Michael Jackson – That Was Him (Apocalypse Sound AS 200)

That Was Him (Apocalypse Sound AS 200)

Live In Munich, Germany, “Michael Jackson & Friends” June 27th, 1999:  Introduction, medley (featuring Slash), Billie Jean, Dangerous, Earth Song, You Are Not Alone

Jackson 5, “Going Back To Indiana,” ABC TV, September 16th, 1971:  Bill Crosby intro, I Want You Back / Tito thunderballs car race, Maybe Tomorrow / basketball skit, Stand / Feeling Alright / Diana Ross limousine scoop,  Take It Higher / The Love You Save / Going Back, finale

Jackson 5, “1984 Victory Tour Suler Express Special’ :  Heartbreak Hotel / Human Nature

Jackson 5 “1984 Victory Tour Live In Los Angeles Special”:  Shake Your Body / Heartbreak Hotel

That Was Himcollects several interesting Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 videos over an almost thirty year time period.  The first half hour of the DVD is the most recent, dating back to June 1999.  During that month Michael was involved in many charitable events.  He joined Luciano Pavarotti for a benefit concert in Modena, Italy in support of the non-profit organization War Child, and raised a million dollars for the refugees of Kosovo, FR Yugoslavia, as well as additional funds for the children of Guatemala.

In the last week of June 1999 Michael organized two “Michael Jackson & Friends” benefit concerts.  The first was on June 25 in Seoul, South Korea and the second in Munich, Germany on June 27.  He was joined by “friends” such as Slash, The Scorpions, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram, Shobana, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti. The proceeds went to the “Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund,” the Red Cross and UNESCO.

The Munich show was played before a sold out crowd of 70,000 and also simulcast online and recorded over 10 million hits.  The half hour show starts off with the Michael Jackson medley of  hits “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Scream,” “Beat It” and “Black Or White.”  The medley includes a guitar solo of Slash and a follow-up song which is “Billie Jean.”  It is the same medley performed in the 1995 Video Music Awards.

Then, according to the Michael Jackson Trader website:  “After performing his greatest hits medley and ‘Dangerous’, the ‘Earth Song’ number began. As stated earlier, Michael had imagined the ‘Bridge of No Return’ for this number. By the end of the song, a steel bridge is elevated on stage and Michael walks on top of it to sing until a soldier comes up to him with a gun and takes him down. Then, a tank breaks in and the performance ends in the same way as during the HIStory Tour concerts. That’s the number how it was imagined and how it happened in Seoul a few days before.

“However, in Munich, while Michael was singing on top of the bridge (more than 8 meters from the ground), a mechanical problem happened. The upper part of the bridge fell down. It was no longer held by the engines and only stopped from falling free by the cables that were attached to it. Michael was standing on that steel footbridge when it fell down and violently hit the ground below stage level (through the opened hatch in the stage).  

“The audience didn’t notice the accident and thought it was all part of the show. Very few fans understood the terrible thing that had just happened.

“When the bridge hit the ground, Michael was obviously shocked. Nevertheless, he carried on his performance and kept singing ‘Earth Song’ with half of his body emerging from the stage hatch. Nobody could tell something was wrong. Then, without showing any sign of pain or distress, Michael climbed back on stage and ended the song with the HIStory Tour usual routine (band members decided on that new arrangement within seconds after the accident). The tank then came on stage and so did the soldier and the kid. ‘Earth Song’ was over.

“A few minutes later, ‘You Are Not Alone’ began. Parts of the ‘Bridge of No Return’ were still on stage. Crew members were unable to operate them anymore and had to leave them there.  Michael appeared on stage with his ‘Earth Song’ outfit, which was a clear indication that something was wrong. He was indeed supposed to change clothes for this number.

“As soon as ‘You Are Not Alone’ finished, with a remarkable ending vocal performance (given the circumstances), Michael left the stadium.  He was immediately taken to a Munich hospital for a complete check-up.  One hour later, after the doctors agreed that no major physical injuries had occurred, Michael was released and headed back to his hotel. Unfortunately, on his way back, he fainted from nervous exhaustion due to the intense fear, stress and commotion he had just gone through. He was taken back to the hospital and spent the night there under medical observation.”

The second track is the “Going Back To Indiana” TV special on ABC-TV.  It was filmed on July 9th and 10th, 1971 and aired on September 16th, 1971.  It is an hour long special produced by Motown Records.  Part concert and part comedy skits, it’s a fun way to showcase both the Jackson 5’s personalities and talent to a television audience. 

Comedian Bill Crosby hosts the show, acting as a character named Scoop Newsworthy on special assignment covering the band as they make a homecoming trip back to their hometown of Gary, Indiana.  Tommy Smothers, singers Bobby Darin and Diana Ross, football players Roosevelt “Rosey” Grier, and Ben Davidson, and basketball stars Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, and Elvin Hayes in the “basketball sketch.” 

The musical performances were filmed live on May 29th, 1971 in Indianapolis (not Gary) and are simply electric.  Motown would release the soundtrack two weeks later and the album would hit #5 on the R&B charts and #15 on Billboard.

The final two tracks cover news reports from the Jackson 5’s Victory tour in 1984.  The Suler Express Special is in German and features good concert footage and fan reaction to the opening night in Kansas City.  The second is a French production, featuring live footage of their Dodger Stadium concert in excellent quality.

Apocalypse Sound are the only label in the world to consistently produce excellent quality Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 DVDs and this is another one worth having for the rarity of the material.

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