Thriller always gets all the props, but in many ways, the Beat It video (above) was Michael Jackson’s masterpiece — a gritty little drama with the classic Michael look and moves. You can look at this and see where a clip like the mini-movie of Thriller came from.
Last night, I wrote about how time has not been kind to Jackson’s public image and many young people today are probably mystified as to why there’s so much fuss about the gloved one.
The thing is, his legacy is a matter of multimedia history: the videos, the albums, even a few film appearances. Beat It is the first video I would send people to. And as iconic and historic as Thriller was, I’m one of many who would call the Off the Wall album that preceeded Thriller Michael’s best. It was the coming-of-age album for the former child star, and bash disco if you want, but Jackson did it as well as anyone.
Fortunately, he didn’t pursue film with as much verve as other pop icons. But even there, The Wiz features a nice little performance by Jackson, and it was one of the keys to launching his career.
Those are a few of my favorites, evidence of his greatness. What are some of yours? Comment below and share.