When it comes to music videos, few artists have left their mark on the art form more than Michael Jackson has when it comes to impressiveness, inventiveness, and downright incredibleness. In this week’s “Music Video Evolution,” Billboard is taking a look back at the visual offerings of the King of Pop, from his 1967 release with his brothers “Enjoy Yourself” all the way through to 2015’s “Say Say Say (Remix).”
Kicking off with The Jacksons’ “Enjoy Yourself,” which served as the family band’s first ever music video, a young Michael joined his brothers in matching white suits as they performed choreographed dance routines and sang an infectiously catchy disco-infused pop gem.
The group followed that up with 1978’s colorful “Blame It on the Boogie,” while Jackson went solo in 1979 with “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” dapperly dressed in a tuxedo as he danced in front of the (green screen) stars.
Jackson sparkled in “Rock With You,” slowed things down with “She’s Out of My Life,” and re-teamed with the Jacksons in 1980’s “Can You Feel It,” treating fans to a cinematic masterpiece with strikingly advanced visual effects for its time.
In 1983, Jackson shared the Steve Barron-directed “Billie Jean” and the video for “Beat It,” which showed that violence was not the answer, as two rival gangs ended what started as a knife fight in an iconic dance routine.
That same year, the pop icon also released what would become one of his most hauntingly influential music videos of all time, “Thriller.” Never before have a pair of yellow, glowing eyes been so terrifying. In 2009, the video was added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, and was named by the library as “the most famous music video of all time.”
“Bad” and “The Way You Make Me Feel” dropped in 1987, while 1988 saw the release of “Man in the Mirror,” “Dirty Diana,” and the epic “Smooth Criminal,” which featured his iconic anti-gravity lean.
“Leave Me Alone” and “Liberian Girl” were among his 1989 videos, while 1991’s “Black or White” and 1992’s ancient Egyptian-themed “Remember the Time” (featuring cameos from Eddie Murphy and Iman) followed.
In 1995, Jackson joined forces with his sister Janet for the black-and-white, futuristic “Scream” and appeared on screen alongside his then-wife Lisa Marie Presley in “You Are Not Alone.”
“You Rock My World,” which featured cameos from Marlon Brando, Chris Tucker, Michael Madsen, dropped in 2001, while Jackson released “One More Chance” in 2003.
Following Jackson’s death in June 2009, a handful of posthumous videos were released, including 2010’s “Hold My Hand” with Akon, 2014’s track with Justin Timberlake, “Love Never Felt So Good,” and 2015’s remix of “Say Say Say,” Jackson’s collaboration with Paul McCartney, which payed homage to the icon as it captured people performing dance moves seemingly inspired by the King of Pop.
You can watch all of these videos and many more below.