When it comes to music icons, few names resonate as powerfully as Michael Jackson. Throughout his illustrious career, the King of Pop captivated the world with his electrifying performances, unmatched talent, and a catalogue of unforgettable hits that have stood the test of time. As we embark on a journey through the timeless melodies and indelible rhythms crafted by this musical virtuoso, we dive into the realm of Michael Jackson’s discography to uncover the Top 10 Best Michael Jackson Songs of All Time.
From his early years as a precocious child prodigy with the Jackson 5 to his solo ventures that elevated him to unrivaled superstardom, Michael Jackson’s musical genius spanned decades and transcended genres. With his distinctive voice, innovative dance moves, and unparalleled showmanship, he reshaped the landscape of popular music and left an indelible mark on the industry.
This curated collection of the King of Pop’s greatest songs pays homage to his artistic prowess and celebrates the multifaceted brilliance that made him a global phenomenon. Delving into his diverse repertoire, we explore the timeless classics and hidden gems that showcase his versatility, creativity, and unwavering ability to touch the hearts of millions.
Join us as we embark on this nostalgic musical odyssey, rediscovering the masterpieces that have solidified Michael Jackson’s status as an irreplaceable cultural icon. Prepare to be mesmerized by the sheer artistry and undeniable impact of the Top 10 Best Michael Jackson Songs of All Time.
1. “Beat It”
This classic tune by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, tops our list of his best songs. With its catchy guitar riff and dynamic beat, “Beat It” was impossible not to move to. Lyrically, it has a message of non-violence and encourages listeners to stay united in the face of adversity. The song features an iconic music video that showcased Jackson’s incredible dance moves and fashion sense. Its influence is undeniable as it has been covered by numerous artists across multiple genres.
Listening to 'I'll Be There' makes me feel like Michael Jackson is personally serenading me and asking for my emotional support.
2. “I’ll Be There”
This iconic song holds a special place in Michael Jackson's discography. "I'll Be There" was released as the Jackson 5's fourth consecutive #1 hit in 1970, showcasing Michael's impressive vocal range and emotional depth at the mere age of 11. The track's soulful melody and heartfelt lyrics, coupled with Michael's undeniable talent, made it an instant classic that still resonates with fans today. It serves as a reminder of Michael’s enduring legacy as one of the most talented artists of all time.
Get your dancing shoes on, because 'Rock With You' is guaranteed to make you move like MJ's zombie backup dancers.
3. “Rock With You”
Its smooth melody and infectious beat quickly became a fan favorite. Released in 1979, it spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard charts.
Continuing on the subject of '3. Groove With You,' Jackson's silky vocals bring life to lyrics that exude pure joy and speak to the universal experience of feeling alive on the dance floor. The song was an international hit, further cementing his status as the King of Pop.
It is worth noting that '3. Groove With You' was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Quincy Jones, elevating it even further with its musical precision and intricate instrumentals.
Fun Fact: Michael Jackson himself has stated that 'Rock With You' is one of his all-time favorite songs from his extensive catalogue. Michael may have been a Smooth Criminal, but this song is a guilty pleasure we're not ashamed to love.
4. “Smooth Criminal”
This legendary song, known as one of Michael Jackson's greatest hits, is a standout among his discography. Its iconic bass intro and high-speed dance routines in the music video are unforgettable. The lyrics tell the story of Smooth Criminal, a mysterious man who leaves his mark everywhere he goes. This masterpiece showcases MJ's exceptional vocals and unique flair for storytelling.
Furthermore, "Smooth Criminal" is notable for its cinematic qualities and references to classic films like "The Third Man". The track's production is credited to Quincy Jones, who collaborated with Jackson on many of his most successful tracks. The song was released in 1988 as a part of Michael's album "Bad", which cemented the King of Pop's status as one of the greatest artists of all time.
Pro Tip: Watch the music video to fully appreciate the song's gravity-defying choreography and witness MJ's stage presence at its peak.
Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' is the only song where the lyrics warn you of impending doom, yet you still want to dance your heart out to it.
This top-notch composition has an extraordinary track, which is not only one of Michael Jackson's greatest hits but also one of the best songs in music history. The sheer brilliance and upbeat rhythm make it impossible to resist moving your body to the rhythm, even after so many years. With chilling background effects that will leave you tempted and thrilled, "Thriller" is a fantastic work of art that exemplifies the King of Pop's musicianship.
"Thriller" is distinguished by its innovative video which was more like a small film and went on to become one of the most popular music videos ever produced. It's no surprise that this piece has won numerous awards and influenced generations of artists who continue to revere Michael Jackson.
If you've had the opportunity to witness "Thriller," you would have undoubtedly noticed its impact. The song captures Michael Jackson's artistic vision and ability to bring any genre to life with his imaginative style. One can feel his zeal and passion for music reflected throughout every note, making Thriller an unforgettable experience in pop culture.
A true story regarding "Thriller" involves how the visionary director John Landis signed up for directing the video for Thriller. Although he had been initially hesitant about accepting due to his preference for film-making, he changed his mind upon hearing the exceptional song's unique nature. Despite being given limited time-frame for completion along with budget restrictions, John managed to deliver what became a classic masterpiece hailed as one of MTV's all-time best videos list.
"Dirty Diana" may have been bad, but not as bad as the moonwalk backwards controversy.
6. “Dirty Diana”
This entry on the list of ‘10 Best Michael Jackson Songs of All Time’ is occupied by a song inspired by a groupie who relentlessly chased the pop star. “Dirty Diana” depicts the story of a seductress whose aim is to lure him away and break his heart despite his objections. The track, with its intense guitar licks and powerful vocals, was part of MJ's seventh solo album, 'Bad.' With its raw energy and emotive lyrics, it has become a fan favourite across generations.
Moreover, this song marks one of the occasions where MJ’s musicianship shone through as he played guitar for the instrumental portions himself. The song’s popularity led to its live performances regularly during his tours. It has been covered by multiple artists over the years, including British rock band Queen's Brian May.
Interestingly, in an interview with Barbara Walters in 1997, MJ revealed that "Dirty Diana" was not about anyone specific but rather created as an opportunity to provide vocal dynamic variety in conjunction with ballad tunes on 'Bad'.
It is said that at some point 'Dirty Diana' was considered for a new album release in 2014 featuring modern remixes from famous producers like Afrojack and David Guetta. Unfortunately, it never materialized due to various legal issues that arose later concerning MJ's estate.
Don't stop 'til you've listened to all ten, or you'll be moonwalking alone.
7. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”
This song was released in 1979 as the debut single from Michael Jackson's fifth album, "Off the Wall." It is a disco and funk-inspired song that showcases Jackson's smooth vocals and his unique stage persona. The catchy chorus, with its repetition of the title phrase, makes it an instant classic. The song won Jackson his first Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Its upbeat tempo and lively instrumentation make it an ideal dance floor filler.
The song was co-written by Michael Jackson and produced by Quincy Jones, who worked with Jackson on several other successful albums. The track features soaring horns, driving bassline, funky guitar riffs, and a catchy melody that will have you dancing and singing along.
It's interesting to note that Jackson wrote this song with the intention of giving it to another artist; however, after recording it himself, he decided to keep it for his own album. This decision proved to be wise, as the song became a massive hit and helped establish him as one of music's biggest stars.
Pro Tip: For an even better listening experience, try watching the iconic music video featuring Jackson's signature moves and flashy outfits.
Just remember, if Billie Jean is not your lover, then you're probably the smooth criminal she's hunting down.
8. “Billie Jean”
This iconic Michael Jackson song, widely considered as his signature masterpiece, showcases his outstanding vocal range and creativity at its finest. The pulsating bassline accompanied by percussions and synths creates a mesmerizing rhythm that leaves listeners tapping their feet involuntarily. “Billie Jean” is known for its catchy hook, which narrates the story of a woman who claims Michael fathered her child. This song was an instant hit when it first debuted in 1983 and became even more famous after its memorable performance at the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever concert. It also inspired various covers and remixes from different artists worldwide and remains a timeless classic today.
Listening to 'I Want You Back' makes me feel like Michael Jackson is personally serenading my ex to come back to me.
9. “I Want You Back”
This track epitomizes Michael Jackson's early days with his former group, The Jackson 5. With its Motown-style dance beats and his soaring falsetto vocals, it offers a youthful exuberance that is hard to match. "I Want You Back" was written and produced by The Corporation and earned the band their first ever number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Continuing with the upbeat tempo of "I Want You Back," this song offers an irresistible beat that never fails to get people moving. It's clear that MJ put his heart and soul into the lyrics, making the song a true representation of his love for music. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" is often regarded as one of his greatest hits from the late 70s era.
One fascinating feature of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" is that it was composed entirely by Michael Jackson himself, which demonstrates his incredible musical talent.
Aspiring musicians should keep in mind that Jackson's music has stood the test of time due to its exceptional quality and relatable themes. One can take inspiration from MJ's masterpieces not only for entertainment purposes but also as a means of understanding exemplary music production in professional terms.
Michael Jackson proves that when it comes to music, there are no color lines – unless you count him turning into a black panther in the video for "Black or White".
10. “Black Or White”
This highly popular Michael Jackson hit, celebrated as one of the best songs of all time, was released in 1991. Its multi-genre appeal continues to captivate audiences worldwide with its thought-provoking symbolism on issues of race and gender equality. Here is a breakdown of the remarkable features that make up this track:
|Musical composition||A fusion of rock, pop, hip hop, and electronic elements paired with diverse musical instruments like the keyboard, guitar, bass guitar, and drums.|
|Lyrics||An anthem-like chorus featuring repetitive phrases alongside an emotive blend of solo verses by Michael Jackson addressing societal issues.|
|The music video||Directed by John Landis and starring Macaulay Culkin. The video made history for being one of the first to feature advanced morphing technology.|
Interestingly, the original version contained a controversial final scene where Michael damaged cars whilst simultaneously performing his signature dance moves. This scene was taken out after some viewers saw it as provocative and got taken to court for accusations of copyright infringement due to sampling a part from the song 'HIStory' by Tony D! Hey Boy.
The King of Pop's eclectic musical artistry will always be remembered through memorable hits such as "Black Or White." The message it carries is still relevant today and will continue to inspire cultural discourse regarding equality and justice for all races well into tomorrow's future.