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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Michael Jackson - Beat It [HQ]

"Beat It" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was written by Jackson and co-produced by Quincy Jones for the singer's sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). Jones had wanted an ambitious black rock 'n' roll song, however, Jackson had never previously shown an interest in the genre. Eddie Van Halen was drafted in to add the distinctive overdriven guitar solo with tapping, but initially thought the phone calls from Jones requesting that he participate were fake. The lyrics of "Beat It" are about defeat and courage.
Following the successful chart performances of Thriller, "The Girl Is Mine" and "Billie Jean", "Beat It" was released on February 14, 1983, as the album's third single. The song was a worldwide commercial and critical success, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time. Both "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" occupied Top 5 positions at the same time, a feat matched by very few artists. One of the most lauded songs in history, "Beat It" was certified platinum in 1989.
Honored numerous times—including two Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards and an induction into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame—"Beat It" and the song's music video propelled Thriller into becoming the best-selling album of all time. The song was promoted with a short film that featured Jackson bringing two real life gangs together through the power of dance. Covered and sampled by modern artists, including Fergie and Fall Out Boy, the song was included in the National Highway Safety Commission's anti-drunk driving campaign. "Beat It" became a signature song of Jackson; the singer performed it on all of his world tours.

The short film for "Beat It", directed by Bob Giraldi and choreographed by Michael Peters, helped establish Jackson as an international pop icon. The film was Jackson's first treatment of black youth and the streets. It was also the first to suggest that dancing in unison is tantamount to getting along. Both "Beat It" and Thriller became famous for their mass choreography, a Jackson trademark. The video starred 80 genuine gang members—to add authenticity to the production—and 18 professional dancers. Based on the Broadway musical West Side Story, the video cost Jackson $150,000 to create after CBS refused to finance it. The video features elaborate choreography which opened up many new job opportunities for dancers in the US.
The music video opens with the news of a fight circulating a diner. This scene repeats itself at a pool hall, where gang members arrive via foot, forklift, and out of sewers. The camera cuts to a scene of Jackson lying on a bed, contemplating the senseless violence. The singer leaves the room upon hearing the commotion caused by the rival gangs. Donning a red leather jacket, Jackson dances his way through the diner and pool hall, towards the fight. Arriving at the scene, the singer breaks up the fight and launches into a dance routine. The video ends with the gang members joining him in the dance, agreeing that violence is not the solution to their problems.
The video has received recognition through numerous awards. The American Music Awards named the short film their Favorite Pop/Rock Video and their Favorite Soul Video. The Black Gold Awards honored Jackson with the Best Video Performance award. The Billboard Video Awards recognised the video with 7 awards; Best Overall Video Clip, Best Performance by a Male Artist, Best Use of Video to Enhance a Song, Best Use of Video to Enhance an Artist's Image, Best Choreography, Best Overall Video and Best Dance/Disco 12". The short film was ranked by Rolling Stone as the number one video, in both their critic's and reader's poll. The video was later inducted into the Music Video Producer's Hall of Fame.


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