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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hold on a minute, VH1, no Michael?.........

Wait a second. I think I've made it pretty clear lately. I enjoy VHONE, the cable TV elder statesman and responsible older brother to MTV. It's definitely come a long way since the format was "MTV for boring people". I love the beautiful disaster that is reality T.V and I definitely enjoy their famous, nostalgic lists of different songs, commercials, fads, or news stories. It's a great way to recycle old material and the nostalgia keeps me glued to the set, but I have to wonder who decided the, let's say "Top 100 songs of the 90's".

Think about it, VH1 producer comes into work, jumps on the computer, checks his email, drags all folders that say "top 100 songs of 199_" into the random shuffle program (yes, RANDOM SHUFFLE PROGRAM, like some crappy little program worth 1 cent that puts things in a random order, simple stuff.) Ok, so far he's done 90 seconds worth of work. The list comes out. Is that it? Or is it a bit more subjective? After yesterday, I need to know.

I was watching a list show. It was the top 100 songs of the 90's. I used to hate the 90's, but it's slowly getting further away and more defined. Hey, they got the internet on their mantle! So I tuned in late in the game, number 32, actually. It was Blackstreet, "no diggety". OK. From there, the wife and I start the guessing game. Lists work everytime. As the next few run off, they hit me with Vanilla Ice(figures.), Counting Crows, Eminem, Soundgarden. Yeah. Okay, it's the usual suspects for the 20's, but, again, who makes these lists? After this, I need to know.

Our brains heated up. My wife guesses that #1 will be Nirvana, "teen spirit", which was correct, but she knows the 90's well, plus I suspect she is privy to all things VH1. I guess I'm fine with that pick, it WAS a big hit and it WAS played ad nauseum, but I think there a "Biggie Smalls" thing happening with Kurt Kobain where an early death has cemented him as the greatest to ever stand before a mic. Still, I'm not here to debate their number one choice. I have another issue with this list.

Meanwhile, some names I threw out were: Sinead O'Conner, who was number 10, Mariah and Whitney, 14 and 4, respectively, and Pearl Jam, which placed 11th. Note that it was sorted by song, not artist, but that's trivial. A few long shots I had were O.P.P. by Naughty( 52) and the Fugees(42) and some other names went flying around the apartment(You can click the link below to go see the results), but I had a three-way tie for first place.

In my mind, snubbing Nirvanah, there was a definite trifecta, similar to the "Babe, Ali, Michael Jordan" trinity that heads up every "top athletes" list in ESPN's arsenal. It was Madonna, U2, and the other MJ, Michael Jackson. How does that sound to you? The King and Queen of pop music and friggin' Bono. Do you have a more worthy recording artist in the arena of "best of" as defined by the Billboard charts?

Well, the top 5, besides Whitney and Kobain, were Madonna(a disappointing #5, with "Vogue", another smash hit for the ageless diva in that decade), and U2 (#2), come on, it's Bono and, by the way, the song that grabbed the silver was "One". Finally, the last vacant spot in the top five, at #3, of course,..............the Back Street Boys. Whoa!

That's wierd, we must have gotten up and missed Michael. Which song was it? "Man in the Mirror"? No, that was 1988, the "Bad" album, his third epic release with Epic records.(Surely he swept up in the 80's list, with Thriller and all, but, back to the 90's.) It was probably "Black or White", the 1991 single off his fourth album, Dangerous, which wasn't quite as monumental as his previous classics, but still no slouch. Let's talk about it for a minute, and please listen to this.

The single, "Black or White", was the fastest ever to hit number one. OK? It was multi-platinum. It's video was a huge event. I mean huge. VH1 huge! MJ is the Babe. He's Ali. He's MJ! I missed it. Let me see, Sir Mix-a-Lot was #6 with "Baby Got Back"(You're kidding...SIX, maybe SIX-TY)and Britney was #7(She managed to squeeze into fray because that first video in her schoolgirl outfit came out in 1999)Gotta give it too her. But where's Mike now? Seriously.

I went to the website to see where I took my eye of the ball. Here's what I looked at from 1-30 that I haven't already mentioned:

T.L.C., R.E.M., Alanis, Dr. Dre, Red Hot Chili Peppers, MC Hammer, Destiny's Child, Metallica, Beasties(so they are giving 80's legends a pass in the next decade), Hanson(hold on a second), Celine Dion, Beck, Salt-N-Pepa, House of Pain, Counting Crows, Ricky Martin, and all of their respective jingles. Now, considering it is only one song being judged and not the artist, I don't have a problem with the front 30.

But no Michael Jackson???!!!!!!! Read that list again. Then when you're done putting "Black or White", fully decorated, up against each of these candidates that beat him out, stop and reflect on Michael Jackson as a music icon. Think about the Dangerous Album, early 90's. It was latter-day Michael, yes, but it was Michael. True, no red zipper-jacket and sparking white glove, but the white v-neck T-shirt and black bowling glove. Caucasion Mike, but still, Michael Jackson, "Hee,Hee".

Now, hold tight, and consider this. He didn't even place in the entire list. Can you believe that? Was the guy who hit the "scramble" button too lazy to even proofread the final rankings for blatant discrepencies? According to VH1, the two very successful albums that the music icon, Michael Jackson, produced in the 1990's did not have one single worthy of the top 100, regardless of their accolades. I mentioned "Black or White"'s pedigree, but what about "Remember the Time"? "In the Closet"? "Will You Be There"(the free-willy song!!)? "You're not Alone", "Scream"????
All of these were hits.

If you feel I'm out of line, let me drop a few names on you. These artists rode their farscical tunes passed the "King of Pop", according to VH1, the agency that handles this stuff. Hold tight:

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch(#47). That's correct, the funky bunch was given an official VH1 accolade too prestigious to include Michael Jackson. Annie, are you ok?

Dee-Lite(#67). "D" like David. "D", lite. Which song? Very funny.

Jameriqui, Kris Kross, and Snow. All past 70, but who gives a shit at this point. Those three and no Michael Jackson! Then I read number 100. Holy Shit!

VH1, the world leader when it comes to monitoring pop culture and deciding what's hot and what's not in music for as long as I can recall, wants me to believe that.............are you ready?...Gerardo and his smash hit, "Rico, Suave" was more deserving of a spot in the "greatest songs of the 90's" than Michael.

Now, forget the obvious. Forget the fact that "Black or White" went # 1 on the billboard in 1991 while Gerardo's horse only never broke #3 on the HOT RAP charts in the same year. I love rap, but, first of all, I wouldn't consider Gerardo rap. They just had nowhere else to put that crap. Second, this covers all genres, so mathematics would suggest that songs which couldn't climb past #3 in its own genre in one of the 10 years covered really shouldn't be in running. Regardless, I don't care if it was the "top 100 songs by a one-hit wonder from Ecuador with 'Rico' in the title", everyone of Mike's jams beat Gerardo's entire catalog!! Just considering that Gerardo also placed on the top 100 flash in the pans and Blender's top 50 worst songs(what?), it gets more proposturous.

I am well aware that we are deteriorating as a culture and I'm ready for "Bob" from "The Real World" to bring home an emmy, but who compiled the list and why did Mike get railroaded? I checked the 100 list for the 80's, where "Thriller" and "Bad" most surely bullied the entire field like Tiger Woods in his red shirt, and found only "Billie Jean" at a disappointing #4 and "Beat it" at #21. No "Thriller", beat out by Tone Loc, Falco, Wang Chung......and 95 others.

I'm pissed, and not only because VH1 failed as an entertainment officianado and was exposed as a lazy charleton, getting fat and sleeping at the desk while they bank on nostalgia. I want to know why! In one fateful blow, I was transformed from Pat O'brien to Bill O'Reilly, and I'm not talking sex scandals. Your in the "No-Spin Zone", VH1.Why is he not on that list? Is it like the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame shunning a home-run slugging steriod monster for breaking the law?

Why? Because, as far as I know, Michael jackson was exonerated of those charges in a court of law. Period. So, does an accuser have the power to destroy the legacy of a man? Is VH1 within their rights to blacklist a musician for "off the stage" behavior? Are you serious? Who would be left?

I don't care what the verdict was in the court of public opinion. We all play by the same rules, whether we like them or not. There is no asterisk next to "Not Guilty", or is there? The guilty until proven innocent model is definitely exercised in this country, but this is so blatant, regardless of your personal opinion, this is wrong and it's a gorilla in the room. I hate gorillas in the room.

I doubt I'll get any answers from the network, but if you hear something, please let me know. In the meantime, I am boycotting these idealistic moguls with a hidden agenda of character defamation who are tearing down a man's hard-earned legacy and uprooting the deserved place in history he has cemented!

Just Kidding!
I'm hooked, but I have my eye on you Michael Jackson haters.

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Thanks for reading that. Please add some comments, give an opinion, ask questions, disagree. I would love a healthy discussion on this, not to find a winner in this debate, but to find the truth.

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