Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Video of the Fortnight - Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

Poor old Michael Jackson. He comes in for a lot of flack these days. His musical output has dwindled and the little that he has produced in the last few years hasn't exactly been brilliant. And physically he's not looking .... great. He's also been the butt of several million child-molestation jokes. Which ahem, I'm ashamed to say I have actually found screamingly funny, so much so that I posted some of them on this blog.

Anyway. Back in the early 1980s MJ was riding on the crest of the musical wave. And he was still looking relatively normal, rather handsome in fact. "Off The Wall" and "Thriller" are actually two of my favourite albums and certainly illustrate Michael at his best, when he was working with producer Quincy Jones.

"Billie Jean" still sounds brilliant - it's funky, danceable and soulful with a great beat. Simple but elegant. And the accompanying video is a blast.

I love the look to this video - the "city" set/backdrop at night. There's obviously matte paintings in the background but I like the atmosphere and vibe that the set evokes - Michael dancing on the fringes of the city, at night time.

And who is Michael in this video? Someone with supernatural powers who can turn tramps into rich, well-dressed gentlemen! How useful! Someone who can disappear into thin air at will, to the consternation of the detective who's stalking him! And I wish I could make the pavement light up like that, truly awesome! Anyway all of these effects lend an air of magic to the video that I really like.

Michael himself is looking pretty good - back in the days when his skin was still, erm, brown, and is wearing quite a camp little outfit! Pink shirt and matching socks and Fred Astaire type shoes eh? But he still manages to pull it all off, stylish fella that he is!

As for the storyline, I haven't the foggiest what's going on. The lyrics don't quite match with the video. But never mind, that's what 80s videos were often about.

3 Comments:

  • At 4:29 am , Blogger Salty Sailor said...

    Off The Wall is pure genius. I'm kinda mad at the guy for screwing everything up so much. I utterly love his music but he's made it politically incorrect for me to say so. Have you heard "Butterflies" off his last album?

     
  • At 9:34 am , Blogger Steve said...

    I agree. Off The Wall is a class album - I find it really uplifting and beautiful; perfect summer listening. I used to be a huge MJ fan but bailed out after the godawful BAD. Weird Al's version of the BAD video was a real hoot though!

     
  • At 1:12 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    I agree with both of you - Off The Wall is da biz!!

    No Salty, there's nowt wrong with liking MJ's music, PC or not, so there! A lot of his stuff is excellent although the latter material did deteriorate in quality I think. No I haven't heard that track, what's it like?

    Steve - I actually like BAD, in a p*ss-take kind of way! The video is absolutely hilarious with MJ trying to come over all macho in a New Yoooik subway. Who's baaaaad? Oh yes, Weird Al's "take" was "I'm fat" wasn't it? Mmmm...

     

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