Counting down the best Michael Jackson videos, 10-1 just didn’t seem right because there are so many that are great, it was just too hard. Instead here is a list of the best 10 videos given in no particular order.
Missing from this list is Thriller. WHY; when it’s the best right? Exactly, it is well known that Thriller is MJ’s best video and probably favorite among both. Thriller changed the way artists make music videos, but really looking at all of the King of Pop’s videos all of them have made a difference in the world of videos. Like Thriller, many flocked to their couches during the premier of each of these videos.
Bad – Bad (1987)
From the 1987 album “Bad” the video for this title track has all the elements of late 80’s hip-hop/punk culture. Martin Scorsese directed Michael Jackson and Wesley Snipes in this long form music video, where MJ actually plays the character “Daryl” who has just arrived home after a semester at a fine boarding school. Snipes and friends back home think that “Daryl” may have forgotten where he “came from” and thought that “Daryl” had lost his “gangsta” side. In this video MJ teaches not to fall into peer pressure and decides to be his own person and stands up to his friends and in a quick switch MJ and an entourage of dancers are there to let Snipes and the others know MJ was still bad and will always be bad. This video is one of Jackson’s best mostly because it is always awesome to see MJ act like a bad a** and cocky when he was really nice and humble. Like most of his videos the dancing is amazing as they dance through a subway station and MJ does some of his signature moves and other choreography. The long form video is 18 minutes long, but most people (before youtube) have rarely seen the whole video.
Remember the Time – Dangerous (1991)
With director John Singleton, Remember the Time was not only another great music video, but also a positive mark in African American culture. Eddie Murphy, Iman, and Magic Johnson all have cameos in this video which is set in the land of the pharaohs, Egypt. Eddie Murphy is the pharaoh, Iman his queen, and MJ has caused trouble catching the interest of the queen. It is very important that this video features black actors in Egypt, something that Hollywood stayed away from in the past. As nonsexual MJ appeared to live his life he came off quite sexy in this video, moving his finger in a suggestive way and kissing Iman. Put together with superstars, graphics, a fun storyline, a kiss we never saw coming, and of course dancing. Everyone remembers this video as one of MJ’s best.
Rock with You – Off the Wall (1979)
Probably one of the cheapest music videos made by the King of Pop, this video is one his best for its simplicity. Dressed in silver glitter from head to toe with a laser machine in back this video screams “disco” MJ sings Rock with You, doing a few of his signature moves. This video proves that even with a low budget, Michael Jackson is still very magical.
Scream – HIStory (1995)
This video still ranks as the most expensive to date, costing 7 million dollars. For the first time fans got to see superstar brother and sister, Michael and Janet Jackson perform together. This video is futuristic, with cool graphics, and Japanese animation. Michael and Janet play off of each other and in the video we see them have fun together.
Billie Jean- Thriller (1982)
The side walk lit up as he walked is the biggest thing people are in awe about from this video. When asked everyone usually says that this is the coolest thing they every saw even now, more than 20 years later. This video is known for breaking the racial barrier at MTV, being the first video shown from an African American artist.
Smooth Criminal-Bad (1987)
The long form version of this video can be found in the middle of Jackson’s feature length movie, Moonwalker. Set in the 1930’s, MJ is thought to be a Smooth Gangster like character who is looking for someone named, Annie, and is wondering if she is ok. Everyone’s favorite part is when he does that gravity defying lean forward, which we learned when he passed that he did that move with special shoes. MJ also uses a tommy gun in this video and causes quite a raucous.
Beat It – Thriller (1982)
Using real gang members, MJ teaches us to stop the violence with a mock gang fight that he single-handedly breaks up and then the professional dancers break into dance and still look pretty tough. After he passed the iconic jacket and t-shirt he wore in this video, along with what he wore in Thriller and a few other videos were big Halloween costumes in 2009.
Black or White – Dangerous (1991)
With more star power this video features Macaulay Culkinwho was really big at the time, but the thing that really set this video apart happened in the ending with the morphing scene where people of different races with different skin color and tone, and sex, change from one to another. MJ also shows different cultures throughout this video to prove the fact that “it don’t matter if your black or white.”
Speed Demon – Bad (1987)
This video can also be found in the feature length “Moonwalker.” The majority if the video is done primarily in clay-mation caricatures where MJ is “Spike” the bunny and throughout the video he is on the run from other clay-mation people who want autographs. Once away from these people he takes the costume off, which awakes as a real character and dances with MJ, until a cop arrives and gives a MJ a ticket for dancing. This video is pretty rare, but is pure late 80’s comedy.