"Bad" is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Michael Jackson, released on August 31, 1987, by Epic Records. Produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones, the album marked a turning point in Jackson's profession, consolidating his status as one of the most successful pop artists of all time. Including 11 tracks, covering a variety of categories and styles, "Bad" ended up being an immediate classic, selling over 35 million copies worldwide, making it among the best-selling albums of perpetuity. The album also made Jackson numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, and is considered among his finest works.
Background and Production
Following the enormous success of his previous album, "Thriller", Michael Jackson faced enormous pressure to develop a worthy follow-up. He started work on "Bad" in 1985, working together with manufacturer Quincy Jones. The 2 worked tirelessly to produce a diverse and powerful album, recording over 60 demo tracks prior to choosing the final 11. Reportedly, Jackson had actually written near 100 tunes for the album, showing his desire to surpass the success of "Thriller".
The production of "Bad" also saw Jackson take on a more hands-on role, writing 9 of the album's tracks and co-producing it along with Jones. This imaginative control allowed him to craft a more personal and enthusiastic record, highlighting his growth as an artist.
Music and Lyrical Themes
"Bad" showcased Jackson's versatility as an artist, featuring an eclectic mix of pop, rock, funk, soul, and R&B. The opening title track, "Bad", is an up-tempo pop-funk anthem. With its catchy chorus and tempting beat, it served as a declaration of confidence and a statement of his intents to stay at the top.
The album also touched on more major themes, such as on the tracks "Man in the Mirror" and "The Way You Make Me Feel". "Man in the Mirror" is an introspective ballad that reflects on personal growth and the need for self-improvement. Meanwhile, "The Way You Make Me Feel" is a sultry, romantic track that showcases Jackson's softer side.
Significantly, "Bad" likewise included more aggressive, rock-infused songs like "Dirty Diana" and "Smooth Criminal". These tracks looked into darker themes, with "Dirty Diana" attending to the destructiveness of popularity and "Smooth Criminal" stating a story of violence and criminality.
Industrial Performance and Impact
"Bad" was an immediate industrial success. It debuted at the number one area on the Billboard 200 chart and stayed there for 6 weeks, ultimately ending up being the 2nd very popular album of 1987. The album produced an excellent five primary singles, breaking a record previously held by the Beatles. In addition, all of the album's songs arrived 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The album's success further cemented Michael Jackson's appeal, strengthening his status as the "King of Pop". The accompanying Bad World Tour, which ranged from 1987 to 1989, was another monumental success, turning into one of the highest-grossing trips of perpetuity.
More than 30 years after its release, "Bad" continues to be commemorated as one of Michael Jackson's vital works. It is typically regarded as accountable for his transformation into a renowned pop figure whose influence can still be felt today. With its blend of infectious tunes, bold styles, and ageless appeal, "Bad" stays a testament to Jackson's enduring artistry and indisputable impact on the world of music.
Artist: Michael Jackson
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