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25th Jun 2015

Classic Album Of The Week: Michael Jackson – Bad

Today marked the sixth anniversary of his death.


Today marks the sixth anniversary of Michael Jackson’s tragic death so we’ve decided to look back at this seminal 1987 release Bad as this week’s Classic Album Of The Week.

Released five years after Thriller (featuring hits including Billie Jean and that unforgettable title track) became the best selling album of all time, Bad sold over 30 million copies worldwide and became the first album to spawn five number one singles (a feat matched by Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream in 2010).

As well as harnessing Jackson’s signature sound, the lyrics of the album also addressed the burning social issues of the time and seen the artist compose nine of the tracks himself.

Here are some of our highlights…


Originally meant to be a duet between Jackson and Prince, the song’s lyrics were inspired by the true story of Edmund Perry – a Harlem resident due to take up a Stanford scholarship before he was shot dead by a plainclothes policeman in 1985.

The concept for the video was drawn from musical West Side Story and sees Jackson dancing through a subway station.

Dirty Diana

The fifth number one single from the album, the song lyrically conveys Jackson’s experience of groupies and received a mixed reaction from critics upon its release.

Dirty Diana leans more heavily towards rock than some of the other tracks on Bad and Jackson claimed in an interview that Diana, Princess Of Wales told him that it was her favourite of his songs.

Man In The Mirror

Widely regarded as one of the finest moments of Jackson’s career, Man In The Mirror is one of a few songs on the album that he didn’t write himself. The track may have been written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett but the singer’s influence is all over the final arrangement, which features a heavy gospel presence.

The landmark video included a montage of major news events including Live Aid and the Ethiopia famine.

The Way You Make Me Feel

With a strong blues tempo, The Way You Make Me Feel was the third single from the album and the video shows Jackson following a woman on the street while trying to win her affections.

It is believed that the concept was intended to boost his reputation as a ‘ladies man’ but 28 years on, the intro definitely looks a bit creepy!

Smooth Criminal

As well as a single, this was also initially due to be the title of the album but producer Quincy Jones ‘didn’t like it’.

The phrase ‘Annie, are you ok?’ is believed to have been drawn from a CPR course taken by Jackson, with trainees taught to say it to the dummy in order to check that the patient is conscious and responsive. Alien Ant Farm released a cover of the song for their 2001’s ANThology.

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