Michael Jackson is known as the King of Pop and the honour doesn’t come easy. The late music icon was the entire package – he had the moves, he had the voice, he had the charisma and then some more. A major part of his legacy are his path-breaking videos that created a connect with his audience. Back in those days, a Michael Jackson music video was released with as much fanfare as a big-budget film. On his birth anniversary today, we list 5 of MJ’s most famous videos and what made them so. Take a look.
We Are The World (1985)
The world loves talented people, especially those who use their talent to do some good. Michael Jackson did just that with his We Are The World video. This was a song written by Jackson and Lionel Richie, and brought together the who’s who of the Hollywood music scene for the ‘USA (United Support of Artists) For Africa’ programme. The song was released on March 7, 1985 and was critically acclaimed and commercially successful.
Black Or White (1991)
It was brave new world and MJ was becoming an icon for a whole new generation. The video made it to the news even before its release because of the technology it used to morph faces. It also sparked a controversy because of the racial imagery at the end of the song. But most of all, Black Or White was one of the first and few music videos to openly talk about racial discrimination.
Earth Song (1995)
If Jackson targeted racial discrimination with Black Or White, he spoke about a range of issues like global warming, environmental abuse and animal cruelty with another video with high production values – Earth Song. The critical consensus on this song was mixed. Some called it same ol’ Michael trope while others lauded it.
One of the first times that a music video told a story just like a movie did. Thriller is one of MJ’s most recognised works and many were inspired by the video. Even for the ones who aren’t musically inclined, Thriller works as a fun story of a boy and his girlfriend. One of the most unique videos, the actual song-and-dance starts at 4 minutes in this 13-minute plus video. This video is one of the most memorable in the music icon’s inventory.
In The Closet (1991)
This could well be the casting coup of the decade, only it wasn’t a movie. Naomi Campbell was the reigning supermodel in the nineties. This was only Campbell’s 4th music video appearance out of 8. The chemistry between Jackson and Campbell in the song was out of the stratosphere. Everything about this video was perfect – the aesthetics, the sensuality and MJ’s timeless voice.
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