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sábado, 6 de março de 2010

Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' Tops The Charts: Wake-Up Video

There were a handful of things we could have celebrated this morning. After all, today is the birthday of Charlie and Craig Reid (better known as the Proclaimers, who scored one of the biggest one hit wonders of all time with "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"). Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante will also be blowing out candles today, as he turns 40 years old (hopefully he celebrates with a little "Californication"). But just as we did last week, today we celebrate Michael Jackson's ascent to superstardom.

On this day in 1983, "Billie Jean" found itself at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time. The second single from Thriller bounded over Patti Austin and James Ingram's "Baby, Come to Me" to take the top spot, where it stayed for seven weeks before being ousted by (of all things) "Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners. One week later, Jackson would top the charts again with "Beat It," a track that would reign for another three weeks until it was displaced by "Flashdance ... What a Feeling."

"Billie Jean" remains one of the cornerstone's of Jackson's deep catalog and storied career. Though there was never actually a Billie Jean, Jackson always said that the girl in the song was a composite of the types of women who used to follow around the Jackson 5. "The kid is not my son" is a pretty racy chorus lyric for a chart-topping song (then again, the Police's "Every Breath You Take," which also topped the charts in '83, is just as intense). But "Billie Jean" lives on because of the killer bassline, the deft blending of disco and R&B and the distinctive video, which saw a tuxedo-clad Jackson dancing his way across that iconic light-up sidewalk.


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