Bad (Michael Jackson song)

Bad (Michael Jackson song)

Infobox Single |
Name = Bad

Artist = Michael Jackson
Album = Bad
Released = September 7 1987
Format = CD single
Recorded = 1987
Genre = Pop/Funk
Length = 4:06
Label = Epic Records
Writer = Michael Jackson
Producer = Michael Jackson and Jeremy Johnson
Reviews =
Last single = "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"
This single = "Bad"
Next single = "The Way You Make Me Feel"
Misc = Extra chronology
Artist = Michael Jackson's ""
Background = khaki
Last single = "Beat It"
This single = "Bad"
Next single = "The Way You Make Me Feel"
Extra tracklisting
Album = Bad
Type = studio
prev_track =
prev_no =
this_track = "Bad"
track_no = 1
next_track = "The Way You Make Me Feel"
next_no = 2
Extra tracklisting
Album = HIStory
Type = compilation
prev_track = "Rock with You"
prev_no = 5
this_track = "Bad"
track_no = 6
next_track = "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"
next_no = 7

"Bad" was a 1987 hit recording by American singer Michael Jackson. The song which has become one of his signature songs, was the second of five Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit singles from the album "Bad", and was his seventh number-one single overall. []

The song was originally intended as a duet with longtime rival Prince. Quincy Jones, in an interview included in the "Special Edition" of "Bad", said that Prince told Jackson and him that he hadn't wanted to participate because "it would be a hit without (him)".

In his 1988 autobiography "Moonwalk", Jackson wrote: "'Bad' is a song about the street. It's about this kid from a bad neighbourhood who gets to go away to a private school. He comes back to the old neighbourhood when he's on a break from school and the kids from the neighbourhood start giving him trouble. He sings, 'I'm bad, you're bad, who's bad, who's the best?' He's saying when you're strong and good, then you're bad."

In 2006, the single, as well as the video, was re-released as part of the "Visionary - The Video Singles" package.

Music video

The full music video for "Bad" is an 18-minute short film written by novelist and screenwriter Richard Price, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Michael Jackson. Jackson portrays a boy named Daryl who has just completed a successful term at an expensive private school. He returns to the city by subway, arriving in a derelict neighborhood.

Daryl arrives to find his house empty (his mother is played by Roberta Flack, albeit in voiceover), but is greeted by his old friends, led by Mini Max (an emerging Wesley Snipes) and spends an evening with them. At first relations are friendly, if slightly awkward, but the situation deteriorates once the rest of the gang realize how much Daryl has changed, and in particular how uncomfortable he has become with their tendencies towards petty crime. In an attempt to show his friends he is still "bad", Daryl takes the gang to a subway station (The Hoyt Schermerhorn Station in Brooklyn) where he attempts to mug an elderly man but bottles out at the last minute. Mini Max berates Daryl and tells him that he's no longer bad.

After more abuse from Mini Max, the video jumps from black and white to color and Daryl, now dressed head to foot in leather and joined by a crowd of dancing punks, sings "Bad" (it is at this point that the edited video generally begins when played on television). His insistence that Max is headed for a fall are nearly Daryl's undoing, but eventually his friend accepts that "that's the way it goes down", and, after a final handshake, heads off leaving Daryl. The scene shifts back to black and white as Daryl, alone and back in his tracksuit, watches them leave.

The full 18-minute-long version of the video for "Bad" first appeared on the DVD version of "Video Greatest Hits - HIStory" in 2001.

Chart performance

"Bad" was the second consecutive #1 single from Jackson's "Bad" album, after "I Just Can't Stop Loving You". "Bad" appeared on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart the week of September 19, 1987, the same week "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" advanced to the #1 spot. Like its predecessor, "Bad" soared to the #1 spot, this time within six weeks, arriving at #1 the week of October 24, 1987. "Bad" remained in the top spot for two consecutive weeks, keeping Madonna's "Causing a Commotion" out of the penthouse.

Live performances

"Bad" was generally the closing act for concerts on the Bad World Tour, and less often in Dangerous World Tour concerts. Michael Jackson would often perform "Bad" with an extended version of the ending which is apparently his preferred version.Fact|date=March 2007

Covers and parodies

* "Weird Al" Yankovic parodied this song. His version is called "Fat". Yankovic also parodied Jackson's album cover by having his album titled "Even Worse", complete with Yankovic dressed like Jackson and holding a can of spray paint, having just spraypainted those words.
*Country music artist Ray Stevens recorded a cover of the song on his 1988 album "I Never Made a Record I Didn't Like". Stevens' version features an impersonation of Michael Jackson.
* The satirical puppet show Spitting Image spoofed Michael Jackson and his song "Bad" under the pun "Mad".
* Frank Zappa spoofed Michael Jackson in his song "Why Don't You Like Me?" on his album Broadway the Hard Way (1988), where Jackson's songs "Bad" and "Billie Jean" are referenced and parodied.
*This song was covered in the "Super Mario Bros. Super Show" episode "King Mario of Cramalot" in its original run and VHS release, but was removed after the show was canceled due to licensing issues. The song has not been played in the DVD releases of the show.
* Bo' Selecta!'s caricature of Michael Jackson frequently says 'chamone' which features in the Bad song.
* Celine Dion performed a live cover of this song.

Track listing

Original release

;UK 7" single
# "Bad" (7" single mix) – 4:06
# "Bad" (Dance Remix Radio Edit) – 4:54

;UK 12" single
# "Bad" (Dance Extended Mix Includes 'False Fade') – 8:24
# "Bad" (Dub version) – 4:05
# "Bad" (A cappella) – 3:49

;U.S. CD single
# "Bad" (Dance Extended Mix Includes "false fade") – 8:24
# "Bad" (7" single mix) – 4:06
# "Bad" (Dance Remix Radio Edit) – 4:54
# "Bad" (Dub version) - 4.05
# "Bad" (A cappella) – 3:49

"Visionary" single

;CD side
#"Bad" (7" single mix) - 4:06
#"Bad" ("False Fade" Dance Extended Mix) - 8:22

;DVD side
#"Bad" (Music video)


*Album version – 4:06
*7" single mix – 4:06 – Some horn sections are removed throughout the earlier sections of the song.
*Dance Extended Mix Includes "False Fade" – 8:22
*Dance Remix Radio Edit – 4:56
*Dub version – 4:06
*A cappella – 3:49


* Written and composed by Michael Jackson
* Solo and background vocals: Michael Jackson
* Percussion - How Now Brown Cow
* Hammond B3 Midi organ solo: Jimmy Smith
* Synthesizer solo: Greg Phillinganes
* Drums: John Robinson
* Drum programming: Douglas Getschal
* Guitar: David Williams
* Saxophones: Kim Hutchcroft and Larry Williams
* Trumpets: Gary Grant and Jerry Hey
* Percussion: Paulinho Da Costa
* Synclavier keyboards, digital guitar and rubboard: Christopher Currell
* Synthesizers: John Barnes, Michael Boddicker and Greg Phillinganes
* Rhythm arrangement by Michael Jackson, Christopher Currell and Quincy Jones
* Horn arrangement by Jerry Hey
* Vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson


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