Michael & Janet Jackson – Scream

If we’re talking about true art at its most otherworldly, one only has to look as far as Michael Jackson. He not only understood the intricacies of sound and how to make dynamic harmonics come to life, he also had an eye for the truly spectacular. His first and only duet with younger sister Janet would not only become the most expensive video ever created – costing an unprecedented $7 million – it would be one of the most visually stunning and unique. “Scream” was more than just ahead of its time sonically and visually, it was also (literally) from a different planet, suspended somewhere between Earth and the stars, blasting meteors from its hull and elevating the human experience to a pointed and shrill peak.

With every scream, every rip of vocal majesty, the video accelerated every heartbeat and made the eye dilate. It’s a sensory overload. I have a feeling that Mark Romanek had an innate understanding of his muse, taking Michael’s coldness and anger and transforming its ugly, twisted wire into clean, sterile, simply flawless art. Not to mention an 18-second dance sequence that remains one of the most intense and intricate in any music video before or since, “Scream” is a true testament to the man and who he was.


2 thoughts on “Michael & Janet Jackson – Scream

  1. Amy

    I know a lot of people didn’t like the HIStory album, but I really like how MJ just discharged all his anger in that album. To me, that has been the closest of getting to now him as an artist and person. And of course, I love this video to the bones. I nearly cried when Janet performed this at the VMA that year.

    1. Yvning Post author

      I think people hated the album because they just couldn’t imagine “their Michael” being so dark. But, I’m thinking after all he went through the couple years leading up to the album, you couldn’t have expected Off The Wall and sunshine and ponies. Dude was angry, pissed. He was also an artist and if he couldn’t get that anger and pain out in his music, then where else could he do it. People were real hung up on his past albums and didn’t even give it a chance. I, for one, think it’s one of his best albums.


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