Song of the Day: “Black or White” by Michael Jackson

Part of the trifecta of my favorite songs when I was a little kid (along with “Help” by The Beatles and “I Go To Extremes” by Billy Joel). The soaring guitar riff that works as the song’s hook is probably its most memorable element.

I love the track’s feeling of synthesis. Even 25+ years later, it sounds breathtaking: a R&B pop track with a rock-based riff and a rap break, not to mention the skit component on the album version of the track.

I actually think the whole Dangerous album (his first after Bad, second after Thriller, and first ever without Qunicy Jones) would have played much better in 2018 than in 1991. Its sprawl, variety, thematic core, and theatrical posturing feel a more kindred spirit to, say, Lemonade than to the murky, angsty grunge zeitgeist that rocked the early ‘90s. Can’t you just imagine thinkpieces on Salon and The Ringer: “Is MJ’s idealism a product of his arrested adolescence?” “How Dangerous exculpates the paranoia of Thriller.”

To quote Stephen Thomas Erlewine on AllMusic: “Consequently, [Dangerous] is the rare multi-platinum, number one album that qualifies as a nearly forgotten, underappreciated record.”

Click here for the full list

Click here for the full list

Dan S.

Dan is the editor of Earn This. He co-founded the site in 2009.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *