Ever since he left his family's band, numerous greatest hits albums for this king of pop have been released - but none seems to be able to serve as a concise, difinitive career-span overview album. Most of them managed to hit only 1 or 2 periods of his music career. Since MJ's career split into 4 different periods; The Jackson 5, his pre-Quincy Jones solo years, his short reunion with his family band, and his pop star era. It is not easy to cover all the ground within the limited space, and most fans familiar with his works with Quincy Jones more than his early solo materials.
This 2005's release, which was part of Epic's Essential collection series, was probably the closest to such album. This double-disc collection packed with 38 selection of MJ's best works. From his days in The Jackson 5 ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "Got to Be There"), through his early solo years ("Got to Be There", "Ben", "Rockin' Robin"), a brief reunion with his brothers ("Enjoy Yourself", "Blame It On The Boogie", "Shake Your Body"). The rest are his best picks from 1989's "Off The Wall" throuth his last album 2001's "Invincible". Most of the usual suspects are all here including "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", "Rock With You", "The Girl Is Mine", "Billie Jean", "Beat It", "Thriller", "Bad", "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Man In the Mirror", "Dirty Diana", "Black Or White", "Heal the World", "Dangerous", and "You Rock My World".
The balance between each period is quite good and it does hit almost all of his career's key tracks. The songs were sequenced in chronicle order - giving the feeling of a history guide to MJ's career. And since it contains 7 out of 9 songs from the album "Thriller". This album is probably the one and only need for most cascual fans and curious listeners - an excellent choice for anyone who don't want to dig all of his albums.
In 2008, this album was dusted and slightly upgraded to 3.0 edition. It came in eco-friendly container. (who really care about that?) The kick was the bonus disc that contain 8 more of his great works, including his duet with Paul McCartney "Say, Say, Say" (rarely on any compilations), "Jam", and "Blood on the Dance Floor".