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

I hope you were watching. Following the unveiling of "Scream", your first single in two years, on GMTV last Friday, the presenters, Eamonn Holmes and Anthea Turner, turned to each other in the traditional no-please- you-go-first manner of people who know nothing about the subject they're about to broach. Eamonn's eyebrows hiccupped. Anthea gave a little wrinkle of the nose. The news was not good. They were nonplussed. And, as peculiar and uncomfortable as it is to find myself sharing an opinion with Anthea Turner, I have to admit it didn't exactly knock my socks off, either.

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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

    £13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

    £19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Day In a Page

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future