8. 'Leave Me Alone' (1989)
Right up to its "Gulliver's Travels"-inspired ending, Jim Blashfield and Paul Diener's video for "Bad" single "Leave Me Alone" (also featured in Jackson's 1988 film "Moonwalker") is a tour-de-force of imaginative visuals that was nominated for a whopping six MTV Video Music Awards and won the Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video. Perhaps the least-typical of all of Jackson's music videos, the animated clip pokes fun at the singer's "Wacko Jacko" tabloid persona (already well-established by that point) with a series of charmingly primitive special effects that outline the various rumors that had dogged him post-superstardom. One particular highlight has him dancing with the skeleton of "Elephant Man" Joseph Merrick, whose bones one outlandish report had claimed he was interested in purchasing. At the time of the video's release Jackson was still more lovable oddball than tragic figure, and in that sense "Leave Me Alone" also serves as a time capsule to a relatively more innocent period in the King of Pop's rollercoaster career.
- Chris Eggertsen