Michael Jackson's video for "Black or White" dropped on this day in 1991

It was seen by by over 500 million viewers in 27 countries that day.

\\<\/iframe\>

Today in rock history: On this date in 1991, the John Landis-directed music video for Michael Jackson's single "Black or White" premiered in grand style on a variety of networks including MTV, VH1, BET and Fox to name a few. In total, the video made its simultaneous debut in 27 countries around the world and was watched by over 500 million viewers during its original broadcast, making it the most watched music video in history. As the lead single from Jackson's forthcoming Dangerous album, promotion was at an all-time high. The clip featured appearances by child actor Macaulay Culkin and George Wendt who best known for his role as Norm on hit television sitcom, Cheers. The song itself was pure pop gold, catchy, danceable and as melodic as most of Jackson's creations. The clip, however, was met with some controversy as the film depicted Michael destroying car windows and engaging in plenty of crotch-grabbing. The hoopla was enough to disturb plenty of parents and conservative groups, but it was just what the single and the record needed to catapult sales to soaring heights. "Black or White" went to No. 1 on singles charts in just about every country in the world and wound up selling over 2 million copies in the United States alone, making it another unprecedented hit for the King of Pop.

\\<\/iframe\>

Today in rock history: On this date in 1981, masterful American soul and funk group Earth, Wind & Fire released its triumphant 11th album, Raise!. Riding the crest of pop-crossover success, the band which rose to prominence early in its existence on R&B sales chart scored another huge hit with this fantastic, spirited album that went all the way to No. 1 on Billboard's R&B albums chart and stayed there for 11 straight weeks. The album also reached No. 3 on the chart that monitors pop album sales and retained strong sales well into 1982. Fueled by the effervescent, bouncy dance floor smash, "Let's Groove," Raise! reached platinum sales status just like the group's last several albums. Produced by the band's fantastic frontman, lead singer and chief songwriter, the late Maurice White, another Raise! single, "Wanna Be With You," earned the band a Grammy Award in the category of Best R&B Performance.

\\<\/iframe\>

Today in rock history: On this date in 1989, pioneering industrial group Ministry released its dark and brooding fourth studio album The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste. As the band's appeal grew (thanks in part to its leap from indie label Wax Trax! to major label Sire Records) Taste served as the pinnacle of the group's unique and brutal sound. Featuring the essential tracks "Breathe," "So What" and "Burning Inside," the band proved that aggressive, dark music had a large following by selling more than 500,000 copies of Taste in the U.S. alone. Containing several samples and snippets from a variety of films, the record appealed to fans of alternative music, metal and, undoubtedly, those who preferred the crunching, relentlessness of industrial music.

\\<\/iframe\>

Today in rock history: On this date in 1995, American folk and pop singer Tracy Chapman released her fourth album, New Beginning. After making a major splash on the pop scene with her 1988 self-titled debut album its catchy single "Fast Car," Chapman retained a core audience that stuck with her. Still, nothing prepared her for success this album would achieve. Driven by the strong, blues-influenced lead single "Give Me One Reason," the album went on to sell over 5 million copies in America, making it a major hit for Chapman. "Give Me One Reason" wound up winning Chapman a 1995 Grammy Award in the category of Best Rock Song and remains one of her best-known and most beloved singles. New Beginning was also one of the first commercially available compact discs to include multimedia content, a trend that was just getting off the ground at the time of its release. A strong, consistent album that still sounds fresh and inspiring today, this is most certainly what many fans see as Chapman's strongest and best work.

About The Author

Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
Scroll to read more Music News articles

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.