A Place With No Name - Michael Jackson

from the album XSCAPE (2014)

Michael Jackson was a musical genius.  I would have loved to have the opportunity to spend some time with him, talking and listening to music.  What songs did he dig?  Who inspired him?  What would he make of my dance moves?

Well, on this month's release of previously unreleased material there lays an insightful clue.  The record includes a 1983 recording of a song titled A Place With No Name.  On this song, Michael draws from the classic America song A Horse With No Name for inspiration.  Listen to the synth riff that establishes the verse.  Listen to the drum accents.  Then listen to the vocal line and the lyric.

Michael Jackson discovered America !!!

The chorus, however, is all Michael.  Soaring pop with magnificent backing vocals and production.  Then back into the familiar verse, sounding more like Michael the second time around.  But then comes the crowning glory when Michael sings "la la la, la la-la-la la, la-la la, la la," putting his own stamp on the wordless sing-a-long line from the tune.  What a tribute.

Do yourself a favor and give this song several listens  Each time you will discover something new and inspiring.

Click Here to listen to the XSCAPE version of A Place With No Name.

Click Here to listen to an earlier version of A Place With No Name.  This version includes an acoustic guitar reminiscent of the America classic.  I find this fascinating to listen to Michael sing over an acoustic.  Too bad he did not do more of it.

Click Here to listen to America sing A Horse With No Name.