Obviously, it’s no secret that Paula Abdul’s background is in dance but I haven’t really focused on the whole story in my posts yet. I was waiting to get into it until I reached this specific single because it’s one of her most memorable because if its choreography.
Abdul was discovered by The Jacksons, after a few of the band members had watched her while attending a Los Angeles Lakers game. She was signed to do the choreography for the video to their single “Torture”. “My only problem was how to tell the Jacksons how to dance,” Abdul later recalled. “Imagine me telling them what routines to do. I was young, I was scared. I’m not quite sure how I got through that“. The success of the choreography in the video led Paula being chosen to be the choreographer for the Jacksons’ Victory tour and her career of choreographer in music videos.
Abdul choreographed videos for several singers throughout the 1980s, including many videos for Janet Jackson during her Control era. In the 1990s and early 2000s she also released a number of fitness videos.
In film, Abdul choreographed sequences for the giant keyboard scene involving Tom Hanks’s character in Big. Other credits include appearances in Coming to America, Action Jackson, Jerry Maguire, The Running Man, American Beauty, Can’t Buy Me Love, and Oliver Stone’s The Doors. Her television appearances include The Tracey Ullman Show, American Music Awards, the Academy Awards, and several commercials.
“Opposites Attract” was featured on her debut album, Forever Your Girl. Vocals on the song, in addition to Abdul, were provided by Bruce DeShazer and Marv Gunn, also known as The Wild Pair. “Opposites Attract” was the sixth and final single from the album, and achieved success in many countries. The lyrics are about a couple who love each other despite being different in just about every way possible.
The song’s music video is directed by Candace Reckinger and Michael Patterson, in which Abdul dances with cartoon character MC Skat Kat, voiced by The Wild Pair. The idea of MC Skat Kat came from the Gene Kelly film Anchors Aweigh, where Kelly dances with Jerry Mouse from the Tom and Jerry cartoon series. Paula even choreographed the animated character’s moves to match her live-action dance moves in the video.
MC Skat Kat was animated by members of the Disney animation team, working outside the studio between major projects, under the direction of Chris Bailey. Also shown in the video are Micetro, Taboo, and Fatz, yet their names weren’t revealed until the release of The Adventures of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob.
One or the Other