Bad – Michael Jackson

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………..on October 24th of 1987 Michael Jackson reached the top spot on the Billboard singles chart with “Bad”. It was a #3 hit in the UK and made the Top Ten in ten other countries. Jackson wrote this song, which crafted a new image for the singer, who now wore leather and chains and acted tough. The title was hip with the times as well, as teenagers were using the word “bad” to mean “seriously cool.” It was rebellious without being controversial, and it worked well for Jackson despite the ludicrous album cover. Barney Hoskyns may have written it best in his review of the album: “With his gossamer-delicate, surgically sculpted features, he looks like a beautiful Latin girl trapped inside an outfit from Mad Max II.” This song was conceived as a duet with Prince. As Jackson’s producer Quincy Jones explained in an interview for the 2001 special edition of Bad, he liked the idea of drama between the two artists, and pictured them battling it out in the video. Jones, who helped organize the “We Are The World” project, may have been the only person alive who could arrange a meeting between the two superstars, and that’s what he did. When Prince heard the song, he told Jones that it would be a hit without him, and turned down the project. Prince isn’t big on collaborations he doesn’t control, and appearing on Jackson’s album would have been out of character for him. The Bad album took the record in the UK for the most hit singles mined from one long player (excluding Greatest Hit compilations). Between 1987 and 1989 nine of this record’s eleven tracks were released as singles with all but one reaching the Top 20. Jackson later equaled his record with his Dangerous album spawning 9 UK Top 40 singles between 1991 and 1993. Of note Sheryl Crow was a backup singer on the Bad tour. She had just moved to Los Angeles and got the job when she crashed an audition. In an interview with National Public Radio, she explained that her innocent look helped get her the gig.