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When You Think About It, Telling Heaven To Wait Is Deep

Usually, I keep this blog consistently focused on me, but today, it feels weird to go into some story or philosophy about something other than Michael Jackson.

We all have memories of Michael Jackson. I don’t know one person who doesn’t have something profound to say about the impact he made on popular music and popular culture. I don’t know one person who doesn’t remember where they were when they heard about Michael Jackson’s death. I don’t know one person who isn’t talking about either of those things today.

So considering everyone who is reading anything today will probably read one or two things about Michael Jackson, let me throw my hat in the ring.

Everyone has a favorite Michael Jackson hit. There’s “Thriller” of course. Then we have “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, so on and so forth. To me, Michael Jackson’s hit records always sound like they were made to be as big as they were. While some songs we loved when they first came out, now in retrospect make us smack our foreheads and rhetorically ask, “Why did I like this song again?” Jackson’s number ones sound like they were destined to be on top of the charts, as though God required all of humanity to listen to those songs.

But in addition to our favorite hits, everyone has their favorite MJ songs other people don’t really talk about and they never get to hear on radio. This is especially true of the work MJ put out in his later years. I remember reading a lot of tributes to Michael Jackson, a lot of critical analysis of his discography and always being disappointed by the way writers glossed over Jackson’s Dangerous album and some of the songs on Invincible. Sure they were nothing compared to Off The Wall, Thriller, and even Bad but some songs on there were indeed bad and remain so to this day.

Two of my favorite underrated Michael Jackson songs are “Remember The Time” and “Heaven Can Wait”. Arguably the former isn’t underrated. Of all the work Michael Jackson did in the 90’s, “Remember The Time” is probably the song with the most staying power. To this day, when I’m at a party, I can tell a DJ knows what he’s doing if he puts on “Remember The Time”, arguably his most underrated cut for the dance floor and definitely one of the few good things to come out of the New Jack Swing Era.

Then there’s “Heaven Can Wait” from the Invicible album, which as an entire album sucked, but that one song still gets burn on my iPod. Shall the day ever come when I get married; we’re slow dancing to this. Hear that future-wife-who-I-don’t-know?

What’s so cool about the record is how modern it sounds. This was Michael Jackson’s ode to Quiet Storm radio and one of the clearest signs he was listening to people like R. Kelly at the time he was making Invincible. Like most of the good modern day R&B records, “Heaven Can Wait” has that double time back beat, allowing two people slow dancing with one another to slow grind like no one is watching, but it’s true beauty comes into the lyrics.

Am I the only one who has a hard time understanding what the hell Michael Jackson says in like half of his songs? I always felt MJ enunciated his lyrics not to be understood, but to blend with the beat of the track, like an extension of the rest of the track’s percussion. But “Heaven Can Wait” is something different, one of those songs where every word is clear and more importantly, heartfelt.

Tell the angels no, I don’t wanna leave my baby alone. I don’t want nobody else to hold you. That’s the chance I’ll take, maybe I’ll stay, heaven can wait.

No, if the angels took me from this earth, I would tell them bring me back to her. It’s a chance I’ll take, maybe I’ll stay, heaven can wait.

I mean, come on, who tells the angels no and for heaven to wait? Words like that let me know when it comes to love, a lot of us ain’t felt nothing yet.

Click here to hear “Heaven Can Wait” and then share your favorite underrated Michael Jackson song in the c-section.

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  • Tee

    “Heaven Can Wait” was one of the 3 songs on an album full of “why Michael”.

    I could go on for DAYS on my favorite underrated MJ songs. Here are a few: Lady In My Life, Stranger in Moscow, Butterflies, Liberian Girl, I Can’t Help It…Etc. As I said, this could go on.

    Now to watch “This Is It” for the first time. Just couldn’t do it before.

  • Sunkissed404

    This blog is right on time today…Because I was, hands down, going to mention the infamous MJ in my comment.. I can’t recall Heaven Can Wait, but the lyrics sound lovely…As do all of his songs.

    I love how MJ’s words blend in to his music…It makes you listen even harder… He is the only person known to man to make a music video that gave you the feeling you were at the movies…every time!… He is truly gone too soon.

    My most favorite video of all time… “I’m Bad”–Whose bad?? I remember being mesmerized by the guy on the skates….Woww..

  • Mia

    I like “Heaven Can Wait”, but my real favorites are “Remember the Time”, “Billie Jean” and “PYT”. I do have some pretty strong, and frightful memories of “Thriller.” Anyone who knows me, knows not to play that track when I’m around, because I will fight you. I watched the video when I was three, and I was traumatized.

    Thanks for the MJ post. I still can’t believe he’s been gone for a year.

  • **inquiring mind**

    Thank you Tee… Butterflies is WAY underrated, there’s artistry there people overlook. For those serious music heads that argue “eh, Floetry wrote and did it first…” I hear that, but he definitely took it to the next level… sit down one day and compare the two, you’ll be shocked at what the subtleties he used actually do for it… makes the Floetry version sound like it was a rendition of their own song- CRAZY… I miss that man!

  • Mia

    @Tee
    I can’t believe I forgot “Butterflies”, and “The Lady In My Life”. Also, I love “Blood on the Dance Floor”, and “One More Chance” (a lot of people forget about this song, because it was released while he was facing some serious legal troubles).

  • http://www.kaycthequietstorm.blogspot.com KayC, The Quiet Storm

    There were a few songs on the Invicible album that I loved. Most people did not like it because it was not packed with the ‘huge’ type songs that you mentioned before (Thriller, Bad, Black or White) but Butterflies and Break of Dawn were classic Mike.

    Love those songs from Invicible.

  • mentos

    Lady in my life and stranger in moscow are the jams…also they don’t really care about us, line dance anyone? Rip mj

  • mentos

    Oh and speed demon! Am I the only one who owned and watched repeatedly the michael jackson movie growing up?

  • Peechez

    My favorite old school MJ song is Got to be There. Listen to it a capella.
    Old school Jacksons song…..Let Me Show You the Way To Go & Can You Feel It.
    Heaven Can Wait is a hit as is Butterflies.

  • ali

    Tee we have the same favorite MJ songs! How weird is that?! My friends laugh at me for enjoying Stranger in Moscow… Good to know I’m not alone! … But MJ will always be the ultimate icon! Rest Peacefully Michael!

  • Tee

    *At my desk doing the Remember the Time choreography* Yes, I still remember it! Fatima did her thing on that one.

  • http://musicmakesmehigh.wordpress.com Reecie

    underrated fave would have to be Liberian Girl. I didn’t even know there was a video for this song until last year right after he passed.

  • Dee

    @tee

    not the choreography at your desk…SBI did not teach you that!!! you know i knew it was you 😉 and you forgot my absolute fave Dirty Diana!!!! (cause you know thats my alter egos theme music lol)

  • Miss. Riss

    I was thinking, ” I don’t think I’ve heard Heaven Can Wait ” and then sure enough I searched it and knew it. Its funny how even Michael Jackson’s ” underrated ” songs are still actually kind of popular.

    I love Lady in My Life and not sure of the name but ” they don’t really care about us “. Butterflies was also a great song, I’m glad he gave Floetry a chance with that one.

  • Tee

    I love that Peechez mentioned “Show Me the Way to Go” one of my FAVORITE songs by the Jacksons. Michael also showed his behind in “All I Do Is Think of You” and his rendition of “People Make the World Go Round”.

  • Miss. Riss

    And while we’re giving Michael his props, can we give him a shout out for his Music Videos?

    I mean, they used to have full out premieres on network television for this man.

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  • Crystal ;-)

    I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan….like I was the weird girl at school that loved him and Prince. When he died I got so many calls/text from my friends concerned about my well being….it was crazy.

    Enough about me….but I have a list of underated Michael Jackson songs.

    Jackson 5:
    Looking Through the Windows
    Maybe Tomorrow

    The Jacksons:
    Time Waits for No One
    Dreamer
    Push Me Away
    Give It Up
    State of Shock
    All I Do (So many people think Troop made the song)

    Michael Jackson:
    Call on Me
    With a Child’s Heart
    To Make My Father Proud
    I Cant Help It
    Burn this Disco Out
    The Lady of My Life (I want to have my first wedding dance of that)
    Just Good Friends
    Goon To Soon
    Money
    Come Together (Rolling Stone remake)
    Speechless

  • Raven

    So happy to know that others are up on “Heaven Can Wait”! I also liked “Whatever Happens” off that CD. Other underground faves: “Maybe Tomorrow,” “We’re Almost There,” “Forever Came Today,” “Push Me Away,” “Walk Right Now” and “Stranger in Moscow.”

  • EmotionalFUnk

    I’ve been lurking for a year so HI! But I had to come out and say yes that song is so underrated and I had that song stuck on repeat for ever. Yes, it is truly deep. Love blog too by the way.

  • http://casaraelgibson.squarespace.com casaraelgibson

    “They Don’t Really Care About Us” definitely underrated in my book. A very powerful song with a clear message. Most underrated film of MJ’s Captain EO. RIP MJ

  • http://www.avenue8.com MissMina

    @mentos
    OMG Yes! I loved the “Moonwalker” movie. When i was a kid I used to sit and blush and tell everyone MJ was my boyfriend. I was so in love with this man, and in some weird androgynous way he was so sexy! And I was even in love with the little boy from the Cosby Show that played MJ during the Bad segment of the movie. You know it’s a problem when people got crushes on the actors that play you. Rest in Peace to the King!

  • http://mypixieblog.com Charlotte

    Great timing on this post. I grew up listening to Michael Jackson and agree with the others who said that his music videos were an EVENT back when. What that man did for pop music… A true genius and he is sorely missed.

    I really enjoyed “This is it” but I was so sad watching it because he was always on my list of musicians I needed to see before I die. Sadly, I’ll never have the chance.

  • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

    My favorite of all time is Billie Jean. My favorite underrated is “Speechless.” Beautiful arse song, on the real.

  • Tee

    You all should also look into “I Am Love” although Jermaine is the lead on that one, Michael comes in with the rifts. I could go on all day with favorite MJ songs.

    @Dee: Don’t do me like that Dirty Diana. 😉

  • Newbie

    They don’t really care about us- so underrated & powerful & still very relevant!
    I can’t believe no one sd Dirty Diana. That song is hot!

  • Roni

    Heaven Can Wait was the best song on that album and one of my top favorites of all his songs (and I love MOST of his work). That song had such depth though that I swear I heard it with my heart. But because vivid memories of my bible-toting, scripture-quoting, beloved grandmother (may she rest in peace) still reside in the very forefront of my mind, I remember the first time I heard it thinking, “…noo Michael, you’re not supposed to say that. That’s blasphemy!” Beneath that little girl fear, however, was a woman in awe of the thought that a man would ever stand at the gates of Heaven and risk losing eternal life for the love that was left behind on Earth. Who does that? That is crazy beautiful.

  • camille

    i got SO many SMH’s when i first bought and LOVED “invincible”. at the time, i guess it just wasn’t cool, but i still love that album!

  • http://testorshia.blogspot.com/ Tes

    “Break of Dawn” from Invincible is my most favorite…It’s like Garden of Eden with an R&B backdrop; it’s on my Nighttime Is the Right Time playlist for a reason…Second favorite though is “Lady in My Life,” cause I’m a sucker for romance lol

  • Nadira Rae

    True. That song was definitely slept on (even by me). I remember hearing it for the first time, years ago in my ex’s music library and I thought to myself ‘ok…why haven’t I heard this song before??? Blasphemy!’ Needless to say, it became apart of my library after that.

    My favorite underrated MJ song is ‘We’re Almost There’. To me, that song is pure MAGIC! The lyrics…the musical composition …simply amazing!

  • Janey

    @mentos

    LOL, no. I did too, every day to the extent that I would cry if someone else wanted to watch TV when it was ‘Moonwalker’ time for me!

    iCan’t pick a favourite Michael song. His catalogue is that good!

  • http://www.teaandsuch.blogspot.com Tea

    My favorite MJ song of all time is P.Y.T. I cannot not dance when this songs comes on. Underrated… I’m not sure. I was just listening to Mike and Lady of My Life came on and I loved it all over again. I guess it’s underrated because I rarely if ever hear it on the radio. It’s pure dopeness though. And my future husband who I do not know needs to know that’s playing at our wedding. LOL!

  • http://facebook.com/yesip621 Yesi Jukebox

    I like the Invincible album and especially “You Rock My World” I can’t help but to dance and sing along to it whenever I hear it – and I adored the video (partly cause I had a crush on Chris Tucker at the time LOL). “Butterflies” is one of my other favorites! And they’re not underrated but “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Human Nature”!!!

  • http://facebook.com/yesip621 Yesi Jukebox

    And hello what about “You Are Not Alone”!! I used to wait for this video to come on so I could blast it and sing along!

  • Anna

    I am glad you chose the song heaven can wait. I never really got “caught up” in the Micheal Jackson fan club. But this song was special to me because I played it every night after my mother passed away. I would listen to it and cry myself to sleep. It was so bad my roommate tried to take the CD and discman away from me.

    Thanks for the memory

  • zy

    *sigh* the first time i heard “heaven can wait”… i cried. it still makes me teary every now and again. “whatever happens” is another favorite from that album. butterflies is amazing but once I heard floetry sing it… i couldn’t hear MJ’s version without wanting to hear their version… my future husband (whomever the heck he is, lol) needs to know we’re dancing to that at our wedding.

  • Nikki

    Dang! I thought I was a pretty big MJ fan, and yet I don’t recall ever hearing this song before. You know, he was such a romantic. Men should seriously study his lyrics to get a feel for what women really want to hear. Thanks for sharing…

  • ShaCrista

    Love “Butterflies” it’s one of my ultimate favorites. “Stranger in My Life” is a great one as well.