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5 of Michael Jackson's Best Music Videos

The King of Pop

By Abdullah MasoodPublished 6 years ago 4 min read
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I've always been a fan of MJ. Ever since I was a little kid, my dad used to play the songs on the radio, his old CD/casette player, or some other place. But what truly brings a person to love Michael Jackson is not just the quality of his songs but the quality of his music videos. Steve Huey of AllMusic said he was the one that brought music video into an art form and I'm inclined to agree. Here are five of a roundup of what I consider his best works. Enjoy:

This is the song that defined a generation. "Billie Jean" is a about a guy whose girlfriend says he got him pregnant but he says that he's not the father. It was the best single of 1983, won two Grammys, and was 58 in Rolling Stone magazine's best 500 songs. It was his sixth album, the now legendary Thriller. But what I want you to look at is the video itself. It has an almost noir look with just the right amount of haziness and color. It was the first music video to be aired by a black artist in color on MTV and put MTV on the map. Interestingly enough, in a fit of racism, MTV initially refused to air it since Jackson was black...

It's kind of bad that I'm writing about the same song again, but this is a tribute to the enduring legacy of MJ. Jackson's first live tv performance of "Billie Jean" was Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. The special was recorded in 1983. The show was lip synced interestingly enough, and this was the first performance of the moonwalk we are all so familiar of. This can probably said to be the pinnacle of Jackson's career and the defining moment for 80s music culture. Nearly 50 million people watched it. It is interesting to note that this performance would later define many of Jackson's iconic concerts, whether it be the moonwalk, the outrageously loud and gaudy costumes, or the phenomenal singing performances. It has been featured in films, DVDs and video releases, a testament to the enduring legacy of it.

You can't do a Michael Jackson list without "Smooth Criminal." There are actually four versions of it, an original from his movie, a movie edit, an album version, and a single version. I personally enjoy the Moonwalker complete one better as the rest are basically just edits. There is a 1950s crime boss type feel to this movie and Michael is great with his moves. Fast, lean, and cool with his white suit and choreographed moves, this is the beat to follow. This was also the first of us seeing the forward lean, a procedure Michael achieved with wires and strings. He later patented said procedure. Also it was so popular, it was performed live on all his live tours. Others such as Usher and other artists have copied this style, but the king remains the king.

This music video begins with Macaulay Culkin (yes the same kid from Home Alone). It involves stunning imagery, famous artists such as Tyra Banks, various different dance forms and visual arts, and the story is a strong comment on racism and ethnic biases. It was also very controversial, with Jackson transforming into a Black panther, sexual imagery, and violence. Therefore an alternate version was produced with much more stark racist messages to allow for a better understanding of all the violence and with the last four minutes of the video removed. Controversial or not, this is surely a clip to see.

This was quite a long music video, but was groundbreaking. It featured Eddie Murphy and Magic Johnson, of all people. It was one of the longest ever made and featured groundbreaking visual effects. The story is in ancient Egypt at the time of the pharaohs and Jackson is the court wizard. The gold is on display and lavish here. I am curious whether there ever was a pharaoh as sassy as Murphy though. Special effects were crazy good and the lyrics of the scandalous time the pharaoh's wife and Jackson spent together will make you laugh and enjoy it all the more.

80s music

About the Creator

Abdullah Masood

Hi I'm a young guy looking to write on stuff I find interesting and fun so hello and enjoy!

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