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Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson

“Joseph Vogel has brilliantly cracked the DNA, the code of the work, the artistry of Michael Joseph Jackson.This is the book I have been long awaiting — a pointed, intelligent dissection of an epic body of work.”  —SPIKE LEE

“The most thorough and accurate portrayal of Michael’s musical life I’ve ever seen.” BRAD BUXER, Michael Jackson’s Music Director and Collaborator on DangerousHIStoryBlood on the Dance Floor and Invincible

An unprecedented look into the creative world of Michael Jackson.

Over his four decades in the public spotlight, Michael Jackson dazzled audiences, broke down barriers, and transformed popular music. Yet his brilliance as an artist has often been overshadowed by the tabloid frenzy that surrounded his unusual life. Now author Joseph Vogel returns to to the albums, songs and videos that made the King of Pop a cultural force in the first place. From Off the Wall and Thriller, to BadDangerousHIStory and beyond, Vogel takes us deep inside Jackson’s vast musical catalog. Each song is carefully considered, from well-known classics like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” to lesser-known standouts like “Stranger in Moscow” and “Who Is It.”

Meticulously researched and documented, Man in the Music draws on hundreds of sources, including news archives, reviews, Jackson’s own words, and interviews with key collaborators. With each chapter, Vogel takes the reader back in time, placing the music in its social and historical context, discussing its relation to Jackson’s personal life, and revealing never-before-heard stories from the studio. Featuring a foreword by Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis and a wealth of color photos, this unique book provides the first comprehensive assessment of the “man in the music.”

Get your hardback copy or e-book of Man in the Music at:




Translations are currently available in Japanese, Russian and Italian. If you would like Man in the Music published in your language, please have a publisher in your country contact me or my publisher.

“A thoroughly enjoyable analysis of the music and life of the most popular musician of an era.” —Library Journal

“Chapter by chapter and literally song by song, [Vogel] discusses Jackson’s albums, videos, dances, cinematic influences, musical heroes, idiosyncrasies, and artistic transformations…Readers will enjoy.” —Publishers Weekly

“The definitive book on Michael Jackson.” —Michael Eric Dyson

“Terrific…Man in the Music puts the reader right there in the studio with Jackson, shedding some much-needed light on a mysterious and misunderstood man…Don’t be surprised if it makes you go back and listen…with a whole new outlook on the King of Pop.” —Zack O’Malley Greenburg, Forbes

Man in the Music is thankfully all about just that — the music. Vogel takes the reader album-by-album, song-by-song and examines in exhaustive detail how Jackson produced a lifetime’s worth of music that became a soundtrack to the lives of millions…. Each song Jackson recorded during his solo career is examined with a critical eye. It’s a fascinating read and really a must-have for any Jackson fan.”Mike Householder, Associated Press

“An amazing read for all fans of Michael Jackson and music.” Michael Prince, Recording Engineer for Michael Jackson

Man in the Music by Joseph Vogel is a sensitive, perceptive, comprehensive and compelling exploration of the creative genius of Michael Jackson.  The author provides a special insight into the imagination and magic of perhaps the greatest musical artist of our time.  All who love Michael Jackson will appreciate this original work.” —Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr.

“[Vogel] celebrates Michael’s songs and artistry in a wonderful journey through his music.” —Jermaine Jackson

“Not only an enthralling read, but a gateway into a revised perception of one of the most mysterious and massively influential artists of our time. This is definitely not another run of the mill sensationalist work…Vogel irrevocably raises the bar for future critical analysis of Jackson’s art and cultural import.” —Constance Pierce, Good Reads

“At last, an account of Michael Jackson that focuses on his music…By placing Michael Jackson’s musical output in its social and cultural context it is reinvigorated with the significance that it has long been denied.” Kate Allen, MOJO Magazine (U.K.)

“This is the kind of book about Michael Jackson’s music, artistry and creativity that really needed to be written — and Joseph Vogel has done it and done it very well. I am absolutely floored by Joe’s in-depth research and perceptive insight into what made Michael the one-of-a-kind, recording-breaking King of Pop. And — amazingly enough — even I learned a lot!” — J. Randy Taraborrelli, Author of Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness

“From his smooth writing style to his commitment to interviewing nearly every possible source involved with the material, there’s a lot to like about Joseph Vogel’s new book on the King of Pop…This volume is much too lively and entertaining to be considered a reference work…Without calling much attention to itself, Vogel’s writing is quietly incendiary and often rather delightfully subversive…The conclusion of the book comes upon us much too fast.” John Scott G., Music Industry Newswire