1997 - "HIStory/Ghosts" second released from Michael's remix album "Blood On The Dancefloor", debuted at #5 in the UK, giving Michael his 8th consecutive Top 5 single.
The music video for "Ghosts" was a 5 minute clip taken from a film entitled Ghosts. Michael unveiled the film at the Cannes Film Festival, as part of the album promotion. The film was written by Jackson and Stephen King and directed by Stan Winston – the multi-award winner behind the spectacular special effects. Ghosts was produced over an 8 week period, and cost Michael an est. $7-9 million. He played several roles, including a maestro, a fat, grey-haired town Mayor, and some monsters. The story was based loosely on the events and isolation Jackson felt after the false accusations. It features many special effects and dance moves choreographed to original music, which Jackson himself authored. The film includes several songs and music videos from the albums HIStory and Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix.
Ghosts ~ Are You Scared Yet?
A scary Maestro with supernatural powers, is targeted by angry parents & towns mayor determined to drive him from his haunted Normal Valley home cause they believe him to be a "freak".
"You’re weird," the Mayor sneers, "You’re strange, you’re scaring these kids." [Brave words to commit to film, considering the media's warped portrayal of Michael!]
Maestro challenges the Mayor: first one to get scared leaves town.
So begins a wonderfully ghoulish display of singing and dancing, with breath-taking special effects.
"Is this scary?" one of Michael’s characters asks, and the answer is yes – Ghosts is delightfully scary!
The film was written by Michael and Stephen King and directed by Oscar-winner Stan Winston – the world’s foremost creator of creatures in Jurassic Park, Aliens & Terminator 2.
The movie includes a series of dance routines performed by Michael and the “family” of ghouls, choreographed to original music, which Michael himself authored. Every song from the film was taken from Michael’s Blood on the Dance Floor album.
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
MAESTRO: Michael Jackson
MAYOR: Michael Jackson
GHOUL MAYOR: Michael Jackson
SUPER GHOUL: Michael Jackson
SKELETON: Michael Jackson
PAT: Pat Dade
AMY: Amy Smallman
EDWINA: Edwina Moore
DANTE: Dante Beze
SETH: Seth Smith
KENDALL: Kendall Cunningham
LOREN: Loren Randolph
HEATHER: Heather Ehlers
- The video for Ghosts is over 38 minutes long and holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s longest music video.
- The music video won the Bob Fosse Award for Best Choreography in a Music Video.
- Ghosts was issued as a standard home video in the UK in early February 1998 & made its debut at #1.
The original version of "HIStory" was the title track on his 1995 studio album HIStory, but was never released as a single; used the opening from "Great Gate of Kiev" as its introduction, followed by numerous historical quotes, including quotes from an interview with a young Michael Jackson from 1970. Musical compositions sampled include "Beethoven Lives Upstairs" and "Pictures at an Exhibition". Audio quotes sampled were the "Charles Lindbergh Report" by Lowell Thomas, a report on Hank Aaron, "Robert Kennedy Eulogy" by Edward Kennedy, "Farewell to Baseball" by Lou Gehrig, "Greetings to the Children of England" by Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, a quote from Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream".
The music video that accompanied the remix opens with the scene of a woman, relaxing on a futuristic sofa, watching the music video through metallic virtual reality goggles. The video is set in a nightclub, inside the club, televisions, monitors and walls display the history of Michael's filmography
The remix album become Michael’s 5th consecutive chart topping album (his 6th in total)
1998 - Michael Jackson attended Nelson Mandela's 80th birthday at the Gallagher Estate outside of Johannesburg.
2005 - Sony releases a new double CD Greatest Hits titled The Essential.
The Essential Michael Jackson is a 2005 greatest hits 2-disc compilation features 38 hit songs by Michael Jackson, from his days at Motown Records with The Jackson 5 in the late 1960s to his 2001 hit "You Rock My World".
As of 2009 the album was certified 2x platinum in the US, it's estimated that over 7 million copies have been sold worldwide, making it the highest selling edition in Sony's Essential line.