Billie Jean 25th Motown lip sync?

barbee0715

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Yes, he lip synced it. The Jacksons were live tho.
You notice the orchestra behind him is not playing either. Some are clapping along.
When we first saw this in 83, no one mentioned or cared about lip sync. It looked live as it could be. It was amazing.
 

MJJFan105

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So they turn off the microphone when he start his performance so it won't echo?
 

83magic

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the room had good acoustics though. even though it was playback, there's reverb along with the audience clapping that give it a 'special' feel. most people didn't even notice that he mimed. i'm glad he did. there's very little I would change about my favourite performance :)
 

Themidwestcowboy

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I read an interesting theory about why he choose to lip synch Billie Jean, The Motown band were not able to play the groove the way MJ wanted it to sound so he played the record instead.
 

Falcon

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Uhh, no.. the Jackson`s part was also lipsync (the making of this audio in the studio audio leaked years ago), untill I`ll be there, where Jermaine`s mic 'suddenly' isn`t working. You can clearly hear volume differences at the beginning too: dubbing when Michael starts singing with I want You Back.. sorry to destroy the idea of a full live performance.

Still a historical event, nevertheless.
 

AG5050

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Theres no 'do we think' about it. It was 100% lip synced. The part with his brothers was live but Billie Jean wasn't.
 

analogue

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I consider the Motown 25 performance to be the true music video for Billie Jean
 

kai

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I am surprised that someone still didn't knew that it was playback.
Also the Jacksons part was playback. At least the music.
 

Cinnamon234

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Yes he definitely lip synched "Billie Jean". Still one of the greatest performances ever.
 

Themidwestcowboy

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You can definitely tell that Billie Jean on motown was lip synched. MJ always sounded like he had an accent when he sung billie jean live. Billie Jean is one of the few songs where he was never quite able to sing it live the way he sung it on the record.
 

83magic

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Michael's vocals during the j5 medley were live. the footage that leaked of the studio recording was of the brothers, not him.

generally speaking, if someone sounds like the recording, it doesn't always mean they're miming. it just means they sound good.

not that any of this matters anyway. when I watch I performance, the only thing that matters is that i'm entertained by it. I doubt that the audience for the Motown 25 performance (whether at home or at the auditorium) were focused on which part was live or not. we were just caught up in the magic of Michael's shining moment.

it's sad and unbelievable that 'fans' would want to rob him of that. with everything going on now, I thought that the music would be a safe space. when I responded to this thread, it was after an absence. had I known the influx of negativity it would attract, I wouldn't have bothered. so disappointing :(
 

barbee0715

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Michael's vocals during the j5 medley were live. the footage that leaked of the studio recording was of the brothers, not him.

generally speaking, if someone sounds like the recording, it doesn't always mean they're miming. it just means they sound good.

not that any of this matters anyway. when I watch I performance, the only thing that matters is that i'm entertained by it. I doubt that the audience for the Motown 25 performance (whether at home or at the auditorium) were focused on which part was live or not. we were just caught up in the magic of Michael's shining moment.

it's sad and unbelievable that 'fans' would want to rob him of that. with everything going on now, I thought that the music would be a safe space. when I responded to this thread, it was after an absence. had I known the influx of negativity it would attract, I wouldn't have bothered. so disappointing :(
Well, like I said before, I never noticed the lip syncing-it was LIVE to me.

I have rarely looked so forward to a special and that night I took my old position cross legged in front of the TV (I'm Michael's age, so that's how we watched TV as kids) and my mother was in the rocker next to me. I was so happy through the whole special-and then that moment that Michael turned his head and glared at the camera-lost my breath, my stomach went to my head, grabbed Mama in a death grip-I think I was in a silent scream the entire time-I'm surprised I didn't pass out.

(this was actually my first time to even hear Billie Jean-hadn't heard it on the radio and we didn't have MTV)

Never saw anything that crazy exciting in my life-only surpassed by the 88 Grammys, IMO.
 

83magic

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Well, like I said before, I never noticed the lip syncing-it was LIVE to me.

I have rarely looked so forward to a special and that night I took my old position cross legged in front of the TV (I'm Michael's age, so that's how we watched TV as kids) and my mother was in the rocker next to me. I was so happy through the whole special-and then that moment that Michael turned his head and glared at the camera-lost my breath, my stomach went to my head, grabbed Mama in a death grip-I think I was in a silent scream the entire time-I'm surprised I didn't pass out.

(this was actually my first time to even hear Billie Jean-hadn't heard it on the radio and we didn't have MTV)

Never saw anything that crazy exciting in my life-only surpassed by the 88 Grammys, IMO.

I love hearing memories like this! really cheered me up :) thanks for sharing. *this* is the everlasting magic!
 

mj_brainiac

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There was a lot of lipsynching on the show. Michael's was more obvious because it was the literal album version

The brothers lipsynched, High Inergy, The Miracles and a few others had their background vocals prerecorded for the show
 

AtlasAir

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Yes he lipped it. It's common knowledge and blatantly obvious.
 

Hulkamaniac

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Also the Jacksons part was playback. At least the music.

the music and background vocals, but Michael was singing live during the Jacksons' part.

You can definitely tell that Billie Jean on motown was lip synched. MJ always sounded like he had an accent when he sung billie jean live. Billie Jean is one of the few songs where he was never quite able to sing it live the way he sung it on the record.

This one is pretty close though https://youtu.be/5u3BXuRNdBo
 

Resa

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barbee0715;4250767 said:
Well, like I said before, I never noticed the lip syncing-it was LIVE to me.

I have rarely looked so forward to a special and that night I took my old position cross legged in front of the TV (I'm Michael's age, so that's how we watched TV as kids) and my mother was in the rocker next to me. I was so happy through the whole special-and then that moment that Michael turned his head and glared at the camera-lost my breath, my stomach went to my head, grabbed Mama in a death grip-I think I was in a silent scream the entire time-I'm surprised I didn't pass out.

(this was actually my first time to even hear Billie Jean-hadn't heard it on the radio and we didn't have MTV)

Never saw anything that crazy exciting in my life-only surpassed by the 88 Grammys, IMO.

I loved reading your memories. The Motown 25 and Grammys 1988 performances were magical, and no one knew or cared if they were lip synced or not. I remember watching Motown 25 with my Mama, sister and Grandmama. We were all amazed. Michael’s Grammy performance in 1988 is still my favorite. At school the next day everyone was talking about how amazing Michael was, and that he stole the show. Even the boys who thought that he wasn’t cool anymore were in awe. No one was talking about the winners, everyone was talking about Michael.
 

mj_frenzy

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Themidwestcowboy;4250687 said:
I read an interesting theory about why he choose to lip synch Billie Jean, The Motown band were not able to play the groove the way MJ wanted it to sound so he played the record instead.

Where did you read that?

This theory looks like just another fan myth.

In fact, MJ planned to lip synch ‘Billie Jean’ (for the Motown 25 event) because it was a new song & he wanted the audience/TV viewers to listen to its original, album version.

In addition to that, he wanted also to feel safe by personally hearing in his ears the version that he exactly knew so as to concentrate easier on his dance moves (such as, his first ever public moonwalk).
 

Themidwestcowboy

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mj_frenzy;4250902 said:
Where did you read that?

This theory looks like just another fan myth.

In fact, MJ planned to lip synch ‘Billie Jean’ (for the Motown 25 event) because it was a new song & he wanted the audience/TV viewers to listen to its original, album version.

In addition to that, he wanted also to feel safe by personally hearing in his ears the version that he exactly knew so as to concentrate easier on his dance moves (such as, his first ever public moonwalk).

Where did you read all of that?
 

Mikky Dee

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I read an interesting theory about why he choose to lip synch Billie Jean, The Motown band were not able to play the groove the way MJ wanted it to sound so he played the record instead.

Sounds about right. Lipsynching and pre-recording was common place, for television shows in the sixties, seventies and eighties. No one watching ever thought to make a big deal about it, seriously.....it was just how things were done.
 
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