SoulBounce’s Top 50 Michael Jackson Songs: #1 ‘Rock With You’

And when the groove is dead and gone
You know that love survives
So we can rock forever on


Words, as copious as they are in our lives, often prove to be futile in the most necessary of times. Consider where you were when you first heard that Michael Jackson had passed. Despite the fact that the air seemed as though it was suddenly in short supply in whatever room you happened to be in, there just weren't any words that came to mind to adequately explain how you truly felt. Similarly, I don't think any of the editors at SoulBounce were prepared for the finality of this, our Top 50 Michael Jackson Songs Countdown.

Nevertheless, we are here. And after much debate and consternation, we present to you the number one song on our countdown: "Rock With You." Is this not your top pick? Or is this truly your favorite Michael Jackson song of all time? No matter. Take a listen to it. Press play on that video below. That warm and fuzzy feeling you just got? Yup. We feel that same way, too.

Not only does this Rod Temperton-penned classic have the distinction of being one of the first number one songs of the '80s, but the somewhat laughable laser effects that were so de rigeur in 1980 have become quite comforting. Don't believe me? Ask Q-Tip and Redman about their homages to this video in the past couple of years alone. Speaking of homages, this song has been remade by Brandy, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson and has even been reimagined as a Japanese house music track. Sister Janet's "Rock Wit U," however, does not have the distinction of being a remake of her brother's song, but we all know that this was a hat-tip to her brother's masterpiece. 

Music may be the opiate of the masses. When it came to Michael, this may have certainly been the case. So many of his songs have been pleading odes to harmony and peace just for once. "Rock With You" may have been Michael's attempt to want to hold us close individually and just rock us in the groove, around the groove and over the groove.

These words seem even more futile as this entry comes to a close. Luckily, what will never be futile are the legacy and memories that Michael left within us all. Even when the groove is dead and gone. 

Michael Jackson: "Rock With You"

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18 Responses

  1. I knew this would be number one.
    The lasers, the sequence outfit and the dry ice smoke were so cool to me as kid. Still is. The closest thing to this was Earth, Wind and Fire. It was funky fresh. Had kids begging for the Jheri curl and his albums.
    As sad as I am to see this count down end, I know all good things do and I had the pleasure of reminiscing with SoulBounce on my favorite childhood memories that I thought died last year.
    Thank you SoulBounce for making me see those memories will always live forever.
    Again...Happy Birthday Michael Jackson....your music will live for ever with me.

  2. Even with the preview option, I still mess up!!
    Please forgive my grammatical mistakes on this, past and future post.
    (my disclaimer)

  3. My girlfriend is a a colossal MJ fan (our love was cemented when i found out she still had moonwalker on vhs) and this is her absolute favorite song by MJ. It is timeless, it's feel good, and the video was cutting edge, making this a perfect number one for a list celebrating such a multi-faceted person. We all know that it was difficult to break his career down into 50 songs, but I hope that someone out there was introduced to some new music through this list and is open to falling in love with this treasure all over again. Thanks again Soulbounce and Happy Birthday MJ!!!!

  4. my favorite video of michael. no choreo, just pretty blue and green lights, his glittery outfit and sparkling smile that filled your heart with joy

  5. Yeah, it just feels good to have this at no.1. It does.
    Thanks for the ride, SoulBounce.
    Thank you for a lifetime of love, Michael......

  6. This HAD to be the number ONE song! In his entire catalogue, there's nothing that even comes close to this. It's vunerable, earnest, sincere, sexy, funky, effortless & downright groovy. If I knew the placement of no other song on the countdown, I KNEW deep within my spirit, 'Rock With You' is his number ONE shining moment in music history...EXCELSIOR!!!

  7. I'm sad to see the countdown come to end end it has been an exciting, it's really picked up my spirits because I know the groove will never be dead and gone because we will be rocking forever to Michael's music, it's timeless.
    I love you more Michael, Happy Birthday!

  8. Beautiful song, def a top favorite. He wore the heck out of that glitter suit and the boots! i want those lol this video always makes me smile.

  9. although I though this countdown was a joke after the first week or so, I cant knock this is as number 1. I just like this joint a whole lot.....................

  10. It's been a wonderful ride, SoulBounce. Love your #1. Michael, we love you more. It's all for love, L.O.V.E.

  11. Superb article and while it's not my personal number 1, it's definitely up there.

  12. Rock with you, huh? Glad to see someone has similar taste as myself. This and Heatwave's "Always and Forever" are songs that are embedded in my childhood from listening to them on the radio. This was a pretty good list, thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  13. How could there be a countdown without "Baby Be Mine?

  14. Music dosen't get any better than MJ.....and vocal performances don't get any better than "Rock With You"......I Love Ya

  15. So sad that this countdown had to come to an end...but truly, this is my FAVE MJ tune. Its my FIRST MJ tune I ever heard because I was born into the Bad/Moonwalker age. But my parents had the record, and I was obsessed with this one. Song is so smooth and the video is so 70s/80s, but it isn't cheesy at all. MJ just feels young in this song and it makes me feel so in love every time. Love U MJ!


  17. @TK: #5 was "ABC" by the Jackson 5

  18. Avatar

    I'm a MJ stan and although this song isn't in my top 10 picks i love it. I love most of his songs like 99% of them. Dirty Diana or Human Nature should've been #1
    As a kid i didn't like this video at all. I couldn't understand why he was just standing there and why he wasn't doing any of his signature moves. I had no idea this was before Thriller. I still watched it when i saw it on TV though. Even as a child, i couldn't keep my eyes off Michael. I love him and miss him soo much.