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“The only comprehensive and critical rundown of Jackson’s solo material.”ROLLING STONE 

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. Man in the Music 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. Meticulously researched and documented, Man in the Music has been praised by Rolling Stone, Billboard, and the Associated Pressand is widely considered the #1 resource book on the creative work of Michael Jackson.

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

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“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

“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.” ASSOCIATED PRESS

“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

“The definitive book on Michael Jackson.” —MICHAEL ERIC DYSON

Released in 1995, Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” was unlike anything heard before in popular music. Protest songs had long been part of the heritage of rock – but not like this. “Earth Song’s” vision was more panoramic, its roots more primal. Its unusual fusion of blues, opera, rock, and gospel resembled nothing on the radio. A massive hit globally, it wasn’t even offered as a single in the United States. Most critics didn’t know what to make of it. Yet decades later, it stands as one of Jackson’s greatest artistic achievements. In this groundbreaking book, Joseph Vogel traces the song’s evolution, from its inception in Vienna in 1988, to its long gestation in the recording studio, to Jackson’s final rehearsal in 2009. Situating the song within the historical context of the Reagan, Bush and Clinton eras, the book also explores the artist’s broader humanitarian efforts, from his participation in USA for Africa to his Heal the World Foundation. Based on original research, including interviews with the song’s key participants, Earth Song: Michael Jackson and the Art of Compassion offers a necessary reassessment of this powerful anthem and Jackson’s audacious efforts to change the world.

“Vogel’s voice is dignified and powerful. I very much respect what he has to say.” —BILL BOTTRELL, Grammy-winning Producer, Songwriter and Collaborator of Michael Jackson

“To my mind, Vogel’s analysis of Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” represents the very best of what art criticism can be: it educates and enlightens us, and leads us to a deeper appreciation and understanding of Jackson’s art.” – DR. WILLA STILLWATER, author of M Poetica: Michael Jackson’s Art of Connection and Defiance

“Terrific! It was totally engaging to finally hear the complete story of ‘Earth Song.’ Vogel’s perspective is amazing. What true insights he has uncovered.” – MATT FORGER, Technical Engineer for ThrillerBadDangerous and HIStory



“‘I Ain’t Scared of No Sheets’: Re-Screening Black Masculinity in Michael Jackson’s Black or White.” Journal of Popular Music Studies, 27.1 (March 2015).

“Michael Jackson,” in America in the World, 1776 to the Present, ed. Edward J. Blum. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 2016.

“Thriller” (1982) by Michael Jackson,” National Recording Registry. Library of Congress, 2014.

The Misunderstood Power of Michael Jackson’s Music.” The Atlantic.  February 8, 2012.

‘Am I the Beast You Visualized’: The Cultural Abuse of Michael Jackson.” Huffington Post. November 2, 2012.

Revisiting 1991: A Cultural Turning Point” (Michael Jackson, Dangerous, and the Reinvention of Pop). PopMatters. September 28, 2011