BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment: Music
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 2 May, 2001, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Jackson video still a thriller
Jackson
Jackson's videos have helped albums become bestsellers
Michael Jackson's scary Thriller video has been crowned best video of all time by music channel VH1.

The 1983 mini-movie tops the list of the cable station's 100 Greatest Videos which will be aired next week in the United States.

Madonna had six videos on the list, more than any other artist. Jackson was just behind her with five.

More than half of the videos date from the 1980s.

Top 10 videos
1. Michael Jackson, Thriller
2. Madonna, Like a Prayer
3. Peter Gabriel, Sledgehammer
4. Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit
5. Guns N' Roses, November Rain
6. Pearl Jam, Jeremy
7. Madonna, Justify My Love
8. A-ha, Take on Me
9. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, Scream
10. Herbie Hancock, Rockit
At the time, the Thriller video - which features Jackson transforming into a werewolf - was considered so shocking it was given a UK late-night premiere on Channel 4.

Director John Landis - utilising the same techniques he used in 1981's An American Werewolf In London - showed Jackson's nails and hair growing and his jaw lengthening into a snout.

Later, Jackson is seen as a zombie leading a dance troupe of the "undead" along a deserted street.

Jackson
Thriller featured Jackson in a scary role
The singer added a disclaimer to the start of the 17-minute video, saying: "Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult."

The video helped put Jackson's album of the same name at the top of the all-time best-seller list in the US.

Burning crosses

At the number two spot was Madonna's Like a Prayer, which caused a stir for depicting scantily-clad singer kissing a black Jesus figure.

It also featured her cavorting in front of burning crosses, and suffering Jesus-like wounds on her hands.

And her raunchy Justify My Love video - which MTV refused to air in 1990 - came in seventh.

Madonna
Madonna's videos are often controversial
The top 10's animated videos include Peter Gabriel's stop-motion Sledgehammer and Norwegian trio A-ha's Take on Me, which combined live action and pencil drawings.

At number eight is Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, which features the Seattle grunge band playing to a hall of college students and cheerleaders.

Kurt Cobain, late Nirvana frontman
Kurt Cobain, late Nirvana frontman
The oldest video, Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues dates back to 1967 and features at number 28.

The Buggles' Video Killed the Radio Star - the first video aired by MTV at launch in 1981 - reached number 79 on the list.

VH1 will countdown the 100 clips over five consecutive nights in the US beginning on 7 May. The list was compiled by executives at the network.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Jackson's life in the spotlight
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
A life in pictures: Michael Jackson
07 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Madonna, queen of reinvention
19 Mar 01 | Music
Madonna video 'too violent'
09 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Robbie's video nasty
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Music stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Music stories