SoulBounce’s Top 50 Michael Jackson Songs: #9 ‘Butterflies’

I just wanna touch and kiss
And I wish that I could be with you tonight
Cause you give me butterflies


It is really unfortunate that Michael Jackson's tenth--and who knew or could fathom that it would be his last--solo album, 2001's Invincible, didn't receive the critical acclaim nor commercial success of his previous releases. Was it on the same level as Off the Wall or Thriller? No, but it had some solid material that had hit potential if the record company had just given the album more of a push. (Certainly the kind of push that a freaking Michael Jackson album warranted.) One such song the deserved to be a bigger hit than it was is MJ's "Butterflies," which was far and away the best song that he released in the twilight of his career.

Written by Marsha Ambrosius and Andre Harris (of Dre & Vidal fame), this was Michael dipping his toe into neo-soul waters and making quite a splash. With "Butterflies," Ambrosius and Harris gave Mike the kind of soulful tune that he grew up singing and we grew up loving before he became the larger-than-life King of Pop. Jackson brought this song about unrequited desire to life. Mike rode the laid-back groove; keeping his vocals in the pocket and bringing his signature swagger to his vocal performance. His version totally eclipsed Floetry's take on this song. Nice try, ladies, but Mike got this.

Michael Jackson: "Butterflies"

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14 Responses

  1. i hope i see baby be mine in this countdown. although the chances r pretty slim now.

  2. Bravo! I love this song, it really deserves to be here, thank you so much for acknowledging it!

  3. "Invincible" is, in my opinion, his most diverse, multi-layered, multidimensional masterpiece. Who can listen to this song and not feel butterflies, even if you're not in love at the moment? Yet again, he puts the feeling of the song in me and transforms me for 4:40 minutes.

  4. Invincible was filled with hits. Unbreakable (which should have been the 1st release), Butterflies, Break of Dawn, 2000 Watts, You Are My Life, Threatened, Whatever Happened, You Rock My World, Invincible, Heartbreaker, Heaven Can Wait and Cry are my favorites from the album (I know, I should have just said the entire album). It wasn't better then Off The Wall and Thriller but it had more then just solid material. I consider it another MJ classic. People are now discovering how great it was after his death. I wore that CD out! How often can you buy a CD and like 12 out of 16 songs? Especially in 2001?
    Love the demo and MJ's version. This song is so mellow but sexy at the same time. Had that kind of innocence that MJ always brought to his love songs.
    Makes you want to fall in love

  5. Avatar

    Modern classic, Marsh Ambrosius should be very proud. Now if she sticks to this type of writing and not that I Hope she Cheats nonsens

  6. For the MJ lovers out there, please don't forget Speechless from the Invincible album. I believe it was written with his children in mind--it is absolutely beautiful. It begins with his voice, he sings of grace and love, it builds to such a wonderful crescendo of sound, then back to his voice. There is a short clip of him singing it acapella in This Is It. I wept the first time I heard it.
    Invincible was a treasure trove of great music.

  7. !!!!!! My #3 !!!!!!!! I was worried that I was the only one who liked it and it didn't make the list at all and then I would have to question SB's taste in music = ) This came out my freshman year in college and it got heavy use on the late night dorm room playlist. I played this song at least 100 times in the weeks after he passed.

  8. this is true...MJ you gave us butterflies every time!!! Invincible album is underrated ...its really a great album.

  9. This is in the top 10 of my all time favorite MJ songs. Now I'm an old school Mike fanatic, but this is a wicked song-top to bottom. Its funny that his version while song with the same lyrics and almost the same nuance as the Floetry original. However, the genius of Michael is that his version has sweet almost first time kiss of new romance, while Floetry's version has a more intimant sexual charge to it. My daughter who was I think 14 when she caught wind to Mike version and it imediately became her favorite MJ cut, but I am hesitant to let her hear the Floetry version because it really has the sexual overtones.

  10. Another one of those heavenly tracks by MJ. Like floating on a cloud...

  11. The last great Michael Jackson song in my opinion, big shot out to Marsha Ambrosius for writing this joint....................

  12. I love butterfleis,invincible wasn't bad album and it sold alot too but people wanna sleep on it because it was thriller like sales but who can replicate that?

  13. Have to confess that your MJ list overall has been a letdown. The most obvious choices made the top 20, and more of his interesting singles padded the bottom half of the list. Plus there is the aspect of including work from J5/The Jacksons, when yes he is a member of the group, but it is an MJ list, no a J5/Jacksons list, both MJ and his bro's could have their on separate Top 50 lists compiled.
    So many albums tracks not touched on such as "Streetwalker," "Someone Put Your Hand Out," "Get on the Floor," "Heartbreaker," "She Drives Me Wild," "HIStory," et al.
    That said, THIS entry is definitely one that deserves its rank as it is one of MJ's finest vocal hours and overall, the mood is just beautiful.
    Respect always, as this is SB's list, but outside of "Butterflies," your list has been a bit predictable in its rankings and selections.-QH