|1. Bad (2012 Remaster)|
|2. The Way You Make Me Feel (2012 Remaster)|
|3. Speed Demon (2012 Remaster)|
|4. Liberian Girl (2012 Remaster)|
|5. Just Good Friends (2012 Remaster)|
See all 11 tracks on this disc
|1. Don't Be Messin' 'Round|
|2. I'm So Blue|
|3. Song Groove (A/K/A Abortion Papers)|
|5. Price Of Fame|
See all 13 tracks on this disc
|1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Live At Wembley July 16, 1988)|
|2. This Place Hotel (Live At Wembley July 16, 1988)|
|3. Another Part Of Me (Live At Wembley July 16, 1988)|
|4. I Just Can't Stop Loving You (Live At Wembley July 16, 1988)|
|5. She's Out Of My Life (Live At Wembley July 16, 1988)|
See all 16 tracks on this disc
|1. Show Open|
|2. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Live At Wembley July 16, 1988 (Stereo))|
|3. This Place Hotel (Live At Wembley July 16, 1988 (Stereo))|
|4. Another Part Of Me (Live At Wembley July 16, 1988 (Stereo))|
|5. I Just Can't Stop Loving You (Live At Wembley July 16, 1988 (Stereo))|
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Ubiquity comes cheap in 2012 (thanks, internet), but in 1987, it was earned by being the best of the best. And Bad was just that: almost a greatest hits package, it spawned nine hit singles. Its chart campaign didn’t begin with the title cut, but with I Just Can’t Stop Loving You, a number one in both the US and UK. In Britain, Bad (the song) peaked at 3, as Rick Astley sat atop the pile.
The title track rocketed to No.1 in the US, followed by The Way You Make Me Feel, Man in the Mirror and Dirty Diana. Jackson’s star was at its zenith across the 1980s – but fame never guarantees critical approval. Yet Bad was as well-received in the press as it was by Jackson’s fans. It’s a special rarity: a commercial behemoth with nary a lapse in quality across its 48 minutes.
Quincy Jones’ production is tight yet yielding, every song allowed to breathe and never cluttered by needless elements. Dirty Diana is remarkably lean, Steve Stevens’ flamboyant guitar aside, yet powerful too. Speed Demon, deemed “filler” by critics at the time, is fun funk-rock that’d sit happily on a Prince album of the period, compositionally if not lyrically.
Unreleased demos make up the majority of this anniversary release’s second disc. Amongst the most interesting are Song Groove (A/K/A Abortion Papers) and Price of Fame. The former, aggressive of percussion yet light of synth, is about a Christian girl carrying an unwanted pregnancy. “Michael knew (it) could be controversial,” read the accompanying notes; but Jackson handles the subject matter with tenderness.
Price of Fame addresses the pressures Jackson felt as a pop idol. Of his obsessed followers, he wrote: “They’ll do anything and it’s breaking my heart… It’s running me crazy.” It is, perhaps, a first instance of the cracks that’d soon spread. But nothing that was to come in Jackson’s career could ever take the shine off this awesome, evergreen and essential pop masterpiece.
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Most people aged between 20 and 70 will know at least half of this album recognising timeless classics such as The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal & Man In the Mirror. I swear that even the tracks that Michael decided not to use would have made Top 10 singles at the time, he was quite simply that brilliant in the late 80's.
If your reading this review with a view to buying the album then yes, I'm a fan of Michael Jackson. I wasn't however at the time of buying this CD so be warned - it really is good enough to change your outlook on music !
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