November 6th, 2010

“How Michael Jackson impacted on MTV through his music videos”

BY:Robert Shemanski

MEDST 330W THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

CODE 1471 SEC 9M3A FALL 2010 MONDAYS 9:15AM -12:05PM

INSTRUCTOR PROF. AMY HERZOG

DATE: 11/07/2010

Outline

  • Introduction
  • Michael Jackson Music and dancing and the 1980s
  • Conclusion
  • Works Cited

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Michael Jackson was an American superstar. He was born in the year 1958 on the 29th day of August in Gary, Indiana. Michael Jackson engaged in entertaining people almost throughout the whole period of his lifetime. His father was called Joe Jackson and he was a guitarist. However, at the time Joe Jackson married Katherine, he was forced to surrender the ambitions he had in music. Joe and Katherine jointly embraced the musical interests that were growing in the family. In the starting years of the 1960s, the boys in the family who were older including Jermaine, Tito, and Jackie had commenced on carrying out performance in the city. By the year 1964, Michael Jackson together with Marlon joined the group and this was the start of a long journey for Michael Jackson in his music career. The singing of Michael Jackson and the talents he had of dancing were surprisingly mature and it did not take long before he turned out to be the leading voice and center of attention of “The Jackson 5”. In the course of the 1970s, this group came out as among the black pop vocal groups that were most talented in the history of music. This group attained success in “evolving from a group like The Temptations to a disco phenomenon” (Anonymous, Biography for Michael Jackson Para 2).

            There was inevitability for Michael Jackson in Solo success and by the time it approached 1980, he had turned out to be very much popular more than the other members of the brotherly group. The sales for his records went on increasing and the climax approached at the time Thriller was released in the year 1982. This turned out to be the best-selling album more than any other album ever produced. Michael Jackson went on to venture in to films and he came to a realization that his luck lay in the music videos (Anonymous, Biography for Michael Jackson). Michael Jackson changed the way music was portrayed in music videos in 1980s and he impacted on MTV through his dancing as well as his singing.  

Michael Jackson Music and dancing in the 1980s

            The 1980s were the climax of the fame of Michael Jackson as well as his commercial success. His great advancement as a solo artist approached at a time he released “Off The Wall”. He co-produced this with Quincy Jones. The release of this album was carried out in the year 1979 and the success of this album was exceptional. According to Anonymous (Michael Jackson Thriller and MTV years) “the album spawned four US top hits on the charts, a first for any US album, and best male R&B Vocal performance. It practically made the name Michael Jackson a household name” (Para 1).

            However, Michael Jackson was not satisfied with this achievement. He had believed himself as being a perfectionist and those people who actually knew him agreed to his belief. The success of this album was beyond any person’s expectations but this did not impress Michael Jackson. He had a deep feeling within him that this album was supposed to have obtained “Record of the Year” and he was disturbed by a feeling that there would be no featuring of blacks on covers. Since he strongly believed that he could do better than this, he actually did better later in time.

          Once again, Michael Jackson collaborated with Quincy Jones to produce “Thriller”. They made a budget of over 750, 000 US dollars and they were able to produce more than three hundred songs and they in turn cut this number of songs to nine. Deep within himself, Michael Jackson had a very strong determination to produce an album in which each and every song could turn out to be a hit. Michael Jackson engaged in writing four out of all the songs and these songs as well turned out to be among the songs that were quite successful. The songs that he wrote include “Bit it”, “Wanna be Startin’ somethin’”, “Billie Jean” and “The girl is mine”. The song “Billie Jean” nearly lost entry in to the album for the reason that Quincy Jones had doubts about this song being well received by people but through Michael Jackson’s insistence, the song made it on to the album.

            In the year 1982, the album “Thriller” was released by Epic Records. This was after a long session of recording. At this point, Michael Jackson became a superstar to a level that he had been looking for and he as well achieved the amount of wealth he was looking for. This new album, “Thriller”, turned out to be a number one seller in history. According to Anonymous (Michael Jackson Thriller and MTV years), “At an estimated 109 million copies sold worldwide, no album has surpassed Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and it seems likely that he will hold that record for a while” (Para 4).  Thriller is the apex of Michael Jackson’s career in several ways. However, even if Michael Jackson later in time came to produce excellent songs, the reputation he had as well as his appearance brought him troubles which he was not having at a time when “Thriller” came out.

 What caused the “Thriller” album to be so much compelling was “the maturity in Michael’s lyrics and the raw emotion his unique voice conveyed. It didn’t hurt that the music on Thriller was excellent, and that it was riding in the waves of a new generation of music lovers that appreciated R&B, dance disco, soul, and pop” (Anonymous, Michael Jackson Thriller and MTV years, Para 5). Michael Jackson engaged in blending of various genres well on the album and at the same time going on with refining the style he had from the former album “Off Te Wall”, but encompassed some thematic elements which were darker which portrayed the way he was handling the fame he had and the struggles of his own family.

            Other than the album “Thriller” being Michael Jackson’s landmark album, it was as well an album that impacted on the United States of America and the music industry in a resounding manner. Anonymous (Michael Jackson Thriller and MTV years) points out that “Thriller had a staggering seven hit singles in the Billboard Top 10, and at its peak, it was selling one million albums per week……..Thriller won Michael a recording-breaking seven Granny awards and album of the year” (Para 6).   

            More so, Thriller gave representation of a high point in equality on the basis of race. However, while it was still in its infant stage, MTV was not very much willing to play most of the music videos that had been produced by black people, just in a similar manner as Rolling stone had not had much willingness to have a star who is a black person on their magazine. In the end, MTV came to accept to engage in airing the video “Bill Jean” which is a video attributed to breaking the barrier that is there on the basis of color. Following the success that came about of Billie Jean, a long lasting partnership was set up between MTV and Michael Jackson. Before then, there was domination of MTV by videos of rock music and there had been refusal of airing videos by the black artists that were famous such as Rick James. However, the moment there was recognition of how popular the songs of Michael Jackson were as well as his videos, they inclined themselves in the direction of R&B and pop and this in turn made a way for the black artists that came up later on such as Prince and Whitney Houston to achieve publicity. 

            The videos that were produced by Michael Jackson transformed MTV from a cable channel that was struggling in a well-liked stop for watching videos of music. The videos that were greatly well-liked were “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” and the success that MTV achieved is attributed to Michael Jackson’s contribution to a great level. At a time the music video for the “Thriller” album were brought out, MTV had to engage in playing this video two times within a period of an hour in order for it to meet the demand for it. There is consideration among many people of the Thriller as being the most excellent music video that has ever been produced.

            However, as Anonymous (Michael Jackson Thriller and MTV years) points out, “but there was something special about Michael Jackson’s music videos that really contributed to the success of MTV, beyond just the catchy songs. Michael Jackson made music video a viable art form instead of a promotional stunt, incorporating special effects, storylines, dance routines, and cameo appearances in to them ” (Para 9). Whereas earlier own the videos were regarded in most cases as a way to create “buzz for the singles”, the music videos of Michael Jackson were well-like to a level that a large number of fans couldn’t engage in separating the song from the images they viewed in the videos in Thriller.       

            According to Rogers (Para 30), the effect Thriller had on the music industry as well as the music videos was immense and this came to given a definition to MTV. In the MTV special in the year 1983, Michael Jackson who was at that time 24 years of age stirred the whole country by the presentation of his Moonwalk. The Moonwalk was a kind of a dance step which brought about levitation and allusion. In this performance, Michael Jackson came to the stage wearing sequined jacket, black in color and s silver shirt. The trousers he was wearing during the presentation were black in color and he also came to stage wearing black fedora. The touch that finalized everything was one glove that was white in color which had been studded with rhinestones.

Michael Jackson’s dancing style made a combination of “the robotic moves of break-dancers, the quick silver spins and slides of James Brown and the grace of Fred Astaire, whose routines he studied” (Para 32). He was referred to by the Aging Astaire as “a Wonderful mover”. Looking at Michael Jackson’s wardrobe, this features the suits that were glittery and the uniforms that looked like those of the armed forces. These ensured matching with the single white glove that he wore that turned out to be his signature. Michael Jackson as well build up a “signature dance move” which was the “Moonwalk” (Anonymous, Michael Jackson: Pop musician, Para 1).

            Rogers (Para 33)  points out that, other than “Thriller” being the best seller and bringing so much money for Michael Jackson in the course of the year 1983, this album as well enabled Michael Jackson to turn out to be the first artist to remain at the “top four charts” in a manner that was concurrent.

According to Anonymous (Michael Jackson changes music on MTV, Para 1), Michael Jackson had an immense impact on the world of music video and especially on the Music Television (MTV). “Michael’s music videos, from the most famous to some of the lesser-known, had a variety of impacts of many fields, from race relations to global poverty to dance” (Para 1). Michael transformed the image of the music videos and served to influence a large number of artists who came thereafter. Claims were presented by a large number of people about the impact Michael Jackson made on the Music Television that this impact was that Michael Jackson brought together, in general terms, “music videos on the channel and on music television” (Anonymous, Michael Jackson changes music on MTV, Para 3)

            There is no easy way for an artist who is a black person, Michael Jackson also included, to rise above the discrimination that comes in on the basis of race. Michael Jackson had determination to turn out to be a successful artist and to instill a remarkable amount of work in to the songs he produced as well as in the dance routines that he had. In the year 1983, “he debuted his iconic dance move referred to as the moonwalk” (Para 11). Not in the same way as a thing that had earlier on been seen, this new dance move made a confirmation of the lasting power and control of Michael Jackson on popular culture.     

            It is not common to get an album to have the celebration of its 25 anniversary. However, Thriller did get this celebration with no any form of doubt. The album “Thriller” was a land mark for the whole generation. Having singles traced at top of the music charts, having videos for music frequently being presented on MTV, and having the credit for demolishing the racism barrier and paving a way for the upcoming generation of the artists that are black people, it is true to say that Michael Jackson actually went beyond any person’s expectation about him. The exceptional prosperity he obtained from the album “Thriller” remains to resound in popular culture. More so, the iconic dances of Michael Jackson as well as his vocals together with genres blending go on serving as an inspiration to the upcoming artists and they as well serve to enthrall the audiences all over the world.  

Conclusion

The videos that were produced by Michael Jackson transformed MTV from a cable channel that was struggling in a well-liked stop for watching videos of music. The videos that were greatly well-liked were “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” and the success that MTV achieved is attributed to Michael Jackson’s contribution to a great level. At a time the music video for the “Thriller” album were brought out, MTV had to engage in playing this video two times within a period of an hour in order for it to meet the demand for it. There is consideration among many people of the Thriller as being the most excellent music video that has ever been produced.

            There was a thing which was special about the music videos of Michael Jackson’s that actually made a contribution towards the success of MTV, other than just having the songs that are popular. The special thing is that Michael Jackson made music video a practical art form rather than a promotional feat, bringing in “special effects, storylines, dance routines, and cameo appearances in to them ” (Anonymous, Michael Jackson Thriller and MTV years, Para 9). Whereas earlier own the videos were regarded in most cases as a way to create “buzz for the singles”, the music videos of Michael Jackson were well-like to a level that a large number of fans couldn’t engage in separating the song from the images they viewed in the videos in Thriller.

            The effect Thriller had on the music industry as well as the music videos was immense and this came to give a definition to MTV. In the MTV special in the year 1983, Michael Jackson who was at that time 24 years of age stirred the whole country by the presentation of his Moonwalk. The Moonwalk was a kind of a dance step which brought about levitation and allusion. In this performance, Michael Jackson came to the stage wearing sequined jacket, black in color and s silver shirt. The trousers he was wearing during the presentation were black in color and he also came to stage wearing black fedora. The touch that finalized everything was one glove that was white in color which had been studded with rhinestones   

            In conclusion, having singles traced at top of the music charts, having videos for music frequently being presented on MTV, and having the credit for demolishing the racism barrier and paving a way for the upcoming generation of the artists that are black people, it is true to say that Michael Jackson actually went beyond any person’s expectation about him. The exceptional prosperity he obtained from the album “Thriller” remains to resound in popular culture. More so, the iconic dances of Michael Jackson as well as his vocals together with genres blending go on serving as an inspiration to the upcoming artists and they as well serve to enthrall the audiences all over the world.  

Works Cited

Anonymous, Biography for Michael Jackson, 2010. Web. 5 November 2010,

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001391/bio 

Anonymous, Michael Jackson changes music on MTV. Web. 6 November 2010

http://www.michaellives.com/michael-jackson-becomes-the-king-of-pop/michael-jackson-changes-music-on-mtv/

Anonymous, Michael Jackson: Pop musician, 2010. Web. 5 November 2010

http://www.answers.com/topic/michael-jackson

Anonymous, Michael Jackson Thriller and MTV years. Web. 5 November 2010,

http://www.popstarcollector.com/Michael-Jackson-Thriller-MTV-Years

Rogers, Waller Lisa, Michael Jackson: The whole story. 28 June, 2009. Web. 5 November 2010.

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