Beat It / Thriller: Young Talent Time, 1984

Beat It / Thriller: Young Talent Time, 1984
Johnny Young, Clearvoice Pty Ltd
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This is a striking example of the popular music medleys Young Talent Time was known for. The show often started with a whole cast number like this one, which features ‘Beat It’ and ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson. 

The cast here is Dannii Minogue (1982–88), Vince Del Tito (1983–88 and soloist on 'Thriller'), Karen Dunkerton (1981–85), Beven Addinsall (1983–88), Katie Van Ree (1981–86, 1987), Vanessa Windsor (1983–87) and Lorena Novoa (1984–87, 1988). 

MTV launched in the US in 1981, changing music television forever, and this performance mimics the choreography and costuming (particularly Vince’s red jacket) of Jackson’s seminal music videos from the Thriller (1982) album. 

The camerawork follows the show’s familiar formula of a combination of group shots and close-ups of each performer singing direct to fans at home. 

In 1984 Michael Jackson was a global phenomenon but in subsequent years he became a controversial figure with multiple allegations of child sexual abuse levelled against him. He was later acquitted and died in 2009. 

Notes by Beth Taylor