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TGJ Replay: Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ #FBF

Published: Friday 1st Sep 2017 by Rashad

Welcome back to TGJ Replay!

Designed much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ features, ‘Replay’ is That Grape Juice‘s newest reflective segment to act as a written quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday. Unlike its TGJ retrospective predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase entire albums (and eras) from a library of pop and Urban pop music hits.

This week we’ll commemorate the 30th anniversary (August 31) of Michael Jackson‘s chart-topping 7th album, ‘Bad.’  Look inside:

Crafting a worthy follow-up to 1982’s ‘Thriller’ was nearly an impossible task.  On the critical front, the album was lauded for its masterful fusion of pop, soul, and R&B sounds, complex instrumental layering, and its advancement of the music video vehicle in its promotion – all feats celebrated with its record-setting 8 Grammy wins at the 1984 ceremony (among other honors).  On the ever more challenging commercial front, the LP – just in the years that immediately followed its release – became the best-selling album of all-time, selling 1 million a week at its peak.

With stakes at their highest at this time in his career, pop superstar Michael Jackson – instead of promptly returning to the studio to construct the set’s successor –  opted to reunite with his Jackson brothers for the ‘Victory’ tour and Disney’s 4D musical film, ‘Captain EO.’  Over the course of the aforementioned ventures and their respective promotions, MJ still found time to write and record demos for songs to be featured on his then-unnamed 7th opus.  Reportedly recording 30 of 60 songs written, the story has it his original intent for the release was to be a multi-disc set.  Once he re-teamed with Quincy Jones (executive producer of both ‘Off the Wall’ and ‘Thriller’ albums) with hopes of recreating some of their magic for the new album, he was advised against that idea.

Together, five years after changing the musical landscape with ‘Thriller,’ Jones and Jackson mastered 10 songs that found their way on the long-awaited project’s standard edition.  Christened ‘Bad,’ the album had 9 singles:  ‘Bad’ (title track), ‘The Way You Make Me Feel,’ ‘Liberian Girl,’ ‘Another Part of Me,’ ‘Man in the Mirror,’ ‘I Just Cant Stop Loving You,’ ‘Dirty Diana,’ ‘Leave Me Alone’ (bonus), and ‘Smooth Criminal.’

‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’

Peak position:  #1

‘Bad’

Peak position: #1

‘The Way You Make Me Feel’

Peak position:  #1

‘Man in the Mirror’

Peak position:  #1

‘Dirty Diana’

Peak position:  #1

‘Another Part of Me’

Peak position:  #11

‘Smooth Criminal’

Peak position:  #7

‘Leave Me Alone’

Peak position:  (not released in the U.S.)

‘Liberian Girl’

Peak position: (not released in the U.S.)

At the onset of an obsessive hate affair with himself and the media thanks to a number of developments in his life (see:  changing physical appearance, reportedly bizarre behavior, love life, etc.), 1987 and 1988 – the years of ‘Bad’s release and promotion respectively – saw Jackson mania at a feverish pitch, quite literally nearing modern day demi-god status.  Commercially unfazed by the onslaught of negative reports surrounding his public image, ‘Bad’ may have not fulfilled his wish of exceeding the accomplishments of ‘Thriller,’ but it was undoubtedly a viable successor to the project commercially, sonically, critically, and creatively overall.  ‘Bad’s brightest eclipse of its forerunner was best seen and not heard.

The clips that accompanied ‘Bad’ not only collectively outpaced those of ‘Thriller’ conceptually, but everyone else in the game as well.  What ever bar there was set prior to the ‘Bad’ era, even by Jackson himself, was certainly left in its rearview by the time the era wrapped with the LP’s last single ‘Liberian Girl.’

All in all, in addition to entering history books as the first album to spawn 5 #1 singles, ‘Bad’s sales hover near the 35 million sold worldwide mark (making it one of the best selling albums of all time).  Nominated for six Grammys overall, it took home ‘Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical’ at the 1989 ceremony and ‘Best Music Video – Short Form’ for ‘Leave Me Alone’ in 1990.

Now…as we press play on our jam, ‘Dirty Diana,’ tell us:

Your thoughts?

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  1. Bey’s Army September 1, 2017

    Child m*******…eeeeek!

  2. Suicide Blonde September 1, 2017

    One of his best albums, almost all songs from the album are classics, even if the album didn’t topped “Thriller” in terms of sales, it was a better piece of work, one of the most successful and iconic albums of all times.

  3. Stephy September 1, 2017

    Legendary!

  4. Fancy BISH September 1, 2017

    What’s Your Favorite Song From Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’? -TGJ
    Hmmmm, so many jams on this album…if I HAD to choose one, I would go with The Way You Make Me Feel…I remember playing the vinyl (yes kids, vinyl lol) for the first time, and the groove of TWYMMF just thumped chile! I was a kid and I remember learning the words to this song immediately! My older sister had the NERVE to talk about all the rumors about Michael when we were in the record store, and I was having NONE OF IT lol…I HAD to have it and my parents bought it for me…once we got home and she heard the title song mix right into TWYMMF she apologized! She was like, “I love Michael, I don’t know what I was saying!” mmmmmhmm lol…GIRL BYE…Michael is THE TRUTH and this album is a pop masterpiece!

  5. JOHNVIDAL September 2, 2017

    When music industry was monumental and the standards were crazy high. From Michael, Prince, U2, Bruce, Whitney Houston, Queen and so on… to Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Beyonce , Pink and even Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars (who are probably the two best now). The difference is too big. And I didn´t even mention the worst mainstream artists that have been on mainstream for too long now.

  6. JOHNVIDAL September 2, 2017

    This whole album btw. No need to pick songs 🙂

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