by Michael JacksonMichael Jackson


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The downside to a success like Thriller is that it's nearly impossible to follow, but Michael Jackson approached Bad much the same way he approached Thriller -- take the basic formula of the predecessor, expand it slightly, and move it outward. This meant that he moved deeper into hard rock, deeper into schmaltzy adult contemporary, deeper into hard dance -- essentially taking each portion of Thriller to an extreme, while increasing the quotient of immaculate studiocraft. He wound up with a sleeker, slicker Thriller, which isn't a bad thing, but it's not a rousing success, either. For one thing, the material just isn't as good. Look at the singles: only three can stand alongside album tracks from its predecessor ("Bad," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"), another is simply OK ("Smooth Criminal"), with the other two showcasing Jackson at his worst (the saccharine "Man in the Mirror," the misogynistic "Dirty Diana"). Then, there are the album tracks themselves, something that virtually didn't exist on Thriller but bog down Bad not just because they're bad, but because they reveal that Jackson's state of the art is not hip. And they constitute a near-fatal dead spot on the record -- songs three through six, from "Speed Demon" to "Another Part of Me," a sequence that's utterly faceless, lacking memorable hooks and melodies, even when Stevie Wonder steps in for "Just Good Friends," relying on nothing but studiocraft. Part of the joy of Off the Wall and Thriller was that craft was enhanced with tremendous songs, performances, and fresh, vivacious beats. For this dreadful stretch, everything is mechanical, and while the album rebounds with songs that prove mechanical can be tolerable if delivered with hooks and panache, it still makes Bad feel like an artifact of its time instead a piece of music that transcends it.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/02/2018
Label: Epic
UPC: 0190758332925
catalogNumber: 583329
Rank: 2737

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael Jackson   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Finger Snapping,Soloist
Siedah Garrett   Background Vocals
Steve Stevens   Soloist
Glen Ballard   Synthesizer
Michael Boddicker   Synthesizer
Bill Bottrell   Guitar,Drums,Synclavier,Finger Snapping
Miko Brando   Drums
Ollie E. Brown   Percussion,Drums,Hand Clapping
Leon "Ndugu" Chancler   Drums
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Christopher Currell   Synclavier
Nathan East   Bass
Eric Gale   Guitar
Humberto Gatica   Drums
Gary Grant   Trumpet
Jerry Hey   Trumpet
How Now Brown Cow   Percussion
Dann Huff   Guitar
Kim Hutchcroft   Saxophone
Paul Jackson   Guitar,Saxophone
Randy Kerber   Synthesizer
Michael Landau   Guitar
Rhett Lawrence   Synthesizer
Kevin Maloney   Muted Piano
David Paich   Synthesizer
Greg Phillinganes   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Soloist
Jimmy Smith   Soloist,Hammond B3
Bruce Swedien   Drums
Randy Waldman   Synthesizer
David Williams   Guitar,Saxophone
Stevie Wonder   Soloist
Casey Young   Synclavier
Larry Williams   Synthesizer,Saxophone,Soloist
John Barnes   Synthesizer,Piano
Denny Jaeger   Synclavier
John Robinson   Drums

Technical Credits

Siedah Garrett   Composer
Michael Jackson   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements,rhythm arrangement,Synthesizer Arrangements,Introduction
Quincy Jones   Arranger,Producer,rhythm arrangement,Synthesizer Arrangements
Andraé Crouch   Vocal Arrangements
Glen Ballard   Composer,rhythm arrangement,Synthesizer Arrangements
Terry Britten   Arranger,Composer
Ken Caillat   Engineer
Humberto Gatica   Engineer
Douglas Getschall   drum programming
Jerry Hey   Horn Arrangements,rhythm arrangement,Synthesizer Arrangements
Michael Landau   Vocal Arrangements
Graham Lyle   Arranger,Composer
Cornelius Mims   drum programming
David Paich   Synthesizer Arrangements
Bruce Swedien   Engineer
Tony Lane   Art Direction
Nancy Donald   Art Direction
Greg Gorman   Back Cover Photo
Sam Emerson   Cover Photo
Matthew Rolston   Inside Photo
Tom Jones   Engineer
Larry Williams   drum programming
John Barnes   Vocal Arrangements,rhythm arrangement,Synthesizer Arrangements

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