Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Quickie: Michael Jackson - Euphoria

While noone can argue that Michael Jackson is in any way an overlooked or underappreciated artist, he's still got a few solid, slept-on tracks that scream for a good dusting off every now and then and "Euphoria" is definitely one of 'em. Taken from his 1973 Music & Me set, the tune was a team effort penned by Jacqueline Hilliard and soul legend Leon Ware.

[Sidebar: You might be wondering, if the song was so good, then why didn't it make any noise? Good question. Could be lots of answers to that. Maybe it was because "Euphoria" was left as an album cut and never got serviced to radio. Who knows? In the end, the LP didn't fare well commercially and that too could be due to any number of things. One factor might be that the only singles released were the sugary-sweet title track and a cover of the song, "Morning Glow" from the Broadway musical 'Pippin'. What??? A showtune??? A showtune as the lead single from a 15 year-old pop star's new album?? WTF were they thinking?? *Sigh*]

As labels often do, Motown too made the occasional bad decision in the single-choosing department, and those same bad decisions kept reveberating through the years as countless repackaged "hit" compilations were cobbled together with single releases and not much else. As a result, some of his best work lived and died solely as album cuts that have fallen through the cracks and remain unheard to anyone who only has those stale "best of" collections as a point of reference.

While it was still OOP in all formats when I ripped my LP copy to CD years ago, this album has since been reissued on CD a few times over but never officially in the U.S.; so what else is new?

[Sidebar: Far too many record companies have a tendency to neglect black music here in the states. I could rant on for days about it but since this "quickie" post is already gettin' kinda wordy, I'll get into that some other time.]

Anyway, Music & Me is pretty easy to track down and well worth the small investment. If the CD reissue (available here) isn't to your liking, you can easily find an original vinyl copy on the cheap both here and here.

Listen (password req'd)


Michael Lengyel said...

I fully agree! "Euphoria" is an amazing song, awful that it's so unknown.

desmu said...

Another reason why the album didn't do great is because of the tour with his brothers, which gave little time to promote anything.I also agree with you I didn't like the songs they chose to be singles.

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