Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Thriller & Beyonce visual album


It was MTV's first world premiere video. Voted as the most influential pop music video of all time, Thriller proved to have a profound effect on popular culture and was named "a watershed moment” for the music industry for its unprecedented merging of filmmaking and music.

Thriller enabled Jackson to break down racial barriers in pop music via his appearances on MTV and meeting with President of the United States Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools—the videos for "Thriller” received regular rotation on MTV.
Using Thriller Michael Jackson transformed the medium of music video into an art form and promotional tool through the use of complex story lines, dance routines, special effects and cameo appearances by well-known personalities. When the 14-minute-long Thriller video aired, MTV ran it twice an hour to meet demand. Author, music critic and journalist Nelson George wrote in 2004,

"It's difficult to hear the songs from Thriller and disengage them from the videos. For most of us the images define the songs. In fact it could be argued that Michael is the first artist of the MTV age to have an entire album so intimately connected in the public imagination with its imagery".
Gil Kaufman of MTV described the
 "Thriller" video as being "iconic" and felt that it was one of Jackson's "most enduring legacies". Kaufman also noted that the music video was the "mini-movie that revolutionized music videos" and "cemented Jackson's status as one of the most ambitious, innovative pop stars of all time".
Thus when asked to think of a music video that symbolized or represented the 80’s there was no doubt that Thriller changed the way people listen to music, and allows for imagination to run free, but also for the artist to share what they think the music represents.


Similarly Beyoncé recently changed the face of music once again, with her self-titled album, that not only allows for the listeners to see how Beyoncé imagines her music to be portrayed, but for the first time in history she released a ‘visual album’ which featured often a longer video for each song on her album.
It consists of fourteen tracks, each having an accompanying music video. Musically, the album explores electro-R&B and pop elements, combining minimalist production, loose song structure and emotive vocals. Beyoncé revisits her common theme of self-empowerment, but takes on much darker themes previously unexplored in her music, such as postnatal depression, insecurities of womanhood and frank, often explicit, discussion of sex.
The album was unexpectedly released to the iTunes Store on December 13, 2013, with no prior promotion or announcement.
Beyoncé garnered acclaim from critics who commended its experimental production and her vocal performance. In the United States, Beyoncé debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with three-day sales of 617,213 digital copies, giving Beyoncé her fifth consecutive number-one. It became the highest first-week sales of her solo career, and the best-selling debut week for a female artist in 2013; six days after release it had sold one million digital copies worldwide. "XO" was chosen as the lead single for both the US and worldwide, while "Drunk in Love" was released to urban radio in the US only. The album has sold 3 million units worldwide as of January 2014.
the album delves into the motifs of futuristic R&B music: strong, emotive vocal performances, minimalist production and streams of consciousness.
The project's exclusive online release meant that that the videos could be shared through platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. Jenna Wortham of The New York Times identified how this had created a "ripple effect"; the choreography and lyric "I woke up like this" from the song "Flawless" exemplifies a moment that became instantly popular with fans and thus generated a vast amount of attention.
"I miss that immersive experience, now people only listen to a few seconds of song on the iPods and they don't really invest in the whole experience. It's all about the single, and the hype. It's so much that gets between the music and the art and the fans. I felt like, I don't want anybody to get the message, when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready and from me to my fans." Beyonce

On December 16, Apple announced that Beyoncé was the fastest selling album in the history of the iTunes Store, both in the US and worldwide. Which holds the key to the future of music, this is just the beginning of visual albums, something that may represent the next 30 years in the music industry.

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