80s, Blog, Music, Music Video Mondays — May 19, 2014 10:13 am

Music Video Monday: Michael Jackson

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With the release of a new album last week and an appearance of a hologram over the weekend, it seemed appropriate to kick-off Monday morning with a round of Michael Jackson music videos.  Let’s face it, you heard “Billie Jean” at two weddings this weekend and you still aren’t tired of it.

“Leave Me Alone” doesn’t get as much radio play as other hits from Jackson, but it’s a catchy tune and arguably his most visually interesting video. It was directed by Jim Blashfield who would later direct “Pancreas” for “Weird Al” Yankovic. Many stories were circulating about Jackson’s eccentric lifestyle and he was completely aware of his public perception. This song was written as a metaphorical middle-finger to the tabloids.

 

 

Deeper into the Michael Jackson catalog is a track titled “Liberian Girl”. You haven’t heard this one. And you still won’t after watching the music video. The song takes second seat to the premise of the video, in which celebrities ranging from Olivia Newton-John to Steven Spielberg to (again with a reference today) “Weird Al” hang around waiting for MJ to arrive.  David Spade was cut out from the final video at Jackson’s request.  I don’t want to spoil the video, but my research indicates it wasn’t totally staged.


Finally, here is “Thriller”.  The song has been issued in various edits and lengths since its initial release, but the definitive album cut is 5:57 long.  The music video, on the other hand, is a 13:42 short film.  Get your popcorn out and be prepared to see the thrilling story of how Michael Jackson became a platinum-selling zombie in 1983.  Before you do, take into consideration that the song was originally “Starlight!  Starlight sun…”  Not quite the same ring to it.  That Vincent Price narration really brings the song home and he nailed the performance in only two takes!

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