Michael Jackson: Smooth Criminal
“Smooth Criminal” is the Michael Jackson song that works both on the page and on stage. During MJ’s transition to following the trends of the 90s instead of leading them, he created this break out song. Jackson wrote and composed this song, while Quincy Jones produced it. In my opinion, the Jones and Jackson era was MJ’s best work. MJ seemed to move away from the influences of Jones' work in the later 90s.
Originally, MJ wrote the song back in 1984 under a different title “Al Capone”. “Al Capone” was intended for aBad album release, but it never made it onto that album. So, MJ re-wrote it into what we hear in Smooth Criminal. I love to get my hands on the Al Capone demo version of “Smooth Criminal”.
MJ had envisioned the music video/movie as an old school Western, but later changed his mind. I think the song works better with the 30s setting anyway, considering that the song originally was called “Al Capone”.
Random Notes on the video
~MJ’s suit is badass. I’d love to get my hands on one just like his. The blue silk (?) shirt fits in nicely with his pants and jacket.
~The dancing and the stomping scenes with background players are just amazing.
~Some of MJ’s famous chords are heard here and reused in Sonic 3.
~That famous Strange (climax) moment happens at the 5:09 mark: There is another extended version of this video that cuts down this versions moment. It does get a little strange until he starts to chant. I love the transition back into the song after the chanting.
Are they having group sex…ghosts sex?
~Is the cat a ghost too?
~The cool blue lighting gives it a surreal appearance. Is this supposed to be the color of the dead?
~Leaning forward bit is NOT real, it was a rig that MJ patented. Here is the patent information. Oh, and it's called the Anti-Gravity Lean.
Today, people like Lady Gaga and others have tried to make these grand music videos, but they don't have slickness that many of MJ's old videos. This is MJ at his best.