On 9th December 1995, Michael Jackson scored his sixth solo UK number one single with ‘Earth Song’, making it 19 years ago today.
Released on November 27th 1995, ‘Earth Song’ was a bold statement even for someone of Michael Jackson’s stature. Epic, ambitious ballads were increasingly becoming part of Jackson’s repertoire in the late 80’s/early 90’s, with socially-conscious releases such as ‘Heal the World’ and ‘Man In The Mirror’ shifting his sound further away from his disco roots.
But very few songs in his astonishing career got people talking quite like ‘Earth Song’ with its seven minutes of lavish, operatic pop addressing the pressing global need for social justice, conservation and animal welfare.
Taken from Jackson’s ninth studio album, HIStory, ‘Earth Song’ wasn’t received with universal praise, with Jarvis Cocker famously invading the stage during Jackson’s performance of the song at the 1996 Brit Awards. However, the song reached number one in the UK charts and remained there for 6 weeks, cementing Jackson’s reputation as the world’s most iconic entertainer.
Watch the video for the epochal track below.