Michael Jackson would have turned 54 this week, and in honor of his birthday, here’s my favorite MJ video. Not only is it a great example of dreamy, abstract 80s music video awesomeness, it opened doors at MTV.

At the time, 30 years ago, MTV didn’t want to air this video. Reports at the time suggested that the executives worried that the suburbanites who subscribed to cable didn’t want to watch African-American performers. CBS Records insisted, MTV relented, and the rest is history.

Whenever anyone does a countdown of the best 80s music videos, or of music videos period, this is what I expect to be at the top. It won nine MTV Music Video Awards in 1987, and its style of animation, including work from the Wallace and Gromit folks, has never been topped. The powerful song helps too.

Got a better music video in mind? Leave a comment. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy.

Looking at a bunch of successful blogs, I see that some of them have a topic that doesn’t have much to do with anything else. This blog is going to start including some music videos from the days when MTV played them. Here’s the long version of a song from Mr. 80s video: Huey Lewis. If you want to skip forward to the music, it starts at about 2:14.