Michael Jackson Wiki
Michael Jackson Wiki


Michael jackson scream cd single 34K 78000 CD.jpg

Scream is the first track on disc 2 of the album HIStory: Past, Present & Future Book I. It was written by Michael Jackson and sister Janet Jackson with James Harris III and Terry Lewis. It was recorded as a duet. It was recorded between October-December 1994 at The Hit Factory and Flyte Tyme Studios. The song also features on The Ultimate Collection Box Set and the posthumous compilation album Scream.

This song has been performed during HIStory World Tour as part of a medley along with They Don't Care About Us and In The Closet.

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis

Several tracks were compiled by Jam and Lewis and presented to Michael. Janet also took inspiration from some of the tracks presented and Janet later recorded “Runaway” The JCsMusicology podcast contains an interview with Lewis & Jam at the 23:00 mark.


Sly & The Family Stone Influence & Samples used in Scream

The “Scream Louder” Remix features samples from Sly & The Family Stone - "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)". Michael with The Jackson 5 performed Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) in 1970 to a then record-breaking show of over 18,000 attending.

The title “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” is intentional it’s deliberately mis-spelled for special effect (Sensational Spelling) and means, "thank you for letting me be myself again." The third verse in the original song contains specific references to the group (Sly & The Family Stone) previous successful songs which is exactly what Michael has done with HIStory: Past Present & Future Book I disc one, his most successful hits.

Sections from Janet Jackson’s "Rhythm Nation" and "The Knowledge" are sampled along with small sections from Michael's "In The Closet".

Music Video

The music video for Scream was, at the time the most expensive ever made in music history costing over £4.5 Million to make (something which the director refutes).

Janet Jackson chose Mark Romanek as the director for Scream. From Mark’s own words:

“I got on the phone with the head of the record label and he had seen the budget and was apoplectic,” “He started screaming at me on the speakerphone”, “do you think I'm the f****** Bank of America? Are you out of your f****** mind?” I said “Michael and Janet want something huge, you've given me no time to do it, the song brings to mind images of a spaceship and if Michael Jackson has his own spaceship it's going to be really impressive”. There was this dead silence on the speakerphone and then I heard (puts on soft voice) “yeah, that's right” and I realised Michael was in the room on the other end of the line which I didn't know. From that moment the record executive guy knew he was pretty much s*****. (Taken from The Work of Director Mark Romanek (Directors Label Series)

Other Scream Music Video Information

  • Futuristic short film, filmed in black and white, directed by Mark Romanek and cost $6 million – the most expensive music video ever.
  • Premiered on 14th June 1995 on ABC-TV in the States.
  • Grammy Award: Best Music Video, Short Form.
  • Billboard Music Video Award: Video of the Year – Pop/Rock.
  • Short film nominated for 11 MTV Music Video Awards, but won only three: Best Dance Video, Best Choreography and Best Art Direction.

Making Of Scream

MTV the short: “The Making of Michael & Janet Jackson’s Scream music video”. In 1995 to help in the promotion of the single release..


Photographer Steven Paul Whitsitt was the set photographer for Scream. He has photographs from the Scream sessions on his website.

Tributes to Scream

Janet Jackson created a dance tribute to Michael which included her performing Scream, live on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards 2009. The first major tribute to him after he died.

The television show GLEE featured an episode dedicated to Michael Jackson. The song and music video for Scream is parodied in this episode. A link to the clip is available here: https://youtu.be/6a-1PWr6VLc

Chart Information

  • Debuted at no.5 on the Hot 100 in the States – the highest ever new entry (the previous record holder, Let It Be by the Beatles, made its bow at no.6). Also achieved no.2 on the R&B singles chart and no.3 in the UK.
  • UK chart rules, which stated only three formats could be counted towards a chart placing, meant one 7” and two 12” singles charted independently, achieving no.43.
  • No.1 in Finland, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and Zimbabwe

Official Versions:

  • Album Version
  • Naughty Main Mix No Rap.
  • Naughty Radio Edit w/Rap.
  • Naughty Radio No Rap.
  • Classic Club Mix.
  • Dave ‘Jam’ Hall’s Extended Urban Remix.
  • Naughty Pretty-Pella.
  • Dave ‘Jam’ Hall’s Urban Remix Edit.
  • Pressurized Dub Pt.1.
  • Pressurized Dub Pt.2.
  • Def Radio Mix.
  • D.M. R&B Extended Mix
  • Naughty Acapella.
  • Scream Louder – Flyte Tyme Remix. Naughty Main Mix.
  • Single Ed it. Single Edit #2.
  • Scream Louder – Flyte Tyme Instrumental.

Cover Versions

  • Annisokay feat. Kiarely Castillo: Scream
  • Scream: Escaping A Haunted Mansion Cover


The lyrics are in response to the events and circumstances from his life at the time including referencing the backlash Michael received from the media. It is the first time Michael Jackson has recorded in the studio with Janet Jackson since P.Y.T. from the Thriller album.


Tired of injustice,

Tired of the schemes,

The lies are disgusting,

so what does it mean?

You're kickin' me down,

I got to get up,

as jacked as it sounds,

the whole system sucks


Peek in the shadow,

come into the light,

you tell me I'm wrong,

then you better prove you're right, you're sellin' out souls, but

I, I care about mine,

I've got to get stronger,

and I won't give up the fight


With such confusions don't it make you wanna scream?

Your bash abusin' victimize within the scheme


You try to cope with every lie they scrutinize

[Both]Somebody please have mercy,

'cause I just can't take it

Stop pressurin' me,

just stop pressurin' me,

stop pressurin' me,

makes me wanna scream,

stop pressurin' me,

just stop pressurin' me,

stop pressurin' me,

make you just wanna scream


Tired of you tellin' the story your way,

It's causin' confusion,

you think it's okay


You keep changin' the rules,

while I keep playin' the game,

I can't take it much longer,

I think I might go insane


With such confusion don't it make you wanna scream,

your bash abusin' victimize within the scheme,


You find your pleasure scandalizin' every lie,


Oh father, please have mercy 'cause I just can't take it,

stop pressurin' me,

just stop pressurin' me,

stop pressurin' me,

makes me wanna scream,

stop pressurin' me,

just stop pressurin' me,

stop f***ing with me,

it makes me wanna scream


"Oh my God, can't believe what I saw

as I turned on the TV this evening....

I was disgusted by all the injustice,

all the injustice"


"All the injustice"

[News Man]

"A man has been brutally beaten to death by

police after being wrongly identified as a

robbery suspect. The man was

an 18 year old black male..."


With such collisions don't it make you wanna scream,

your bash abusin' victimize within the scheme,


you try to cope with every lie they scrutinize,


Oh brother please have mercy, 'cause I just can't take it!

Stop pressurin' me,

just stop pressurin' me,

stop pressurin' me,

makes me wanna scream,

stop pressurin' me,

just stop pressurin' me,

stop pressurin' me,

make me wanna scream,

stop pressurin' me

Just stop pressurin' me

Stop pressurin' me

Make me wanna scream

Stop pressurin' me

Just stop pressurin' me,

stop pressurin' me,

Makes me wanna scream!!!



Michael Jackson - Scream


External Links

Official Music Video