http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/b83dc5f2add5c668bdfa9d8e1d1bf61ccf04c9f1.jpg Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
January 5, 2005

The Ultimate Collection is at least the fourth way to repurchase songs from Michael Jackson's Thriller: If you didn't fall for the 1995 greatest-hits/new-material mishmash HIStory, the 2001 Thriller special edition or last year's Number Ones anthology, here's another, even more expensive choice. Collection offers a four-disc career overview plus a DVD of a Bucharest, Romania, concert from the early Nineties. Tucked between singles are unretouched demos (including a sketch of "We Are the World" with a fragile Jackson singing the whole song), the long-missing but little-missed Captain EO track "We Are Here to Change the World" and, naturally, a bloated new anti-war ode, "We've Had Enough."

The good part: This is the first package to include Jackson's early years — a few finger-poppin' Jackson 5 hits; the Wiz duet with Diana Ross, "Ease On Down the Road"; and assorted Jacksons productions found on the delightful Disc One. Previously unreleased outtakes include an easy-listening version of Thriller's "P.Y.T" that bears little resemblance to the original and a drop-dead-funky unreleased track left off 1991's Dangerous: "Monkey Business." Its dazzling, uncontrived exuberance makes you wonder about Jackson's artistic judgment: If he rejected this, what else is sitting on the cutting-room floor?

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Baby I Need Your Loving”

    The Four Tops | 1964

    The Four Tops formed 11 years before the release of this ballad, their first hit on Motown. The group had just wrapped up a gig at a Detroit nightclub when Brian Holland, who wrote the song with partners Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, invited them to Motown's studio to record into the wee hours of the night. In 2004, Holland explained how the words came to him one morning: "I was feeling very close to my wife, and thought of singing 'Baby I need your loving.' The phrase just entered my head. I felt she didn't really understand me, so I could explain how I felt through this song."

    More Song Stories entries »