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MISSING VIDEO. Missing Since: 2017 01-17 Reason: This video contains content from INA - ...
John Mayer - Human Nature (Michael Jackson Memorial 2009)

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Mayer's guitar interprets Miles's trumpet interpretation of Michael's vocals

This is right up there with Jimi’s Star Spangled Banner for guitar instrumentals of classic vocal songs delivered at historic events.

It’s all about “the choice."  Every choice we make. This choice. By the only person invited to perform who was not a friend of Jackson's.  And the only one to play an instrumental. And the only caucasian to take center stage.  

Human Nature was the FIFTH single off Thriller. It went to #2. Quincy Jones discovered a skeletal version of it at the end of a demo tape from somebody else. Steve Porcaro from Toto (of all things) wrote the music, and veteran lyricist John Bettis wrote the words. It was actually the last song Quincy and Michael chose for Thriller. This melody would never have heard the light of day if not for that magic maestro Quincy Jones’ ears.

So, once again Miles Davis throws a rock through the picture window separating genres, smashing open daylight like he’d done so many times before. With his version he touched his golden horn to the young prince’s shoulder — one of those magic moments in music history when the right ears met the right players. It has giving the new heir the nod, like Fred Astaire had done for his dancing.  

Quincy and Michael were like The Beatles and George Martin – one of those magic moments in music history when the right ears met the right players. It hasn’t happened too often at this level of musical achievement. In fact, whatever combo is third, it’s a long way back from these two.

Miles’ praise by playing this on his 1985 You’re Under Arrest was yet one more milestone that young Michael reached in those fast n furious peak years. It’s amazing that with all the retrospectives of all his achievements, this moment and event has barely been recognized — until Mayer did it (appropriately) voicelessly from the stage. But it sure didn’t go unnoticed in the music world at the time. All sorts of people — influential and not — began reconsidering the music of the most popular pop artist of the moment.

And so out strides the white boy. John Mayer. And what does Whitey do? Something that most-everyone listening knows only from the full & bouncy version by the Quincy Jones Thriller Orchestra featuring Michael Jackson – and Mayer does it vocal-less, and solo. On a beat-up old guitar.

It’s a locked-in stunning delivery.  Other instruments subtly weave in, and THEN half-way through, this brilliant background choir of voices emerges, harmonizing along with Mayer’s lead “singing.” And then he starts “harmonizing” off them. Miles used a layer of keyboards, but Mayer used miles of vocals to take it one level higher.

When these kinds of performances are delivered at these kinds of events in front of these kind of audiences, that is a textbook rock peak.


If you like this song and/or performance, you MUST check out  Miles Davis's version live from Paris in '89.  



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amazing video

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Human Nature on Wikipedia

Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally.

Human nature may also refer to:


  • Human Nature (band), an Australian vocal group
  • "Human Nature" (Michael Jackson song), 1983
  • "Human Nature" (Madonna song), 1994
  • Human Nature (Gary Clail song), a 1991 top 10 British dance hit by Gary Clail, remixed by Paul Oakenfold
  • "Human Nature", a song by Adema
  • Human Nature (America album), 1998
  • Human Nature (Human Nature album), 2000
  • Human Nature (Harem Scarem album), 2006

Film, television and related media

  • Human Nature (film), a 2001 comedy starring Patricia Arquette, Rhys Ifans and Tim Robbins
  • Human Nature (Doctor Who novel), a 1995 Doctor Who novel by Paul Cornell
  • "Human Nature" (Doctor Who episode), a 2007 Doctor Who episode by Paul Cornell based on the novel

Print media

  • Human Nature (journal), an academic journal published by Springer Science+Business Media

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