Saturday, June 27, 2009

Listen like thieves! INXS vs. Michael Jackson

Turns out, he did go for that.

No sooner did I post the Hall and Oates/Michael Jackson comparison yesterday then did I see Daryl Hall being interviewed on Headline News about Jackson's death.

He confirmed it: at the "We Are the World" recording, Michael Jackson jokingly hid from Hall and told him that he "stole" "Billie Jean" from "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)." Hall seemed very good natured about it, telling the story more as humorous anecdote than revenge fantasy (sorry, no video).

INXS comparison

Since I posted that article, I've received a few e-mails pointing out how Michael Jackson's "Black or White" sounds a lot like INXS. I agree: it does.

Upon a close listen, "Black or White" appears to be a mixture of music from INXS' "New Sensation" and "What You Need," crossed with the lyrics from "Original Sin." Possibly the closest comparison is the guitar riff from "New Sensation," the signature part of Jackson's "Black or White" (the opening riff in Jackson's song was played by Slash).

Listen like Thieves!


INXS - New Sensation (1987)




Michael Jackson – Black or White (1991)

Michael Jackson - Black Or White

1 comment:

  1. INXS (!) aren't the only band to have every played a funky jangular rif on the bottom two strings of a guitar. Although they made a living doing it better than most. Look towards other 80's icon Prince for Michael Jackson's inspiration (stuff like Alphabet St et al.), although I don't think MJ was responsible for writing all of his music.

    ReplyDelete