It is no secret that Michael Jackson is one of my biggest inspirations and favourite artists ever. He is, in fact, the first artist in my conscious life to make a huge impression on me. I remember being five or six years old and waiting for the “Thriller” music video to come on screen. Yes, that is the early 00’s I am talking about. I have CDs and cassettes all over the house. His presence, musical talent and spirit were truly out of this world.
When I listen to artists, no matter what the genre is, I do not even think of comparing anyone to Michael, because he transformed minds and shaped generations of singers, songwriters, dancers, filmmakers, choreographers, painters, athletes and millions of ordinary people like us. I do think he made the world a better place through his art and left a legacy for us on which to build the new.
I would like to dedicate this blog post to that one album which shaped my taste in pop music, one of the best selling records of all time and “most anticipated albums in music history” – “Bad”.
The album’s unique sound and messages made it what it is today – a timeless classic. Eleven songs, guys. Eleven! No fillers, not even a second wasted on it. Think of “Bad” as the forty-nine minutes that are going to change your music life completely.
Let’s start with its true core – production, instrumentals and lyrics. The legendary Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson produced the whole project and although its unmeasurable success worldwide, it was their last album collaboration. Luckily, we get to see the two perfectionists at work not only here but on “Thriller” and “Off The Wall” as well. Instrumentals this time include digital synthesizers, drum programming, newer technology and effects used in the recording process.
We do all agree that “Bad” is mainly a pop-oriented record but it incorporated extremely well with hard rock, soul, funk and dance elements. Also, it is widely regarded to have a “more aggressive” sound filled with incredible choruses, ad-libs and falsetto parts.
Jackson’s previous albums sky-rocketed him as the most important figure in pop music and rumours started to flood the media. So, if one thing is true, it is that Michael Jackson managed to create “an honest” piece of work that will last forever. Let’s dive into the tracks, each of which is unfolding a special message.
Even within the first minutes, starting with the self-titled song “Bad“, the album unveils Michael Jackson as the person who we have never seen or heard before. It is unreal, flashy, sounds “cool” and his outfit in the video is badass as hell. Trendsetting for choreography to me has never been better. The “Bad” video is like “The Bible” for tens of thousands of people who are into creating music videos.
The album proceeds with “The Way You Make Me Feel“, a song that can wake up all the “butterflies” in your stomach. It is simply beautiful. Period.
Getting that funky, funky, “Speed Demon” is a personal favourite from the album. Speeding tyres sounds, fast-paced drums and emotional transitions, the song can get anybody dancing. “Go!!“
“Liberian Girl” shows how the “perfect ballad” is presented. Also, the music video includes famous actors, models and musicians from the 80’s era which are recorded while chatting around on set. Oh, and Bubbles is there too, Michael’s monkey.
Linking up with the amazing Stevie Wonder for “Just Good Friends” is absolutely bonkers. I love Mike and I love Stevie’s music, so hearing them side by side on the same song is just brain-melting. Insanely great song!
Seeing Chris Tucker shooting a mobster’s trunk full of C4 in “Rush Hour“ and dancing to “Another Part Of Me” is just a huge moment. The song definitely has that uplifting feel, making you feel free, notorious at moments. “Hee-hee” (Michael’s voice)
Change starts with oneself, a lot of people don’t get it until it is too late. Listen to “Man in the Mirror“. I would say: “Be yourself but change for the better.“
“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” is another astonishing duet that grabs you by the heart and pulls you further in love. Listen to your heart, people.
Wow, here comes song number 9. Who doesn’t know “Dirty Diana“? Literally, is there a person on Earth that hasn’t listened to the song at least once? I highly doubt it. I love the versatility here, although the main theme is about groupies and paid love, I love the more aggressive and rock’n’roll side of Mike. The 80s was a wild, wild decade, for sure.
“Smooth Criminal” is another signature song of Michael at his finest, also the choreography and dance in the music clip are crazy. The “anti-gravity lean” to me is just as iconic as “the moonwalk“.
With “Leave Me Alone” Michael shuts down all the fakery that is spreading in the media and the people who were making tons of money off his back. Sadly, until the end of his life, paparazzi and media giants were trying to bring him down. Hollywood is made of lies, guys, nothing ever seems like it is. This is facts.
If you want a killer-quality full-length pop album that’s going to get you dancing and make you think, “Bad” is not only a recommendation. It is a must. Oh, yeah and one more thing: “To me, “Bad” is the best pop record of all time.
*Favourite songs: Are you kidding me? Did you understand what I just said? It is a must-listen album with no songs to skip.