“Morning Glow” by Michael Jackson

This song was originally from the Stephen Schwartz-Bob Fosse musical Pippin, and was later recorded by Michael Jackson during his Motown days. Like most of the songs in Pippin, it was presented ironically in the context of the musical’s plot, but detached from the musical, it comes off as simply a soaring, upbeat pop anthem. And while it failed to do much on the charts, I suspect it forms the model for several later Jackson songs with very similar musical sounds and subject matter…namely, his famous series of so-called ‘Save the World songs’. This means “We Are the World”, “Man In the Mirror” and “Heal the World” all probably owe their existence to a show tune…a reminder that the various fields of music are more interconnected than their devotees often realize, and that you can’t completely separate Broadway’s influence even from Rock-era popular music.

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