Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Music Retrospective: Michael Jackson - Bad

Well, it’s another day and another Michael Jackson album. So, what can I say about Bad? I mean it… wait, I did that joke last time. Bad was released in 1987. It produced nine singles which was pretty much the whole album. Jackson also wrote the majority of songs on the album. Bad was nominated for six Grammys and won two of them in 1988. It’s definitely one of Jackson’s best-selling albums. The thing came after Thriller, so you know it probably sold well.

Most of these songs were also featured in the movie called Moonwalker. That’s right, folks. Michael had a feature-length movie about him. Let’s just say that it’s a piece of something. The Nostalgia Critic did a review of it a few years ago and it was pretty hilarious. As for my experience with the album, I think I got this one back in college. It was also one of my old CDs that didn’t get lost. Well, with all of that out of the way, let’s see if Bad is truly bad.


  1. Bad – The album starts off with this fast, funky song. He has to do this with every album, doesn’t he? The statement of the song is clear: Michael Jackson is “a bad mother- shut yo’ mouth!”  With that being said, this song’s awesome. The lyrics are sharp and the music is really, really good. Other than that, there’s really not much to say about it. It’s probably one of Michael’s best songs in general. I gotta say that it’s beginning to become one of my favorites from him as well.
  2. The Way You Make Me Feel – The next song is an easy-listening, smooth song. It’s not too slow and not too fast. It’s about a guy who has to tell his woman how she makes him feel. I guess you could call it a “love at first sight” song. The music video was just that. Overall, it’s a pretty good song. It’s one of the better songs on here.
  3. Speed Demon – Next up is another upbeat song. I actually don’t know what this one’s about. It’s describing traveling at high speeds and being caught in a high-speed chase, hence the name “Speed Demon.” I guess it could also be about taking big risks. I like the song, but it’s not one of my favorites. I do like the music throughout it though.
  4. Liberian Girl – We got another smooth, easy-listening song from Jackson. It’s got a nice, pretty feel to it as well. It’s basically a love song about a Liberian girl. It’s an alright song. It’s a little forgettable, but I will say that the music does make it memorable. At least it isn’t about a librarian girl because it would then be a little dull. Don’t worry, female librarians, I’m just kidding about that.
  5. Just Good Friends – Next up is another fast and upbeat song. This is actually one of the two songs that Jackson didn’t write and it kind of shows. It’s about a guy who likes a girl who isn’t showing that she likes him. This time, Jackson isn’t alone in the singing duties. He has a little help from the legendary Stevie Wonder. This song may be the most forgettable song on here. It’s not bad, but it’s just okay. You’d think a duet between these two awesome singers would be epic. Unfortunately, it just feels bland.
  6. Another Part of Me – We get another fast dance piece thrown at us. From what I can tell, the song is about love, unity, and outreach. It’s not a bad message. The lyrics are nice and the music is pretty good as usual. It makes you want to do that one dance move. Overall, it’s a nice song with a nice message.
  7. Man In the Mirror – Then, there’s this song. You’d be shocked to know that this was the other song Jackson didn’t write for the album. “Man in the Mirror” is about changing one’s self in order to help the world. I mean, the chorus even says it. It’s an uplifting and inspirational message. There’s even a choir singing towards the end, so you know it feels like it’s from on high. While it is a pretty good song, I don’t know if it’s one of my favorites. Even if that is the case, it’s still a great song with a relevant message.
  8. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You – We finally get to the love ballad of the album.  This song also heavily features Siedah Garrett singing alongside Jackson. It’s a pure and simple love song. There’s really not much to say about it. It’s a little sappy, but good love songs are mostly sappy. Overall, it’s just a pretty nice song.
  9. Dirty Diana – We then get knocked upside the head with this slow, edgy, rock-oriented song. “Dirty Diana” is essentially about groupies. I’m guessing these are the groupies who are really out there. The lyrics have an edgy feel to them. The music sounds a little ominous but good. That guitar riff in the chorus just has “awesome” written all over it. Overall, it doesn’t reach the level of “Beat It”, but it is good none the less.
  10. Smooth Criminal – Next up is “Smooth Criminal,” a song that I really don’t get. Don’t get me wrong. It is an awesome song that is pretty memorable. The video to this song is probably Jackson’s best one ever. I just don’t get the lyrics. Who’s Annie? Why did she get shot? Is Michael the smooth criminal? Is Annie a Wookie (watch the NC review to get that reference)? Oh well… at least it’s an awesome song!
  11. Leave Me Alone – The album ends with another upbeat song. From what I can tell, the song is about a man telling his gold digging woman to leave him alone. I’ve also heard that this song was influenced from Jackson’s experiences with the news and paparazzi. I also remember the video to this was pretty weird. It had all sorts of stop-motion images in it. The song is good but it’s not one of my favorite songs.  Still, it is a memorable one and a good one to end the album on.

Favorite Song – “I’m bad, I’m bad/ you know it/ Chome on!” That should tell you that “Bad” is my favorite song on here.

Least Favorite Song – Now this is a little tough. I’m just going to go with “Just Good Friends.” It’s really the most forgettable song on here.

Well, I can truly say that this album is bad… you know what I mean. The album is truly awesome. In fact, it may even be better than Thriller on a technical standpoint. The album is good from beginning to end. All of the songs range from ‘okay’ to “freakin’ awesome.” Each of them had a diverse feel to them. Jackson’s lyrics also added that diverse feel to the songs. There may be a couple of forgettable songs on here, but even they are okay. In conclusion, this is a really good album. If you haven’t checked it out, you should.

I know that there are some unreleased songs that would have been on the album. Most of them are included on Bad 25, a recent anniversary album. One of them is called “Streetwalker.” It almost made it on the album but it got replaced by one of the songs. I think it was “Speed Demon” or “The Way You Make Me Feel.”  It’s an alright song, but I think the album was fine without it. Well, this may be my last Michael Jackson post for a while since I have a lot planned for May, June, and some of July. Don’t worry because I will finish this. I have four more albums left after this one. Peace, God Bless, and “Shome On!”

Or is it “Chome On?”


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