Every note of every chord, harmony, melody, bass and even the rhythm through beat-boxing.
Contrary to received wisdom, he could play instruments a bit – he’s credited as playing keyboard, synthesizer, guitar, drums and percussion on ‘HIStory’ – but none proficiently.
He didn’t have any formal composition training, though one could say he was trained harder than any other performer by his father.
But just as Mozart could hear whole symphonies in his head, Jackson fully realised his songs before they were put down on paper.
“I’ll just sing the bass part into the tape recorder,” he said between snips of sung melody, totally pitch perfect.
As anyone who’s tried to write a song will know, it’s pretty damn hard, even if you have some grasp of chords.
That he managed so amazingly without only adds to the sense that what MJ had was a special, special gift. »