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Geoff Brown.

Toronto, Musson Books, c1984.
128pp, paper, $11.95.
ISBN 0-7737-10744.

All Grades.
Reviewed by Frank Loreto.

Volume 12 Number 5
1984 September

At a time when a Michael Jackson look-alike contest can gather a crowd of 10,000 spectators in Winnipeg, it is clear that anything dealing with the young singer will be extremely popular. Brown's Michael Jackson: Body and Soul has appeared while the Michael Jackson popularity is still very high.

This illustrated biography covers the life and career of Michael as well as the rest of his family from their births, early years, their musical debut, to Michael's injury in January 1984.

Despite Brown's obvious appreciation of Michael Jackson, the biography takes an objective view of Jackson's stardom and ability. The first few chapters provide information regarding the musical scene into which the Jacksons broke in 1969. The family's gradual climb to popularity is presented in adequate detail, and the stars to whom the Jacksons are indebted are named and discussed.

Brown points out quite factually that the Jacksons, who managed to replace both "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road" as number one hits in 1970, are not a flash-in-the-pan group. Rather, through hard work, shrewd man Music agement, and the ability to evolve with the times, they have managed to assure constant record selling success.

Michael Jackson: Body and Soul is a well written and well illustrated work. The photographs (one hundred in black 'and white, sixteen pages in colour) make the book attractive to the younger fans who wish only to see Jackson's pictures. These provide a variety of poses of Jackson as an eleven year old to the present. Those older fans who wish to learn more of the Michael Jackson success story will learn that stardom did not come overnight and that perhaps Jackson deserves to be admired as he is. Adults too can enjoy this biography as the discussion begins with such stars as Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and the Supremes.

The book is solidly bound and should withstand the popularity it will no doubt be put through. Its SI 1.95 price makes this large size biography an affordable addition to any school library.

Frank Loreto, Rainy River, ON.
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