Underrated MJ tracks by fans

filmandmusic

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Songs that are not talked about much of even plainly disliked except for your own opinion

- One more chance

I love this one a lot because of the vocals. Those yeah yeah’s are so cool.

- don’t walk away

I have a soft spot for heartbreak songs, love the ad libs

- we’re almost there

inspirational song, love the backing vocals by the female singers and Michael ad libbing over them during the last minute, lovely bass sound as well. I hope he did this live a few times as it was a single in 1975

- with a child’s heart

Sorry Stevie but Michael blows your version out of the water, this was done live during the mid 70s, footage of that would make my year

- get on the floor

dancefloor disco/funk killer, superb bass line. If this had been a single everybody would be talking about it

- scared of the moon

Those vocals… haunting track

- someone in the dark

Why oh why was this not used for ET? Divine vocals, superb chorus. Disney like magic

- la la means I love you

such passion and soul at that tender age, the delfonics had nothing on Michael’s version

- happy

Smokey Robinson cover, his mid 70s live covers of this track are goosebump inducing, so calming, magical. Original track is absolutely wonderful too

- one day in your life

Both live and album versions, the music, the background choir. A former Uk, Belgian and Holland nr 1 hit, completely forgotten

- true love can be beautiful

Old J5 track from ABC

- (i like) the way you love me

the original recording, the last minute and half is pure bliss building and building and then fading out

- blue gangsta

also the original recording, love the big band brass sound, flashes of accordion

- you’ve changed

one of the earliest recordings, circa 1968 , a very happy song Michael sounds amazing, lovely lyrics

- you need love ( like i do don’t you)

amazing how this song flows out of dancing machine on the get it together album, funky, done live, would LOVE to see that


I can go on but I figure the thread is already long enough…
 

Maxym

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Most of these songs are not really underrated.
(Though, I think I would have quite a different selection for the J5 songs.)
 

filmandmusic

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@Hudson112

Yeah thanks, I had seen it though that is why I knew it was done live. I probably had to make it clear that I would love to see it in full and in better audio and video quality. Really love this funky track in that clip.
 

Maxym

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Please list them 😊
I was thinking of it, the problem is there are so many, and list may vary from day to day and I'm not sure if they're actually so underrated...
But I'll say all of "Diana Ross Presents" are underrated (except I Want You Back and Who's Loving You that get recognition).
Then, not an exhaustive list but I'd say:
ABC> One More Chance
3rd> Darling dear
MJ solo single>Little Christmas Tree
MT>The Wall, Petals, It's Great To Be Here
LTTW>I Can Only Give You Love
SW>I Can't Quit You Love, Corner Of The Sky
DM>What You Don't Know, If I Don't Love You This Way, Mirrors Of My Mind
 

Nite Line

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It’s The Falling In Love - Beautiful duet with great vocals by Michael and Patti Austin. They had great chemistry.

Girlfriend - Fun carefree song.

Baby Be Mine - The least popular song from Thriller but one of the best. It had such a classic early 80s sound.

Gone Too Soon - Features one of Michael’s best vocals.

Keep The Faith - One of the highlights of Dangerous.

Little Susie - A haunting masterpiece. This should be used in a soundtrack for a horror movie.

2Bad - Wonderul track. Shame about the horrible Shaq rap section.

Morphine - A lyrical masterpiece

Don’t Walk Away / You Are My Life - Two of the most maligned songs from Invincible and two of my absolute favourites. Both songs are very emotional and Michael’s vocals are heavenly. I recently listened to YAML for the first time in a while and I cried.

Some underrated J5/Jacksons songs:
- One More Chance J5 version
- 2-4-6-8
- Can You Remember
- That’s How Love Is
- Man’s Temptation
- Buttercup
- Love Song
- Skywriter
- Big Boy
- Oh How Happy
- The whole J5 Christmas Album
- Push Me Away
- Destiny
- Bless His Soul
- That’s What You Get For Being Polite
- Man of War
- Find Me A Girl
- Dreamer
- Give It Up
- Be Not Always
- Wait
 

zinniabooklover

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I came on here to add a couple of songs but got distracted by filmandmusic's list. I'm gonna go away and listen to loads of songs that I don't know. I've jotted down about 7 of them. F&M, your descriptions of the songs were really cool. Now I'll see whether I agree! I think I know 'We're almost there'. I think that's the one I came across fairly recently; there was a lovely YT clip of Michael performing it on a US tv show. It was kinda heartbreaking, in a way. He was so young and so ... I don't know. It just really got to me. But the song is great so I was glad to be able to get to know it. With all of the J5 and Jackson's stuff, if it wasn't a chart hit in the UK then I don't know it so there's quite a bit for me to discover.
 

zinniabooklover

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Not a very creative answer but Superfly Sister.
No, that's a great answer. It was one of the songs I was gonna mention except I got derailed by F&M's fab list and had to go off and do loads of listening. Ghosts is a decent track but I don't love it loads like I do the other 4 BOTDF songs. And it does get loads more love than the other 4 songs so I don't have to worry about that one.

But Superfly Sister. Love it. Even just for 'Holy Mary, Moly Mary'. Gets me every time. It is so Michael.
 

AChanceToDance

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I like Superfly Sister too! I wish Michael put out more Bryan Loren tracks throughout his career, I would love to Seven Digits in full high quality....

For a more thought out answer though I think Time Waits For No One, Your Ways, Burn This Disco Out, Baby Be Mine, She Drives Me Wild and Invincible are his most underrated ones.
 
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analogue

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It's The Falling In Love - A fun catchy song that always puts a smile on my face

Baby Be Mine - The most underrated song on Thriller. And, in my opinion one of the best songs Rod Temperton as ever written for Michael. I even think it's better than Rock With You and Thriller

Just Good Friends - I really don't get the hate for this song. It's a lot of fun. Not everything has to be groundbreaking. Sometimes a nice, fun pop song is all you need. And Just Good Friends does that job perfectly
 

zinniabooklover

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Songs that are not talked about much of even plainly disliked except for your own opinion

- One more chance

I love this one a lot because of the vocals. Those yeah yeah’s are so cool.

- don’t walk away

I have a soft spot for heartbreak songs, love the ad libs

- we’re almost there

inspirational song, love the backing vocals by the female singers and Michael ad libbing over them during the last minute, lovely bass sound as well. I hope he did this live a few times as it was a single in 1975

- with a child’s heart

Sorry Stevie but Michael blows your version out of the water, this was done live during the mid 70s, footage of that would make my year

- get on the floor

dancefloor disco/funk killer, superb bass line. If this had been a single everybody would be talking about it

- scared of the moon

Those vocals… haunting track

- someone in the dark

Why oh why was this not used for ET? Divine vocals, superb chorus. Disney like magic

- la la means I love you

such passion and soul at that tender age, the delfonics had nothing on Michael’s version

- happy

Smokey Robinson cover, his mid 70s live covers of this track are goosebump inducing, so calming, magical. Original track is absolutely wonderful too

- one day in your life

Both live and album versions, the music, the background choir. A former Uk, Belgian and Holland nr 1 hit, completely forgotten

- true love can be beautiful

Old J5 track from ABC

- (i like) the way you love me

the original recording, the last minute and half is pure bliss building and building and then fading out

- blue gangsta

also the original recording, love the big band brass sound, flashes of accordion

- you’ve changed

one of the earliest recordings, circa 1968 , a very happy song Michael sounds amazing, lovely lyrics

- you need love ( like i do don’t you)

amazing how this song flows out of dancing machine on the get it together album, funky, done live, would LOVE to see that


I can go on but I figure the thread is already long enough…
Some of these are new to me:

You've changed - ❤️ (Motown version)

True love can be beautiful - ❤️ unbelievable singing and phrasing from Michael, he's on fire ❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥 This is drop dead gorgeous. How did he learn to do phrasing like that? Did they teach him? Did he work it out himself? Does it even matter? Even for Michael this is ridiculously brilliant. How can one person carry around that much talent inside? Was this 1970? He was 11. Only 11, for heaven's sake! I know he'd been singing for years by this stage but, even so ... ⭐

You need love - not sure about this one. It's decent enough but sounds way too much like the Temptations (a diluted version) which, given it's written by Strong and Whitfield, isn't surprising. Michael sounds great but the brothers are no match for the Temps and the song sounds a bit thin.

Someone in the dark - ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Michael's voice is made for songs like this.

Awesome choices, f&m.
 

Spaceship

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Do songs by J5/The Jacksons count? If so

That's What You Get (For Being Polite)
Bless His Soul
Push Me Away
Things I Do For You
All Night Dancin'
Destiny

The Jacksons' Destiny album as a whole is pretty underrated; it's such a good precursor to Off The Wall. Shame the only songs people really talk about from it are "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)", to a lesser extent, and "Blame It On The Boogie". Both very good songs, but there are other gems on the album. I actually think the all-time best J5/Jacksons song may be a toss-up between "That's What You Get (For Being Polite)" and "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)".

As for MJ solo songs, I would say "Baby Be Mine" and "Burn This Disco Out" are the most underrated.
 
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zinniabooklover

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Songs that are not talked about much of even plainly disliked except for your own opinion

- One more chance

I love this one a lot because of the vocals. Those yeah yeah’s are so cool.

- don’t walk away

I have a soft spot for heartbreak songs, love the ad libs

- we’re almost there

inspirational song, love the backing vocals by the female singers and Michael ad libbing over them during the last minute, lovely bass sound as well. I hope he did this live a few times as it was a single in 1975

- with a child’s heart

Sorry Stevie but Michael blows your version out of the water, this was done live during the mid 70s, footage of that would make my year

- get on the floor

dancefloor disco/funk killer, superb bass line. If this had been a single everybody would be talking about it

- scared of the moon

Those vocals… haunting track

- someone in the dark

Why oh why was this not used for ET? Divine vocals, superb chorus. Disney like magic

- la la means I love you

such passion and soul at that tender age, the delfonics had nothing on Michael’s version

- happy

Smokey Robinson cover, his mid 70s live covers of this track are goosebump inducing, so calming, magical. Original track is absolutely wonderful too

- one day in your life

Both live and album versions, the music, the background choir. A former Uk, Belgian and Holland nr 1 hit, completely forgotten

- true love can be beautiful

Old J5 track from ABC

- (i like) the way you love me

the original recording, the last minute and half is pure bliss building and building and then fading out

- blue gangsta

also the original recording, love the big band brass sound, flashes of accordion

- you’ve changed

one of the earliest recordings, circa 1968 , a very happy song Michael sounds amazing, lovely lyrics

- you need love ( like i do don’t you)

amazing how this song flows out of dancing machine on the get it together album, funky, done live, would LOVE to see that


I can go on but I figure the thread is already long enough…
Scared of the Moon.

Oh my. Just listened to it. Oh my.

f&m, people often recommend this song and I was too lazy to check it out. It's your little descriptions that make all the difference.

❤️
 
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Antwort

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For whatever strange and quite random reasons, I'm finding myself preoccupied with Michael's most turbulent relationship with the media, hence the current fixation with a couple of songs about the havoc they've created for him and those of us who care deeply for him - BreaKing news and Tabloid junkie. Both of these songs are quite underrated and not just within the fan community. It is rather unfortunate, considering the fact that they were probably written as messages not so much for the fans, but with other main targets in mind - the parasites in black and white, their puppetmasters and the general public.

A few weeks ago I've discovered a most intriguing online station dedicated to Michael. Their selection of tunes is mostly on point. One of the few elements of criticism I can level at them is the option to play them three fake songs from the self-titled album back in 2010. As far as two of them are concerned, I can't be bothered to listen. But, as I've already said neons and ages ago – there is something terribly pertinent about BREAKING NEWS, irrespective of Michael's 'minimal' vocal contribution to it 🤭 Hearing it play so often lately, reminded me of its covert importance.


Beyond the uber-cool beats and rhythm, there is somethin' quite intriguing, if not downright trollish about the lyrics and delivery. Especially funny is the guy singin' about being Michael Jackson, when of course, it isn't Michael doing the singing in that part. I do have to wonder if the insertion of these songs on the album wasn't just another means through which people could be 'drilled' so-to-say into the art of discernment – the ability to separate what is real and not when it comes to news about Michael, not just songs.

After all, there are so many pictures floating about the net, supposedly of Michael, which have been edited, some more than others; there are also corners of Twitter with incredible amounts of fakery, mixed ever so viciously with people's gullibility. Therefore, why would it be any different when it comes to songs? Perhaps the fake songs were just the preview of what was to follow, providing a guidance of sorts towards a general direction of utmost confusion. If people can't recognize Michael's face or hands, let alone his unique voice, how on earth are they supposed to get major, basic facts right?

Unfortunately, when it comes to fake news about Mike, we've all had our share of them, especially since 1993, didn't we? That is why, sadly, another song that continues to be most appropriate is.......TABLOID JUNKIE.

However, the tide seems to be turning and the media's credibility is at an all-time low. I have no doubt it will go even lower than this, considering the magnitude of the lies they are involved in. For the moment though, it is most rewarding to see how their awful schemes and manipulative tactics are being exposed on a constant basis.

Couldn't help but notice the Presidential 'incident' yesterday about misleading and pernicious editing. Thank goodness people are aware of the issue and have counter-measures in place – their own audio team to record everything. I wonder where we've heard of that strategy before. For whatever strange reason, 2003-2004 come to mind........

Oh, and btw of Michael's trolling – due to jack's most timely tweet, also yesterday, I was reminded of that lil' section of the 1995 interview, the studio portion with the beatboxing to Tabloid Junkie, of all songs. I don't suppose Michael chose the tune on purpose and included in his audio selection the part about the hounding media, in the hysteria, did he? Well, the song IS full of amazing lyrics, some even stronger than that. I suggest everyone read them again and again and again, until they actually get 'em. But I think that particular portion then was most fitting. Quite the brilliant, playful and trollish move on his part, as so very often 🤓😎
 
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filmandmusic

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While I admire songs like tabloid junkie for their message and lyrics I can’t really like them as the verses sound like he has a bad cough, simply too overproduced.
It would be interesting to hear demos of tracks like that because maybe they feature clean singing
 

83magic

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I think ‘ease on down the road’ qualifies. it was one of his first solo songs as an adult. he and Diana Ross have great chemistry. their one and only performance of it, outside of the movie, is further proof of that (I personally think one of michael’s best live vocals). yet I rarely see it discussed in the fan community. it also charted poorly. it has just as much country as it does disco. far more catchy than ‘follow the yellow brick road’ in my opinion.

farewell my summer love’ was a hit in my country. it was the only one of michael’s songs to feature on the popular ‘now that’s what I call music’ compilation albums. I would often hear it played and requested on radio. it’s kind of a classic, despite there being no video or performance. it’s a bright bittersweet tale that has a pure clean vocal (possibly michael’s first use of falsetto post puberty). sadly, I don’t think the happy sounding songs are popular with fans ☹️

euphoria’ is a song I’ve always loved💜 but it’s been on my mind a lot more lately. fans automatically dismiss songs that weren’t self written, or even co written in some cases😮 this however, is an example of the writers understanding their subject, and what they bring to the world 🌎 a few poignant lyrics 🥺 I think it sums up in part at least, Michael the child star 🌟 I 💜 the arrangement, and how it has two choruses.
 

Kenn K

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I haven't been involved in the community long enough to really know which songs are underrated/overrated, but I will co-sign a few songs that have already been mentioned: "2Bad", "Invincible," "Blue Gangsta," "Morphine," "Tabloid Junkie"... all songs are among my favorites and I'm honestly surprised to see any of them being mentioned, save for maybe the first two. I love the classic MJ sound as much as the next, but I find myself gravitating toward his more experimental/modern sounds from the '90s. For example, one of my favorite songs is "Xscape," I would give both versions their own spot on a hypothetical list and they couldn't sound further apart, haha, not to mention unlike anything people really expect from Mike (although the horns definitely make the '14 version sound more familiar).

Actually, now that I bring that song up, I'm curious about where that one lands when it comes to general opinion. I never see anyone saying it should have made Invincible, while I'm over here thinking it should have been polished up and made the lead single. Even if not as the lead, I'm sure Mike had some sort of idea for a video at some point. It's hard not to imagine one.

I suppose to contribute to the topic, while this may be my bias toward rap-rock speaking, lol... I don't see people talk about "Shout" much. It's an interesting sound for Mike, it's got a unique groove, and I can't think of any other time he really raps like that. I know it's nothing mind-blowing, but it's a pretty good song that I'd have definitely switched out at least one of the ballads on the album for. It's mainly the fact he's rapping his ass off that makes me question why I've never seen it discussed though.
 

zinniabooklover

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I suppose to contribute to the topic, while this may be my bias toward rap-rock speaking, lol... I don't see people talk about "Shout" much. It's an interesting sound for Mike, it's got a unique groove, and I can't think of any other time he really raps like that. I know it's nothing mind-blowing, but it's a pretty good song that I'd have definitely switched out at least one of the ballads on the album for. It's mainly the fact he's rapping his ass off that makes me question why I've never seen it discussed though.
Shout is one of my faves.

If we're fantasising about which songs we would love to watch Michael recording, this is one of mine. I wouldn't want to change the track listing on Invincible but I think Shout is a fabulous song. And I love his rapping. When you say it isn't 'mind-blowing' do you mean when compared to 'real' rapping? I can understand that. I love Michael's rock songs although he doesn't really have a 'rock' voice. Certainly, his voice isn't really strong enough for rock, it's not heavy or substantial enough. But he makes it work and does such a brilliant job that any technical limitations just fade away. I don't listen to much rap so I can't do a comparison but, yeah, I can see that a 'real' rapper is doing stuff that Michael would not be able to do but, again, it's that thing of him just being able to do stuff even when I think, 'oh that won't work'.

I love Shout both for the lyrics and for the way Michael delivers them. Actually, it's funny but I count this as one of his rock songs (in spite of the rapping!) because of the awesome guitar but also the feel of it.
 

Kenn K

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I would definitely place it along with his other rock-oriented tracks. Rap-rock is strange, especially during it's heyday when "Shout" was recorded... it's a very fine line you're treading where it can result in something fantastic or an absolute abomination, lol. The ones who do it right approach it the same way Mike did... Making a rock song using hip-hop as the basis. I think everything about the song itself turned out fantastic. It reminds me of a classic Run-DMC song updated for the era. His lyrics and flow are wild, I wasn't comparing Mike to a "real" rapper at all. In fact. I consider him to be very hip-hop, imho. He had so much influence and rappers have never been afraid to show love and vice versa. Not only that, but he actually is rapping very well here. Like I said, his flow - that non-stop, breathless rhythm he's got - is something else, I've heard tons of fully dedicated rappers over the years that couldn't pull that off.

[side-note about Mike's "rock voice" - I always thought he slipped into that role just as effortlessly as anything else. Rock doesn't always require a low, gritty voice (and even then, we know Mike's range was wider than he led on, imagine a rock version of "2000 Watts," ha!)... It doesn't surprise me that one of the first rock artists he collaborated with was Freddie Mercury because that's basically who I'd consider to be his rock equivalent. I don't think he'd be any less of a legend if he was born or transitioned into being mainly a rocker, tbh, if he were to still play with other genres and sounds like he did... Just my thoughts, anyway]

Regarding the "nothing mind-blowing" comment, I guess I should rephrase that because it definitely blew my lid clean off when I discovered it, haha! I just say that because if you zoom out and just look at the song itself, it's not really experimental or anything that wasn't being done to death in 2001, save for the fact that the song is focused on societal problems as opposed to screaming about your ex-girlfriend like a lot of the genre was doing at the time, lol. But zooming back in, there's no other song really like it in the MJ catalog, if you ask me. I'm right there with you, btw, I'd love to know more about the process of writing and recording "Shout."

A couple of other titles have popped into my head since my first reply... I don't see "Can't Let Her Get Away" or "This Time Around" brought up too much. Both very catchy tunes, the former having some insane production and Mike going wild during the breakdown, the latter sounding pretty laid-back and funky yet it's actually a bit of restrained aggression performance-wise. Listening to those verses right now, this is sorta what I imagined when I joked about a "2000 Watts" rock remix 🤔
 
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Spaceship

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For example, one of my favorite songs is "Xscape," I would give both versions their own spot on a hypothetical list and they couldn't sound further apart, haha, not to mention unlike anything people really expect from Mike (although the horns definitely make the '14 version sound more familiar).

Actually, now that I bring that song up, I'm curious about where that one lands when it comes to general opinion. I never see anyone saying it should have made Invincible, while I'm over here thinking it should have been polished up and made the lead single. Even if not as the lead, I'm sure Mike had some sort of idea for a video at some point. It's hard not to imagine one.

I suppose to contribute to the topic, while this may be my bias toward rap-rock speaking, lol... I don't see people talk about "Shout" much. It's an interesting sound for Mike, it's got a unique groove, and I can't think of any other time he really raps like that. I know it's nothing mind-blowing, but it's a pretty good song that I'd have definitely switched out at least one of the ballads on the album for. It's mainly the fact he's rapping his ass off that makes me question why I've never seen it discussed though.

"Xscape" and "Shout" are very talked about in the fan community, actually. The former has been a cult classic ever since it first leaked in 2002, and many people thought it should have made it on Invincible. It's actually the most popular outtake for the album. The song was further praised when it was officially released in 2014, but the original version is better liked than the remix.

"Shout" is also popular among fans; many people felt "You Are My Life" taking its place on Invincible was a mistake. Actually, a lot of Invincible outtakes are popular among hardcore fans; it's always been a popular topic to talk about how you think the album should have been, and fans often bring up outtakes like "Xscape", "Shout", "Blue Gangster" and "A Place with No Name".
 

SmoothCriminal1995

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Why You Wanna Trip On Me.
Such an underrated track, if it hadn't been sandwiched between Jam and In The Closet, I think it would have been more of an appreciated track or had it been on HIStory perhaps

The layers of those backgrounds are so luscious and rich
 
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