Light for that beautiful bit of poetry at the end. He really hit the nail on its proverbial head. In fact, I love that last paragraph so much that it bears repeating, in bold:

    “…At his best, then and now, the dancer and the dance come together and reveal a man, no longer a man-child, confronting his well-publicized demons and achieving transcendence through performance. What got lost in the uproar over That Video is that, despite his offstage Peter Pan image, Michael Jackson’s finest song and dance is always sexually charged, tense, coiled — he is at his most gripping when he really is dangerous.-Alan Light
    ______________________________________
    The article continues...
    But it's too long to post it all here :P


    So here's the link again :D

    http://www.allforloveblog.com/?p=7616

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    Default Re: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    Great article, thanks!

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    Default Re: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    My more detailed answer:

    Since I’m a Michael Jackson fan from the “Nirvana generation” I’m fascinated by this topic. I never considered myself a Nirvana fan, though I like some of their songs. But not enough to actually buy a Nirvana album.


    During Nirvana’s height I was in high school and in the hindsight it’s laughable that all these kids in my school who were fans of them thought of themselves as “alternative” – when nothing was more mainstream during those days than Nirvana. If you wanted to be a cool kid you were a grunge fan and you were “alternative”. I never realized the irony of it at the time, but that John Doran article addresses that irony well.


    I also did not really pick up on this artificially fuelled Nirvana vs. MJ “duel”, though I do remember articles at the time pointing out how Nevermind knocked Dangerous off the Nr 1 spot. I did not realize why it was supposed to be “significant”. Every album has to be knocked off from the Nr 1 spot after a while, so what? It’s a good point how the same rock critics who consider Dangerous being knocked off by Nevermind as a significant cultural turning point for some reason, never mention how Nevermind was knocked off from the Nr 1 spot only after one week by Garth Brooks. I actually did not even know this until now. By the way rock critics talk about Nevermind knocking off Dangerous I thought Nevermind went on to spend 10-20 weeks at Nr 1, or something like that.


    I agree that the critics probably took extra pleasure from the fact that it was Michael Jackson. They built up a narrative around this fact that is still a myth today, but that is, as this article shows by breaking down the actual chart performances of the albums and their singles, was not true.



    With a lot of rock fans (or hip-hop fans or fans of other genres) I observe a kind of “group think”. It’s not just about the music. It’s also about belonging to a group. They have the music, they have dress codes and they are supposed to look down on people from other groups. It seems to be inherent in human nature (maybe from the tribal days) that many people long to be a part of a group. It’s the same with fans of football teams etc. And most people actually seems to like this kind of group think and seperatism. They don’t like things “mix”.


    Michael however was all about building bridges. In his music, in his message. I remember Dangerous was criticized by critics for not being musically “coherent”. Which, I suppose, meant that it went from R&B to rock to gospel to new jack swing etc. Critics did not like it, but I loved it. I remember how often I got bored of an album that was the same style from start to finish, but Michael Jackson albums were this interesting caleidoscope of styles and genres and themes that never got boring to me. Who says that an album has to be in the same style from start to finish? Apparently, some critics do.



    Altogether the two albums sold about the same amount world wide. They are both cited around the 30-32 million range. Yet, while Nevermind is celebrated as a huge success, Dangerous is often cited as a “failure”. Once again those double standards: what is the success story of a generation in the case of one artist, is considered a “failure” for MJ.


    BTW, I think Dangerous was Michael’s best album. And on fan forums it wins the polls for Michael’s best album all the time.

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    Default Re: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    I also did not really pick up on this artificially fuelled Nirvana vs. MJ “duel”, though I do remember articles at the time pointing out how Nevermind knocked Dangerous off the Nr 1 spot. I did not realize why it was supposed to be “significant”. Every album has to be knocked off from the Nr 1 spot after a while, so what? It’s a good point how the same rock critics who consider Dangerous being knocked off by Nevermind as a significant cultural turning point for some reason, never mention how Nevermind was knocked off from the Nr 1 spot only after one week by Garth Brooks. I actually did not even know this until now. By the way rock critics talk about Nevermind knocking off Dangerous I thought Nevermind went on to spend 10-20 weeks at Nr 1, or something like that.
    Totally agree, this is such an artificially inflated 'moment'. Rock critics must be so eternally grateful it was nirvana and not the rather uncool garth brooks who ended mj's no 1 run in the 90s. Actually if you look at the run of no1 albums in 93, garth brooks is by far and away the main force in that year.

    John duran: I guess before the death threats start pouring in and I have to undergo plastic surgery, submit myself to the witness protection scheme and relocate to Huddersfield, I should make one thing clear: Nevermind isn’t a bad album.
    Lol, i guess it's not only mj fans who have the reputation of being, er 'protective'!

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    Default Re: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    Quote Originally Posted by respect77 View Post
    With a lot of rock fans (or hip-hop fans or fans of other genres) I observe a kind of “group think”. It’s not just about the music. It’s also about belonging to a group. They have the music, they have dress codes and they are supposed to look down on people from other groups. It seems to be inherent in human nature (maybe from the tribal days) that many people long to be a part of a group. It’s the same with fans of football teams etc. And most people actually seems to like this kind of group think and seperatism. They don’t like things “mix”.

    Michael however was all about building bridges. In his music, in his message. I remember Dangerous was criticized by critics for not being musically “coherent”. Which, I suppose, meant that it went from R&B to rock to gospel to new jack swing etc. Critics did not like it, but I loved it. I remember how often I got bored of an album that was the same style from start to finish, but Michael Jackson albums were this interesting caleidoscope of styles and genres and themes that never got boring to me. Who says that an album has to be in the same style from start to finish? Apparently, some critics do.

    Altogether the two albums sold about the same amount world wide. They are both cited around the 30-32 million range. Yet, while Nevermind is celebrated as a huge success, Dangerous is often cited as a “failure”. Once again those double standards: what is the success story of a generation in the case of one artist, is considered a “failure” for MJ.
    This is so true and I can identify with what you wrote! You put to words what I have been observing about myself for many years as well. Just like Michael I can relate to trying to build bridges between people because I think this is what eventually can make humanity stronger. Music is just one example where this can be done.

    Michael's public was very diverse, Dangerous is a very good example of it!
    Got to find a way somehow,
    nothing's gonna stop me now,
    got to find a way somehow,
    even though you're gone.
    Things don't seem as bad as they did
    yesterday,
    every minute I get stronger,
    somehow someway.

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    Default Re: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    The OBSESSION these authors...ALL of them, have with Michael's sexuality is beyond CREEPY. And I'm TIRED of it. It just plain creeps me out. Now..I'm not talking about Joe Vogel.
    In Love of Money Land(Branca,sony,mainstream media), it's always a pride and snowy day.

    And, remember when the king of pop fired John Branca?

    https://t.co/dm3MFQdbzd

    http://imgur.com/a/gdU5v It doesn't just... go away.

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    Default Re: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    Did Dangerous ever go back to No.1 in the USA after that? Like when the Opera Interview aired?

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    Default Re: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    While I'm not a huge fan of Nirvana I like a few songs and their Live At The Paramount album is one of my favourite live albums the rawness of it just gets under my skin. Dangerous is Michael's most underatted album even more than Bad in my opinion it has one of my favourite and one of Michael's best songs Who Is It :)

    Nevermind & Dangerous are great albums in their own right critics tend to make more of a big deal out of Dangerous getting knocked off because Nirvana were new to anyone who had'nt heard Bleach, Michael had been around by then for 3 decades and everytime he brought out and album especially after OTW it got alot of attention few people expected him to do it once let alone more than once they became jealous in short so when Nirvana come along and knock him off they we're like finally.

    In terms of the public's reaction both albums still remembered and played examples having put both albums on at work Smells Like Teen Spirit tends to get people singing along and head banging and the odd air guitar performance. With Dangerous songs like Black or White and Remember The Time people sing along and to my personal delight more than member of staff who are'nt big fans of Michael and rip on me for being a fan admitted to having the songs on their iPods from Dangerous after I caught them singning along.

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    Default grunge

    The rock press tended to write that Nirvana & grunge took over the 1990s and made other types of music on the pop charts obsolete. That didn't happen. It didn't kill "hair metal". Bon Jovi, Van Halen, and a few others were still popular in the mid 1990s. One of the most popular albums of 1992 was Totally Krossed Out by Kris Kross and Jump was #1 on the pop singles charts 8 or 9 weeks. Ace Of Base and other dance music acts were really popular in the US after grunge hit. So was Hootie & The Blowfish, Alanis Morrisette, & Counting Crows. It was really hip hop that changed mainstream music (and fashion). The popularity of grunge didn't last long, maybe about 2 years, but hip hop is still mainstram popular today (in the USA). There's hip hop elements in current rock, dance music, jazz, and even country & classical music. Rock in general is not that big on Top 40 radio today unless you consider Maroon 5 to be rock n roll. Several rappers have become mainstream movie or TV actors in a way that singers before them like Madonna, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Phil Collins, Sting, & Prince couldn't really do.

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    Default Billboard 200 (early 1992)

    These are a couple of Top 200 album charts from January 1992. This one is for the week of January 11, which is the week Nevermind knocked Dangerous from #1. Dangerous slipped to #5. Guns n' Roses released 2 albums on the same day, so both of those are in the Top 10 also. The next week (January 18) Ropin' The Wind by Garth Brooks is #1 and Nevermind is #4. Dangerous goes up to #2. Garth has 2 albums in the Top 20 for both weeks.

    This is the album chart a little over a month later (February 29, 1992). The first 2 spots are still the same, and Nevermind is #3. Garth now has 3 albums in the Top 20 and 2 are in the Top 5. So that gives an idea of how popular he was in the 1990s. Other than Nirvana, there are no other grunge related albums in the Top 25 and there wasn't any on the previous 2 charts either.


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    Default Re: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    That was then, how is it now? I think Nevermind is probably a good back catalogue seller while Dangerous is pretty much forgotten.
    I love both albums.

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    Default Billboard catalog albums

    Quote Originally Posted by JichaelMackson View Post
    That was then, how is it now? I think Nevermind is probably a good back catalogue seller while Dangerous is pretty much forgotten.
    These are the Top 50 catalog albums in Billboard for 2019. Neither Dangerous or Nevermind is on it. But Mike has 2 albums, Thriller and a compilation. 18 of the 50 albums are hits compilations (almost half the list) and they're all pretty much older artists. The hits of Queen & The Eagles have sold way more than any of their regular albums. So that means that the general public is mainly interested in older artists hits and not their regular studio albums, except maybe The Beatles. But that might be because the Fab 4 had recent deluxe reissues of Abbey Road & the White Album. Still they're not the only act who had deluxe remasters released during the same time period. It just shows that The Beatles always sell and certain Christmas albums too. Most of the regular, non-compilation, albums are more current acts like Drake, Rihanna, & Taylor Swift.

    1 Queen - Greatest Hits
    2 The Beatles - Abbey Road
    3 Bob Marley And The Wailers - Legend: The Best Of Bob Marley And The Wailers
    4 Creedence Clearwater Revival - Chronicle The 20 Greatest Hits
    5 Eminem - Curtain Call: The Hits
    6 Journey - Journey's Greatest Hits
    7 Drake - Take Care
    8 Drake - Views
    9 Queen - Greatest Hits I II & III: The Platinum Collection
    10 Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
    11 2Pac - Greatest Hits
    12 Billy Joel - The Essential Billy Joel
    13 J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive
    14 SZA - Ctrl
    15 Imagine Dragons - Evolve
    16 Imagine Dragons - Night Visions
    17 Michael Jackson - The Essential Michael Jackson
    18 twenty one pilots - Blurryface
    19 Ed Sheeran - x
    20 Michael Buble - Christmas
    21 The Beatles - 1
    22 Taylor Swift - 1989
    23 The Weeknd - Beauty Behind The Madness
    24 Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
    25 The Notorious B.I.G. - Greatest Hits
    26 Eagles - Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975
    27 Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band - Greatest Hits
    28 Rihanna - ANTI
    29 Travis Scott - Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight
    30 AC/DC - Back In Black
    31 Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits
    32 Guns N' Roses - Greatest Hits
    33 Zac Brown Band - Greatest Hits So Far...
    34 Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour
    35 Bruno Mars - 24K Magic
    36 NF - Perception
    37 Red Hot Chili Peppers - Greatest Hits
    38 The Beatles - The Beatles [White Album]
    39 Drake - Nothing Was The Same
    40 H.E.R. - H.E.R.
    41 Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas
    42 Michael Jackson - Thriller
    43 Halsey - hopeless fountain kingdom
    44 Pentatonix - A Pentatonix Christmas
    45 Thomas Rhett - Life Changes
    46 Metallica - Metallica
    47 Brett Young - Brett Young
    48 The Beach Boys - Sounds Of Summer: The Very Best Of The Beach Boys
    49 Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song
    50 Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas (Soundtrack)

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    Default Re: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    One of the best toilet brands for me is the Kohler toilet. After evaluating so many brands, I have finally found what best fits my bathroom. I am talking about Kohler Cimarron https://bestflushingtoilets.org/kohl...marron-review/, you should check it as well.

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    Default Re: Michael VS. Nirvana: David took on Goliath. But who really won?

    It's sad to me that art always has to compete when it comes to popular music. But then again that's a hallmark of popular art ...

    To be honest, I also like Michael to "win" lol.

    Just thinking about all the book rankings, and visual arts being valued for its monetary worth rather than its cultural impact.
    "I´m the temple, you can´t hurt me,
    ..I found peace within myself"

    ...Michael Jackson - Jam


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    Default Michael VS. Nirvana


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