Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Jacksons - Can You Feel It

You have to hand it to the Jacksons -- when they went big, they really went big.  Case in point:  the 9+ minute video for "Can You Feel It" from 1981.  For an early (pre-MTV) video, this is about as big as it gets.    And while the video is dated (and just a bit over the top), it has become regarded as something of a classic in recent years.

1980's Triumph LP came during a weird period for the brothers.  While the band had remained reasonably successful in the late 1970s, Michael's 1979 solo album Off the Wall had rocketed him to super-stardom, leading to speculation that he would leave the band to focus on his solo career.  (This eventually happened, but not for several more years.)

At any rate, the video for "Can You Feel It" is particularly noteworthy for the Robert Abel's special effects.  Michael (who co-wrote the song with Jackie) came up with the concept, which portrays the Jacksons as god-like creatures who spread magical pixie dust ... really.  I particularly like that the special effects at times drown out the music.

"Can You Feel It" would go on to be a modest disappointment, peaking at #77 on the charts, while the Triumph album would do better, reaching #10 and going platinum.  Of course, in 1982 Michael Jackson would release Thriller, and go on to become one of the most successful recording artists of all time ... but you already knew that.

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