I know I was shocked just as much as anyone when Michael Jackson died. It’s that cliche situation where you knew exactly where you were and what you where doing when you heard the news about his passing. It’s an indent in history when your whole world stops for just a moment and you are glued to the TV for literally hours. There are only a handful of people who are so culturally influential that everything changes when they are gone. I can’t think of many people who can pull off being so famous and infamous in one lifetime. We literally watched Michael grow up, get acne, hear his voice change, and see the progression of his surgically altered face. It seemed like it didn’t matter how creepy or weird Michael got, to us he was always that cute kid on the screen. Even though his songs dealt with adult subject matter he had us convinced he knew what he was singing about. It never seemed to matter what he got himself into or how deteriorated his face got, our hearts were stolen the minute he walked into our lives. We will surely miss Michael and what he brought to our world.
When I was a kid I would dance on the coffee table desperately trying to keep up with Michael. I would stare at his feet and try to do what he did. I also remember doing the moonwalk across our kitchen linoleum in my socks. Michael not only dominated, he literally changed everything when it came to music. Every single artist who has ever made a music video needs to thank Michael for paving the way. Back in the early 80’s no one was dancing like Michael. Today you see every Hip Hop and R&B artist incorporating urban-style choreographed gang dancing in their live shows. In almost west side story style. No one was doing that before Michael.
I don’t know if Michael was into Broadway or not, but I see a lot of Broadway influences in these videos. Not only was he a great dancer, but he scared the hell out of me when he turned into a zombie. Horrifically prophetic.
I think what helped Thriller be the greatest album of all time was how well it was marketed. The first single, “The Girl Is Mine” (guest appearance by Paul McCartney) was released a few months before the album, and the album was appropriately released a few days before Halloween. Not to mention every single was released with a short film which was on regular circulation on MTV. Huge exposure. Pure Genius.. Its my opinion the album alone wouldn’t have been as big with out these aspects. The album was more than big. It is the most influential and the best marketed and produced piece of material that we have ever seen. Oh, and winning eight Grammys in one night probably didn’t hurt either.
We will miss you Michael.. thanks for the music..