Michael Jackson, who made history as the Moonwalker, surrounded himself with the symbol of the moon, but he also quoted the symbol of Sunrise countless times in his films, his music and in his artwork.
„Dawn and dusk. It’s a certain magic about it.“Michael Jackson, 1983
Michael Jackson, who danced at night in the light of the moon as the Moonwalker, stated in a 1983 interview: 1
„My god, it’s dusk. The moon is out. The most beautiful part of the day. I can see some of the stars coming out. Very Beautiful, everything comes to LIFE. The Fireflies are in the trees. Everything’s becoming magic. It’s … it is I would say my favorite part of the day. Dawn and dusk. It’s a certain magic about it. It does seem that everything starts to prey up on the night. Everything starts to come out. Be it the creatures. The birds that return to their nests. I love down also. Some psychologists say that .. that dusk for a lot of creative people you reach your alphastate subconcuisly you become more creative at certain parts of the day but for me it could be anytime you know. I just like creating there’s no special time. But this is REALY magic to me. It’s like a painting. It’s very artistic. It’s magic. ( Michael sings: „It’s so wonderfull …“) Just the sound of water is magic.It’s really beautiful. Just sitting here and relax. […]‘Michael Jackson, 1983
I think with any type of creation you create what’s inside of you. Subconsciously what influences you. I’m a fantasy fanatic and anything that will take you off into another world escapism, that’s what I like. I’m not so crazy about the reality of everything I like a lot of fantasy and that’s what I try to create. To get away. To become moved. (sings: „Watch me fly … I can do anything“).
A young and creative Jackson at his magic fountain inspired by daybreak and dusk. Source
1980. Notes from Michael Jackson: „„Sun is setting … then night fall“
In the early 1980s, Jackson wrote down his ideas about the symbol of the sun, the sunset and the magic of the night for a film project or an upcoming interview:
„Sun is setting and I must see the sunset from atop so I rush on top of the roof and my God, I become moved by the beauty of a sunset. Show the truth of its beauty on my expression how it inspires me in truth. Wind blows shirt and hair. Different locations of sunset. Talk about myself my dreams and what I want to do. Show me preparing to dance with (second?/record?) glove hat and quick step. Magic shots like a Fosse movie. Then Night fall the Magic of the Night now. The film MUST be too good to be true. like a fairy TAIL. Something out of a story book. The key is to get and do exactly what I see in my head.” 2Michael Jackson, 1980
1978 until 2009: The symbol „sunrise“ (sunset/night) in the aRt of Michael Jackson
1978. „A Brand New Day“ in „The Wiz“
A brand new day and a new beginning in Jackson’s career dawned in 1978 in the musical triumph of THE WIZ, which tells the story about victory of light over darkness after the liberation of African Americans from slavery and oppression. 3 The song „A Brand New Day“ marks the climax of the film and symbolizes a shining new beginning after the end of civil rights movements in the USA. After darkness of racism and prejudice.
1981. CAN YOU FEEL IT? The Triumph of light
CAN YOU FEEL IT is the mother of all Michael Jackson films. Presented by The Jacksons, designed by Michael, the film shows the story of creation, overcoming darkness and new hope rising on the horizon at dawn until the bright light of the sun appears in its glory in the sky.
1983. Light and Darkness in Jackson’s Interview. „Dawn and Dusk … a certain magic“
Light during the day. Twilight is falling. In the darkness of the night you can see traces of the Moonwalker in 1983. source
Jackson experimented with the symbolism of light/ darkness, day/night even in an interview that he himself never published. Only here though did he explain his motives, while unfortunately in the following years he did not talk about the topic at all. 4
1986. Jackson and the symbol „sunrise“ in „Captain EO“, Greek Goddees for dawn. Light triumphs over darkness
The sun literally rises with Michael Jackson in his role of Captain EO. Source
Captain EO was an 4D attraction in Disney’s amusement parks and is the cinematic space adventure of Moonwalker Michael Jackson in the role of Captain EO. When Captain EO appears, he personifies the rise of the sun. The Greek goddess of the morning sun gave Captain EO his name. Eos means dawn.
In Jackson’s story, light triumphs over darkness, day over night, good over evil.
Light follows the darkness. An entire cycle of a day is shown in the Greek Walt-Disney way.
Greek columns and a symbolic dawn (Captain EO) appear in the sky as soon as the battle against the night is won.
1986. Pepsi Commercial „The Chase“. Sunrise and Moon. Day and Night
1986 – Jacksons Pepsi-commercial „The Chase“. source
Jackson’s commercial for Pepsi is more a film by Michael Jackson than commercial. The 1986 film starts with Jackson’s nighttime performance in the spotlight on stage. It continues with his escape from it, his escape from the paparazzi (Escape), his escape into art (a painting in which he „retreats“). All this happens during sunrise, but in the end, Jackson, the King of Pop, ends up back in the darkness of the night where he had escaped from: the spotlight on stage. And the night/day cycle is closed. That was a day in the life of the King of Pop.
Similar to his story in his movie MOONWALKER two years later.
1987. LIBERIAN GIRL. Jackson and the musical symbol of „african sunrise“
Song Number 4 on the BAD Album. In the beginning of the song we can hear bird voices announcing the dawn of a new day.
„… a kind of african sunrise“Jerry Hey, 2012
Jerry Hey ist the musician who was involved in Jackson’s african daybreak. 5
1988. MOONWALKER and the sun comes up in COME TOGETHER
MOONWALKER is Jackson’s movie and some portrait of his daily life in cinema length. Darkness and evil dominates the story here in 1988, but in the end darkness is overcome once again and the sun rises literally with Michael Jackson. In Gold. COME TOGETHER.
1990. Jackson and the musical symbol of sunrise in FOR ALL TIME: „Sun comes up on this new morning“
In 1990, Jackson worked on the song FOR ALL TIME during the recordings for the DANGEROUS album. The song, which features the „time“ in its title, was not released on DANGEROUS but on the anniversary album THRILLER25 in 2008.
The song FOR ALL TIME starts quietly. Daybreak sets in, accompanied by musical bird voices. Once the sun has risen on the horizon, the music is on full volume. Jackson sings: 6
„Sun comes up on this new morningMichael Jackson, 1990 in FOR ALL TIME
Shifting shadows, a songbird sings“
When FOR ALL TIMES approaches the end, Michael Jackson concludes the song with the words::
„Moon shines down on this good eveningMichael Jackson, 1990 in FOR ALL TIME
One warm kiss in the cold night air“
Jackson presented In FOR ALL TIME all elements of time: sun, moon, day, night, time … and a sense of immortality.
1991. The symbol „sunrise“ in the course of the day on the Dangerous cover by Michael Jackson
Break of dawn on the DANGEROUS cover. source
The course of the sun is displayed on the DANGEROUS album cover by Michael Jackson from 1991: Light and darkness face each other on DANGEROUS. And then, in the painting on the album cover, the day dawns at the golden, sunny King at the ENTRARE.
Under the reign of this Sun King the sun rises here. ENTRARE is written in stone beneath him, next to the column where the day and everything else begins. Here, dawn appears under the sign of (Jackson as) Captain EO. Captain EO, whose name is derived from the Greek goddess of dawn. Eo, the dawn, can be seen in the column with the sunrise on the horizon.
On DANGEROUS, EO faces the moon in the west on the firmament. This is symbolically shown with the glove, the sign of the Moonwalker Michael Jackson, who makes the moon rise on the stage during the Moonwalk. The moon is the symbol of continual renewal. 8
„Dawn and dusk. It’s a certain magic about it.“Michael Jackson, 1983
The story of Captain EO and his victory of light over darkness is not only told by Jackson’s 1986 film but also by his album cover DANGEROUS.
1991. DANGEROUS, sun, moon and the course of the day
Viewed clockwise from the left on DANGEROUS: dawn begins and is followed by sunrise. The Sun King and the glittering sun are at the zenith until the moonlight appears for the moonwalker. Symbolized by the blue Birdqueen. The moon and the earth. Both circle the sun.
1992. REMEMBER THE TIME. Jackson as the sungod, the symbol „sunrise“ and a course of a day
Song number 5 on the DANGEROUS album already carries the time in its title.
In the short film accompanying the song, the sun finally rises when Jackson completely dressed in gold emerges from the dark ashes of a night-black hooded figure. Darkness is here again replaced by bright sunshine.
Remember that time in REMEMBER THE TIME? Again it was night in Jackson’s film, but at daybreake dawn showed up in the sky.
The night and dawn in REMEMBER THE TIME source
Remember how at dawn the sun bent over the night and kissed her? (May the direction of the sun rising here raise questions…).
Back in 1992 when „Daybreak“ happened in ancient Egypt?
„Remember the time“ when the sun appeared in the sky source
1995. Jackson, the symbol of sunrise in YOU ARE NOT ALONE and the painting „Daybreak“
Song number 9 on the HIStory album. If you listen carefully, you will discover with the first bars of the music in the song that the sun is rising on the horizon. Jackson accompanies the new beginning and sings the first lines:
„Another day is gone“Michael Jackson in YOU ARE NOT ALONE
The symbol of dawn, sunrise and the course of a day are also hidden in the related short film by Michael Jackson: At first the day has not yet started. So Jackson lies on the ground, powerless. Half-naked. At his side his wife Lisa Marie Presley. No less naked. Presley bending over him.
Michael Jackson refers in his film to a painting about time: „Daybreak“. Painted in 1922 by Maxfield Parrish. In Jacksons film and in the painting the day still lies powerless on the ground as dawn rises over the horizon.
As dawn fades away, the day breaks out under a blue sky and in the figure of Jackson. Again Michael Jackson represents 1995 a new beginning with the new album.
„You are not alone. I’m here with you“Michael Jackson in YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Those first lines of YOU ARE NOT ALONE could not be more appropriate for the relationship of the sun to the dawn.
The day passes in YOU ARE NOT ALONE and ends at sunset. But the MOONWALKER returns to the stage in a comeback, into the spotlight of the moon. Another cycle of time, which Jackson completes here in 1995.
„[…] and I asked him to pick up a few of his favorite books. „He choose this volume of paintings by Maxfield Parrish. He lived in a world of pictures.“PhotographerTodd Gray on Michael Jackson 1981. 9
By the way, Jackson’s shortfilm YOU ARE NOT ALONE is ridiculed by critics. By doing so, they not only questioned his sexuality through these pictures, but they also made themselves look pathetic.
1995. HIStory Teaser. Michael Jackson and the symbol „Sunrise“: A Full Day in HIStory
Break of dawn and sunrise for the comeback of the star in Michael Jackson’s „HIStory Teaser“, 1995 source
The HIStory Teaser is the commercial for the HIStory album. 10 On Jackson’s HIStory-Teaser not only the sun rises again but a whole day passes by until nightfall.
- Break of dawn.The imperial eagle spreads its wings, announcing the arrival of the King of Pop.
- Sunrise. Again, blood red the sun rise above the horizon in the HIStory teaser.
- The sun and the star. When the sun reaches its zenith, the star appears in the sky. (Two thousand years earlier, by the way, the Christian era also began with the appearance of a star).
- Dusk. At the end of the day, the triumph in Jackson’s HIStory teaser is perfect. The King of Pop was awarded with all military honours. Silence falls.
- Sunset. A kind of army (the King’s?) appears at sunset and organizes itself and the fans. Police violence tries to settle war-like situations before the star has his appearance on stage.
- Moon. In the darkness the cold blue moonlight falls on the Moonwalker. The King of Pop is back on stage in the spotlight of the moon.
That was a day in the HIStory of the King of Pop, in HIS story. In which the opposites day and night come together over him. Like a JAM – session.
Jackson told the story of his comeback in all the countries of the world already 1981 in his aRt: in his music film CAN YOU FEEL IT. THE TRIUMPH.
2001. INVINCIBLE album. A course of the day: from BREAK OF DAWN until midnight in THREATENED
On Jackson’s last studio album in the new millennium the break of dawn stars musically: With song number 4 a new day in Michael Jackson’s career begins in 2001: BREAK OF DAWN. This is the name of the song in which bird voice announces the dawn. This in turn marks the new beginning of an era after a loud reckoning with the past in songs 1 to 3 (UNBREAKABLE/HEARTBREAKER/INVINCIBLE). 11
The musical rising of the day in the song BREAK OF DAWN is supported by flute music. Perhaps this is meant to be a quotation and here also awakes the faun from „Prelude de l’apres-midi d’un Faune“ by Claude Debussy, who was adored so much by Jackson, once again in 2001.
Song number 13 on Jackson’s album INVINCIBLE then announces the end of the cycle of time on the record/CD with the words of the lost children. The song LOST CHILDREN ended Jackson with the following words: 12
„It’s getting dark.“
Darkness finally ends the time on the album with the last song. THREATENED. A song dominated by midnight atmosphere. Another cycle in the Michael Jackson style closes with this finale. Which he then unexpectedly announces as the beginning. 13
„What you have just witnessed could be the end of a particularly terrifying nightmare. It isn’t. It’s the beginning.“Rod Serling at the end of THREATENED, the last song on Jacksons’s last studioalbum.
2001. YOU ROCK MY WORLD, Jackson, a stage and the symbol of sunrise
2001. Jackson as the sunrise live onstage, Captain EO (dawn) is back
In 2001, Jackson started his last concert with Richard Wagner’s „Sunrise“ source
On the 7 and 9 september in 2001 the King of Pop celebrated his 30th career anniversary. Together with his brothers he performed two concerts in Madison Square Garden in New York to remind us of how everything began in the career of Michael Jackson.
When Jackson appeared on stage from a dark place at the beginning of the concert, the sun rose with him. His „appearance“ was accompanied by the soundtrack of the movie „2001: A Space Odyssey“ from 1968. What an appropriate musical quotation this was for the appearance of the King in the year 2001.
By the way, the soundtrack „2001: A Space Odyssey“ belongs original to Richard Wagner. He wrote it around 1895 and called his piece „Sunrise“.
After the sun rose in 2001 with Jackson’s last concert of his career in the middle of the night at Madison Square Garden, CAN YOU FEEL IT started afterwards. Captain EO was back and with him the sun rose once again.
2009. THIS IS IT. BREAK O’DAWN. The attempt of a sunrise and the „Big Sleep“
The last time Michael Jackson showed us the sunset in 2009 during the preparations for a concert series he called THIS IS IT. For the last time in the history of the King of Pop, sunbeams could be seen on the horizon in 2009. They illuminated the triumphal arc of the „M“ for Michael. The army of fans was on the move. But the crucial question arises when looking at this picture: CAN YOU FEEL IT? source
The symbol of dawn and sunrise 2009 in Michael Jackson ’s SMOOTH CRIMINAL (THIS IS IT). Taken from the original movie called „The Big Sleep. source
The new filmed sequence of SMOOTH CRIMINAL for THIS IS IT 2009 starts with the entrance sign for a nightclub called „BREAK O’DAWN“. That means … dawn.
The picture of the entrance sign „BREAK O’DAWN“ is a quote from a 1940 film with Humphrey Bogart. The title of that movie is „The Big Sleep.“ Sleep usually comes at night.
In Jackson’s next shot from 2009, the sun rises in THIS IS IT, symbolized by turning on a spotlight.
But the darkness was overwhelming this time. This time Michael Jackson did not overcome the darkness. His work from 2009 becomes his Schwanengesang. On June 25th 2009 Michael Jackson, King of Pop was declared dead.
Destiny wanted it that the German cinema title of „The Big Sleep“ is: „Dead sleeps firmly“.
The last „sun-shower“ for the Moonwalker
According to Michael Jackson’s former wife Lisa Marie Presley, sunflowers were his favourite flowers. Michael called them „happy flowers“ and that was the reason why in December 2010 Presley invited Jackson’s fans to lay down sunflowers at his grave. „Sunshower“ she called the action, which led to a sea of sunflowers at the cemetery. 14
- Jackson, Michael, Interview 1983/1984. That Interview in Home in Hayvenhurst/Encino was never published by Jackson himself. 2010 it appeared in the Internet. „My god, it’s dusk. The moon is out. The most beautiful part of the day. I can see some of the stars coming out. Very Beautiful, everything comes to LIFE. The Fireflies are in the trees. Everything’s becoming magic. It’s … it is I would say my favorite part of the day. Dawn and dusk. It’s a certain magic about it. It does seem that everything starts to prey up on the night. Everything starts to come out. Be it the creatures. The birds that return to their nests. I love down also. Some psychologists say that .. that dusk for a lot of creative people you reach your alphastate subconcuisly you become more creative at certain parts of the day but for me it could be anytime you know. I just like creating there’s no special time. But this is REALY magic to me. It’s like a painting. It’s very artistic. It’s magic. (Michael sings: „It’s so wonderfull …“) Just the sound of water is magic.It’s really beautiful. Just sitting here and relax.“ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WKFYivQ6sE
- Jackson, Michael, Handwritten Video Outline – Sunset Nightfall, 15.06.2014, www.thememorabiliavault.com. “Michael Jackson handwritten video outline, on an 8.5 x 14 yellow sheet, written by Jackson for a video he was making with his personal videographer Steven Howell in the early to mid 1980s. https://www.icollector.com/MICHAEL-JACKSON-HANDWRITTEN-VIDEO-OUTLINE_i19672080
- Jackson, Michael in THE WIZ, Regie: Lumet, Sidney; Musik: Quincy Jones, Charlie Smalls. 1978; 2004.07.01., characters: Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross. Musical and remake of „The Wizard of Oz“ with Judy Garland, 1939. The striking difference and therefore controversial for 1978 is the all black cast. Jackson played the Scarecrow, a stereotype of the character Jim Crow. The theme of THE WIZ is the re-establishment of human dignity, especially African-American dignity, and the hope for a bright new beginning. Jackson himself was coming of age at that time and began his bright solo career. Motown Productions, Universal PicturesMusical and Remake of „The Wizard of Oz“ with Judy Garland, 1939.
- Jackson, Michael in einem nichtautorisiertem Interview 1983/1984. Jackson never published the 1984 interview at his home in Hayvenhurst/Encino. In 2010 it appeared on the internet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WKFYivQ6sE
- Jackson, Michael, BAD 25 (CD/DVD) Spike Lee. 2012, DVD. Jerry Hey, Horn und Synth Arrangeur OFF THE WALL, THRILLER, BAD, Epic D (Sony Music), https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5275844/
- Jackson, Michael, Captain EO, 1986, Captain EO From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Regie: Francis Ford Coppola. Story: George Lucas. Drehbuch: Michael Jackson und Francis Ford Coppola. Lead Role: Michael Jackson, Angelica Huston. Running Time: 17 minutes. 3D Disneyland atraction sind 1986 til now. Productioncosts: ca. 24 Millionen Dollar. The story of a fight between good and evil. Quelle: Cadman, Chris, Michael Jackson – The Maestro. The Definitive A-Z, Volume I: A-J , Wikipedia und https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_EO
- Butzer, Günter/Jacob, Joachim, Lexikon literarischer Symbole, 2012, Mond, J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart/Weimar, page 272
- Gray, Todd, Michael Jackson – Fotografien von 1974 -1983 (Rockbuch), 07.12.2009, Edel Germany, Seite 124-125
- Michael JACKSON – HIStory ON FILM – VOLUME II, DVD. 1997, HIStory TEASER; Regie: Rupert Wainwright, MJJ Ventures/Sony Music Entertainment
- Jackson, Michael, BREAK OF DAWN, 10.30.2001, INVINCIBLE Album, SONY Music
- Jackson, Michael, THE LOST CHILDREN – Album INVINCIBLE, 10.30.2001. Two children are obviously alone in the forest at the end of the song and the end of the day. „It’s so quiet in the forrest. Look at all the trees! “„And all the lovely flowers!“ “It’s getting dark. I think we better go home now.“ Jackson’s three- or four-year-old son Prince Jackson was one of the children in the dialogue, the other Aldo Cascio, one of the youngest from the family Jackson had been friends with since 1984. Quite simply, this story is also a reminder to children to be at home before dark., SONY Music
- Jackson, Michael, THE LOST CHILDREN – Album INVINCIBLE, 10.30.2001.
- MJ 777, Sunflowers For Michael Program, „Greetings MJ Fans … I thought you might like to know that he would want and deserves more than what is there and I had an idea…….Some may or may not know this but his favorite flower was the Sunflower. They made him happy because they looked happy to him, Thus, he called them “The Happy Flower”. When we were married, I would try and fill up rooms with them wherever he was. …. We can all cause a “Sun shower” if you will………..He deserves to be flooded and surrounded, LETS SURROUND HIM! Lots of Love,~LMP“ ,