As usual, Darcy beat me to the punch with his remembrance.
I had Thriller, Bad and Dangerous on cassettes when I was a kid. I don't really remember why I bought them - I think they were just cool albums to have in the late 80s and early 90s, before MJ became dogged by child molestation allegations, melting faces, financial ruin and all-around craziness. It was only in my final year of high school, when a bass player I knew bought all the reissued CDs and played them in his car, that I grasped the depth of what was going on in the production of those albums. YouTube is a treasure trove of live and rehearsal footage, a testament to his skills as a bandleader. As an interpreter, Darcy's got a great version posted, and he obviously makes Rod Temperton's songs his own on Off the Wall.
If you want to talk about rhythmic integrity, MJ is a classic case. Many have written and talkedf about his immense groove and pocket, beatboxing and singing with precision. It's a real shame that James Brown is gone, and his heir (at least in the footwork department) is gone now too. I wonder if there's someone who can galvanize pop culture the way MJ did, even in his lesser moments.