Review of Michael Jackson: HIStory Video Greatest Hits
Michael Jackson has without doubt made some of the best pop music ever, most notably with Quincy Jones at the helm. I`ve been a fan since his first album, Off The Wall through to Dangerous. This DVD, HIStory, is a collection of ten of his music videos spanning his first album through to Dangerous.
With directors such as Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas), John Landis (American Werewolf in London) and John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood), Jackson has been spoiled and in return produced some of the most memorable and ground breaking music videos.
The quality of the fullframe transfer seems to vary from video to video. The `Way You Make Me Feel` is grainy, while `Bad` is clearer and `Do You Remember The Time` is the sharpest here. So it`s a mixed bag, but it`s not awful, just average. I didn`t mind this at all though as I`m far more into the music and the performances to let the quality get in the way.
This DVD comes with a 2 channel PCM and a remixed DD5.1 soundtrack. It`s all well and good having the 5.1 track, but it just doesn`t sound right to me. A few of the videos sound odd with reverb coming through, plus the sound levels seemed quite low. In comparison, the PCM track is the better track to listen to. It`s the original and still the best way to appreciate the videos. All except for `Black Or White` and `Do You Remember The Time` which are encoded with Dolby Surround.
There`s a pic of Jackson`s white socks on the title page, and these are sparkley! Very nice. Apart from chapter selection and a discography, there`s nothing else of note. I can`t believe that music DVDs are still put out with little more than the videos which we`ve all seen. Granted it`s good to see them again, but come on, I want to have more `features`.
Thriller was the most ambitious promo ever made for its time, and I really like it. I know there`s a `Making Of` feature for the video since it`s been on T.V., and it would have been great to have it here. More features are what`s needed to make this an absolute must purchase DVD.
Jackson has come a long way in music promos since the days of poor lip sync and the low budgets of `Don`t Stop Til You Get Enough`, producing almost feature length films with massive budgets for the likes of `Thriller` and `Do You Remember The Time`. There`s no mistaking the great choreography (not sure that clutching ones groin counts though) and style Jackson had when it came to making pop promos. His old style brand of pop and soul is thankfully in full effect as we remember Billie Jean, Beat It and Bad. For me however, Thriller is one of Jackson`s finest moments.
For the first time, two of these videos are the extended cuts of two Jackson songs that hadn`t been released before. `Bad` and `The Way You Make Me Feel` (a favourite of mine); these have extra scenes that make more sense to what`s happening on screen. I have HIStory on laserdisc as well as DVD, and to be honest, there`s no discernible differences in terms of video quality between the DVD and LD.
I think the lack of ANY extras is a bit of a sore point. As a fan of Jackson`s earlier music, I would have dearly loved to see some of the behind-the-scenes footage. HIStory is a nice collection of ground breaking videos for cool pop music from one of the masters of pop and makes for good background noise. If you`re a Michael Jackson fan or just like the music on offer here, I have no problem in recommending the DVD, but try to find it cheaper than the £20 street price.