Song of the Day 10/31

Posted: October 31, 2011 in J.C. Personal
Tags: ,

Okay, I didn’t hear this one on the way in, but this song always reminds me of Halloween. The song wouldn’t have been what it was without the video. This video is the most influential video ever, the only music video to be inducted into the National Film Registry, the most successful video of all time, selling over 9 million units. Of course, the video is Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

I was 7 when this came out and my sister was 15. She loved Jackson and would play the video constantly. Between my sister and MTV, this may be the piece of film I have seen more than any other and if you know how many times I’ve seen Clerks, that’s saying something.

There is too much to say about Thriller the album, its sales and awards. I will note that “Thriller” peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 when it was released. Upon Jackson’s death, “Thriller” re-charted and reached number 2. It stayed on the charts for three consecutive weeks.

The iconic video was directed by John Landis whose previous works had been Twilight Zone: The Movie and Trading Places. In 2009, Landis sued Jackson as did female star of the video, Ola Ray, claiming that they were owed years of royalties from the video. Jackson died less than two months later.

Rick Baker, the only person is SFX I admire nearly as much as Greg Nicotero, provided the effects on the video shoot. Baker is known for effects in such films as Star Wars IV: A New Hope, An American Werewolf in London, Men in Black and Hellboy.

I would say that “Thriller” along with Night of the Living Dead is responsible for my present day love of zombies. I am a bit of a zombie enthusiast, a quick look around my house or desk will show that. While most zombies I encounter in media today do not dance (unless they have electricity running through them, see Masters of Horror: Dance of the Dead) the zombies in the “Thriller” video performed what is possibly the most well-known choreographed sequence on film.

For me, as a child, the scariest parts of “Thriller” were the warecat that Michael turns into at the beginning and the slow zombie walk, when they are amassing for the dance, with Vincent Price’s voice over. I can still remember “Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood, to terrorize your neighborhood.”

I know it’s a video and maybe not as informative as normal, but I want to keep this to a manageable length. Plus it’s Halloween, so it was either this, Alice Cooper or “The Monster Mash”.

Happy Halloween to all, I hope it’s as frightening as you want it to be.

See ya on the “b” side.


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