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HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I

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Michael Jackson 6/19/1995

Review

Michael Jackson's double-disc HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I is a monumental achievement of ego. Titled "HIStory Begins," the first disc is a collection of his post-Motown hits, featuring some of the greatest music in pop history, including "Billie Jean," "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Beat It," and "Rock with You." It leaves some hits out -- including the number ones "Say Say Say" and "Dirty Diana" -- yet it's filled with enough prime material to be thoroughly intoxicating. That can't be said for the second disc, called "HIStory Continues" and consisting entirely of new material -- which also happens to be the first material he released since being accused of child molestation. "HIStory Continues" is easily the most personal album Jackson has recorded. References to the scandal permeate almost every song, creating a thick atmosphere of paranoia. If Jackson's music had been the equal of Thriller or Bad, the nervous, vindictive lyrics wouldn't have been quite as overbearing. However, "HIStory Continues" reiterates musical ideas Jackson had been exploring since Bad. Jackson certainly tries to stay contemporary, yet he has a tendency to smooth out all of his rougher musical edges with show-biz schmaltz. Occasionally, Jackson produces some well-crafted pop that ranks with his best material: R. Kelly's "You Are Not Alone" is seductive, "Scream" improves on the slamming beats of his earlier single "Jam," and "Stranger in Moscow" is one of his most haunting ballads. Nevertheless, "HIStory Continues" stands as his weakest album since the mid-'70s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Billie Jean Michael Jackson 4:52
  3. 2 The Way You Make Me Feel Michael Jackson 4:55
  4. 3 Black or White Michael Jackson 4:14
  5. 4 Rock with You Michael Jackson 3:39
  6. 5 She's Out of My Life Michael Jackson 3:36
  7. 6 Bad Michael Jackson 4:6
  8. 7 I Just Can't Stop Loving You Michael Jackson 4:9
  9. 8 Man in the Mirror Michael Jackson 5:17
  10. 9 Thriller Michael Jackson 5:56
  11. 10 Beat It Michael Jackson 4:17
  12. 11 The Girl Is Mine Michael Jackson 3:40
  13. 12 Remember the Time Michael Jackson 3:58
  14. 13 Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough Michael Jackson 6:2
  15. 14 Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' Michael Jackson 6:1
  16. 15 Heal the World Michael Jackson 6:23
  17. 1 Scream Michael Jackson 4:38
  18. 2 They Don't Care About Us Michael Jackson 4:43
  19. 3 Stranger in Moscow Michael Jackson 5:41
  20. 4 This Time Around Michael Jackson 4:20
  21. 5 Earth Song Michael Jackson 6:42
  22. 6 D.S. Michael Jackson 4:48
  23. 7 Money Michael Jackson 4:40
  24. 8 Come Together Michael Jackson 4:0
  25. 9 You Are Not Alone Michael Jackson 5:43
  26. 10 Childhood [From Free Willy 2] Michael Jackson 4:26
  27. 11 Tabloid Junkie Michael Jackson 4:32
  28. 12 2 Bad Michael Jackson 4:49
  29. 13 History Michael Jackson 6:37
  30. 14 Little Susie Michael Jackson 6:11
  31. 15 Smile Michael Jackson 4:54

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