[20] Michael Jackson, ‘Scream’

Straight back on the horse. Shockingly lazy record, this. The excuse is, the version in our chart is a decent Morales mix – even so, it’s not up to much. Extra points, though, for not even giving his sister a “featuring” credit. The “Duet with Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson” is neither part of the artist billing nor the title; it’s just kind of there.

And then there’s the “most expensive video ever made”, which to these eyes seemed to feature a white room with a couple of hollow-eyed freaks in outmoded John Richmond spiky Destroy tops, and some space age special effects last seen in Plan 9 From Outer Space. Way to go, long-mac-in-the-swingpark boy.

Junior spent the song on her mat, not paying much attention but impressively moving clockwise through 90 degrees. You didn’t see Wacko Jacko trying THAT on the MTV Awards.

There’s a hook in this song that I sort of like. I think that’s what Janet brings to the party, but there’s nothing else to justify the hype that fanfared its release. I had the dubious honour of working at Sony Music at the time, and what a hullabaloo there was. Padlocked promo copies brought into the office by Ray-Banned man-mountains, reviewers shackled to chairs in the audio suites, that laughable polystyrene statue on the Thames. I wonder if they’re trying to recoup some costs now?

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