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105 of 110 found the following review helpful:
And this is just Book 1!!! Oct 13, 2002
By Anthony Wynn
Okay, I'm not gonna waste time on Disc 1 because it's a collection of hits and favorites that any Michael Fan is well enough familiar with. So let's just skip right to Disc Two.
Scream-Truly the most Dance Oriented song on the album, but a rare occasion in which we get Brother to Sister love, and anger, both shouting about injustice. A Great song, a great video. And great beginning.
They Don't Care About Us-A powerful song really. Great beat, Some later versions are censored because of some alleged "anti-semetic" lyrics. Put it doesn't hurt the song. Michael's anger somewhat begins here. Another great video.
Stranger in Moscow-A beautiful ballad. By far one of Michael's best. Haunting to the Extreme with a chorus that could bring a tear to your eye. "How does it feel when you're alone and it's cold inside?" A beautiful music video.
This Time Around-I like this song. Has a good beat to it. A tad self-indulgent, but I'd say he's earned it. Great Rap bridge by the Notorius B.I.G.
Earth Song-One of his most powerful ballads to date. Most of us have seen the video, so we know Michael is true to his subject matter. Michael hits it hard on this song, worthy of buying the album just for this one.
D.S.-Who is Dom Sheldom? And why is Michael so angry at him? This isn't a bad song, but it's the one I listen to the least.
Money-Powerful lyrics. Although Michael doesn't sing a whole lot. More of a spoken word, but good none the less. Still Michael a bit angry in this one.
Come Together-This one is alot of fun really. Shows his funk-rock side with this cover of the old Beatles song. Truly verges on remaking it better than the original.
You Are Not Alone-How many awards did this one win? Too many to count. This song, written by R. Kelly, shows off the passion he still has for a love ballad. Very artistic video with his ex-wife Lisa Marie-Presley.
Childhood-Some may call this song sappy, not me, it's beautiful. In our own ways I think most all of us could relate to this song. Poetic lyrics, well orchestrated instrumentals, and the video has a quite an interesting original concept to it.
Tabloid Junkie-A song with a strong message more people need to pay attention to. Not to mention having to do with Michael's more recent past at that time being a victim of the Tabloid Junkies.
2 Bad-This song has a cool beat, and it's a good dance song. The only part I don't really enjoy is Shaq rapping in the middle. Who the hell ever said that Shaq could rap? He couldn't wrap cheese in a taco!! At least the parts with Michael are cool.
HIStory-More of an anthem than a song. But amazing none the less. Using quotes and recorded speeches from pinical moments in History. Proving Michael respects many people, and is inspired by greatness, causing him greatness as well.
Little Susie-If he ever decides to stop being a pop singer, this song shows proof he could compose music for movies and seriously win OSCARS for it. It's sad, haunting, beautiful. A great direction for Michael.
Smile-I can't think of a better way to end this record. This track, which is a tribute and dedication to one of Michael's heroes, Charlie Chaplin. You can't help but smile I think when you listen to this track, because it's so beautiful, and Michael whistling at the end gives off the most lovely example of Michael's playful side.
A wonderful CD, truly worthy of all good credit. His most mature and artistic album to date. Get one for yourself, you won't regret it.
26 of 27 found the following review helpful:
HIStory is Michaels most overlooked, underrated album! Jul 07, 2009
Two things bothered me while watching the Michael Jackson news stories on TV following his death..they always overlooked two of his finest albums, "Dangerous" and this set, "HIStory".
"HIStory" is a set that is the sound of Michael Jackson re-inventing and evolving as an artist.
Disc 1 features some of his biggest hits in its full unedited form (Unlike his other greatest hits set Number Ones), but with the unedited tracks comes the fact that so many of his hits weren't included!
For 1995 it was the only Michael Jackson best of compilation available on the market..and Im thankful more concise hits collections like "The Essential Michael Jackson" and "The Ultimate Collection" are available.
So if you want the hits, and all of them, please pick up those collections! Or even better, buy his 4 original albums! (Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad and Dangerous).
But as for this collection, all the songs are incredible and its a surprise to see songs like "She's Out Of My Life", "The Girl Is Mine", "Remember The Time" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" included in a collection where they usually omit those songs!
Overall, the songs are no doubt 5 star quality, but for the omissions of so many great songs I give Disc One: 4.5 stars.
Disc 2 is the very sound of a tortured superstar under the pressure and scrutiny of the media. If you have heard all of his albums, this one right here easily earns the title of his most honest album.
Its a complete turnaround from his previous 4 albums. He's angry. He knows hes been hounded. And now hes writing and singing about all of his tribulations over his career, but mostly about the 1993-1994 era where he was accused of those disgusting (and in my opinion extremely false) allegations.
The disc begins with "Scream" a duet with his superstar sister Janet Jackson. The song is a loud, futuristic dance song about all the pressure the two siblings face. Its a great track, and was a big hit back in 1995. (It should have been bigger!)
"They Don't Care About Us" is one of my all time favourite Michael tracks!
Its all about how he's been victimized and how he's basically had enough of all the hatred. Its an incredible song with such danceable qualities, with a heavy subject matter without resorting to over preaching.
"Stranger In Moscow" is a window glimpse into Michaels mind during the 1993 allegations era. It is such an incredibly honest song as he sings about his "Fall from grace" and how it feels to be "Alone and cold inside". I believe that this is one of his greatest musical accomplishments.
"Earth Song" is a typical MJ "Save the world" anthem, but its done to epic proprtions. Its a mammoth anthem, not preaching to people how to save the world, but basically how "no one gives a damn". It doesn't get better than this! Another overlooked gem in Michaels catalogue of work.
"Money" is a song that doesnt sound like anything MJ had done before. Its basically all spoken word, and what he says about what people would do for money is spot on and extremely relevant to his experiences, and whats going on in the world today.
"Come Together" is Michaels remake of The Beatles classic and I really enjoy this one too. Its a great remaking and its cool to have it on CD after seeing it on his Moonwalker film right at the end!
"You Are Not Alone" is the 1996 mega smash and its a great ballad. Theres not much to say about this one, but you honestly cant help but sing along and get caught in the infectious chorus!
"Childhood" is Michaels his most autobiographical song ever. Just listen to the lyrics..its not your typical Verse-Chorus-Verse-Bridge-Chorus song, its structure is intricate and his powerful lyrics are the main attraction to this song. The music alone can also be enough to bring someone to tears.
"Tabloid Junkie" is another roaring dance number similar to "Scream". It tells of how everyone shouldnt believe what they read or see. A great song that is usually overlooked!
The rest of the tracks are also great (This Time Around, D.S., 2Bad, History, Little Susie and Smile) and are well worth a listen..they are great tracks, but those ones I just wrote about are my personal standouts.
My overall rating for Disc Two is 5 stars.
"HIStory" is the evolution of Michael Jackson from the beginning of his musical solo career to his honest later work. You will never hear Michael this honest, frank and autobiographical in any other album.
There are songs on the 2nd disc that I consider some of his finest work ever.
Just give it a try! Just because the television doesnt acknowledge this fine album (and Dangerous), it doesnt mean it isnt good.
Its a fantastic album and should be heard by anyone who considers themselves a Michael Jackson fan.
R.I.P Michael Jackson! You many not be here on Earth, but I am so grateful you left your musical legacy with us, so people now and people in the future can discover how remarkable it really is!
36 of 39 found the following review helpful:
HIStory - a simple review of CD 2.... Nov 06, 2002
We all know the fantastic geninus of MJ on CD 1 so let's move on to CD 2.
CD 2 is where the new meat of the set is. Although this is not MJ's best, it is interesting nevertheless due to the personal commentary in many of the CD's 15 songs.
Everything from politics (Scream) to racism (They Don't Care About Us), to the ecology (Earth Song), to his personal struggles with the press (Tabaloid Junkie), to abuse (Little Suzie), the album ends with his personal statement about his whole experince in a cover of Smile.
Personal highlights for me include some of the above tracks mentioned: Scream, They Don't Really Care About Us, and Earth Song -- as well as the smooth Stranger In Moscow, a cover of The Beatles' Come Together, the ballad hit You Are Not Alone, and the somewhat epic soundscape title track.
Bottom Line: Although it may not be Jackson's best, it is his most personal, aggressive, and intellectual album -- you get a peak into the thoughts of the one and only Michael Jackson through song.
23 of 25 found the following review helpful:
HIStory - Past, Present and Future Book 1 Jun 06, 2000
By David M. Sulkers
I remember the exact day this CD came out, June 20th, 1995. For about a month 'Scream' had been playing on the radio, the video had premired just days before(still the best special effect video ever, I'd have to say) and the Diane Sawyer interview with Lisa Marie had just aired. Michael Jackson had all the hype, and this album was worth every bit of it! I could sit here all day talking about the classic 'older' cuts such as 'Billie Jean', 'Beat It', 'Black Or White', Man In The Mirror' and 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough', but I really don't think you need to hear that 'cause I mean you've heard all those songs about million times before each. It's the new songs that deserve a long intro. The duet with Janet Jackson 'Scream' is the greatest duet either of them have done (though Michael's 1983 duet with Paul McCartney 'Say Say Say' challenges). 'They Don't Care About Us' proves why Michael is a true artist. It is the message, the meaning behind the music is what this song is about. And because I bought this record the day it came out I have the version where Michael says the controversial line of 'Jew Me'. True rage in the line. This is one of the greatest songs he has ever written, and there have been a few. He got a lot of slack for not rising above the 1993 scandal, but so what? It only proves his artistry I believe, because a true artist will express his feeling rather than just following the mold of 'hip young artists'. 'Stranger In Moscow' is wonderful as are 'This Time Around' and 'Earth Song.' What other contemporary artist has as much meaning in their music? No one, thats who. I've got the same initials as the No.6 song 'D.S' not why I like the song, but its kind of cool. The song rocks, a great heavy beat with Slash playing guitar. 'Money' with R.Kelly singing backing is great, the meaning exactly what drives the world today. A thing he should only know all to well. The only song I don't like on this CD is 'Come Together', it is a great cover, but seems out of place here. 'You Are Not Alone' is a great song, but it too seems a little odd here, obviously put on the album to sell more copies. It was the first song to debut at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100, not that that makes it a great song, but I just thought you'd like to know. 'Childhood' is a bit to sappy for me, but the message is great and Michael's vocals are better here than ever. 'Tabloid Junkie' is great, one of the best on the CD, the greatest refrain he has had in years with 'Just because you read it in a magazine or see it on a TV screen don't make it factual' is great. Truth, that is what this CD is about. '2Bad' rocks, great beat. 'HIStory' is a little too cluttered with audio clips, the verses leave something to be desired but the chorus is great. 'Little Susie' is a stark telling of the death of a young girl. Beautiful orchestration, a little sappy, but great musicality here. Finaly 'Smile' is a great cover tune, Michael's voice is superb here. This CD is great because it has a story behind it. We all know where he was comming from before he realesed this album, and where he has been since, but what reamins true is the music and the messages behind it. Five Out Of Five.
38 of 45 found the following review helpful:
An Album Divided Apr 01, 2006
By C.T. Chase
Just like the man himself, HIStory is an album divided, presenting an overview of the work of arguably one of the most brilliant entertainers and songwriters in music history, while also presenting a sobering and at times alarming picture of a tortured man on a downward spiral of bitterness and anger.
As described previously, Disc 1 is a damn-near perfect chronicle of everything that has made both casual listeners and die-hard fans helpless to resist the magnetic pull of his chart-busting, hook-laden hits. More of a 'moonwalk' down Memory Lane, everything is here: from the explosive beginnings of his solo career with mentor Quincy Jones producing OFF THE WALL, to the "Citizen Kane" of his career, THRILLER, which changed not only his life in the white-hot spotlight, but music in general.
But for those who would rather remember the "good old days" when no dancefloor and no DJ would dare leave Michael's latest and greatest songs off their playlists, a caveat--stop at Disc 1.
It isn't hard to determine where Michael was in his life when these songs were written and recorded--he literally cuts his skin and bleeds into the CD grooves, so vividly distraught and angry is the bulk of the material.
Though it was more than likely the record company's attempt to cash in on a solid-gold opportunity, baby sis Janet joins him on "Scream", a propulsive and caustic dressing-down of the external forces that have plagued the family for years, (mainly the media), but especially the gadflies who have nipped at the heels of both siblings since the very beginnings of their meteoric careers. It literally vibrates with rage, but it's also a well-produced dancefloor track (by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis), that, not surprisingly, spent weeks in the Top Ten upon its release.
And many of the songs continue in this vein: "D.S.", "This Time Around", "Tabloid Junkie", "Money" are at once painfully personal and therapeutic, aiding Michael in channeling his frustration, rage and disillusionment at the allegations of child molestation and other eccentricities that all but trashed a once seemingly unstoppable career. The infectious beats, snarky samples and songcraft are still here, but don't expect anything as light or as enjoyable as "Rock With You" or "Don't Stop Until You Get Enough."
Thank goodness there is a break or two, including one of the better covers of The Beatles' staple "Come Together", (sadly ironic since it's something that Michael and ex-best bud Paul McCartney may never do since the Beatles song catalog flap.) "They Don't Care About Us" and "Earth Song" are message songs that revisit the ethos of "Man In The Mirror." "You Are Not Alone" is as much a song of self-affirmation as it is a love song, (written during his brief coupling with Lisa Marie Presley.)
The most heartfelt and tear-jerking numbers he has ever done would be "Childhood (Theme From Free Willy 2)" which all but bares his soul to the world about his deepest feelings of loss and regret, and "Stranger In Moscow", which captures the isolation and abandonment he was feeling at the time he put pen to paper.
Disk 2 closes with a rendition of Chaplin's classic "Smile," which underscores why Michael has always been hailed as "The King of Pop" worldwide, self-appointed or not, and why the world of music will be a much emptier place without the anticipation of his unparalelled talents.
Michael Light and Michael Dark. It doesn't matter which side you listen to or even prefer; as a fan I just feel fortunate that HIStory is here for us to review at all. Personally, Disc 1 needs to have ten stars, not five. Disc 2 gets four for the more listenable tracks.
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