Don’t rush and say “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” just because it seemed to be the most heartfelt. Really think through his entire catalogue as a solo artist and pick the one Jackson hit that means the most to you in a personal and profound way that makes his passing extra painful.
Was it “Ben,” his touching love song to a rat?
“Rock With You,” which is surely responsible for the conception of millions of babies?
“Bad,” which was actually pretty good?
Or maybe “You Are Not Alone,” which helped many of us accept our schizophrenia?
I’ll go with “Billie Jean.” Yeah, the lyric leans towards the obvious (“The kid is not my son”), but it’s a haunting, powerful bit of pop history, and Michael truly moonwalked it to glory.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 29, 2009