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Old 08-31-17, 12:56 PM   #1
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Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

From EW:

How do you top the best-selling album of all time? Well, you don’t. But Michael Jackson sure gave it an epic effort when he followed up his 1982 juggernaut Thriller with another blockbuster, Bad, which was released 30 years ago today on Aug. 31, 1987.

While Bad couldn’t measure up to its predecessor commercially or artistically, it was still a regal achievement for the late King of Pop, becoming the first LP to score five consecutive No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 — that’s three more chart-toppers than Thriller.

And just consider the fact that Jackson’s final collaboration with super-producer Quincy Jones was released just two days after the singer’s 29th birthday, which means that he gave the world Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad before he even turned 30.

In honor of the LP’s 30th anniversary, EW ranks all 11 tracks on the last album of MJ’s ’80s domination.

11. “Just Good Friends”
After pairing up with Paul McCartney on Thriller’s “The Girl Is Mine,” Jackson teamed up with Stevie Wonder for this song, written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle, the duo behind Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It.” But this meeting of Motown legends didn’t live up to its star billing. As hard as Jackson and Wonder try to funk it up, this track — which sounds as if it would have been better suited for their teen-phenom selves — isn’t worthy of them. They fared better later in 1987 on their duet “Get It,” off Wonder’s Characters album.

10. “Speed Demon”
Between 1982’s Thriller and 1987’s Bad, Prince had arrived in a big way. And, in his first post-Purple Rain effort, Jackson attempted to strike an edgier pose on tracks like this funk-rock ode to driving fast, which he wrote after reportedly getting a speeding ticket and consequently arriving late to the studio. With the production — and MJ’s agitated vocal — being better than the actual song, it never quite shifts into high gear.

9. “Leave Me Alone”
Musically, this was an obvious rewrite of the superior Bad track “The Way You Make Me Feel.” But lyrically, it tapped into the growing paranoia that Jackson was feeling at the time. It’s a bit sad to hear that now, knowing how it all ended up for Jackson, but it was still a bit of a revelation to hear him opening up about his struggles with being the King of Pop.

8. “Liberian Girl”
This song was especially important to Bad because it was the only real R&B ballad on the album. And while it’s not in the same league as Thriller’s “The Lady in My Life” or Off the Wall’s “I Can’t Help It,” it had the same kind of soulful sumptuousness, while also nodding to his global impact and vision.

7. “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”
The first single from Bad was also the first of its five No. 1 hits. A duet with Siedah Garrett — who stepped in after both Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston reportedly passed on this chance to sing with MJ — it melted their voices together in romantic unison. Maudlin, yes, but only the biggest hater could resist.

6. “Another Part of Me”
Originally featured in Captain EO — the 3D short film directed by Francis Ford Coppola that was shown at Disney theme parks — this song sets out to unite the planet with “a major love.” The infectious groove — punched up with some of Jackson’s trademark “hee-hees”—makes his mission undeniable.

5. “Bad”
When Jackson threatens that “your butt is mine” at the beginning of Bad’s title track, your first thought is, “Really, dude?” As a badass, he is utterly unconvincing. But despite the suspense of disbelief that it requires, the second single — which spawned an iconic video directed by Martin Scorsese — sizzles on the sheer enormity of Jackson’s and producer Quincy Jones’ talent.

4. “Dirty Diana”
No, Bad’s fifth and final No. 1 hit wasn’t about Jackson’s mentor Diana Ross. Nor was it about Princess Diana, although she reportedly told MJ that it was her favorite of his songs. Instead, the lyrics are about a groupie who won’t “just let me be.” Taking the rock of Thriller’s “Beat It” to the next level — with help from Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens — it is a headbanging blast.

3. “The Way You Make Me Feel”
While Bad sometimes may have felt like Jackson was trying too hard after Thriller, the third single is effortless bliss. From the moment those pistons set it off, that rubbery bounce just makes you feel all kinds of good. A soulful update of the classic Motown sound, it also displayed a sexual urgency that gave a little more meaning to those crotch grabs.

2. “Smooth Criminal”
If there was one song on Bad that truly captured the sense of artistic freedom that Jackson felt after Thriller, it was this track. Making the evil spirits of “Thriller” look pretty soft, it’s a menacing tale of a woman named Annie being struck down by an assailant in her apartment. As MJ spits out the gory details, the beat attacks you relentlessly. This is pop music as suspense drama.

1. “Man in the Mirror”
In addition to crooning with Jackson on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” Siedah Garrett made an even more important contribution to Bad by co-writing its fourth single with Glen Ballard (Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill). Surpassing another message song that Jackson had penned with Lionel Richie — 1985’s all-star anthem “We Are the World” — this is a towering tune that defined Jackson’s career as much as “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough,” “Billie Jean” or “Beat It.”

It showed just how much he had learned from both Stevie Wonder and the Beatles. For five glorious minutes — with MJ taking it to church midway through — it really feels as if a song could change the world.

http://ew.com/music/2017/08/31/micha...-song-ranking/

I remember this album was huge. You couldn't turn on the radio or MTV without hearing or seeing a song from this album being played.
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Old 08-31-17, 01:38 PM   #2
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

I always liked the album, particularly the titular track. Though I got the impression it was a massive disappointment to casual Jackson fans that wanted Thriller II. It certainly never made the cultural impact that Thriller had at its peak.
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Old 08-31-17, 03:16 PM   #3
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

I liked this album better.

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Old 08-31-17, 03:22 PM   #4
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Yeah, I can see why this was a little disappointing compared to Thriller.

I really like Smooth Criminal, Leave Me Alone, but Man In the Mirror, while a great song, comes across as way too preachy. If it feels like a PSA or something. Beautiful song though, and I love the way he delivers the chorus/hook.

The only two albums I have of his are Off The Wall and Thriller. I still think Off the Wall is his best album.
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Old 08-31-17, 03:30 PM   #5
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

It might've been low on the list but, sonically, Speed Demon was a demon.
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Old 08-31-17, 04:38 PM   #6
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Stvn1974, yeah...the Weird Al Eat It parody video is a classic, so wonderful.
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Old 08-31-17, 05:26 PM   #7
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Great, great album. Slash is all over it.
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Old 08-31-17, 05:32 PM   #8
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Too bad Prince never appeared in the Bad video.

That would have been epic.
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Old 08-31-17, 07:01 PM   #9
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

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Originally Posted by DVD Josh View Post
Great, great album. Slash is all over it.
You're thinking of his next album, Dangerous.
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Old 08-31-17, 07:29 PM   #10
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

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Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
I always liked the album, particularly the titular track. Though I got the impression it was a massive disappointment to casual Jackson fans that wanted Thriller II. It certainly never made the cultural impact that Thriller had at its peak.
Huh? The album IS Thriller II. It follows pretty much the exact same formula as Thriller. The disappointing element of it was that the songwriting wasn't as stellar as it was on Thriller.

I do enjoy the album but it's not as perfect as Thriller nor did it have anything to prove like Dangerous.
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Old 08-31-17, 08:33 PM   #11
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Michael Jackson didn't "drop" anything 30 years ago. That's a lame-ass term from this century.

He released Bad which was a kick ass album and still one of the greatest concerts I've ever seen.
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Old 08-31-17, 10:06 PM   #12
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

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Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Huh? The album IS Thriller II. It follows pretty much the exact same formula as Thriller. The disappointing element of it was that the songwriting wasn't as stellar as it was on Thriller.

I do enjoy the album but it's not as perfect as Thriller nor did it have anything to prove like Dangerous.
My sentiments as well, but looking and hearing this album after all these years, I'm surprised and happy how well these songs hold up. Still pretty damn good Jackson music.
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Old 08-31-17, 10:19 PM   #13
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Smooth Criminal is easily the best song in the lot. But I definitively enjoy this album as a whole.

"Dangerous" was the bigger disappointment.
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Old 09-01-17, 09:09 AM   #14
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

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Originally Posted by stvn1974 View Post
I liked this album better.

First thing I thought of too.

Michael has become one of those artists that, if I hear it on an classic pop/rock station, I'll listen to it. But I don't have any of his CDs and I don't go looking for him on Pandora, Youtube, etc. Just didn't age well for me.


But Alien Ant Farm's cover of Smooth Criminal is a constant presence on my iPhone's music library.
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Old 09-01-17, 09:41 AM   #15
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

One thing I clearly remember : this was one of the very early albums I got on CD (got my first CD player Christmas 1986). I remember being blown away by the production of many of the tracks, listening on my headphones. I'd never heard intricately produced layered tracks that clearly before. I was very impressed (though I only really dug Man in the Mirror and Smooth Criminal ; never really liked the title track).
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Old 09-01-17, 09:09 PM   #16
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Just picked this up on vinyl and listened to it three times yesterday. I had no idea until just now that it was the 30th anniversary, very weird!
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Old 09-02-17, 09:14 AM   #17
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

My teen-age self had such a crush on the woman in this video.

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Old 09-02-17, 09:26 AM   #18
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

I've always preferred Bad to Thriller. Mostly because I enjoy the deep cuts on Bad far more than everything other than the top three singles on Thriller.
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Old 09-02-17, 01:08 PM   #19
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Still a great album, but you don't top Thriller. It's like asking Pink Floyd to put out another Dark Side of the Moon album. Man in the Mirror is still one of my favorite MJ songs.
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Old 09-02-17, 08:20 PM   #20
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Love Smooth Criminal.
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Old 09-02-17, 10:13 PM   #21
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny Corinthos View Post
My teen-age self had such a crush on the woman in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzZ_urpj4As
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Old 09-04-17, 10:05 AM   #22
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

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Michael Jackson didn't "drop" anything 30 years ago.
I heard he dropped a digit on an eight year old.

Jokes aside this is the only MJ album I own. It came out when I was 9 and the wake of the album extended for years. Singles were still dropping and Moonwalker was happening for 5 years. So it covers a huge swath of my formative years. Indeed you couldn't escape this music.

I still say that the long version of Smooth Criminal is the best music video ever made.

Also, my 6 and 9 year old love Smooth Criminal.
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Old 09-04-17, 01:58 PM   #23
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milo bloom View Post
But Alien Ant Farm's cover of Smooth Criminal is a constant presence on my iPhone's music library.
I never got the adulation for this cover. It takes out all the tension and atmosphere of the original.
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Old 09-04-17, 07:36 PM   #24
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

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Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
I never got the adulation for this cover. It takes out all the tension and atmosphere of the original.
The cover gives it the ferocity and harder edge that the subject calls for.

Heck, I can barely remember how the original sounded anymore. The cover has been part of my music life for so long.
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Old 09-04-17, 08:16 PM   #25
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Re: Michael Jackson dropped Bad 30 years ago today.

To me the cover sounds monotonous, like the band is on speed and doesn't know how to slow it down.
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