VH1’s 40 Greatest Michael Jackson Songs List Isn’t Bad

Idolator Staff | November 6, 2011 4:05 pm

Michael Jackson was not immortal, no matter what Cirque Du Soleil might have you believe. His music, on the other hand, will last forever, and the art of pop is already far better for the influence that Jackson wielded during an historic 40-year career. With an airing of This Is It this week, VH1 decided to rank Jackson’s 40 greatest songs, starting with the blaring “Torture” (off the Jacksons’ 1984 Victory album) at #40. Beat it below to see which MJ song came out on top.

VH1’s list includes but one of the ten best forgotten Michael Jackson songs we excavated last year to mark the one-year anniversary of his death (that would be “Jam”, off 1991’s dark classic Dangerous).

Beyond that, it includes most of what you’d expect to see. Nine of VH1’s top ten Jackson songs were produced by Quincy Jones (though VH1’s top choice diverges from the #1 on Time magazine’s list of Jackson’s best songs, as well as AOL’s list. But hey, maybe this debate doesn’t come down to black or white. We’ve listed the top 20 below.

20. “Man In The Mirror” 19. “Scream” (feat. Janet Jackson) 18. “The Love You Save” 17. “Bad” 16. “The Girl Is Mine” (feat. Paul McCartney) 15. “Black Or White” 14. “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” 13. “Smooth Criminal” 12. “ABC” 11. “I Want You Back” 10. “Thriller” 9. “Dirty Diana” 8. “Human Nature” 7. “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” 6. “I’ll Be There” 5. “Beat It” 4. “The Way You Make Me Feel” 3. “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” 2. “Rock With You” 1. “Billie Jean”

You can always visit VH1 for the full list. Let us know if you agree on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.