Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson” as Want to Read:
Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.57  ·  Rating Details ·  279 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
This is the book that serious Michael Jackson fans crave--one that forgoes sensationalism in favor of an insightful look at Jackson's work and creative process.

Man in the Music meticulously tracks Jackson's solo career--from 1979's groundbreaking Off the Wall to 2001's Invincible to his yet-to-be-released material. Vogel analyzes every song and album, placing the music in
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Sterling (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Man in the Music, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Man in the Music

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 05, 2011 Constance rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Scholars, fans, and all who appreciate art
Joseph Vogel Returns the Conversation to Jackson’s Art:

Scholars, fans, and even on-the-fence doubters will find the upcoming release of Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson by Huffington Post writer Joseph Vogel, 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 skillfully guides the reader through the
Jan 08, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Michael Jackson may be one of the most underrated artists of all time. It might strange when you think about it – after all, he is one of the most famous and successful artists of all, only coming second to Elvis and the Beatles. Yet most of discussion revolving around Jackson is centred mostly on his personal life and there in an "omg-isn't-he-weird" flavour. The focus on his music has taken a backseat since Thriller. You'll often find the claim that Michael Jackson peaked commercially and arti ...more
Nov 08, 2011 Courtney rated it it was amazing
Mr. Vogel has written an in-depth, moving book that is a credit to Mr. Jackson and his musical genius. This book focuses on what made Mr. Jackson such a legend, his extraordinary talent that shaped the world of music. Any fan of Michael Jackson should adopt this book as the foremost source of Michael Jackson music history. EXCELLENT.
Kerry Hennigan
Feb 17, 2012 Kerry Hennigan rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent reference work on the origins, recording, re-recording, production and release of Michael Jackson's songs. Joseph Vogel takes an in depth look at each of the artist's albums and the tracks featured, plus those on special editions and compilations which appeared no where else.

Illustrated with photographs reflective of each stage of MJ's incredible 4 decades-long career we read of when he first conceived of a song and the work he and his collaborators put in to fine tuning it
Feb 12, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
Oh, how I wanted to love this book. It's a great concept: Let's get away from the tabloid Michael Jackson and focus instead on the songs, the stuff that made his music so great. Reading the credits behind each tune gave me a new appreciation of how hands-on he was in everything and how talented he was. I spent a lot of time on iTunes as I read "Man in the Music," listening to snippets of songs I didn't own.

So why only 3 stars? First, it's really 3.5, but we can't give half stars. My main problem
Rinia Li
Jan 08, 2012 Rinia Li rated it it was amazing
fascinating work by Joe Vogel. I had to listen to each song on my I-pod while reading about the song to hear the different instruments/elements that he described that I missed earlier. No other artist conveys so much emotion in his voice like MJ did. The more I learn about him, the more I admire him.
Valerie Evans
Apr 07, 2013 Valerie Evans rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite MJ books.
Ahmed Sharkawy
Apr 04, 2013 Ahmed Sharkawy is currently reading it
Cordelia Higgins
Dec 20, 2016 Cordelia Higgins rated it it was amazing
It is a great book if you want to learn about Michael Jackson's music.
The oft-repeated conventional wisdom---that Jackson's videos made MTV and 'so changed the music industry' is only half true. It's more like the music industry ballooned to encompass Jackson's talent and shrunk down again without him. Videos didn't matter before Michael, and they ceased to matter at almost the precise cultural moment he stopped producing great work. Videos didn't matter before Michael, and they ceased to matter at almost the precise cultural moment he stopped producing great wor ...more
Aug 07, 2016 Maame rated it really liked it
Because this book is one of the few written works respectfully written about the creative life and work of Michael Jackson I already had in mind to give it five stars. I read a lot of good reviews on it that made me anticipate its read. Now reading the book, although impressed on the work and effort Joseph Vogel put into it, after much thought I disappointedly have to give it four (really 4.5) stars. Invincible is the weakest of the chapters written in the book due to the typo errors and misdate ...more
Nov 01, 2011 Elise rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: non-fiction
4.5 stars. It's refreshing to read a book that focuses solely on the music rather than Michael Jackson's personal life. There are too many books out there that don't cover the music at all or just gloss over it, especially the later albums. This book is very well organized. Each chapter covers each album chronologically starting with "Off the Wall" and ending with the posthumous album, "Michael." Each chapter starts off with an examination of the cultural climate at the time the album was releas ...more
Jan 03, 2013 Joni rated it liked it
Shelves: michael-jackson
It's a shame how much this book suffers from the old "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" thing. In a sea of generic cash-in biographies and cheap tell-alls from MJ's associates, there are precious few books that are as focused on MJ's artistry and studio perfectionism as this one.

There's a lot of what I was hoping for; information about Michael's life post-2004, his unreleased projects including a fully composed classical album, names of outtakes, etc. Vogel's writing gets
David Loveland
Aug 02, 2012 David Loveland rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book I've been waiting for for so long. A book which doesn't gloss over the incredible music, the personal achievements and charitable endeavours in favour of scandal and unfounded condemnation. The introduction is particularly moving and paints a picture of a tragic genius who the world has lost much too such. I am a big Michael Jackson fan and I thought that there wasn't much more I could learn about my hero, but even I learnt quite a few interesting things about Michael wh ...more
Arnav Kamath
Sep 07, 2016 Arnav Kamath rated it really liked it
Just a documentary like book
Alessandra A.
Jan 01, 2013 Alessandra A. rated it it was amazing
Finalmente un libro che rende giustizia all'immensa arte di Michael Jackson, trattando gli aspetti della sua vita privata solo nella misura in cui influenzano la sua musica e la sua carriera. L'origine e il significato delle canzoni, dei testi e delle musiche, le curiosità riguardo il processo creativo e il backstage, raccolte attraverso le testimonianze di chi le viveva con lui, offrono una visione completa e nuova del genio all'opera.
Sep 10, 2012 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
One of the best book that describes the musical genius of the King of Pop! Vogel did a great job detailing the creativity of how Michael Jackson put the song together to change the face of Pop culture forever. I am forever grateful to purchase this book and I recommend this book to all the Michael Jackson fans around the world, to honor his legacy and truth.
Charles  Clarke
May 24, 2016 Charles Clarke rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
What can I say? This is a truly wonderful book that focuses on the song catalogue of Michael Jackson. Every song is discussed in great detail from the classics to the experimental to the unreleased material. As a Jackson fan, it is odd seeing a book like this. It the utterly refreshing anomaly in the crowd of books on the private life of the man.
Jul 20, 2011 Carrie marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
Sweet!! I'm so excited to have won this! I've always thought Michael Jackson was an awesome performer and an entirely misunderstood person. I'm excited to be able to read all about him! Thanks Goodreads!
Lora Mays
Aug 15, 2011 Lora Mays rated it liked it
What a collection of information about Michael Jackson! I think this would be of great use for a college course studying Michael. Of course, anyone who loves Michael Jackson will love this book!
Jeremy Vaeni
Mar 16, 2015 Jeremy Vaeni rated it it was amazing
This goes in-depth behind the music of MJ. Every single solo song including some unreleased tracks. I learned a lot and that's saying something.
Jul 09, 2013 Eilonna rated it it was amazing
A very thorough account of all of Michael's work. It's interesting to find out all the stories behind the songs that i love so much.
Sep 21, 2015 Callie added it
Oh my goodness I love this book. Currently re reading the first few chapters because of how inspired they left me feeling ...more
Bryan Estevez
Bryan Estevez rated it it was amazing
Sep 22, 2013
Adam Schoales
Adam Schoales rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2016
Angel In-myeyes
Angel In-myeyes rated it it was amazing
Dec 14, 2012
Felicity rated it it was amazing
Mar 11, 2015
Miry.03 rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2016
Chloe rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2017
Rashanique Scott
Rashanique Scott rated it it was amazing
May 17, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dancing the Dream
  • Michael Jackson Conspiracy
  • You are Not Alone: Michael: Through a Brother's Eyes
  • Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958-2009
  • My Friend Michael: Growing Up With The King Of Pop
  • Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days
  • Michael Jackson: The Man in the Mirror 1958-2009
  • On Michael Jackson
  • Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire
  • Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life
  • The Devil's Horn: The Story of the Saxophone, from Noisy Novelty to King of Cool
  • Unmasked: The Final Years Of Michael Jackson
  • Prince
  • The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul in Intimate Conversation
  • Michael Jackson
  • Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson
  • American Recordings
  • Yes Is The Answer (And Other Prog-Rock Tales)
JOSEPH VOGEL is the author of five books, including the critically-acclaimed Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson (Sterling, 2011) and the award-winning Free Speech 101 (WindRiver, 2006). His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Huffington Post and PopMatters, among other publications. His writing interests lie at the intersection of American culture, music, literature ...more
More about Joseph Vogel...

Share This Book