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Michael Jackson - Leave Me Alone (1989)

  • Video Views 78,282,778
  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.12
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Leave Me Alone" is a song by American artist Michael Jackson from his seventh studio album, Bad (1987). On February 13, ...

"Leave Me Alone" is a song by American artist Michael Jackson from his seventh studio album, Bad (1987). On February 13, 1989, it was released as the eighth single from the album, though only outside the United States and Canada. It only appears on the CD and 2001 cassette editions of Bad. It was written and composed by Jackson and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones.

"Leave Me Alone" topped the charts in Greece, the Republic of Ireland, and Spain (in 2006), and peaked within the top ten of the charts in Belgium, New Zealand, Spain (upon its original release), and the United Kingdom. "Leave Me Alone" was generally well received by critics. In the music video, Jackson pokes fun at the rumors about him. The video was the recipient of a Grammy Award in 1990 for Best Music Video. The song was never performed on any of Jackson's tours.

Music video

The music video for "Leave Me Alone" was directed by Jim Blashfield and produced by Jim Blashfield, Paul Diener, Michael Jackson, and Frank DiLeo. It was filmed in January 1988 in Culver City, California and was released on January 2, 1989. The video also appeared in the 1988 film Moonwalker. In essence, the video is an amusement park consisting of stylistically crude images based around Jackson's successful career since 1982's Thriller. There is an emphasis on the tabloid view of Jackson's personal life and public image, referring to the nickname "Wacko Jacko" given to him by the press, and the various headlines associated with him in the 1980s. Lampooning rumours that he tried to purchase Joseph Merrick's bones, Jackson dances with stop motion "Elephant Man" bones in the video.

In the video, there are images of shrines to actress Elizabeth Taylor, a real life close friend of Jackson. Throughout the video newspaper headlines, published by "National Intruder", with bizarre titles are shown, such as "Michael's Space-Age Diet" and "Michael Proposes to Liz". Another notable scene in the music video was a nose being chased by a surgical scalpel, which was a reference to Jackson's plastic surgeries being scrutinized by the media. At the end of the video, it is revealed that a gigantic Jackson himself is the amusement park. He breaks free, tearing the park to pieces. That scene is somewhat reminiscent of Gulliver's Travels, where Gulliver eventually breaks free from the Lilliputians' bonds.

"Leave Me Alone" was the recipient of multiple nominations for its music video. The video won a Grammy Award in 1990 for Best Short Form Music Video at the 32nd Grammy Awards. The video also won the Cannes Gold Lion Award for Best Special Effects. The video also received six nominations at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year, Viewers' Choice, Breakthrough Video, Best Editing and Best Art Direction; the video won Best Special Effects. The video lost its six nominations to Neil Young's "This Note Is for You" ("Video of the Year"), Art of Noise ("Breakthrough Video"), Paula Abdul ("Best Editing"), and Madonna's "Express Yourself" ("Best Cinematography", "Best Art Direction") and "Like a Prayer" ("Viewers' Choice"). Erlewine described the music video as being "weirdly claustrophobic" and felt that, "not coincidentally," it was the "best video from the album."


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