Dear Michael Jackson
So you've just released your first single for two years. It has lots of sirens and breaking glass in it. And as for the lyrics ... a former fan wonders what's going on in your head
Monday 22 May 1995
We were in the minority, Eamonn, Anthea and I. A spokesperson declared that 75 per cent of all radio stations played the single on Friday morning. One breakfast DJ in Bristol even spun it nonstop for a whole hour. Chastised by his boss, he retaliated by following it with your hit "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough", one of those appalling gags you have to master for your DJ entrance exam.
Oh, we were impressed by your video. Well, by its budget, anyway. Two million dollars a minute, Eamonn announced proudly, as though it were his $2m. You haven't actually released the video yet, so GMTV had to cobble together one of their own. Judging by your past efforts, it will be a special effects-packed extravaganza with a guest appearance from, say, Jim Carey. He's just the sort of star who would excite the child in you (apologies for the phrasing).
And there's bound to be a car chase or something in there, seeing as how the song has sirens blasting whenever the listener's interest might be waning. And breaking glass - there's a lot of that on the record, too. What's that all about, then? Is it the sound of the police smashing up your ranch, looking for evidence, or did you knock a fruit bowl off the worktop? All very dramatic. Sirens, breaking glass, a man screaming, and your obligatory, pained "Oooh-hoo-hoos" and "Yuh-yuhs".
And those lyrics! I was set to tell you that the whole ordeal was probably the best thing that could have happened to you. Just like those who observed that the McCarthy witchhunts might have been the perfect Communist-engineered PR stunt. But you've beaten me to my own conspiracy theory with the words to "Scream": "Tired of the injustice/ Tired of the scheme/ The lies are disgusting/ So what does it mean?" And, "They tell me I'm wrong/ Then you gotta prove you're right." The "scheme?" A regular little Joseph K, aren't you? Welcome to the real world.
I think "Scream" is the sound of you waking up, actually. The child abuse controversy has shown that, even if you're not guilty, you're not untouchable, either - you can be injured. The song's no classic, though that will hardly matter to you: it will be straight in at Number One after its 29 May release. And I bet it will be the first record by a man once suspected of child molestation to do so. If only Coronation Street's Len Fairclough had had your singing voice.
Life & Style blogs
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Ed Miliband's 'north London set' must be demolished to save Labour, say critics
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he'd killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...