Michael Jackson, ‘Thriller’ vs. Cyndi Lauper, ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ — Greatest Pop Video Of The Modern Era [Semi Finals]
Last year, we ran a super-sized competition to determine the greatest pop song in modern history, from the ’80s to today. And now, we’re back — and this time, it’s all about honoring the best and boldest in music videos. Our semi-finalists received the most votes from you, our readers, and they need your help again to advance to the finals!
Cyndi Lauper's video for "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" beat out Madonna's "Like a Prayer" by a nearly 80% majority in the first round! It's been over thirty years since the song and its accompanying video have been released, and their shared celebration of feminism is just as applicable now as it was then. As Lauper herself told The Atlantic in 2014, the song was (and still is) "blatantly feminist" in the hopes of encouraging other people—not just women—to no longer see the word "feminist" as a dirty one.
Michael Jackson's "Thriller," on the other hand, is a defining moment in the genre—not just for music videos, but also for horror. "Thriller" was released at a time when Vincent Price was still very much the king of horror, so it's no surprise that he lends his ominous voice to the song in the form of a voiceover monologue. But what also made/makes "Thriller" great is that, like other horror films of the '80s (Friday the 30th, Halloween, and A Nightmare on Elm Street) it didn't rely on anything but pure terror to be frightening. "Thriller," then, evokes a more visceral, nostalgic form of horror that just happens to also include one of the most iconic dance routines in modern music.
And now, it's time to decide: Between "Thriller" and "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," which is the better video? Place your vote below. We'll announce the winner right here on November 18 at 5 PM ET. Go, go, go!