Michael Jackson’s “Bad” Album

Bad was one of Michael Jackson’s most anticipated albums. Although it did not match the success of Thriller, it had a musically-heavier approach, incorporating rock, pop, funk, R&B while exploring other genres such as hard rock and soul.

As his seventh studio album, it was released by Epic Records on August 31, 1987 with all but two songs written by Jackson. Bad was the last album Quincy Jones produced for and with the star.

The titular song was originally supposed to be a duet between Prince and Jackson. However, the former declined because he didn’t want to sing the first line nor want to be in the music video. The singer also wanted to duet with top female singers including Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross, but they all had reasons not to record.

Tatiana Thumbtzen, a model who featured in the music clip for The Way You Make Me Feel, became the first to publicly kiss the singer in a performance. She later alleged that she had an affair with him, but withdrew her claim soon after, confessing that she was the one who initiated the kiss but never got to interact with him afterwards.

Accomplishments of “Bad”

Following its release, the album debuted on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart at number 1, with more than 2 million copies sold within the first week in the United States. It also topped the charts in 24 other countries. It eventually became the UK’s best-selling album in 1987. Five of the tracks peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The aforementioned songs are as follows:

  • Dirty Diana
  • The Way You Make Me Feel
  • Man In The Mirror
  • Bad 
  • I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

For earning five number ones, Michael was honored in 1988 with the first ever Billboard Spotlight Awards.

Michael promoted the album with the Bad World Tour from September 1987 to December 1988. The tour earned him two more spots in the Guinness Book of Records. He broke the record for the highest-grossing concert tour with a revenue of over $125 million. It also entered the record as the most successful concert series, selling out the entire Wembley Stadium for seven nights. The Pop star is recorded to have performed to a total audience of at least 504,000 people.

The singer also released the film Moonwalker in 1988, with music videos to promote the album. Moonwalker later became the best-selling home video at the time. Michael was also awarded with the MTV Video Vanguard Award for his excellent music videos released throughout the 80s.

The RIAA certified the album Diamond in 2017. It has been described as one of the world’s greatest albums, with more than 35 million copies sold globally. It became the second best selling-album only behind Thriller with more than 25 million sales worldwide by 1991.

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