Saturday, August 27, 2016

Making Michael by Mike Smallcombe

Making Michael takes readers into the studio with the King of Pop, charting the creation of record-breaking albums including Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous and HIStory, and the twists and turns that occurred along the way. Untold stories, revelations and secrets finally see the light of day as Jackson's career outside the studio is also examined, including his Hollywood dreams, life at Neverland and those mysterious, ill-fated preparations for the final tour, This Is It. Supported by the people who shared the journey with him, Making Michael takes readers behind the scenes, revealing Jackson at his best; and at his worst, relentlessly pursuing perfection and displaying a cutthroat shrewdness and competitiveness few knew existed.

Author Mike Smallcombe spent five years researching and interviewing to bring readers a look inside the music and videos that Michael Jackson created. Making Michael paints a story of each artistic endeavor from start to finish. It's a great read for those interested in the creative process of music, but doesn't go into much technical detail.

If you're hoping for a biography of the King of Pop, this isn't it. Smallcombe briefly mentions Michael's legal troubles and personal life, but for the most part he focuses on his career. I appreciated that about this book. There's no sensationalism here or tabloid-style writing.

That being said, Making Michael can be very tedious if you're expecting a story to be told. I enjoyed the anecdotes about Michael's playful behavior in the studio and especially every account of what a terrible driver he was. But those were sprinkled conservatively throughout the book. However, being that I have a performance background, I did appreciate the meticulous detail with which the author described the creative process.

Making Michael is definitely a book that any true Michael fan should have in their library.

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