|1. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough|
|2. Rock With You|
|3. Billie Jean|
|4. Beat It|
|6. I Just Can't Stop Loving You|
|8. Smooth Criminal|
|9. The Way You Make Me Feel|
|10. Man in the Mirror|
|11. Dirty Diana|
|12. Black or White|
|13. You Are Not Alone|
|14. Earth Song|
|15. You Rock My World|
|16. Break of Dawn|
|17. One More Chance|
So that's precisely why Michael's latest release, "Number Ones," is essential for all fans of brilliant music. Since the early 1980's Jackson has captivated the world with his music. We've had fun dancing to his music and cried to his emotional ballads, and that's why he's the greatest male performer ever. His talent is undeniable, and even though he's gone a bit off the rails in recent years, the world and his die-hard fans have never forgotten the music which is what matters the most.
First off, Number Ones is a title that tricks the buyer somewhat. There are eighteen songs on this album, and Jackson has had no where near eighteen US No.1 hits. He's had a total of 13 US No.1 singles, and his last was in 1995. Michael has had 7 UK No.1 hit singles, and his last was in 1997. His first UK No.1 hit was in May 1981 with "One Day In Your Life," which isn't included on here strangely enough. Michael's sixth US No.1 "Say Say Say" is also not included, and I have the UK version which includes "Human Nature" instead of "Man In The Mirror." Silly different regions and record companies! What is the point? Why not just have a complete tracklisting?! Also, "Ben," Michael's first ever US No.1, is included on the US version, but not on the UK version. Instead the UK gets "Blood On The Dancefloor," Michael's last UK No.1 single.
Apart from these minor hiccups, all of Michael's biggest and most popular hits are included here. The album opens with "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock With You." Both songs are from Michael's debut album Off The Wall and both hit the US top spot. "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and "Thriller" are up next and all from Thriller, Michael's signature album. 50 million copies shifted worldwide, and nothing's going to take over it any time soon! Up next, we have six songs from the follow up to Thriller. Bad was Michael's third album, released in 1987 and sold 25 million copies as well. The songs from Bad on here are "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," "Bad," "Smooth Criminal," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Man In The Mirror" and "Dirty Diana." All these songs were huge hits and all were US No.1's, apart from Smooth Criminal.
After this we get "Black Or White," which was a huge US and UK No.1 hit. It's the only song on this compilation album from Michael's fourth album - 1991's Dangerous. "You Are Not Alone" was one of Michael's biggest hits ever, and is next on here, followed by Michael's biggest selling UK single, "Earth Song." No.1 for six weeks and shifting more than 1 million copies this masterpiece is a perfect world peace anthem. Michael's 2001 comeback single "You Rock My World" follows. It wasn't a No.1, so by rights it shouldn't be included here, but it's a great track, so why not? "Break Of Dawn" wasn't even released as a single, so it's got no excuse to be here! It's from Michael's trans-atlantic chart topping Invincible album from 2001. "One More Chance" is Michael's latest single, and will not top the charts by my 'expert' predictions. "Ben" closes the album, which goes back to the very beginning of his career.
OVERALL GRADE: 8/10
I think it was a wise move for Michael Jackson to release Number Ones. It provides new fans in their teens a chance to get to know Michael's best music, for those who were too young to be digging it when 1995's "HIStory" was released, because let's face it, even people in their early teens love Michael's music! I think some minor adjustments could have been made to the tracklisting to improve this album, but it's still not a bad collection and definitely worth the money. Upon its release this album didn't even crack the US Top 10 - Britney stormed to No.1 that week, but in the UK, Number Ones did just that, and went straight to the top of the charts! All in all a brilliant record to add to any Michael Jackson collection.
Easily ranking with the now famous Beatles ONE and the Elvis ONE & TWO, as well as Mariah's set of #1's, Michael Jackson will never be unthroned as the ONE and ONLY King of Pop! Come what may, we will always have the music.*****