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Thursday, December 31, 1998 Published at 17:27 GMT


Still a Thriller after all these years

Michael Jackson: Thriller still popular at the end of the 1990s

Michael Jackson's video for his single Thriller has been voted the greatest pop video of all time in a survey of British music fans.

The 15-year-old promo, which was among the first to transform pop videos into mini-films, came first in a poll of nearly 100,000 viewers of music channel VH1.

At the time, the video - which features Jackson transforming into a werewolf - was considered so shocking it was given a 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.

The singer added a disclaimer to the start of the viedo, saying: "Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult."

[ image: Jamiroquai's Jay Kay: Virtual Insanity at number five]
Jamiroquai's Jay Kay: Virtual Insanity at number five
But his church, horrified at the subject matter, still threatened to expel him. Jackson also features at number nine with his 1995 hit Earth Song.

Number two is Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody - made in 1975 and often considered the first proper pop video.

A-ha's 1985 debut hit Take On Me is third, with its mixture of animation and live action. It had been released before, but the quirky promo was credited with making it a hit.

Madonna's Vogue video is sixth, while Peter Gabriel's own mixture of live action and animation, Sledgehammer, comes in at tenth.

The top 10 is:

1 Thriller - Michael Jackson.

2 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen.

3 Take On Me - A-ha.

4 My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion.

5 Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai.

6 Vogue - Madonna.

7 Fastlove - George Michael.

8 Say You'll Be There - Spice Girls.

9 Earth Song - Michael Jackson.

10 Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel.

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