25 Years of Being 'Bad'
The seventh studio by Michael Jackson, 'Bad' was released on August 31st in 1987, and as you all probably know, it sold a lot of copies. 'Bad' was also Jackson's first release after the monumental release that is 'Thriller', approximately five years later. Considering 'Thriller' is the best selling album of all-time, 'Bad' didn't manage to outsell it, though it is still ranked as one of the highest selling albums of all-time regardless. It was also Jackson's second album since separating from The Jackson 5. The 11-track album produced 9 singles, 5 of which made it to #1 on the Billboard Top 200, the sixth and seventh both charted, though did not reach the top spot. The final two singles were a promotional single, not prone to airplay, and an international single. 'Bad' holds the record for the most #1 singles from a single album, that's five #1's, and after 23 years, pop musician Katy Perry is the first to manage to equal this feat, though not top it, with her record 'Teenage Dream'. 'Bad' also marked the third and final collaboration between Jackson and producer Quincy Jones, who had produced 'Off the Wall' and 'Thriller' previously.
The album was recorded at Westlake Audio where a special wooden stage was constructed so Jackson could dance while he recorded. Jackson had apparently written 60 songs for the album and recorded 30, though in the end the album only had 10 tracks with 1 bonus track. Jackson had intended to release it as a three-disc set, and Jones has suggested cutting it down to a single disc. Jackson is also credited with writing all the songs on the album except for two, where he was assisted by other writers.
The sound of 'Bad' is described as being as taking the ideas and concepts from 'Thriller' and taking them to the extreme. That is to say, the rock sections are edgier, the pop sections are 'poppier', the soul sections have more soul. Jackson had also intended to have guest performances on the album by Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin with the title track being a duet between himself and Prince. The only guest appearances on the album in the end were by Stevie Wonder on 'Just Good Friends' and Siedah Garrett on 'I Just Can't Stop Loving You'.
Though 'Bad' was well-received and still moved millions of copies, it couldn't escape the shadow of its predecessor, 'Thriller'. Critics praised the album and listeners enjoyed it, but they all agreed that it unfortunately didn't hold a candle to the previous album, despite the fact that it was a solid album throughout. Once released, 'Bad' held the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart for the next six weeks. The album is certified 8x Platinum in the United States alone, having sold over 8 million copies there. The music video for 'Bad' was directed by the amazing Martin Scorsese and featured up-and-comer at the time Wesley Snipes. Jackson also produced the mini-film 'Moonwalker' which was a success at the box office to promote his album. 'Bad' was nominated for six Grammy awards, and won two of them. It was the recipient of the Grammys for 'Best Engineering - Non Classical' and 'Best Music Video - Short Form' for 'Leave Me Alone'. It was nominated for 'Album of the Year', 'Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male', 'Best R&B Vocal Performance - Male' and 'Record of the Year' for 'Man in the Mirror'.
25 years later and 'Bad' is still a force to be reckoned with. The songs are still extremely popular and receive tons of airplay, especially here on boom! If you love MJ as much as we do, tune in!