MAN IN THE MUSIC
“In many ways, an artist is his work.”—Michael Jackson
OVER HIS FOUR DECADES IN THE PUBLIC SPOTLIGHT, Michael Jackson revolutionized the way we experience music. His songs, videos, and live performances not only broke records, they dissolved barriers and inspired generations of fans from every corner of the world.
Yet in spite of his achievements, Jackson’s creative work was often overshadowed by the tabloid frenzy that surrounded his controversial life. By the time of his tragic death in 2009, many people had forgotten the talent, originality and ambition that made him a star to begin with. In this lavishly illustrated book, author Joseph Vogel moves past the sensationalism and mythology to reveal the first in-depth assessment of the MAN IN THE MUSIC (November 2011 / $24.95 / 978140277981/ Sterling Publishing)
Featuring a foreword by Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis, MAN IN THE MUSIC covers Jackson’s entire solo career, from 1979’s groundbreaking Off the Wall and 1982’s world-conquering Thriller to his frequently overlooked later work, including a glimpse into the music he was creating in his final years. Vogel shows that, contrary to popular belief, the quality of Jackson’s work didn’t decline after Thriller. Rather, similar to the Beatles, he continued to evolve in interesting and provocative ways.
Meticulously researched and documented, Vogel draws on hundreds of sources, including news archives, Jackson’s own words, and personal interviews with Jackson’s collaborators (some of whom are speaking publicly about their experiences for the first time). With each album, Vogel takes the reader back in time, placing the music in its social and historical context, discussing its relation to Jackson’s personal life, and revealing fascinating, behind-the-scenes details from the studio. Each song is carefully described and interpreted, from well-known masterpieces like “Billie Jean” to lesser-known standouts like “Stranger in Moscow.”
With a wealth of color photos and fresh insights, MAN IN THE MUSIC is the most rigorous and reliable assessment of Michael Jackson’s artistic achievement to date.
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“The most thorough and accurate portrayal of Michael’s musical life I’ve ever seen.” — Brad Buxer, Songwriter/Musician, Music Director for Dangerous and HIStory World Tours
“Illuminates the creative life of the greatest performer of our time…Joe shows us a time in history, the happenings of the world, and the creative energy of Michael Jackson and the team of people around him who helped create the iconic songs that propelled him to superstardom. Joe’s thorough examination includes interviews and excerpts from those most familiar with his work, offering a glimpse behind the scenes of how the magic was created…Michael’s perseverance and motivation were matched only by his desire for perfection. Joe shows that as the consummate professional, Michael’s pursuit of songwriting, dancing, producing, and directing, were all means for him to spread his ideas and visions of what the world could be…[Man in the Music] offers the most complete (and, I might add, the most accurate) look into Michael’s creative nature.” — Matt Forger, Technical Engineer for Thriller, Bad, Dangerous and HIStory
“This is the kind of book about Michael Jackson’s music, artistry and creativity that really needed to be written — and Joseph Vogel has done it and done it very well. I am absolutely floored by Joe’s in-depth research and perceptive insight into what made Michael the one-of-a-kind, recording-breaking King of Pop. And — amazingly enough — even I learned a lot!” — J. Randy Taraborrelli, Author of Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness
“A tribute Michael Jackson’s spellbinding work more than lives up to, and more than deserves.” — Anthony DeCurtis, Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone
JOSEPH VOGEL is the author of three books including the highly-anticipated, Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson (November 2011). He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including NPR, Democracy Now!, and The Chronicle of Higher Education and was featured in the award-winning documentary, This Divided State. Vogel writes about popular music and culture for The Huffington Post and PopMatters. He currently resides in Western New York where he is a doctoral candidate and instructor at the University of Rochester.
- Romanticism, Popular Music, Michael Jackson, William Blake, Identity, Childhood Studies, Cultural Studies
- Fall/Spring 2011-12: Fearful Innocence: Constructions of Childhood
- Summer 2011: American Promises: Freedoms in Conflict
- Fall/Spring 2010-11: Romanticism and Rock
- Fall/Spring 2009-10: Imagining Identity in the Age of Facebook
- William Blake, Walt Whitman, Percy Shelley, W.B. Yeats, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chaim Potok, Dave Eggers
- Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, The Police/Sting, Debussy, Beethoven