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Flashback Video: 'Say Say Say' by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly  impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing  that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos  from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.


This issue we will cover "Say Say Say" by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson. The song was released in October of 1983 as the lead single from McCartney's Pipes of Peace album. The duo recorded another duet "The Girl is Mine" which, though it was released in October of 1982 from Jackson's Thriller album, it was actually recorded after they had made "Say Say Say". It became Jackson's seventh Top 10 hit of 1983 (breaking a record that until then was held jointly by The Beatles and Elvis Presley) and had a six-week run at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 beginning in December of 1983.


The music video for "Say Say Say" was recorded in October of 1983 and directed by Bob Giraldi. He saw great success in the advertising world before getting into television, film and music video directing. He had previously recorded the popular music video for Michael Jackson's "Beat It" as well as Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield". After that, Giraldi directed several Lionel Richie videos including "Running with the Night", "Hello", "Penny Love" and "Ballerina Girl" among other work. Giraldi was also the director of the Pepsi New Generation ad that was released in 1984 starring Michael Jackson in which pyrotechnics caused Jackson's hair to catch on fire causing second-degree burns to his scalp.


In the music video for "Say Say Say", McCartney and Jackson play the duo known as "Mac and Jack". In the first part, they are shown con men who sell a miracle strength potion but donate all of the money earned from the scam to an orphanage. Next, they are shown as vaudeville performers who sing and dance at a bar, where the law catches up with them but a distraction allows them to escape. The video ends as they drive off into the sunset. You may recognize appearances by Paul's wife Linda McCartney and Michael's sister LaToya Jackson. Here is the music video for "Say Say Say" by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson...




This was released at a time when everything Michael Jackson touched was gold. And a duet with a Beatle with a fun music video like this was a sure recipe to be the huge success it was. Their voices blended together perfectly and the fun they seemed to have performing with each other came across in the music video. Sadly, the duo had a falling out in 1985 after Michael Jackson purchased a song catalog which included 250 songs written by Lennon & McCartney.


Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!

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