Controversy aside, Jackson is one of the most influential people of the twentieth century. You certainly don’t have to like his music, but you do have to respect the reach of his sound, his choreography, and his style. He is – in the true sense of the word – iconic.
Everyone can hum the tune to Billie Jean or Beat It along with many others, and because music is released less traditionally these days, Thriller will forever be the best-selling album of all time. This was helped in no small way by the title track – the music video for which is still, pound for pound, arguably the greatest one ever produced.
But here, on the tenth anniversary of his death, I would like to highlight a Michael Jackson master stroke that I don’t think ever got the attention it deserved.
Ghosts was released in 1996 as a special limited edition box which I bought as soon as it was in the shops. It was a long time after his heyday, but Michael Jackson was always a draw, so I thought this was going to be a big deal… except, it really wasn’t.
included in this deluxe collector’s edition was the remix album, Blood on the Dancefloor on CD, and the CD single On the Line. It also came with a glossy theatre-style programme for the main attraction, which was very nice…
…and the main attraction here was Ghosts itself, an extremely elaborate music video that clocks in at just under forty minutes. It was effectively a new take on what Jackson had achieved a decade and a half earlier with Thriller, and in many ways he was trying to recapture that old glory. There’s a little more of a focus on story this time around, and there are a few songs that help to fill the running time.
Of course, being 1996 this was packaged on VHS, and has not since been officially released on any other format. For what it’s worth, I still have my copy tucked away in the garage in case one day it’s worth a fortune.
Ghosts is actually pretty hard to come by in this modern, digital age, but it is floating around online. Check it out and let me know what you think.