Congrats to the very awesome Emily Martinez who guessed the theme that Mike came up with for this week: "Songs by artists with two first names." Emily won free lunch at Jersey Mikes, Always A Sub Above!
The video for today’s song was released nearly 40 years ago, on December 2nd, 1983. Director John Landis (The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London) extended the track, the seventh and final single released from what would become the biggest album of all time, into a nearly 14-minute-long musical horror film, letting today’s pop icon indulge his monster-movie fantasies.
The video cost half-a-million dollars; at the time, it was the most expensive video ever made. But CBS Records wouldn’t pay for a third video from this album, and MTV had a policy of never paying for clips. So Landis funded their budget by getting MTV and Showtime to pay $250,000 each for the rights to show the 45-minute ``The Making of_____” documentary. MTV reasoned that if they were paying for a movie, they were circumventing their own policy.
The imagery in the video was meant as a metaphor for the changes we all experience in puberty. He said “In adolescence, youngsters begin to experience these physical transformations in their bodies.” In other words, changing into a werewolf was a safe way for the video to talk about the changes that occur with puberty.
The music video is considered the most famous music video of all time, at least by the Library of Congress, which added it to its National Film Registry in 2009, the first music video in their registry.
This song was everywhere on MTV and has been seen more than 149 million times on YouTube.
A couple of fun facts about the the legendary video for today’s song:
-The UPC code on the album cover contained seven digits that were rumored to be this singer’s telephone number. People with that number in many different area codes got swamped with annoying calls.
-Before the 14-minute short film of this song’s video aired on Showtime or MTV, it was screened in Los Angeles, and drew a gathering of stars, including Eddie Murphy, who the video’s director, John Landis had directed in Trading Places, Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop 3.
-And finally, the black-and-red calfskin jacket worn by today’s singer in the song's video was bought by Milton Verret, a Texas commodities trader for $1.8 million in 2011. Today’s singer wore the jacket in the scene where a group of zombies rise from their graves and break into a dance routine.
Micheal Jackson...Thriller...K103’s I Know That Song
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