Michael Jackson – Beat it
“Beat it” is definitely one of the most important hits of the 80s. Michael Jackson released it at the beginning of February 1983. The album “Thriller” had been in the market for about three months, and this hit followed the release of “The girl is mine” (with Paul McCartney) and “Billie Jean“. The producers asked Michael for a rock song to be inserted in “Thriller”. Michael at the beginning did not completely agree, but he later thought that it could be a good chance to write a rock song in his own way.
A lot of fantastic artists joined him for this song; many members of Toto, and of course Eddie Van Halen who played the fantastic guitar solo. It is said that Jackson was really impressed by the fact that Van Halen played the solo twice, in order to provide different versions to choose.
This video helped create Michael’s legend. The dance scenes with lots of dancers became a sort of trademark for Jackson. Here, Michael wants to recreate the atmosphere of rivalry between city gangs, andhe probably was inspired by what he read and heard about it. Actually, many think that he did not know the gangs world at all: he had been grown in a safe environment since he became famous in his childhood, with the Jacksons Five.
The video reminds of the atmospheres of “West Side Story”, but both Michael and the director of the video declared that they had never seen the musical.
The video was ready about one month after the single release, and MTV aired it for thefirst time at the end of March. With this video, Michael Jackson was really building his fame and his career. And he had not shown us the moonwalk yet!!!
You better run, you better do what you can
Don't wanna see no blood, don't be a macho man
You wanna be tough, better do what you can
So beat it, but you wanna be bad
Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it
Michael Jackson on Wikipedia