The Top 50 Michael Jackson Songs, as Dictated by My iTunes History

Posted: June 28, 2010 by RA in Music
Tags: ,

The debate supposedly raging in the inboxes at SoulBounce HQ, and their admitted resignation to the democratic process (songs were chosen and ranked based on a tally of the editors’ votes, resulting in a uniformly unsatisfied bunch) got me thinking about the idea of objectivity in a ranked list of such great importance.

So I decided to present my version of a detatched-yet-painfully-attached ranked list. The songs are ranked based on Play-Count in my 6-year-old iTunes library. Seems thoroughly subjective, right? But randomness is reintroduced by the following facts:

  • I’ve lost my iTunes Library data once or twice in those 6 years, resulting in incomplete statistical data.
  • This doesn’t account for music playback on my laptop (or my iPod when I’m on vacation).
  • These songs weren’t all added on the same day, month, or even year. Oversights and late-growers explain “Black or White” appearing less popular than “One More Chance”.
  • The iTunes randomizer algorithm often favors already-popular (play-count-wise) songs, resulting in what’s pretty much a continuous feedback loop in which the popular get popular-er.

Still, I stand by my #1. “I Can’t Help It” is pure brilliance. It’s totally Stevie (who wrote the song), but it’s also quintessentially Mike, with its joyfully melancholy take on the state of being desperately in love. Vocally, he goes from whimper to roar to wail, challenging the track to keep up. It truly may well be Mike’s final moment of greatness before becoming the phenom whose supernova would eventually lead to its own end.

I won’t sit and argue with you about whether it’s his best work — we’ll never agree on that fact. So just press Play and do the Chair-Sway.

But first, here’s the list.

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