Deconstruction: Michael Jackson’s Thriller (Two Instructor’s Break It Down)

Source: Point Blank London.com | All Things Michael

studio-1

The midnight hour is close at hand and we’re celebrating by ripping apart a Hallowe’en (or any other time of year) classic. Michael Jackson’s Thriller album is still the biggest selling album of all time and the title track was a landmark in production and was MTV’s first world premiere video. Written by Rod Temperton, producer Quincy Jones, along with engineer Bruce Swedien, crafted an inimitable sound, iconic for its bassline, synth strings and of course, spoken-word Edgar Allen Poe-style spiel from Vincent Price. While we might not have the Harrison 3232 console or the synth collection from Westlake Studios, LA c.1982, we will try our best to show you how the track came together using Ableton Live.

Our Electronic Music Composition instructor Ski Oakenfull will work the keys to re-create this MJ classic and if you want to learn directly from Ski, not just composition, keys, scales and structure, but mixing, mastering and much more, check out our Ableton Live Diploma here. It covers sound design, music business, mastering and in the EMC module, you’ll get exclusive deconstructions from Avicii, Julio Bashmore and more. Find out more about the course here and watch the FFL! below! Happy halloween!

 

Read more here

Twisted Music Video Of The Week Vol. 158: Michael Jackson “Ghost”

Sources: Bloody Disgusting – By  Johnathan Barkan | Edited By – All Things Michael

MJ 2013 1996 ghosts 15

We’re gonna get a little funky with this Twisted Music Video Of The Week entry by showcasing Michael Jackson‘s “Ghosts”! We’re showing the shortened video, which comes from the longform Michael Jackson’s Ghosts, a near 40-minute video that was co-written by Stephen King and directed by FX wizard Stan Winston! That video was also awarded the title of “longest music video in history” by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2002.

Sexy-Ghost-michael-jacksons-ghosts-13196265-1369-969

“Ghosts” comes from Jackson’s 1997 remix album Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix.

If you want to watch the full version, simply head on over here.

 

Read more here

tumblr_lb5tdrgzUB1qb7328o1_500

Top Inspirational Songs

Sources: The Celebrity Cafe – By Nathan DeLaTorre| Edited By – All Things Michael

MAN-IN-THE-MIRROR-man-in-the-mirror-18593473-2501-1873

Music is a powerful tool and can impact our emotions in a variety of ways. Some songs make us want to dance, some remind us of a joyous time in our lives, and some bring tears to our eyes.

There are some songs that push you to run that extra mile on the treadmill and some that give you the smallest glimmer of hope that you need to get through an exhausting work day.

Every diverse artist on this list lives up to that very title. From Eminem to U2, all of these performers have created songs that have become a major part of our culture and inspire us to be better people. Although some of them like Michael Jackson are no longer with us, their music lives on.

You will most likely have heard a few of these songs at some point in your life, simply by watching a movie or going to a sports event. This is a list of 10 of the most inspirational songs that remind you to never give up.

1. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

The number one spot on this list goes to a song that combines two terrific inspirational songs to create one perfect, peaceful melody that brings a tear to your eyes and joy to your heart. The late Israel Kamakawiwo’ole did the impossible by redefining an already iconic song sung by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Whenever you are feeling sad or confused, don’t be afraid to turn to one of these songs or one of your own favorite songs to renew your spirits.

2. “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson

The world lost the King of Pop when Michael Jackson passed away in 2009. Jackson released “Man in the Mirror” in 1988 as part of his album Bad.  No one can argue that Jackson is one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Even after his death, Jackson has become immortal through the legacy of his music.

3. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Nothing is quite as recognizable as the opening melody of “Eye of the Tiger.” The song was created by Survivor at the request of Sylvester Stallone who wanted the perfect theme song to match his character in Rocky III. If you ever need a song for a montage, it is impossible to go wrong with “Eye of the Tiger.”

4. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey

One of the greatest karaoke songs in existence, Journey released “Don’t Stop Believin'” in 1981 and since then the record has become a staple in popular culture. You might recognize the song as an anthem for your favorite sports team or from HBO’s The Sopranos. The song is also featured in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages so it’s clear to see that “Don’t Stop Believin'” speaks to and inspires a variety of audiences.

 

Read more here

MJ-man-in-the-mirror-3-man-in-the-mirror-21772328-500-676

“No Mortal Can Resist The Thriller!” – A Cute Story About A Woman’s Mild Obsession

Sources: Connect Statesboro – By Brittani Howell | All Things Michael

giphy (1)

I was deeply saddened to hear that “Thriller” practice would be cancelled this week due to rehearsals for the upcoming Dracula ballet (page 15, in case you’re interested). This is going to sound completely dorky, but I have to admit it: dancing in a “Thriller” zombie parade has been on my bucket list since I realized that was a widespread tradition.

My first encounter with the “Thriller” was back in my senior year of high school. My AP Calculus class was an odd bunch to the man, right down to our teacher. At some point during the semester we decided that learning “Thriller” would be a better use of our class time than preparing for the AP Calculus test. We performed the dance at the Halloween pep rally, and it was fantastic — almost worth the fact that we all pretty much bombed the AP Calc test later in the year.

Ever since then, though, I get mildly obsessed with the cult classic every time Halloween rolls around. Macon used to do a “Thriller” parade every year and I always, without fail, managed to be out of town when it happened. One year I happened to be walking through the park when I saw the zombie mob out practicing. I jumped in just for kicks, even though I didn’t know anybody and wouldn’t be there for the performance. That’s how weird my obsession with this dance is.

giphy

So my course of action seemed pretty clear last year when, as a teacher in Thailand, I had to come up with something to do with my class of rowdy little Thai seventh-graders for their Halloween English lesson. My other English co-teachers did Halloween vocabulary Bingo or had them create their own monsters. Really good, smart, academic activities — and, of course, not what I was going to do at all.

On Oct. 31, all of my classes walked into our classrooms throughout the day to find the desks pushed up against the walls, the Michael Jackson video projected on the white board, and Teacher Brittani standing at the front of the class wearing a witch costume and a mildly manic grin.

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that no mortal can resist the evil of the Thriller, but I will assure you that not one of my little Thai students could. Despite the looks of absolute horror that spread throughout the room when they figured out we were learning a dance for the day’s lesson, every single one of them had mastered the zombie hands and the Michael Jackson shimmy by the end of class, counting out the steps in Thai and dissolving with laughter at how stupid we all (okay, mostly me) looked trying to learn the dance. Even my rowdiest, naughtiest kids threw themselves into the activity, and by the day’s end, I had set loose a horde of little zombies on the town.

My classes were taught on a rotating schedule, so I only had half of my 360 students on Oct. 31. The next day I came into class in normal clothes with lessons prepared, and as I wrote up the exercises my kids all came rushing into class, wildly excited — and then confused, when they saw a distinct lack of Michael Jackson in the room.

“Teacher,” one of them called out, his hand in the air. “Teacher, play game?”

“No, bud, not today,” I answered, wondering what had made him think that was on the day’s agenda. I looked around the classroom. The kids looked at best crestfallen ­­— at worst, devastated. The boy who’d spoken first put his hand in the air again, looking earnest and confused. “Teacher, Halloween?”

And that’s how 40 Thai children guilted me into a full class of playing Bingo to make up for not teaching them a Michael Jackson dance.

And that’s a long, meandering way of saying: If you aren’t planning on dancing the “Thriller” at the Oct. 25 Scare on the Square, you’re missing out.

Brittani Howell is the editor of Connect Statesboro. When she signed up for “Thriller” practice, she was the first adult. The second-oldest person was, like, six. If you want to get in touch, shoot her a message at bhowell@connectstatesboro.com!

wbrittmug

Read more here

 

THE EVOLUTION OF THE MUSIC VIDEO

Sources: Noise Porn – By Meredith Connelly | Edited By – All Things Michael

allthingsmichaeledit2

The music video. It’s something we naturally associate with music and the artists that produce it. For the current generation, a song without a music video would be, in a word, irrelevant.  Like a cell phone without texting capabilities or an arm devoid of silly bands, a song with no accompanying music video seems almost unthinkable to people who have grown up in the age of modern music, accustomed to an industry as commercially oriented as it is eclectic. But believe it or not, the music video has undergone some major cosmetic changes in a relatively short time since its conception and first rise to prominence during the late seventies and early eighties. It’s a facet of the industry that has altered itself not gradually, but in evolutionary leaps and bounds on par with the difference between an amoeba and an adult Velociraptor.

Even from its admittedly shaky beginnings, you would have had to been completely blind not to see that, from that first, awkward, drawn-out, and fuzzy rendition of “Video Killed the Radio Star” in 1981, music had been irrevocably changed. MTV became the mecca for artists looking to make it big, opening a Pandora’s Box of new, unexplored creative territory. Initially, videos followed the general pattern of blah in the style of the Buggles and Rick Astley: basic, no-nonsense; boring. People were bound to (and did) get tired of watching other people writhe around on screen with sunglasses on. Eventually, innovators like Dire Straits and Peter Gabriel saw the music video not merely as a space to be filled, but as an opportunity to make an impression with artistic expression. Using what were, for the era, cutting-edge stop-motion and animation techniques, the music videos for the songs “Sledgehammer” and “Money for Nothing” were catapulted into the category of iconic.

Other groups saw the music video as a way to perpetuate ideas of anti-establishment anger or to encourage political activism. Still others realized early on the potential of the music video to serve as a spectacle. U2, for example, filmed the music video for “Where the Streets Have No Name” atop the roof of a Los Angeles liquor store to the delight of the public and the annoyance of police. In fact, annoying the man became a popular pastime of many groups when it came to their music videos, as bands like Duran Duran with “Girls on Film” garnered more attention with threats of censorship from MTV than they would have if they had just made a video sans topless mud wrestling. But who wants to live in a world without topless mud wrestling?

One musician who really changed the face of music videos towards what we know of them today was Michael Jackson. Introducing for perhaps the first time the concept of the cinematic music video, Jackson upped the ante by including fantastic make-up, mini-story lines, and choreographed dance numbers into “Thriller” forcing subsequent artists to attempt to stand out in a post-Thriller world by adding these elements to their owns videos, even if the result wasn’t exactly spectacular. (Just watch the video for “Uptown Girl” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

Thriller-michael-jackson-music-videos-15624372-639-463

All this change happened in the span of a few decades, a remarkably fast transition that left the industry and its constituents scrambling to meet the demands of a public now nearly obsessed with the imagery associated with their favorite songs. The mere existence of MTV, a channel dedicated entirely to the new craze, proved that the music video had arrived, and that it intended to stay. And stay it did, although its relevance in broadcast media has declined somewhat in recent years.  With MTV airing more Teen Mom than angsty teen rock these days, it would seem that the music video has, once again, transformed and adapted itself to the situation at hand, making its presence known online rather than on-air. Anyone with internet access and a brain could tell you that YouTube has become the modern Mecca for the music video, as most major artists rack up millions of views per song on the site.

Forgive my further referencing of the woman, but in order to understand the state of the modern music video, Lady Gaga serves as a sort of Petri dish depicting a wide range of video trends. Watch a Gaga music video and you might as well be going to see a short film more confused than someone watching 2001: A Space Odyssey sober. Product placement galore—another hallmark of Gaga’s (see “Telephone”)—something that had just begun to pose problems in MTV’s early years, has now become almost expected, a full-blown commercial epidemic that blurs the actual purpose of a music video: to entertain, rather than to sell. Have you seen “Anaconda”? I’m not sure if it’s a commercial for energy drinks, stereo systems, exercise clothing, or maybe just a plug for the blossoming butt implant industry.

While flash certainly reigns supreme, we can also see a return to a simpler take on the music video, more than the Buggles but less than “Marry the Night.” Minimalist music videos like Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” or Radiohead’s “Lotus Flower” align with an increasingly popular tradition of music videos that accompany but do not overshadow the song itself. Other artists like Gotye in “Somebody That I Used to Know” or Coldplay with “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” let visual effects, whether digital or physical, take center stage in beautiful mash-ups of art and music. All in all, this is a welcome break from modern cinematic music videos. Five minutes into the introduction of “Born This Way” when you still haven’t heard anyone start to sing, nerves can start to fray. If you find yourself asking, “Why can’t I just watch a music video without having to look up what a Russian bath house is?” then a return to minimalist sanity might not be out of line.

Making-of-Scream-michael-jackson-9661673-908-1251

There still remains of course, a slew of future changes to our current idea of the music video. It’s a genre that has changed and evolved as much as the industry itself—arguably more. And with no shortage of artists wanting to challenge authority, demonstrate their creative genius, or let their freak flag fly, it appears we will be watching the evolution of the music video, from single-celled to organically complex, for the next decade or two and beyond.

Read more here

The Best Halloween Playlist Ever

Sources: The Gate | All Things Michael

Michael-Jackson-Thriller

Halloween is my favorite time of year for lots and lots of reasons, including the costumes and the spooky atmosphere, but what is with the music? Despite Halloween’s macabre mood, especially in the movies, the playlists that celebrate Halloween are pretty cheesy, so I decided to try to put a moodier playlist together finally.

So what was I looking for? Absolutely no “Monster Mash”, “I Put a Spell on You”, and no theme songs from movies or TV shows. Instead, I wanted darker, moodier songs, plus a few classics, even if they were pop songs. Most of my top picks were also from Halloween movies–The Crow, Shaun of the Dead, Lost Boys, Ghostbusters, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. And, yes, what would a Halloween playlist be without Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”?

Here’s the full list of songs, in no particular order, plus you can listen to the playlist on Spotify below–if you’re not already a member you may have to sign up. Take a listen and then tell me what you thought, or share the playlist with your friends. Plus, if I can find any more great songs, I’ll add them, so tweet or comment with your favorites below.

Best Haloween Ever playlist:
“Thriller” Michael Jackson
“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” Blue Oyster Cult
“Dead Souls” Nine Inch Nails
“I Put A Spell On You” Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
“People Are Strange” Echo and the Bunnymen
“Ghost Town” The Specials
“Dragula” Rob Zombie
“Cry Little Sister” Gerard McMann
“My Body’s A Zombie For You” Dead Man’s Bones
“The Killing Moon” Echo and the Bunnymen
“Ghostbusters” Ray Parker, Jr.
“Little Drop of Poison” Tom Waits
“This Is Halloween” Marilyn Manson
“Paint It, Black” The Rolling Stones
“Burn” The Cure
“Time Warp” Rocky Horror Picture Show

Playlist

 

Read more here

15 Moments In Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Video We Can’t Wait To See In 3D

Sources: Alice 95.5 | All Things Michael

dsc_15

Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” is getting a new look. Director John Landis tells New York Daily News he plans to revamp the iconic music video by re-releasing it in 3D.  The news comes after Landis finally settled a long dispute with the late superstar’s estate.

The director is keeping the details of the project under wraps, but says the video will be released “in a highly polished and three-dimensional way” that will be “very exciting on the big screen.”

It’s still unclear, however, if the 14-minute short film will run in theaters – and there is also talk of a Blu-ray release. So you could own it forever!

“Thriller” in 3D is slated for release sometime in 2015. Since we are SO excited about this iconic video being revamped, let’s take a look at the video’s best moments that we can’t wait to see in 3D!

1. The video starts out as a film within a film. The leading lady was so excited when Michael asked her to be his girl…

michael_jackson1_0_1412329963

2.. until the full moon turned him into a WEREWOLF.

michael_jackson2_0_1412330162

3. Meanwhile, IRL, Michael and his real girlfriend leave the movie because she was scared … yet they take a walk down an empty street and right by a cemetery.

michael_jackson_3_0_1412330860

4. And then woke up the entire cemetery.

michael_jackson_4_0_1412331060

5. Literally, they unleashed a zombie army. It was basically “The Walking Dead.”

michael_jackson_5_0_1412331891

6. Oh no! They’re SURROUNDED!

michael_jackson_6_0_1412332970

7. Then she realizes Michael is actually also a zombie.

8. But he’s not just any old zombie … he’s a DANCING zombie. And so ensues one of the greatest dance sequences in a music video of all time.

michael_jackson_8_0_1412333493

9. Seriously, this will forever be SO AMAZING.

michael_jackson_9_0_1412333749

10. GENIUS.

michael_jackson_10_0_1412334058

11. He’s not a zombie anymore! Maybe he danced it off?

michael_jackson_11_0_1412334230

12. Just kidding. He’s still a zombie.

michael_jackson_12_0_1412334578

13. And he and his zombie army are after his girlfriend.

michael_jackson_14_0_1412334708

14. Good thing it was just a dream.

michael_jackson_15_0_1412334988

15. OR WAS IT. OMG ZOMBIE INCEPTION.

michael_jackson_16_0_1412335203

Watch the entire video below!

 

Read more here

‘The Twilight Zone’ Inspired Music Tracks

Sources: Music Times | Edited By – All Things Michael

allthingsmichaeledit22

On this day during 1959, one of the greatest television shows in history made its debut (Editor’s Note: This opinion is entirely, 100 percent in the mind of the writer): The Twilight Zone. Creator and narrator Rod Serling created a brand of terror that was so much more effective than the eye-rolling horror flicks of the time because it forced viewers to think, and think about what monsters lay subtle and dormant within themselves at that.

Unfortunately, the title didn’t lend itself to any great music, or certainly not any music that can live up to the title. But here’s five tracks that used The Twilight Zone as inspiration, for better or for worse.

“Threatened” by Michael Jackson (2001)

Michael Jackson had a pretty solid record working with the voices of classic horror—after all, Vincent Price‘s narrative bridge for “Thriller” was a cherry on top of one of the greatest pop singles of all time. Unfortunately Serling had passed away before Jackson could tap him for any album after Music & Me (the TV icon died during 1975) so the pop star had to rely on a clip from The Twilight Zone when recording “Threatened” for 2001’s Invincible. And a scary song it is, although not in the traditional method used by Serling on his show. Jackson repeatedly tells the listener that “you should feel threatened by me” while embarking on his stalker narrative. It, well, uh, left us a little unnerved.

“Twilight Zone” by Rush (1976)

There’s no hiding that Rush and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart were hugely inspired by Serling and The Twilight Zone. However on an album that hosts the most famous of the prog rock band’s conceptual journeys, “2112,” why was the first single “The Twilight Zone” from the less memorable B-side? Peart has acknowledged the song is based on two sketches from the show in particular—”Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?” and “Stopover in A Quiet Town”—two great episodes that add up to one unusually boring Rush track. Serling’s influence was put to better use apparently, as he is thanked in the liner notes for both Caress of Steel and A Farewell to Kings.

“Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring (1982)

Golden Earring wasn’t a band based around paranormal activity but you wouldn’t be able to tell after looking at its two biggest hits, the 1973 rumination on psychic booty calls (“Radar Love”) and 1982’s “Twilight Zone.” The interesting thing is that, although referencing the title state, “Twilight Zone” isn’t based on the sci-fi series at all: It’s based on the book The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum. If there’s any doubt, check out the music video: Vocalist Barry Hay spends the whole bit on the run from the other members of the group who are attempting to nab him. So we suppose Golden Earring deserves points for being about 20 years ahead of Matt Damon‘s hit film series. Go for the extended version of the track that, like “Radar Love,” is well worth the extra few minutes.

 

Read more here