[All songs from his solo career only.]
1. Baby Be Mine [Thriller, 1982]
I know what you’re thinking; how can a song from an album that sold 30 million copies in the US alone be underrated? Well in an album with so many iconic songs, “Baby Be Mine” consistently gets overlooked. It is the best jam on that album, no doubt. I play it all the time at my DJ nights and people bop every time.
2. Stranger in Moscow [HIStory, 1995]
One of Michael’s most powerful and emotional songs. It flopped in America and was a moderate hit around the rest of the world. The HIStory period was not well-regarded by the press and most of the songs on the album were greatly overlooked, in my opinion. The melody to this song is beautiful and as usual, Michael’s vocals are transcendent and also very vulnerable. The “how does it feel” part gets me every time, man. Tame Impala recognized the genius and did a rad cover of this song earlier this year.
3. Give In To Me [Dangerous, 1991]
Michael always tried to do one rock song on each album and this is one of his most passionate and filled with sexual tension. Slash from Guns and Roses plays guitar.
4. Girlfriend [Off The Wall, 1979]
Paul McCartney allegedly wrote this song for Michael but ended up recording it with Wings first. Michael’s version is far superior and is a nice mid-tempo breezy number on an album full of dance floor bangers.
5. They Don’t Care About Us [HIStory, 1995]
Another song from this era that was big worldwide but barely made a blip in the US due to some controversial lyrics and bad press at the time. I really like all of MJ’s songs about his haterz and this song in particular always had a killer military inspired dance routine when he performed it live.
6. Another Part of Me [Bad, 1987]
Some people may remember this song from the Captain EO 3D film at Disney World and it’s a jam!! As you can see in the link above, it was a killer song to perform and Michael really got into it. The vocals on this song are flawless.
7. Who Is It [Dangerous, 1991]
A rare song where Michael sings in his lower register, giving it a very sultry energy. The Dangerous album had five Top 20 singles and this was one that was overshadowed by the media hoopla surrounding the others.
8. Dangerous [Dangerous, 1991]
I love that Michael always tried to keep in touch with music trends, and for the Dangerous album he worked with new jack swing producer Teddy Riley to keep things “fresh.” This song is the prime example of MJ incorporating those modern r&b and hip hop elements into his music but still making it “his.”
9. You Rock My World [Invincible, 2001]
This whole era was pretty much written off by the critics, but I think this song is a nod to MJ’s Off The Wall album but modernizing it for what was then the “TRL audience” of the early 2000s. And the chorus is catchy as hell.
10. Dirty Diana [from Bad, 1987]
I just think this is his greatest song ever and should be on ALL THE LISTS EVER.
What do you think are Michael’s most underrated songs?