#5: You Rock My World
Clocking in at over 13 minutes, another gangster related mini movie was born. And I’m ok with this. This was the first single off of Michael’s last album Invincible, while he was alive to record and release new music himself. To be quite honest this album had not been as well received as all his previous ones. But I have to say that I really enjoyed it. There are songs from that able that I adore, and that I think should be recognized more. You Rock My World, is another guy chases girl only this time Chris Tucker lends a hand brings the funny. I can count 3 jokey shout outs on Chris’ account to Michael’s previous hits….”That girl’s a pretty young thang…I don’t know I got a bad feeling about this, I think we should just beat it…this girl is dangerous.” To me this video proved that Michael still had it. Although his game could use a little work, “Hey! Come here.” Michael just because you cat call at a girl, don’t mean she’ll come running. Just Sayin’. 😉 But props for always wanting to save a “damsel in distress.” It’s all about wanting to keep her safe. Then at the 3 minute mark…something magical happens, Michael’s silhouette takes the stage and the original song is started off as an a capella. It’s a beautiful thing to hear the shuffle of his feet as he throws out each move and the snapping of his fingers. You know another legendary dance routine is about to take you over. Brace yourself for the king.
#4: Black Or White
Oh hey Macaulay Culkin….kids and their loud music. Parents just don’t understand. The guitar in this song is unbelievable and gives me goosebumps. It don’t matter if you’re black or white. It’s simple. We are all equal. That’s the message here. “I’m not gonna spend my life bein a color.” And Having been scrutinized for his ski color change, Michael set the record straight. [disclaimer: Michael was said to have bleached his skin due to a skin condition] But never the less this video is incredible and sends a great message. I love the ending where all the faces of people of all different genders, race, color, looks, shapes, sizes, change and morph into one another! Bravo Michael. Message received.
#3: Smooth Criminal
Clocking in at nearly 10 minutes, Michael delivers again. In his typical fedora and suit, only Michael Jackson could flip a coin from across the room into a jukebox and kick start a song. 😉 “Annie are you ok?” And we set off into yet another record making dance routine. The famous MJ lean (no hands ma!) What I love about Michael videos most is that every video follows a specific plot line. I’m a sucker for a gangster squad storyline. You are thrown into this world and you believe it. You are a part of it. And every disagreement, every fight, is fought through dance. And it’s a beautiful thing. Each video has coined us an epic and trademark dance move/ moves.
#2: The Way You Make Me Feel
“GO ON GIRL! ” This video is actually such a favorite of mine it just misses the #1 spot. If there was no Thriller this would be it. But then again no one wants to live in a world where Thriller doesn’t exist! Ok so let me break it down for you. Not only is this song probably my favorite Michael Jackson song…(that’s saying a lot!) but the storyline of this video is just SO GOOD. Basically it’s a guy chasing a girl. Girl passes him up and he screams “HEYY!!!” (my favorite part) You knock me off of my feet now baby, HOOOO!” and then the lion/tiger growl cues and the beat starts and Michael begins his strut and conquest of getting the girl. It is so so good, that I can’t take it. And the silhouetted dance break is badass.
Directed by John Landis. Greatest music video of all time. I love how it tells a story. It goes from a movie date to them basically living in their own movie. It breaks the barriers between reality and fantasy. The makeup is still kick ass and attests the stand of time. Those zombie dancers could easily be seen on the zombie phenomenon The Walking Dead. Even though effects and horror have come such a long way, and some may say this video is a mirrored cheap version of a mini horror movie. This video came out in the 80’s which means the cinematography, costume design, and makeup done in this were all cutting edge and broke the mold. If you ask me, I still get slight chills when watching this video or even just hearing the song, and when Vincent Price’s laughing cackle shrieks out at the end, and we see Michael turn around with those yellow cat like eyes. Ugh SO GOOD. Love this video! Your skin just crawls. It’s a video that makes you scared one second and want the dance the next. The dancing is the coolest routine I’ve ever seen and the song is just…well let’s put it this way…. This video is complete proof of why Michael Jackson is considered the greatest entertainer of all time. Thriller is the longest music video (clocking in at about 14 minutes long) which started the mini movie music video trend both for Michael and future artists.
[See Justin Timberlake’s What Goes Around…Comes Around]
*The thing about Michael’s videos is that there’s always a story. there’s always a build up. They start slow, hit you with a climax then resolve the issue at hand. So many videos these days are rubbish because it’s all big booty girls who are half naked grinding on a pole. There’s no storyline, no intrigue, no cinematic dreamery. Music is such an amazing outlet and how beautiful it is when you can see it being bright to life. The video for a music video should always match the message in the song.*
Random Bonus Video…because it’s just too good to leave out!
A haunted house gone wrong. Stephen King was involved in the story writing…which I never knew and that makes so much sense now that I think about it. In this creeper Halloween special Michael lives in an old creaky creeper mansion, and when neighbors come over to complain Michael challenges those who call him a freak. I remember watching the making of this with my family. We were all gathered around the tv and were completely amazed. It was a big special and video release, just in time for Halloween. This is a legit film short. Coming in at over a half an hour. Michael reinvents his level of creativity and the barriers he will cross to achieve it. Fun Fact: Michael plays “Michael” and the overly judgmental guy in a suit and several other characters!