Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jackson, Michael - "Bad 25th Anniversary"

Jackson, Michael - Bad 25th Anniversary
2012/1987, Sony

1. Bad
2. The Way You Make Me Feel
3. Speed Demon
4. Liberian Girl
5. Just Good Friends
6. Another Part of Me
7. Man in the Mirror
8. I Just Can't Stop Loving You
9. Dirty Diana
10. Smooth Criminal
11. Leave Me Alone

1. Don't Be Messin' 'Round
2. I'm So Blue
3. Song Groove (aka Abortion Papers)
4. Free
5. Price of Fame
6. Al Capone
7. Streetwalker
8. Fly Away
9. Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu
10. Je Ne Veux Pas La Fin De Nous
11. Bad (Remix)
12. Speed Demon (Remix)
13. Bad (Remix)

Thriller made Michael Jackson, the solo artist, into a superstar and Bad did nothing to diminish that star. It was wildly popular and spawned many, many singles. I think this is where the "Hee-hee! Woo!," "Sham-on," and famous crotch grabbing really started to manifest. It's funny after all these years to hear parodies of his style and then hear him do it in earnest. It's also funny to hear him whisper tenderly to an imaginary woman. Wow... there was a time when women ached for him. Ached. Like, sexually. Ruminate on that for awhile! This album also spawned a mini-movie type video for the title track. "Bad" featured a story in which Michael Jackson tried to prove to Wesley Snipes how hard core he was... with dancing. Honestly, though, I still think this is a darn fine record and the man does know how to write a catchy pop ditty. This was one of the first tapes I ever owned and it was a regular player. The extra tracks are okay but nothing too spectacular. Among them are a proto-version of "Smooth Criminal" called "Al Capone" that doesn't sound like the former at all. Also, another song referred to as "Abortion Papers" which, if I interpret the lyrics right, is actually against abortion. Didn't see that coming.

A lot of stuff happened during this period. I think this was the era of the infamous Pepsi commercial accident. We got the feature film Moonwalker in which Michael Jackson rescued kids from Joe Pesci and turns into a robot... or something. Also happening during this time? Captain EO. Let's talk about Captain EO for a minute. Captain EO was one of those 3D movie/ride things at Epcot Center. Michael Jackson was the titular captain. He and his "ragtag" band of misfits land on a planet that looks suspiciously like the Death Star and do battle with aliens that look suspiciously like Borg. Oh, and he fights them with dancing and music. It's on YouTube so go watch it because it is hilarious! Some pretty big names were attached to the whole project like Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Angelica Houston as the not-Borg Queen. Industrial Light and Magic did the effects so they were top notch for the era. At one time I taped a "making of" special off of Showtime or something and I watched it over and over. I always wanted to go see it but we never had the money to go so far as Disney World. I was obsessed with Captain EO and I don't really know why other than in my kid mind "space stuff" + "Michael Jackson" = awesomesauce! Of course, as an adult it is absolutely ridiculous.

Useless Fact: "Leave Me Alone" was not on the original cassette version of the album. I know this because "Leave Me Alone" was one of my favorite songs and I was sad that it wasn't on my tape. It was on the CD version though. Lucky jerks.

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