Jul 092009

Recently, Mr. Mod asked the assembled multitudes of RTH to choose between:

– ALL of Michael Jackson’s solo output EXCEPT for his four best songs


– Pat Benatar’s two best “hits”

Now, like the Velvet Foghorn, I actually *like* at least one Pat Benatar song. But I posited to the group that — even if I found Pat Benatar’s entire solo ouvre completely without merit — the choice between listening to TWO songs I hated and having to listen to 70 or 80 godawful MJ non-hits was an easy one to make. I just chose the path that required me to listen to less crap. On a quantitative basis, I mean.

Well, Dr. John wasn’t convinced. Or maybe I didn’t make my point clear enough with my elephant dung vs. dog shit metaphor. That’s okay. I’m prepared to meet the good doctor on his own preferred field of battle, and furnish him with a non-top-four MJ single that I believe he’ll concede would be far more painful to endure than a Pat Benatar hit. I’m prepared to leave aside the fact that — according to Mod’s Big Choice Poll question — Dr. John would have to listen to not just this one MJ song, but literally 70 or 80 more that are not much better, rather than listen to *only* “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and, say, “Heartbreaker.”

So how about it, Dr. John? Can you explain to me why this song is better than “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”?

I look forward to your response.



  13 Responses to “Let’s See You Pipe-Tamp, Brandy-Snift and Leather-Elbow-Patch Your Way Out Of THIS One, Dr. John!”

  1. saturnismine


    correct me if i’m incorrect, but with your last comment — where you feel the need to lay out and explain the terms and consequences of mr. mod’s question with as much clarity as possible — you seem to be suggesting that the REAL issue at hand is NOT the quality of MJ’s deep cuts vs. PB’s hits, but dr. john’s inability to truly grasp the faustian nature of the choice he was given when he expressed his preference.

    is this the case?

  2. “Hit me with your best shot” is the song I perform right before I say “I don’t know a single other song…goodnight!”

    It’s a better song when sung from a male perspective (although that does require the singer to suggest he has a “lipstick case” in which to add a “notch”)

    Shadows Of The Night is my all-time favorite video of the early 80’s. the one from the movie about the abused teen used to make me sad as a non-abused teen.

    I still give it to MJ – I’ll take his 2nds to Pat’s 1sts

    Human Nature + Smooth Criminal trump PB’s best

  3. “Human Nature + Smooth Criminal trump PB’s best”

    Not the issue, though.

    And Sat, either way Fritz intended it, I’m still on Team Benatar.

  4. I think there’s a modicum of intelligence in that MJ song that makes me prefer it to the outright stupidity of Benetar.

    So there.

  5. hrrundivbakshi



    Do I need to print those lyrics for you?

  6. Now we’ve come full circle. Oates started by pointing out some people are so hard-wired to dislike MJ, they will find fault when fault is not there.

    I challenged hvb to find me the worst MJ song, rather suspecting (after he did tip his hand)that he would submit something with a great dose of spiritual uplift, which he would assume someone like myself would find disdainful, if not comically bad.

    But these sorts of songs really don’t bother me. Yeah, the lyrics are trite, but no worse than the “best” of Benetar, and the chorus in the MJ song has a decent hook.

    Now perhaps on my own I could find a really, really bad MJ song. But I sort of doubt it, because the problem with MJ is not that he’s either really great or really bad, but because he’s in between.

  7. jeangray

    During the “Thriller” craze, Motown released solo Jackson outtakes and packaged them to look like new material. Listen to some of that stuff, and prove dr. john wrong.

    Ooohhh, and what about that whole “The Wiz” soundtrack???? Pure dreck!

  8. BigSteve

    Dr. J is dodging the challenge as defined by hvb. It seems to me that the stated challenge was not choosing between the existence of Pat Benatar’s songs and Michael Jackson’s songs, but choosing between listening to TWO of PB’s best songs or listening to ALL of MJ’s songs except the best ones. That’s a no brainer. Let me just point out that Benatar’s posted video is less than three minutes long and Jackson’s video is almost five minutes long.

    The lyrics to both songs are pretty stupid, and also unaware of their stupidity, but Cry is pretentious mush. I can at least tell what Best Shot is about.

    And I’ve got to admit I like the guitar riff in the chorus of Best Shot, though it may be negated by that totally indefensible guitar solo.

  9. jeangray

    oKay–After doing a little research, I discovered that those outtakes were recorded when Michael was only 15. So that doesn’t meet Mr. Mod’s criteria for adult solo material. But “The Wiz” came out when he was 20, technically an adult.

    Has anyone here ever seen that flick more than once?

  10. Mr. Moderator

    I’ve never seen The Wiz, jeangray, but your support for this issue is valued. It’s funny that Hrrundi read my challenge the way he did, but it puts an effective on my already thought-provoking question.

    What’s most surprising in this thread is seeing Dr. John stand up for Michael Jackson and credit the craftsmanship in the chorus. Had Dr. John defected to Team Pop?

  11. hrrundivbakshi

    I’m glad to see the forces of common sense are gaining ground in the Big Choice Poll. Go, Townspeople!

  12. trolleyvox

    You know, as guilty pleasures go, that Shadows of the Night song ain’t half bad.

  13. 2000 Man

    I’m on Team Benatar. I just don’t like MJ very much. I like some old Jackson 5 songs, but I don’t care if I never hear them again.

    I saw Pat Benatar open for someone once. I don’t remember it hardly at all.

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