The Greatest Song Ever Written

Today is 25th June 2010. A year ago today, Michael Jackson died.

From time to time I’ve been known to say that the greatest song ever written was a Michael Jackson song. I don’t say it because I’m the biggest MJ fan (I’m  not) or because there aren’t songs I like more (there definitely are). And I’m don’t say it because he died last year. I’ve been saying it for years.

I say it because I really believe that this particular Jackson song is true genius.

The song of course is Smooth Criminal, released on MJ’s  1987 album Bad.

The reason I say Smooth Criminal is the Greatest Song Ever is because of this:

It’s long. The short version (released on Bad) is 4.19 min. Of course there’s also the extended dance mix which runs well over 7 minutes, and in Moonwalker it runs nearly 10 minutes! And it has very few lyrics. Mostly it’s all ‘Annie are you ok? Are you ok Annie?’ With an occasional ‘She ran underneath the table’ or whatever.

But – and here’s the catch – it never, ever feels repetitive or boring. Does that make it the greatest song ever written? I don’t know. But it’s f***ing awesome either way.

He certainly had his flaws but he was a talented man.

“Ok, I want everybody to clear the area right NOW!”

The Gig of The Decade

I’m sitting on the train heading into Penn Station in NY to meet my Uncle Robert.

Robert is giving me my 30th birthday present tonight. He’s taking me to Madison Square Garden to see Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, one of six gigs around the world (London, USA, Canada) that are being billed as the gig of the decade.

Personally I think it’s a little early in the decade to be making such claims but still…

Now, I’m not massive fan of either Clapton or Beck (truth be told, I hardly know anything of Beck’s) but I like what I know – and I like enough to have some Clapton on my iPhone (which I’m currently listening to) – and I know that this is a gig I shouldn’t miss. There are just some artists that you should see no matter what.

Bob Dylan I’ve seen twice, Michael Jackson, well, I missed the boat on that one.

But not tonight. Tonight I get to see two musical greats.

And celebrate my 30th Birthday with my uncle.

A Small Post-Gig Update

I can now tick two musical greats off my list. But that’s not all. I can now say that I am, in fact, a fan of Jeff Beck. He can REALLY play a guitar! I’m no music critic, or aficionado, so I won’t attempt to write a review of the gig from a musical perspective. What I can tell you is that it was great. Beck’s 45-min set was purely instrumental and included a thoroughly enjoyable cover of the Beatles’ A Day In The Life.

Clapton’s set was half acoustic, casually sitting in a chair centre stage, and half electric. I wish I was a bigger fan as there were not many songs that I knew. No Layla, no Tears In Heaven. He did play Cocaine and Bob Marley’s I Shot The Sheriff which was beautiful.

After Clapton’s set Beck returned to the stage to play a joint set with Clapton, and made Clapton look like an amateur guitarist playing around a campfire. But what a show! Maybe it really will be the Gig of The Decade.