Malo e leilei, Bula vinaka, Talofa, Kia ora, Ia orana, Aloha…
Please allow me to be slightly distracted a little… only slightly 🙂 Sooo, went to the Justin Timberlake concert the other night for his 20/20 Experience World Tour in Sydney Australia… The best concert I’ve ever been to is Kool & The Gang 2 years ago. This concert equalled it in my book. Equal best concert i’ve ever seen. What was so awesome about this gig was that not only did the show open with cousins COMMON KINGS— >>> Check out their new single, Kingdom Come + new album to be released soon!! <<<… An island band with soul/ rock/ reggae/ r&b influenced music.
Yes, Common Kings, polynesian boys (Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga) who hail from LA, USA do a killer MJ medley:
OK, now back to Justin. The show was amazing as J.T and his band the Tennessee Kids showed nothing but class throughout out the whole set, and had the whole crowd out of their seats grooving’ to his jams. The man sang, danced, joked, played guitar & piano… Showing his talent with his large array of modern classic songs, possibly showing he could well be the King of Pop of our day.
This was one of many highlights for me from the other night:
He sang Michael Jackson – Human Nature!! I mean, which islander (or any MJ fan) DOESN’T like that song?
Let’s look further into the background of this classic song…
The song was written by Steve Porcaro, 1 of 2 keyboardists from the band TOTO (a band of legendary session musicians who Quincy Jones used extensively through the 80’s is one of my all time fave bands… you know… “Africa”, Rosanna”, “Georgy Porgy”). The track was actually not one that Toto wanted to do, but Steve (Porcaro) “kept that one in his trick bag” as Steve Lukather (Toto guitarist) mentions in this video. The track was actually the final track to be chosen for the Thriller album because of it’s wonderful flavor, replacing the comparatively dated track “Carousel”. See this video from 4:12 for explanation from Toto and Quincy Jones on the making of the track Human Nature >>> QUINCY JONES & TOTO Interviews here… <<<
Here’s the original demo track Steve Porcaro made back in 1980-81 for the Thriller Album Quincy Jones was talking about in the interview above… >>>Steve Porcaro/ Toto- Human Nature Demo <<<
This track is so legendary, it has been sampled by many hip hop artists since it was released. Here some versions you may or may not have heard of before:
- Craig David sings half original MJ version, half SWV. Live acoustic version in 2010. >>> See here <<<
- Boyz II Men with their beautiful harmonies covered the track from their 2004 Throwback album- >>> See here <<<
- The song was covered on one of the episodes of Glee in 2012 – >>> See Here <<<
- Alicia Keys used the track in 2007 and changed the lyrics in the verses for an environmental cause. Beautiful version here live with band + full orchestra. SEE Alicia belt out the “why oh why” part… gimme goosebumps!– >>> See Here <<<
- Stevie Wonder paid tribute to MJ on his 2010 world tour with his band + sweet harmonica >>> See Here <<<
- Jason Nevins released the track ‘I’m In Heaven’ in 2003 sampling the song in a dance track- >>> See Here <<<
- Toto (the original band who played Human nature on Thriller album) used the track for their 2011-12 tour to which Steve Porcaro returned to the band since 1983, and as tribute to MJ. >>> See Here <<<
- Miles Davis, legendary Jazz musician and innovator, even covered this song for his 1985 ‘You’re Under Arrest’ album. He introduced the track into his live setlist until his death in the early 90’s. Check out this awesome live version with Chaka Khan live @ Montreaux 1989 >>> See Here <<<
- Taylor Henderson, Australian who won their version of The X Factor competition in 2013, used this track and also recorded it for his first album. Sweet soul/ rock version from this gifted guitarist/ singer >>> See Here <<<
These are only a few examples why this song is so amazing, it has universal appeal and you will find countless cover versions online from artists all over the world.
Vinaka Vakalevu for putting up with my little distraction here… The JT concert was amazing. And I think we can safely conclude that the song Human Nature must be a dream to play live for many artists… Time stands still when this song plays. Ahhh, the gift of music 🙂
As a gift to you, and also to keep the island vibe… here is (in my books) the BEST reggae version of the song. PLEASE enjoy! “yyeeeeeEEEEHHOOOOOOO!”