Welcome to the first edition of Throwback Tuesday. This is a new feature that will focus on classic albums, movies, T.V. shows and comics.
This first entry focuses on the King of Pop’s seventh studio album Bad. Released August 31, 1987, Bad featured nine out of 11 Jackson-written songs and two songs from the songwriting teams of Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard (“Man in the Mirror”) & Terry Britten and Graham Lyle (“Just Good Friends”). The album went on to produce five Billboard Hot 100 number one singles. Jackson also went on his first solo tour: Bad World Tour to promote the album that had two legs. The first leg happened from September 12, 1987 to November 28, 1987 and the second leg that started on February 23, 1988 to January 27, 1989.
So if you are a huge Michael Jackson fan and if you need help to pick out the songs that you want to get from the album, here are some recommendations.
Bad (Written by Michael Jackson)
Did you know that Jackson originally wanted to have Prince perform this song with him? Unfortunately the plans did not come to fruition and Jackson had to sing the song by himself. But what Prince’s loss became Jackson’s gain as the song became a hit and the song became a Billboard Hot 100 number one single. Like all great Jackson songs, expect catchy lyrics and great vocals. In addition, keep an ear out for an incredible horn arrangement from Jerry Jay that is featured at the end of the song.
The Way You Make Me Feel (Written by Michael Jackson)
“The Way You Make Me Feel” is one of Jackson’s signature songs from this album. Fans can expect a great rhythm section and an upbeat tempo that will make listeners dance in their seats. Jackson performed this song numerous times on all three of his world tours. However, one of the most recognizable performances of this song was during Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Celebration when the King of Pop performed it with Pop princess Britney Spears. (Here’s a link to his performance: http://youtu.be/679c1I0JVK0)
Just Good Friends (Written by Terry Britten & Graham Lyle)
Many of the King of Pop’s fans have written this song off as a poor attempt of a second “The Girl is Mine,” that was featured on Thriller. However, the author thinks very highly of this song. It is a great collaboration from Jackson and one of his friends: the legendary Stevie Wonder. From the constant background drums to the playful back-and-forth banter by the music legends, “Just Good Friends” is a terrific gem that should not be overlooked by listeners while they are listening to this album.
Man In the Mirror (Written by Siedah Garrett & Glen Ballard)
One of Jackson’s greatest inspirational songs is “Man In the Mirror.” While Jackson did not write this song, he poured his heart and soul into this song that makes listening to it magical. Another feature that makes this song more powerful is Jackson’s inclusion of a gospel choir. The choir elevates this song and takes it to another level. While artists like Kris Allen, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion and the late Luther Vandross have covered the song, none of them approaches Jackson’s version of this incredible song.
I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (Michael Jackson)
This song is one of the best love songs Jackson has ever performed. Originally, the King of Pop wanted to duet with Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin or Barbra Streisand. Unfortunately, none of the pop divas were available to record the song with Jackson, so “Man in the Mirror” songwriter Siedah Garrett stepped in to perform this song with Jackson. This song is terrific duet because of the arrangement and the vocal balance between Jackson and Garrett. Jackson performed the song for two tours: Bad World Tour, where he sang the song with then-background singer Sheryl Crow, and the Dangerous World Tour, where he reunited with Garrett.
To compare the different versions of the songs, I have attached the links to the different versions:
-Jackson and Crow: http://youtu.be/uQnHSviBpbI
-Jackson and Garrett: http://youtu.be/hSeCv2n36M8
I do not own anything that is featured in this blog post. The clips and the album cover that are featured in this blog post belong to the Michael Jackson estate and Sony Music Publishing.