Michael Jackson may have been dead for five years but that has not stopped him from continuing to make history, with the second single, A Place With No Name, from the King of Pop’s posthumous album Xscape becoming the first music video to be premiered on the social networking website Twitter.
The video, which includes footage of a dancing Jackson, has a suitably retro feel, accompanying a track that is definitely reminiscent of the popstar’s Bad days. A Place With No Name is a quintessentially pop remake of America’s 1972 folk-rock hit A Horse With No Name, replacing the folky guitars and hushed vocals with keyboards, and Jackson’s characteristic energised and percussive voice. Initially reworking the track in 1998 with producer Dr. Freeze, the lyrics of the original were completely discarded, instead telling a tale of a man who, upon blowing a flat tyre on his Jeep, is seduced by a beautiful woman and her promises of sexual utopia.
If the track’s unsophisticated lyrics are its weakness, then its strength can be found in its innately groovy melodic introduction. The opening captures the spirit and energy of the singer, immortalised particularly in Jackson’s Bad and Dangerous periods. A Place With No Name is unknown and at the same time familiar, producing a sound that is retro and classic, rather than dated.