So without further ado, tonight's featured artist is: Michael Jackson
We'll start with the videos (which I have provided YouTube links to below). Remember these are my favorites in order, so I don't expect anyone to agree entirely.
#6. Speed Demon. Although not the most popular of his songs, this video, was quirky, funny and blended claymation with the craziness that was MJ-fever in the late 1980s. Amazing pop-culture tie ins from that same time period with notable appearances by the "Noid" and Pee-Wee Herman.
Speed Demon video (LONG version)
#5. Thriller. I guarantee many will disagree with this, but you are lucky it made this list at all! I hated this video growing up because it gave me nightmares! Why my parents ever let me watch it at such an impressionable age is beyond me! But it deserves some props because it was truly THE predecessor to all great videos to come from any artist ever! MJ took the music video and turned it into an event!
Thriller video (NOT the full length one)
#4. Remember The Time. Also a great song, this video featured an amazing all-star cast and continued to be way ahead of its time in terms of visual appeal ... except of course for the fact that MJ was no longer black and his facial features were becoming more odd.
Remember the Time video
#3. Black or White. Once again drawing on a cast of colorful and popular characters, this video (and that ridiculously catchy guitar riff) will always be one of my favorites of all time. What kid versus parent battle hasn't included loud music, but the message of the video was much more meaningful than that. This was also the first time I recall seeing CGI used to morph one person into the next person. Soooo cool!
Black or White video
#2. Billie Jean. A true classic. I don't have any idea if this was his very first music video, but the use of light and shadows to tell the story of this song caught my eye the first time I saw it and still captivates me to this day. I always wanted to have a street to walk on like that ... step, LIGHT-UP ... step, LIGHT-UP.
Billie Jean video
#1. Smooth Criminal. I call it like I see it and NOTHING has made me say "Whoa!" like the dance scene in this video, which climaxes with an impossible dance lean that still mystifies me. Of course we know how it was done, but it still impresses visually and I think that has to be one of the hardest positions to hold amidst all that high energy dancing. Just ... wow! Plus in the extended movie version he saves the kids and that's important after shooting guns and dancing with hookers.
Smooth Criminal video
And in short order, since this is already a time-consuming blog post,
here are my favorite MJ songs:
#6. Black or White
#5. I Just Can't Stop Loving You
#4. Will You Be There
#3. The Way You Make Me Feel
#2. You Are Not Alone
And what I believe to be the BEST Michael Jackson song ever ...
#1. Human NatureThe melody is simple, the words are poetic, the message is not too deep ... but ultimately what makes this my absolute favorite MJ song is that it NEVER gets old! I can seriously listen to it 100 times in a row and I still get a little excited when it starts over again. Super fun to sing along with too!
Human Nature compilation video
Hope you enjoyed this not-so-brief tribute to the amazing talent
that was Michael Jackson. Feel free to comment on what you
think I missed or just plain got wrong! :)