The 25 Best Model Music Video Moments

Sources: Style.com | All Things Michael

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Style takes a look back at the 25 best moments in model music-video history.

Iman  in “Remember the Time” by Michael Jackson

Iman’s uncanny resemblance to Thutmose’s Nefertiti bust makes her the perfect person to portray the ancient queen in Jackson’s epic video for “Remember the Time.” The scenario is more surreal than historical, but Iman is a vision throughout the now-classic clip.

Naomi Campbell in “In the Closet” by Michael Jackson

As a former ballet student, Campbell has always utilized her dance skills within her work, but for “In the Closet” she goes toe to toe with the King of Pop, moving as only she can.

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A Retrospective Of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Will Be Featured At The 2015 Phoenix Comicon Convention

Sources: Phoenix Comicon | All Things Michael

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A retrospective look at the making of Michael Jackson’s ground breaking music video and album Thriller. Get a behind the scenes tour of the film makers, make up effects, dancers, musicians and artists responsible for creating some of the most influential music and images of all time. Stick around, immediately following will be the “Dance The Thriller Panel” to teach you all the dance moves.

Date: Friday, May 22 10:30am – 11:30am

Where: Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ

Location: West 213B

Who Will Be There: Jason Alofs

Please Note: MJ’s personal trainer and former bodybuilder Mr. Lou Ferrigno will be a featured panel guest everyday at the convention.  Check the website for more details about his schedule.

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For more event information, click here

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THE EVENT HORIZON – “SYNCLAVIER, MUSIC AND MICHAEL JACKSON” – PART 2

Sources: Headphone Guru – By Chris Currell | Thrillergirl | Edited By – All Things Michael

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The Making of the “Bad” Album

Michael’s album project was to be recorded at Westlake Recording Studios in Studio D. Westlake is located at Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, California. The day prior to officially starting the album, I had Michael’s Synclavier brought into the studio. The main tower was set up in a small room just outside the control room. The keyboard and terminal were set up in the control room. This was to be the Synclavier’s permanent home for the next 12 months. As I was setting up the Synclavier, Michael came in and we just chatted for a while. He was clearly excited that we were finally beginning to record his next album. One of the things he said during that conversation stayed with me always. He said to me, “The key to success in this business is to be humble.”

The next day, Bruce Swedien and Quincy Jones came in to the studio. I had already met Bruce but Michael introduced me to Quincy. Their demeanor was very polite but professional. I was thrilled to be working with these people. They were very top professionals in the music industry and the vibe was that we were there to make an album to top Thriller, the biggest selling album of all time! This was going to be a big task!

The Synclavier was new to Quincy. All he knew was that Michael had made his song demos on it. Bruce had a little experience on his prior movie score project for “Running Scared.” Both Bruce and Quincy had worked together many times so they already had a way of working together. Quincy’s way as a producer was to bring in combinations of various musicians and record them. Bruce’s way was to get the performance recorded as close as possible to what the musicians were playing live. The Synclaveir was about to change that idea of working.

My professional view was that I was there to operate the Synclavier and to be quiet and observe these talented people at work. For the next couple of weeks, I observed Quincy’s method of production and Bruce’s method of recording.

The main recording/production team that would work on the album nearly everyday for the next 12 months consisted of Michael Jackson (Artist, Producer), Quincy Jones (Producer), Bruce Swedien (Engineer), Craig Johnson (Second Engineer) and myself (Synclavier). Of course there were many musicians and technicians that would also be working as well. There are so many stories I could tell but there is not enough room to tell them all here, but here are a few.

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I remember one day very early on, Quincy had his favorite session keyboard player Greg Phillinganes come in to record. The approach Quincy had was to re-record the Synclavier tracks with live session musicians. Quincy told me to play the Synclavier version of the song “Smooth Criminal” for Greg. I played the song and when it was near the end of the song, Greg asked if there was anything different on the fade out. I said, “No, it just repeats.” So he said, “Ok, let’s do it!” I called up the first sound and hit go. Bruce began to record and Greg proceeded to play every single part on the song…with only one take on each of the tracks! This included all the drums and percussion, the bass, the chords…everything! Perfectly! But what really amazed me was that he had only heard the song once! I was mind boggled! No wonder he was Quincy’s first call keyboardist!

Another day, Quincy brought in bass player Louis Johnson from the Brothers Johnson to play bass on some of the tracks Greg had played. Slam’n bass!

But I soon began to notice that there was no attention being paid to synchronizing these tracks with the Synclavier. There are many reasons why the Synclavier should be in sync with these recordings. I saw a possible train wreck in the near future if this was not addressed. I decided to break my usual silence and explain to Bruce. He basically told me that they have everything under control. So I said “Ok.”

I would arrive every day at about 10:00 am and we would work until maybe 7:00 pm or later. I would then drive to Michael’s house and work until about 1:00 or 2:00 am. We would work on Saturdays at Westlake but usually take Sundays off. But on Sundays, I would go to Michael’s house and work on songs all day and late into the night. This was to be my basic schedule everyday for the next 12 months.

One interesting note, for the first two weeks of working, Bruce would comment out of the blue everyday how he and the other Synclavier operator from his previous movie project, would do such and such and how cool it was and how good a Synclavier operator he was. Talk about pressure! All I could do is acknowledge and do my best. Then one day, again for no particular reason, Bruce turned to me and said, “You know, you are a lot better than (un-named)!” I was totally surprised! Bruce never mentioned him again! Wow!

One morning, John Robinson, drummer extraordinaire and another of Quincy’s top guys brought in six of Michael’s songs that he had programmed on an Oberheim drum machine. Most drum machine parts I had heard sounded very mechanical. Not so with these tracks. They sounded amazing! The feel was great! John said “He programed them in real time and were not quantized to a click.” John said He finished just in time because he was going on tour the next day with the famous group The Band. We recorded his drum tracks from the drum machine to digital tape. That day I was just observing. The next day, Michael came in to hear the tracks. I told him they sounded great. He listened and was dancing. When we finished listening, Michael agreed, they sounded great but…the arrangements were completely wrong! John was already gone on tour so he could not redo the tracks!

Bruce was perplexed as to what to do. I said, “I can put those tracks into the Synclavier and then rearrange everything correctly.” So he said “Ok” and I did it. This is when Bruce realized the importance of being able to sync the recordings with the Synclavier. So we proceeded to redo everything that we had already done, so we would have a solid framework from which to do anything. We could replay parts, change sounds, change arrangements…anything. I could even make a breathable click track from John’s drum machine performance so as to not mess with the feel! So for a few more weeks, the Synclavier became a “Band Aid.” We re-recorded everything in order to begin at square one.

Also, early on, when live tracks were being recorded, Michael would listen and say he liked the Synclavier versions better. This happened all the time, so soon, Quincy changed his way of working and we began to use the Synclavier for everything.

So many interesting people came into the studio during the making of the album. All friends of Michael or Quincy. People such as Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor, George Lucas, etc., etc., etc. Very interesting!

After about six months of recording, Quincy decided, as a change of pace, to bring in a group of the best session players to record a ballad. I think it was the song, “I can’t stop loving you.” Everyone thought this was a good idea. As I recall, this group consisted of, among others, Greg Phillinganes (Keys Synclavier), Nathan East (Bass), N’dugu Chancler (Drums) and Paulinho da Costa (Percussion). When this group of musicians got together at Westlake, they realized that Michael was using the Synclavier. Nathan said, “So YOU’RE the reason why no one was being called.” What was interesting, these Los Angeles first call studio musicians had been aware that Michael was working on a new album but they were wondering why no one was being called to record. I was not received well by these musicians at the time because they thought I was taking away their work. What a great introduction to LA’s finest studio musicians! Yikes! Actually, I had never even considered that I was taking away work from anyone. I was just using the Synclavier as a creative tool for manifesting Michael’s musical ideas. As it turned out, Michael liked the Synclavier version of the song better…Wow!

One day, Quincy informed me that Jimmy Smith was coming in to play. Quincy decided to bring in his modified MIDI Hammond B3 for Jimmy to play. We could record his performance via MIDI into the Synclavier. We could then have the possibility to modify his performance or change the sounds after the fact. Quincy said, “Jimmy is good for only a couple of takes so make sure you capture his performance the first time.” Quincy was correct. I got his performance into the Synclavier no problem. I even sampled every note of the Hammond sound he was using after he left the studio. Later, Quincy decided to crossfade his Hammond performance with a more modern synth solo by Greg. This is what ended up on the album.

I remember when Run-DMC came to Westlake for a meeting with Michael. Quincy thought Rap music was going to be the next big thing and he wanted Michael to do a collaboration with them. After the meeting, nothing seemed to happen. Later I asked Michael how it went. It seems they were very arrogant and demanding. Wrong attitude for them! Michael thought the vibe wasn’t right. Anyway, I asked Michael what he thought about Rap music. He said, He did not like it very much. It was not musical enough for him. He liked melodies and real singing.

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Michael liked to double and triple track his vocal harmonies. Generally, Michael liked to really go for it on one set of harmonies to get the emotional impact. Then I would put those in the Synclavier and insert them in all the places in the song where those harmonies appeared. This procedure also reduced vocal fatigue from just repeating the same things multiple times…especially on repetitive out-choruses that went on for 5 minutes for dance mixes.

At one point in the project, Michael became concerned that for some reason, the songs were not sounding the same as we had originally recorded them into the Synclavier at his house. He had discussed this with Bruce but he did not seem to understand Michael’s concern. Michael liked to listen LOUD!!! When he would come into the control room at Westlake to listen to something…everyone would run out of the room as he turned up the 25,000 watt speaker system to nearly full! He wanted to “feel” the music! Quincy even joked that during the making of Thriller, the speakers actually caught fire. This was taken as a sign for a hit album! Westlake blew a tweeter while we were doing the song “Bad”!

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THESE 15 ISOLATED TRACKS FROM FAMOUS SONGS WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

Sources: LA Weekly – Matt Wake| Edited By – All Things Michael

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As any good music geek knows, YouTube is a treasure trove of isolated tracks — a single vocal or instrument lifted from a familiar song, sometimes from the master tapes, sometimes pulled out of the mix by an enterprising amateur sound engineer. It’s a fascinating, stark and entirely new context in which to hear a guitar solo, drum pattern or lead vocal that was heretofore as familiar as your couch. Sometimes the revelations are impressive. Sometimes less so.

A YouTube search for “isolated tracks” nets 35,700 results, including Sting’s “Message in a Bottle” bass, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” vocals, Notorious B.I.G.’s “Machine Gun Funk” rap and a surprising amount of Dream Theater. So curating a list of the best-ever isolated tracks is a vast and somewhat impossible task. And here goes!

Van Halen, “Somebody Get Me a Doctor” guitar

You can assemble a respectable isolated tracks best-of list from Eddie Van Halen guitar parts alone. The easy choice — which we considered — is Eddie’s wildfire solo from Michael Jackson’s 1982 number-one hit “Beat It,” perhaps The Gloved One’s greatest single of all time. But those 32 seconds are burned into the DNA of virtually everyone who’s ever heard them. Guitar geeks and otherwise will hear “Somebody Get Me a Doctor” with fresher ears. From the first three aircraft-carrier-sized chords, Eddie’s wicked tone and vastly underrated rhythm playing is at the forefront. About 0:33 in, he begins a helicopter-blade rhythm. At 1:15, EVH starts another patterned accented with volume swells, which have the effect of sounding like time is being reversed. And then Eddie literally makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up with the first licks of his solo at 1:26.

The Jackson 5, “ABC” vocals

Michael Jackson was only around 11 years old when he cut this jaw-dropping performance. Yeah, the pre-puberty thing helped hit those helium-high notes, but what made Jackson such a musical phenom was the natural, worldly feel — at least a decade beyond his years — he brought to his singing at such an early age.

Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know” vocals

This isolated vocal almost sounds better than the entire mixed 1985 track from which it’s taken, which is marred by gaudy ’80s production. Houston’s pre-debauchery upper-register sparkles like church stained glass. She reportedly sang her own background vocals on “How Will I Know,” a George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam composition originally intended for Janet Jackson, forming an all-Whitney choir. Her melisma curves without detouring into Diva City. And check out the cloud-piercing climb beginning at 2:49.

 

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There’s A Message In The Music: Memphis 2015 National Tour Lip Syncs to Michael Jackson’s ‘Black Or White’

Sources: Broadway World | All Things Michael

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There’s just one week left for the 2015 MEMPHIS National Tour, so in honor of the musical and it being the first day of May, the full tour cast, crew and band put together a music video to Michael Jackson‘s “Black Or White” to promote equality and acceptance. Check it out below!

For more information on the show’s final performances, visit www.memphistour2015.com.

The video was conceived, filmed, and edited by Chris McNiff.

 

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The Top 5 All-Time Best Lyrics Of Michael Jackson, King Of Pop

Sources: AXS – By Jack Dennis| All Things Michael

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During the 18,502 days Michael Jackson lived, he became the King of Pop as one of the greatest performers in history. Born on Aug. 29, 1958 as the eighth child of the family, Michael Joseph Jackson debuted as an artist in 1964 as part of the Jackson 5. He remained on stage and in studio sessions with brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon until his solo career started in 1971.

At the time the three biggest television moments in music history were Elvis Presley and The Beatles appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the March 25, 1983 performance at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Then Jackson performed solo for the “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” television special. When the show was broadcast on May 16, 1983, Jackson performed “Billie Jean” and introduced his classic dance, The Moonwalk, and blew fans away.

“Thriller,” his 1982 release, became the all-time biggest selling album in history. His record breaking achievements are numerous, as are his awards. These include being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two times, 26 American Music Awards (the most, including Artist of the Century), 13 Grammy Awards, 13 No. 1 hits for his solo records, and was the first artist to have a top single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five separate decades. Jackson was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame.

The turning point to being a legend in music history took off in 1979 with the Quincy Jones-Michael Jackson produced Off the Wall album. Major hits, including “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough,” “Rock with You,” and “She’s Out of My Life,” helped the album sell over 20 million copies worldwide

Thriller sold over 100 million copies with “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.”

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Following are the five all-time best lyrics of Michael Jackson:

5. SHE’S OUT OF MY LIFE

So, I’ve learned that love’s not possession
And I’ve learned that love won’t wait
Now, I’ve learned that love needs expression
But, I’ve learned too late

And she’s out of my life
She’s out of my life
Damned indecision and cursed pride
Kept my love for her locked deep inside
And it cuts like a knife
She’s out of my life

“She’s Out of My Life” was a result of the collaboration between Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson production of Off the Wall album. The 1979 hit not only helped the album sell more than 20 million copies, it proved to the world Jackson was a bona fide solo artist.

4. MAN IN THE MIRROR

A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart
And a washed-out dream
They follow the pattern of the wind ya’ see
‘Cause they got no place to be
That’s why I’m starting with me

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

All profits from this song went to charity. From the Bad album, “Man in the Mirror” was one of five singles that made it to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. There were seven hits from the album in all. Bad broke the record for the most No. 1 Hot 100 singles from an album in history.

3. BEAT IT

You have to show them that you’re really not scared
You’re playin’ with your life, this ain’t no truth or dare
They’ll kick you, then they beat you,
Then they’ll tell you it’s fair
So beat it, but you wanna be bad

Just beat it, beat it,
No one wants to be defeated
Showin’ how funky and strong is your fight
It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right

Just beat it, beat it

“Beat It” won Record of the Year in 1983. Co-produced with Quincy Jackson on the Thriller album, Jackson also won Best Rock Vocal Performance (Male). For the “Beat It” music video Jackson received AMAs for Favorite Video, Soul/R&B, Favorite Video, Pop/Rock, and Favorite Single, Pop/Rock.

2. BILLIE JEAN

People always told me be careful what you do
Don’t go around breaking young girls’ hearts
And mother always told me be careful who you love
Be careful what you do ’cause the lie becomes the truth

Billie Jean is not my lover
She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son

“Billie Jean” earned two Grammy Awards for Michael Jackson, including Best R&B Song (songwriter) and Best R&B Vocal Performance (Male) in 1983. During one of the most viewed televised events in music history Jackson introduced his Moonwalk dance by performing “Billie Jean” on “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” television special on May 16, 1983. He also performed it at the half time of the 1993 Super Bowl XXVII, earning the distinction of being the first performer to score higher viewership than the actual football game.

1. THRILLER

The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller

Not only is the song a mega-hit it is the most successful music video of all time, according to the Guinness World Record books. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is the 14-minute video directed by John Landis that radically changed the video music world. Historians note that it was a major catalyst to a fledging video television market and helped Jackson break through the “racial barriers” of MTV in 1983.

“Thriller” is the first music video to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

 

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The Cello Cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ That Might Just Give You the Chills

Sources: The Blaze – By Oliver Darcey| All Things Michael

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Get ready for a musical treat.

The instrumental group 2CELLOS published a cover of Michael Jackson’s famous “They Don’t Care About US” Tuesday — and it’s being hailed as “amazing” online.

“Spectacular,” one individual commented on YouTube.

“Wow, just wow,” another echoed.

“Just perfect,” said one more. “I’m speechless!”

Watch the Music Video:

 

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15 Truly Beautiful Songs

Sources: Star Pulse – By Brent M Faulkner | All Things Michael

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Music causes folks to experience all sorts of emotions: happiness, sadness, jubilance, anger or otherwise.

This epic list features songs of true beauty – at least in regards to song title.  Some songs are considered classics, others contemporary gems, and others are, well otherwise!  Regardless of the characterization, here are 15 truly beautiful songs:

Michael Jackson, “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” (Thriller, 1982)

“P.Y.T.” is definitely among Michael Jackson’s greatest hits – no doubt about it. Even so, “P.Y.T.” does gets overshadowed by its Thriller colleagues “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.” Yeah, those are tough tunes to beat, but who can resist a song being attracted to a hot girl? It’s rhetorical!

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