Book Review: Blood on the Dance Floor: The Creative Process of Michael Jackson

Click for a larger image of Blood on the Dance Floor: The Creative Process of Michael Jackson

by Glenda R. Taylor

    Publication Date: Nov 01, 2023
    List Price: $15.95
    Format: Paperback
    Classification: Nonfiction
    ISBN13: 9780999830987
    Imprint: Amh Publishers
    Publisher: Amh Publishers
    Parent Company: Amh Publishers

    Book Reviewed by Andrew Byrd

    Analyzing the creative process of a legendary performer like Michael Jackson is daunting. Still, Glenda R. Taylor takes the challenge head-on as she depicts a performer whose child-like curiosity and fierce tenacity for perfection made him one of the greatest musical acts of all time.

    Blood on the Dance Floor: The Creative Process of Michael Jackson details an artist who uses the world around him as a muse and channels that inspiration to create his art–-a process Michael considers divine. “No one can talk about what the creative process is. It’s created in space. It’s God’s work, not mine,” said Michael Jackson.

    Michael’s success did not simply hinge on this beautiful creative process. It was also bred from the hours upon hours of dedication to his craft. A commitment so strong that, from the outside viewer, it could sometimes outweigh his innate need for self-preservation.

    In the book, Taylor alludes to a chilling story from the perspective of Jackson’s former makeup artist, Karen Faye. Michael performed "Earth Song’’ on a flying bridge that malfunctioned and sent him flying down at a dangerous speed. He held onto the rail and continued to perform for an oblivious audience mesmerized by their idol. He fell below the stage but eventually crawled up and continued to perform despite a warning from his crew to go to the hospital. When Michael got back to his dressing room, he immediately collapsed.

    How could Michael continue to perform despite his life being in danger? His father’s voice rang in his head as the stage collapsed, saying, “DON’T DISAPPOINT THE AUDIENCE!”

    Pulling from autobiographical works, interviews, and historical retellings from siblings and mentors, Taylor conveys a well-rounded overview of Michael Jackson’s creative process as a musician, producer, performer, visual artist, and general student of life.

    Simply put, the world was Michael’s inspiration, and he soaked up its spiritual fruit to sustain his thirst for creativity and knowledge. He spent as much time watching legendary performers’ cadences and singing styles as he did watching how birds sustained themselves in flight. The whole world was Michael’s teacher, and he was a willing, dedicated, and grateful student.

    Taylor’s book is an excellent foundational text if you want to perfect your craft as an artist or another field. But it is also a beautiful portrait of an artist and human being working to balance his thirst for life and his need to be the greatest artist of all time. It begs the question: is greatness sustainable without pushing yourself to the limit? Taylor paints Michael Jackson’s creative process as an amalgamation of joy, love, pain, heartbreak, and dedication. After working on the blank canvas, her final art piece is a profound retelling.

    Read Amh Publishers’s description of Blood on the Dance Floor: The Creative Process of Michael Jackson.

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