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Thread started 12/08/17 6:56am

ChrisLacy1990

Appreciation Thread: Michael Jackson’s “Jam”


It’s not often an artist is faced with the daunting task of following up classic album openers such as “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” or “Bad.” Conventional wisdom would suggest that artist should stash their best material toward the heart of the album once listeners work their way through the appetizers. Michael Jackson, however, threw caution to the wind on Dangerous with a frenzy of blistering funk entitled “Jam.”

With hard-hitting drum fills, sleigh bells reminiscent of LL Cool J’s “Jingling Baby,” funky turntable scratching, and hot horn stabs, you won’t be able to resist turning it all the way up, and as the song proceeds, Michael’s breathlessly excited delivery won’t tempt you to lower the volume whatsoever.

“Jam” works perfectly as a fiercely kinetic dance-floor scorcher; however, if you scratch beneath the surface, Jackson’s social awareness comes bubbling through in waves. “Nation to nation, all the world must come together / Face the problems that we see, and maybe somehow we can work it out,” he expresses in one line. “What has come of all the people, have we lost love of what it’s about?” Writer Andy Healy, famous for his MJ101 series, brilliantly states in ‘Dangerous 25’ that “Michael is not only calling for a collective effort but places the power to find solutions in the hands of the everyday person and not the powers that govern them.”

Suitably, his preferred method of navigating through a world in crisis is through music and dance (“Jam! / It ain’t, it ain’t too much stuff / It ain’t too much, it ain’t too much for me to Jam!”). Refusing to rest at 120 beats per minute, “Jam” leaps from the speakers with authority, similar to the singer’s dazzling concert entrance where he explodes from beneath the stage amidst a shower of golden fireworks.


michael-jackson-03.jpg

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Reply #1 posted 12/08/17 9:05am

TrivialPursuit

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I love Heavy D's (RIP) rap in this, and that he name checks Janet and Guy.


Jam, jam, here comes the man, hot damn,
The big boy stands, movin' up a hand.
Makin' funky tracks with my man Michael Jackson,
Smooth criminal, that's the man, Mike's so relaxed.
Mingle, mingle, jingle in the jungle, bum rushed to door 3 and 4's in a bundle.
Execute the plan, first I cooled like a fan,
Got with Janet, then with Guy, now with Michael 'cause it ain't hard to jam

But the hook, the heavy percussion over a rather sparse arrangement otherwise, and the breaking glass. There are so many good parts of this song that keep it interesting and engaging. The video with Kris Kross, Michael Jordan, Heavy D., and others is just as epic.


This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #2 posted 12/08/17 9:25am

ChrisLacy1990

TrivialPursuit said:

I love Heavy D's (RIP) rap in this, and that he name checks Janet and Guy.


Jam, jam, here comes the man, hot damn,
The big boy stands, movin' up a hand.
Makin' funky tracks with my man Michael Jackson,
Smooth criminal, that's the man, Mike's so relaxed.
Mingle, mingle, jingle in the jungle, bum rushed to door 3 and 4's in a bundle.
Execute the plan, first I cooled like a fan,
Got with Janet, then with Guy, now with Michael 'cause it ain't hard to jam

But the hook, the heavy percussion over a rather sparse arrangement otherwise, and the breaking glass. There are so many good parts of this song that keep it interesting and engaging. The video with Kris Kross, Michael Jordan, Heavy D., and others is just as epic.


Well said. Heavy D had the Midas Touch as a hip-hop vocalist, and after hearing him on "Jam," it's obvious that MJ felt that too. May they both rest in peace.

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Reply #3 posted 12/08/17 2:10pm

Champagne

It's a great opening track. It was a really smart way to introduce the New Jack Swing sound that MJ had incorporated into his music. When Teddy Riley says "You wanna get up and Jam?"; it's like he's talking about the album as a whole, not just the song; challenging the listener to get with this new style. Teddy really was on fire at that time.

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Reply #4 posted 12/08/17 3:41pm

whitesockedfun
k

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Surprised to hear this on the radio the other day and quickly realised why it is never played. One of his worst ever "songs", horrible synths and devoid of melody...

Just like the white winged dove...
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Reply #5 posted 12/08/17 5:13pm

214

Great song, especially the lyrics and the opening sound of a broken window. The video is great.

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Reply #6 posted 12/08/17 9:05pm

IstenSzek

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great track. always loved it. there's just something about it. the lyrics are cool too cool


and true love lives on lollipops and crisps
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Reply #7 posted 12/08/17 11:19pm

nextedition

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Top 5 favourite MJ-songs
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Reply #8 posted 12/09/17 5:55pm

alphastreet

His best james brown moment!

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Reply #9 posted 12/10/17 1:06pm

214

alphastreet said:

His best james brown moment!

Some people say his best James Brown moment is either Can't Let Her Get Away or 2 Bad.

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Reply #10 posted 12/10/17 1:37pm

alphastreet

214 said:

alphastreet said:

His best james brown moment!

Some people say his best James Brown moment is either Can't Let Her Get Away or 2 Bad.

Correction, his second best james brown moment, I feel the same about can't let her get away....I've heard that about bad but not 2bad though now I kind of hear it wink

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Reply #11 posted 12/10/17 2:18pm

214

alphastreet said:

214 said:

Some people say his best James Brown moment is either Can't Let Her Get Away or 2 Bad.

Correction, his second best james brown moment, I feel the same about can't let her get away....I've heard that about bad but not 2bad though now I kind of hear it wink

Which one is the best then?

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Reply #12 posted 12/10/17 2:24pm

alphastreet

214 said:

alphastreet said:

Correction, his second best james brown moment, I feel the same about can't let her get away....I've heard that about bad but not 2bad though now I kind of hear it wink

Which one is the best then?

can't let her get away lol I prefer jam of the two, but can't let her get away is so groovy! I don't know why a lot of fans have said it's their least favourite on the album, I think of it like an extended kick-back-and-dance freestyle interlude purposely centered between the two dichotmoic ends of the album.

Maybe I really should review dangerous, thanks for the idea smile A lot of the ones I read since his death are certainly not from the lens of my generation that experienced the era outside the US.

[Edited 12/10/17 14:24pm]

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Reply #13 posted 12/10/17 6:04pm

purple05

214 said:



alphastreet said:


His best james brown moment!



Some people say his best James Brown moment is either Can't Let Her Get Away or 2 Bad.


I was going to comment what about CLHGA
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Reply #14 posted 12/10/17 6:48pm

214

alphastreet said:

214 said:

Which one is the best then?

can't let her get away lol I prefer jam of the two, but can't let her get away is so groovy! I don't know why a lot of fans have said it's their least favourite on the album, I think of it like an extended kick-back-and-dance freestyle interlude purposely centered between the two dichotmoic ends of the album.

Maybe I really should review dangerous, thanks for the idea smile A lot of the ones I read since his death are certainly not from the lens of my generation that experienced the era outside the US.

[Edited 12/10/17 14:24pm]

Please do that, indeed I prefer Jam. I just started to listen CLHGA recently i considered it a filler as well.

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Reply #15 posted 12/11/17 7:53am

RJOrion

so, "Cant Let Her Get Away" is "a filler"????...WTF??...
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Reply #16 posted 12/11/17 9:19am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

RJOrion said:

so, "Cant Let Her Get Away" is "a filler"????...WTF??...


It's...a b-side, to me. "She Drives Me Wild" is another. That first side seems a tad weaker because of those songs, and the "Man in the Mirror" rehash on "Heal The World". The second side is tight as fuck!

The real dark horse on the album is "Why You Wanna Trip On Me". That song is so ridiculous and fun. It's really one of the most Michael Jackson songs MJ has ever done. The percussion, the staccato, the stop-n-go arrangement, the building chorus. It's a hidden gem.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #17 posted 12/11/17 10:06am

InTime

I love "She Drives Me Wild" until the rap verse. It ruins the song for me.

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Reply #18 posted 12/11/17 12:32pm

RJOrion

TrivialPursuit said:

RJOrion said:

so, "Cant Let Her Get Away" is "a filler"????...WTF??...


It's...a b-side, to me. "She Drives Me Wild" is another. That first side seems a tad weaker because of those songs, and the "Man in the Mirror" rehash on "Heal The World". The second side is tight as fuck!

The real dark horse on the album is "Why You Wanna Trip On Me". That song is so ridiculous and fun. It's really one of the most Michael Jackson songs MJ has ever done. The percussion, the staccato, the stop-n-go arrangement, the building chorus. It's a hidden gem.

"why you wanna trip on me" is definitely a monster, too... IMO, any song on the first side could have justified a single release... Teddy Riley really emptied the tank doing side one... Guy was never the same afterwards...and Blackstreet was completely overrated... i cant think of any really great albums he produced after working with Mike on that album...

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Reply #19 posted 12/11/17 2:59pm

RJOrion

InTime said:

I love "She Drives Me Wild" until the rap verse. It ruins the song for me.

same here

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Reply #20 posted 12/11/17 3:55pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

RJOrion said:

"why you wanna trip on me" is definitely a monster, too... IMO, any song on the first side could have justified a single release... Teddy Riley really emptied the tank doing side one...


Maybe that's my issue. There's too much Teddy on side one. Side two comes across very differently. "Black or White" is fun pop with the obligatory rap, then you have a moody "Who Is It?", the rocker "Give In To Me", the real cousin of "Man in The Mirror", "Keep The Faith" with its intro-lude "Will You Be There", the tear-jerker "Gone Too Soon", plus the glowing title track.

A note about Teddy, some of the remixes of "Jam" are tragic. They really date the song (when, in its original form stays timeless). There is this high organ sound that he riffs on that just blows. The Silky remixes are good.

For me, the toss aways are "She Drives Me Wild", "Can't Let Her Get Away", "Heal The World". The album would have been a tad shorter, but it's still strong with the remaining songs. I was nervous when Q didn't show up on this record, but he really showed MJ's growth and strength as a more adult artist. BAD seems like an in-between album. Some fun of Thriller, and yet some leaning toward more adult songs like Dangerous. For me, while I loved his albums after that (while he was alive), Dangerous was his last truly great record (despite my three throwaways).

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #21 posted 12/12/17 6:37am

Derek1984

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Dangerous was the last album that didn't have me skipping over tracks.

Album started out with Bryan Loren doing most of the producing. And then Teddy came on the project and took it to another level.

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Reply #22 posted 12/12/17 9:36am

purple05

TrivialPursuit said:



RJOrion said:


so, "Cant Let Her Get Away" is "a filler"????...WTF??...


It's...a b-side, to me. "She Drives Me Wild" is another. That first side seems a tad weaker because of those songs, and the "Man in the Mirror" rehash on "Heal The World". The second side is tight as fuck!

The real dark horse on the album is "Why You Wanna Trip On Me". That song is so ridiculous and fun. It's really one of the most Michael Jackson songs MJ has ever done. The percussion, the staccato, the stop-n-go arrangement, the building chorus. It's a hidden gem.


Why you wanna trip on me is AMAZING!!!! Especially the chorus.
The only songs I'd remove are:
She drives me wild
Keep the Faith
Heal The World- Should've been added as a bonus or hidden track
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Reply #23 posted 12/12/17 2:02pm

alphastreet

TrivialPursuit said:



RJOrion said:



"why you wanna trip on me" is definitely a monster, too... IMO, any song on the first side could have justified a single release... Teddy Riley really emptied the tank doing side one...




Maybe that's my issue. There's too much Teddy on side one. Side two comes across very differently. "Black or White" is fun pop with the obligatory rap, then you have a moody "Who Is It?", the rocker "Give In To Me", the real cousin of "Man in The Mirror", "Keep The Faith" with its intro-lude "Will You Be There", the tear-jerker "Gone Too Soon", plus the glowing title track.

A note about Teddy, some of the remixes of "Jam" are tragic. They really date the song (when, in its original form stays timeless). There is this high organ sound that he riffs on that just blows. The Silky remixes are good.

For me, the toss aways are "She Drives Me Wild", "Can't Let Her Get Away", "Heal The World". The album would have been a tad shorter, but it's still strong with the remaining songs. I was nervous when Q didn't show up on this record, but he really showed MJ's growth and strength as a more adult artist. BAD seems like an in-between album. Some fun of Thriller, and yet some leaning toward more adult songs like Dangerous. For me, while I loved his albums after that (while he was alive), Dangerous was his last truly great record (despite my three throwaways).



Jam is untouchable! Every remix of that track belongs in the cutting room cause they're rubbish

They are probably the reason no one bought the single , wasted opportunity. Wbss remix on the 45 was the reason it was probably a semi hit
[Edited 12/12/17 14:03pm]
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Reply #24 posted 12/12/17 3:20pm

MickyDolenz

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Roger's Jeep Radio Mix - 0:00
Silky 7" - 3:54
Roger's Club Mix - 8:09
Atlanta Techno Mix - 14:25
Rock With You {Masters At Work Remix} - 20:32

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #25 posted 12/12/17 3:21pm

MickyDolenz

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For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #26 posted 12/12/17 3:28pm

MickyDolenz

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For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #27 posted 12/12/17 4:41pm

alphastreet

MickyDolenz said:

Roger's Jeep Radio Mix - 0:00
Silky 7" - 3:54
Roger's Club Mix - 8:09
Atlanta Techno Mix - 14:25
Rock With You {Masters At Work Remix} - 20:32

I love that rock with you remix!

The dance style works better with his smoother vocal tracks rather than the gritty ones where the instrumentals and grit drives the song rather than the harmonies. It's like the style is trademarked from so much complex layers that anyone trying to remix it is tampering with a masterpiece

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Reply #28 posted 12/12/17 6:10pm

Adorecream

Great song and funky beat, a great opening to a deeply satisfying album. With Dangerous at the end, these songs make a great pair of bookends to the whole album.

Got some kind of love for you, and I don't even know your name
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Reply #29 posted 12/12/17 6:11pm

Adorecream

ChrisLacy1990 said:

TrivialPursuit said:

I love Heavy D's (RIP) rap in this, and that he name checks Janet and Guy.


Jam, jam, here comes the man, hot damn,
The big boy stands, movin' up a hand.
Makin' funky tracks with my man Michael Jackson,
Smooth criminal, that's the man, Mike's so relaxed.
Mingle, mingle, jingle in the jungle, bum rushed to door 3 and 4's in a bundle.
Execute the plan, first I cooled like a fan,
Got with Janet, then with Guy, now with Michael 'cause it ain't hard to jam

But the hook, the heavy percussion over a rather sparse arrangement otherwise, and the breaking glass. There are so many good parts of this song that keep it interesting and engaging. The video with Kris Kross, Michael Jordan, Heavy D., and others is just as epic.


Well said. Heavy D had the Midas Touch as a hip-hop vocalist, and after hearing him on "Jam," it's obvious that MJ felt that too. May they both rest in peace.

Yo, is Heavy D dead, when did that happen?

Got some kind of love for you, and I don't even know your name
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