“Billie Jean” referenced as a famous song that everyone knows of. The song is in the album, Thriller which was produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson in 1982. When you first hear the song, it gives the listener a great impression because it starts with the rhythm. After two measures of the rhythm played on the drum set, it introduces to the bass, the hook that keeps the listener interested. Billie Jean is one of iconic songs of Michael Jackson’s career. It also has huge influence afterwards on pop, rock, and funk music.
At that point, Michael Jackson is already well-known in United State, and Thriller becomes the most selling album of all time. He was so famous that anyone or anything that was related to him would have been on the headlines of news. “Billie Jean” expresses Michael Jackson’s thoughts and feeling about how Michael is being accused of doing something that he didn’t do. There are many instruments that are used in “Billie Jean;” such as drum set, drum machine, electric bass, guitar, synthesizer, strings, and voice.
The style of the song is classified as R&B because the song has a strong backbeat, driving bass line and emphasis on the 2nd and 4th beat of each measure. In each verse begins in mp and increases dynamically to mf at the pre-chorus; there is a slow crescendo to F during the transition from pre-chorus to chorus. The tempo of this song is moderato at approximately 116 bpm; however it feels much slower because the emphasis is on the 2nd and 4th beats rather than on the 1st and 3rd(Musical Analysis and Critique of “Billie Jean”). In the beginning of the song, the beat is the first thing you hear.
It’s about as simple as a beat gets, with hits on every eighth note and alternations between the snare and the bass drum every quarter note. After a bar of the beat, that iconic, prowling bass line lurks into the mix. The bass line is called “walking bass line. ” (Billie Jean Music) The walking bass is a melody that is designed to fulfill both harmony and pulse. The main bass to “Billie Jean” has all these qualities. The lyrics of “Billie Jean” is kind of vague when I first look at it. Before I actually start doing research on this song, I know that the title, “Billie Jean” is a fan girl of Michael Jackson’s .
According to biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, Billie Jean is meant to be a girl who had a mental problem and claimed that Jackson fathered one of her twins. Michael Jackson tries to express how he feels when the girl was accusing him. In stanza one of the lyrics, “Who Will Dance On The Floor In The Round” repeats twice; Michael Jackson is saying that Billie Jean is a super star who dances on the theater, and everyone is looking at her. That implies all the people are paying attention to the girl while she is accusing Michael Jackson.
In stanza three of the lyrics, the line “And Don’t Go Round Breaking Young Girls’ Hearts” tells the audience that he doesn’t break other girl’s heart. Michael Jackson was not the type of super star to have such relationships with random groupies. The line “For Forty Days And For Forty Nights” in stanza five is the numbers given in Bible that have often been interpreted symbolically. Michael used this line to warn the girl who accused Michael Jackson of fathering her child. In the song “Billie Jean,” Michael used many different ways to show his emotion, and sang the song out to let everybody knows that he wasn’t the father of the kid.
The music video for “Billie Jean” was produced by MJJ Production Inc. in 1982. In the beginning of the music video, Michael Jackson is portrayed as a rich man, and a detective was investigating Michael Jackson. Every step that Michael made, it lighted up and became shiny. While Michael was walking, he saw a old man who had no money and slept on the street next to trash can. He flicked his coin into that old man’s cup, and the old man became rich all the sudden and wore a white tuxedo. The detective kept following Michael and tried to take picture of him, but he failed.
After that, the detective followed Michael to a building. An old lady called police because she thought something might be going on up there. Before the police came, Michael walked into Billie Jean’s house and the detective was right next to the window. The detective was trying take a picture of Michael when he was getting into Billie Jean’s bed. He didn’t get the picture and got caught by the police. The whole concept of the song “Billie Jean” was to say that Michael didn’t have an affair with Billie Jean.
“The evil women of “Heartbreak Hotel” have returned in the form of one treacherous girl named Billie Jean, who torments Michael, accusing him of fathering her son,” (Nelson , 83). The music video reflects Michael’s personal life surrounded by the women who target his power, money, and fame. It shows how girl would wait for Michael and will do anything for him including sexual favors in return for fame. Their goals would be to end up having an affair with Michael Jackson, for the fame and money. Whether Michael Jackson ever crossed the line or not, female presence around him
caused media rumors and accusations damaging his reputation. This is the biggest weakness on any celebrity. More and more fans imitated the dance move from the Billie Jean music video as one of their versatile to start their career or business. “Imitation may or may not be the sincerest form of flattery, but it is definitely one of the best ways to make rapid improvements in your life. ” (Young). Some may use it as their teaching material, and some may develop more advance move based on the rhythm of Billie Jean. For instance, in the famous show, America’s Got Talent, many competitors used Billie Jean’s dance move as their talent.
When the familiar music hit, the atmosphere electrifies all audience. It is the powerful effect of Billie Jean. In this new generation, teenagers may not quite know about who Michael Jackson was, but they must have seen the dance move or of Billie Jean or heard about its tempo. It is clear to see that how strong and symbolic the Billie Jean influence our music industry and people. For the reference of Billie Jean music video, Billie Jean is not a real girl, but stories like this happened to his brothers when they were the Jacksons.
Billie Jean says that she has a son whose father is Michael Jackson, and she wants to live with Michael forever, and if Michael does not come then he does not like his son. In real life, Michael Jackson was a good example for us in many ways. He never committed the barbarism that the media, court, and the mother of that child accused him, to tell people more, the mother of the child admitted that she had accepted money from Michael, not for those charges, but because she was affecting the public figure of Michael, and the court never found him guilty of those charge.
Furthermore, there is a deeper meaning to “Billie Jean” as with all of Michael’s music, lyrics and videos. It is kind of magic that is able to attract attention from listeners. There is also a lot of meaning behind Cat symbolism. The “private eye” following and watching Michael throughout the video is telling. Think of the symbolic meaning of “eye” and its origin and perhaps which group and actions it may represent in relationship to Michael. Also, the clue Michael gives by being just out of reach, ever so elusive, and there is the whole sort of surreal, dreamlike aspect of the visuals too.
Therefore, the music video implies that Michael is a man of brilliance and genius with an equal dose of pain and despair. This was the price for being a legend, the media in the US is a very strong force of destruction, especially when the target is a pop sensation person who was a very fruitful object for the media. “People made a lot of money continuing Michael’s self-destruction. From those who isolated him as ‘aides’, to those who carved up his face, to those who sold him the drugs he killed himself with,” (The Strata-Sphere).
He would have had a much happier life if he had never been famous, never had the money and the adulation that push him over the edge. In conclusion, Billie Jean is one of the most prominent song in musical history. It has electrified dance routines and meaningful lyrics. This song will always be very popular and lead other songs. This song is really a masterpiece in the musical history because it has huge influence on the pop, rock, and funk music. Even though Michael Jackson has died for several years, his music albums will keep be played over and over again by his loyal fans, and his spirit and will still be present in future generations.