Six years ago today, the late great King of Pop Michael Jackson passed onto eternity aged just 50.
And while he may be gone in the flesh, his legacy remains everlasting.
To celebrate his indisputable impact on Pop music and culture, That Grape Juice are spotlighting some of our favourite underrated MJ gems. Because, despite the trailblazing success of cuts such as ‘Billie Jean,’ ‘Bad,’ and ‘Remember The Time,’ even Michael wasn’t exempt from releasing songs that – for one reason or the other – went under the radar.
Our picks await below in no particular order…
A phrase that has attracted headlines of late thanks to sister Janet’s like titled world tour. For us, though, ‘Unbreakable’ is most synonymous with the funky, flavoursome fire that was this 2001 cut expertly carved by Rodney Jerkins and featured the late Notorious B.I.G.
We’ve Had Enough
Housed on 2004’s ‘Ultimate Collection’, this bonus track has us wondering why it wasn’t a full fledged single 11 years on. Said to have been recorded during–sessions-, ‘Enough’ boasts the passionate, progressiveness of ‘Earth Song’ and elevates said sound with its rockier production and captivating lyrical narrative.
Another cousin of Earth Song, this rousing R. Kelly song sat on MJ’s last traditional album, 2001’s ‘Invincible.’ Sadly, like much of its parent LP, ‘Cry’ is criminally underrated. An attempt was made to make it a single following ‘You Rock My World’ and a Michael-less video was even serviced. However, a very public spat between Michael and label Sony nipped those plans in the bud.
One More Chance
This beautiful ballad couldn’t have been any more unfortunate its timing, The sole new number of Michael’s 2003 ‘Number Ones’ compilation, it told the tale of a man pleading for “One More Chance at love.” Synonymously, there was a sense that the song’s lyrics saw Jackson asking to be re-embraced by a public whose opinion of him wasn’t as universally positive as it it had been in previous years. Sadly, allegations (from which he was eventually vindicated from) marred the release of the song and it’s already shot video.
Featured on Jackson’s 1995 ‘History’ greatest hits/ new album hybrid, this Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis production served as one of project’s standout numbers. For, despite the set’s angry under and overtones, ‘2 Bad’ pierced through on its own accord. Dynamic, danceable, and best listened to at dizzying decibels.