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Michael Jackson - Bad (1987)

  • Video Views 389,348,763
  • 80's Score80's Score80's Score 80's score: 3.06
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Bad" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was released by Epic Records on September 7, 1987, as the ...

"Bad" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was released by Epic Records on September 7, 1987, as the second single from Jackson's third major-label and seventh studio album of the same name. The song was written and composed by Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones and Jackson. Jackson stated that the song was influenced by a real-life story he had read about, of a young man who tried to escape poverty by attending private school but ended up being killed when he returned home.

"Bad" received positive reviews, with some critics noting that "Bad" helped give Jackson an edgier image. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained there for two weeks, becoming the album's second number-one single, and Jackson's eighth number one entry on the chart. It also charted on the Hot R&B Singles, Hot Dance Club Play and Rhythmic chart at number one. "Bad" is certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Internationally, the song was also commercially successful, charting at the top of the charts in seven other countries including Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands as well as charting in the top ten in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The short film for "Bad" premiered in a TV special, Michael Jackson: The Magic Returns, on CBS during prime time on August 31, 1987. It was directed by Martin Scorsese and co-starred Wesley Snipes in one of his first appearances. The video, inspired in part by the film West Side Story, which shows Jackson and a group of gangsters portraying a street gang dancing in a subway station, set at the Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets station. It has been praised by critics as one of the most iconic and greatest videos of all time; Jackson's outfit has been recognized as an influence on fashion.

Music video

In the video, Jackson portrays a teenager named Darryl, who has just completed a term at an expensive private school. He returns to the city and takes the subway back to his neglected neighborhood. Darryl finds his home is empty where he is greeted by his old friends. The leader of the group is Mini Max (a then mostly unknown Wesley Snipes). At first, relations are friendly but slightly awkward. Then, the situation begins to deteriorate as the gang starts to realize how much Darryl has changed. They especially notice how uncomfortable he has become with their criminal activities. Darryl takes the gang to the subway station (Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets in Brooklyn) in an attempt to show his friends he is still "bad" by robbing an elderly man. He has a change of heart at the last minute and Mini Max chastises him, telling Darryl he's no longer bad. After more disrespect from Mini Max, the video cuts to Darryl and a group of street kids dancing while Darryl is seen performing "Bad". Darryl insists that Max is headed for a fall which is nearly Darryl's undoing. Eventually, Mini Max accepts that and after a final handshake, leaves Darryl in peace. At the end of the video, Darryl is left alone watching his gang leave.

The video was not commercially released until it was included in the video albums; Video Greatest Hits - HIStory (long version on DVD and short version in VHS), Number Ones (short version), Michael Jackson's Vision (long version) and the Target version DVD of Bad 25 (short version). The full video was introduced in a TV special, Michael Jackson: The Magic Returns, on Primetime, a CBS television show on August 31, 1987. The full video won awards at various prestigious award ceremonies including Favorite Single (Soul/R&B) at the American Music Awards and Biggest Selling Album by a Male Soloist in the UK from the Guinness Book of World Records. The video has been praised by critics as one of the most iconic and greatest videos of all time; Jackson's outfit has been cited as an influence on fashion.

After Jackson's death in June 2009, Letitia James, of the New York City Council, began trying to convince the agency to rename or co-name the Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets station or to hang a plaque at the station in Jackson's honor. However, her request was denied by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in September 2009. James commented, "Having Michael Jackson visit and moonwalk at this station was a huge deal not only for Brooklyn, but all of New York in the '80s ... And renaming this station in his honor would put it on the map and help ensure that people don't forget." A source from the MTA commented that no subway stations in the MTA system are named or co-named after individuals, mostly because it could confuse riders. The MTA also declined to put a plaque in the station, due to MTA guidelines forbidding such a thing.

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