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Michael Jackson’s Bad Turns 25 SOMETHING SPECIAL IS GOING ON

September 19, 2012

Bad was re-released yesterday!

The Times said on August 22, 2012:

  • “Bad’s quarter-century milestone will be marked with due pomp. Jackson’s estate and Epic/Legacy Recordings are collaborating on a three-CD release (BAD25, out Sept. 18), which includes the remastered original album, plus an album of additional tracks, including demos and remixes, and a live album.
  • The package also includes a DVD of never-before-seen concert footage—Jackson’s own review copy of a July 16, 1988 concert at Wembley Stadium.
  • In addition, a Spike-Lee-helmed documentary about the album, the similarly-titled Bad25, will debut Aug. 31 at the Venice Film Festival. And starting this spring, Jackson has even found his way onto 1 billion Bad-themed Pepsi cans.

http://entertainment.time.com/2012/08/29/michael-jackson-bad/#an-oral-history-of-bad

Well, the mills of God grind slowly but they grind exceeding small. What was due to happen is happening at last – Michael Jackson is returning to us in his full glory and splendor.  

I am talking about Spike Lee’s film devoted to the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Bad album, the re-release of the album itself and the response both events are getting in the media and among the general public.

Frankly the most satisfaction I derive from it all is the expression on the faces of Tom Sneddon, Diane Dimond, Nancy Grace, Maureen Orth and their ilk which I can easily imagine at seeing Michael Jackson’s coming back at them in so formidable a way and from every direction they look in.

Even if our petition against Sneddon (use the link on the right to sign, please) does not reach it primary goal of having Sneddon investigated for his malicious prosecution of MJ, Sneddon and his media girlfriends are nevertheless doomed now to a torture of seeing the giant figure of Michael Jackson rising on the horizon and approaching them in gigantic steps.

And this is no longer Wacko Jacko they used to squeak about before, but “Michael Jackson, the most influential artist of the 20th century”, whose music is “the power that was misunderstood” and whose life-story is now called “the engrossing life of a creative genius”.

The shift in the media and public opinion is so amazing and so relatively quick (in comparison with the two long decades of his trashing) that this change alone deserves to be recorded as another landmark event on the road to Michael Jackson’s place in eternity.

For me both the media and ordinary people’s reactions to the new film and album are equally important as they mark the trend, which does look very encouraging.

The Bad 25th anniversary album is to be released today, so I decided to make a collection of articles to mark the occasion, including readers’ comments which are no less remarkable than the journalists’ articles. What I like about these comments is the readers’ quiet confidence that things are on the right track again, and the superb way they correct the journalists’ ignorance about Jackson. This is the only right way to talk to the media these days!

Here is general information about Bad and its new version from the root.com:

It’s now been a quarter century since Michael Jackson released 1987’s Bad, the follow-up to the tough act (and international event) known as Thriller. At the time, the album was judged harshly against the monumental achievements of its predecessor; now, with hindsight, it is clear that Bad also earned its fair share of accolades and milestones.

Fans can get a chance to revisit the songs when the album gets a special re-release on Sept. 18. (The deluxe edition includes a Bad-themed case (complete with buckles), three CDs and a concert DVD, an exclusive T-shirt design and a “Bad Tour souvenir package.”)

The Times spoke to the people who worked on the original album. The list includes:

Greg Phillinganes, a musician who worked on the record and music-directed the Bad tour

Matt Forger, a music engineer and producer who worked on Bad

Spike Lee, who directed Bad25 as well as Jackson’s short film for the song “They Don’t Care About Us”

John Branca, Jackson’s lawyer and co-executor of his estate.

Bad was crafted at Westlake Studio in Los Angeles and at Michael Jackson’s personal studio, Hayvenhurst.  The formal recording process began at Westlake on Jan. 5, 1987.

  • Forger: At that time he was reserved, he was rather quiet, but at the same time extremely focused. He knew everything that had to happen in a song. He was very directed, very in tune with where all the parts musically needed to be. He was very professional, very well-prepared.
  • Phillinganes: By the time we were working on Bad, Mike’s ideas became stronger and clear.
  • Lee: When it came to work, he was a perfectionist. He had a tremendous work ethic. He’s not going to say, “I’m tired,” he’s not going to say anything. Until it’s done, he’s like, “Let’s go, let’s get it done, let’s do the best we can, let’s not cut any corners.” Whether it’s creatively or financially, he was not cutting any corners.
  • Phillinganes: And during some downtime in the studio—there was a technical problem so we couldn’t go on until that was sorted out—Mike was getting restless and he asked me if I felt like going across the street to do a little shopping. What was across the street was a major, major, huge shopping mall called the BeverlyCenter. He puts on this wig and dark sunglasses and crooked teeth and we come out of the studio, just the two of us, no security no cops nobody, on La Cienega Boulevard and I remember thinking that time as we were crossing, “I’m crossing La Cienega with Michael Jackson and nobody knows.” We went all over the place and did a bit of shopping and he had slightly puzzled looks from cashiers. He looked like Sly Stone on crack and then he gets out the credit card and they go, “No!”
  • Forger: When you were with Michael you always had this sense of enjoyment, of energy and whatever it is Michael wanted to do he wanted to enjoy himself when he was doing it.
  • Lee: Great artists or whatever you want to call them perform great under pressure. He wanted Bad to exceed the sales of Thriller. He wanted Bad to sell a hundred million and told everybody about it, the president of Sony records and everybody. He would put up pieces of paper in his house, in hotels: “100 million.” He wanted to sell 100 million for Bad. Several people in the documentary talk about that.

  • Phillinganes: It was a wild ride. I do remember [the concerts at] Wembley. Princess Di showed up and Michael, that lucky dog, got to be in the receiving line. We could see her pretty well in her bright yellow dress, sitting in her box. Tons of people showed up. Naomi Campbell. Buddies of mine that I had toured with showed up. Eric Clapton. Phil Collins. Barry Gibb. They were all there. We did three at Wembley, and it’s Wembley Stadium, not arena, so that’s like at least 70,000 people. You can never imagine the feeling of watching 70,000 people light torches during “Man in the Mirror.”
  • Branca: [The concert footage on the BAD25 DVD is] one concert start to finish. There are no edits and piecing together of different concerts. It’s one concert, Michael Jackson at Wembley Stadium in the presence of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. He actually refers to them at the beginning and at the end of the show. We had high-quality footage of other concerts, but the audio wasn’t very good. For Wembley we had great audio but all we had visually was Michael’s VHS copy of the monitor feed.
  • The “Bad World Tour,” which took place between September 1987 and December 1988, earned Jackson two (more) spots in the Guinness Book of World Records. Gross revenue of more than $124 million broke the record for the highest-grossing concert tour, and the tour also earned the record of most successful concert series for selling out seven nights at London’s Wembley Stadium, where Jackson performed to a combined estimate of 504,000 people. A live album and DVD are currently being released to commemorate the 25th anniversary (theroot.com)

    Phillinganes: I wasn’t with him when he [watched the VHS tapes of his shows], but it was always to improve. He was very meticulous about every aspect of the show, particularly choreography, lighting. He just always strived to maintain that basis that he set for himself.

  • Forger: To me what I come away with from the Bad album is, ironically, one of the songs that Michael did not write, and that’s Man in the Mirror. Man in the Mirror to me totally represents that place that Michael started directing his energy to. You start to really see where Michael’s heart is, where his soul is, what his intent was for what he would like to accomplish with his music, and that’s a thing that in much later material is clearly evident, and this is the time when you see that coming to the forefront I think, so strongly.
  • Phillinganes: It was arguably the most transitional point in establishing his musical independence. And the songs speak for themselves. It was just a well-rounded collection of great songs.
  • Branca: Clearly Michael is an artist whose popularity will live on for generations. It’s funny, I was talking to Spike Lee about this, some artists are great singers but they don’t write their songs, and some artists are great songwriters but they’re not excellent vocalists or they can’t dance. You look at Michael, and he could write the songs, he could produce them, he could sing them, he could get out and perform and dance them, and then his sense of style sort of changed fashion trends. He’s a unique artist in that respect.

Michael Jackson on stage in 1987

The BAD25 anniversary package is available Sept. 18—and, although Jackson’s team is still focused on BAD, John Branca says there may be even more unreleased Jackson material to keep fans sated in the future, since an additional album’s-worth of vocal and performance material exists.

  •  Branca: Michael himself did Thriller 25 and that was important to him, so BAD25 was an obvious and a logical choice. Several things are exciting about the package in addition to calling attention to the album and the incredible documentary that Spike Lee has done. We’re including some previously unreleased music. This is music that Michael worked on for the album and it’s quite, quite good. In fact, Michael had debated for a long time about including a song called Streetwalker on the album and at the very last minute he chose Another Part of Me instead. So we have Streetwalker included on the rarities disc. That’s exciting, to be able to share this music with the fans.
  •  Lee: By getting access to the Michael Jackson archives, I saw stuff I never knew even existed.
  • Branca: We’ve been in the process of digitizing all of Michael’s archives of audiovisual and written material. We monitor the fans and we’re in dialogue and communication with them, and one of the Wembley stadium concerts is the one that the fans really wanted, so we were searching for that concert and fortunately we found this… We found some interesting notes that Michael had for some of the short films on the album, for example for Smooth Criminal, we found a sketch that Michael did for the outfits that are worn by Michael and the dancers in the short film. Michael designed those with the armband and everything. And we found his notes from when he was conceiving the idea for the Smooth Criminal short film, where he was studying the works of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.
  • Forger: I mixed “Don’t be Messin’ Round” and “Free” and the one which is called “Song Groove (A/K/A Abortion Papers).” These were tracks where all of the material had already been recorded. Nothing was added, nothing was recorded, it was just going through and taking the tapes that hadn’t had an appropriate mix and just doing a representative final mix of the way Michael would have wanted the songs to sound.
  • Branca: In the shadow of Thriller, which is the biggest-selling album in the history of the record business, Bad is perhaps under-appreciated. I don’t think people realize how many hit singles came from that album. This will be really a statement that will remind everybody how important, how influential that album was.
  • Forger: When I look back and I think about what I took away from that experience and that time, to me it was an opportunity to learn, and for me to understand more not only about music but to learn so many things from Michael. It’s a fantastic high because you’re just enjoying yourself on a tremendous level, and now when you look and back and have an opportunity to reflect on it, you realize it was a rare time. It was a rare time in pop culture, in the world, in the history of music, and also in Michael’s career.

http://entertainment.time.com/2012/08/29/michael-jackson-bad/#bad-25

The next article proves what we thought all along – at the end of the 80s, even prior to 1987 when Bad was released, the media started its onslaught against Jackson, and shifted its attention from his music and dance to his personal life, making him an innocent target of their most vicious ridicule.

And although I’ve never seen Spike Lee’s film the honest way he talks about Michael is a sign that the film he made should be really something extraordinary:

Spike Lee remembers Michael Jackson at the Toronto Film Festival, Sept. 2012

Spike Lee calls media treatment of MJ ‘shameful’

The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, Sep. 15, 2012 1:30PM EDT

TORONTO — Spike Lee’s new documentary “Bad 25” captures Michael Jackson in the turbulent time before he crafted 1987’s “Bad,” a period when the notoriously meticulous King of Pop worked with feverish obsession on trying to top his own megahit “Thriller” while the tabloids vigorously devoured the remnants of his personal life.

But even after “Bad” made good and topped charts around the world, the album’s release saw the decided shift of attention from Jackson’s pristine pop to his apparently bizarre personal behaviour (Chimps! Amusement parks! The Elephant Man’s bones!).

Here is a reader’s side-note to interrupt the story for a moment:

  • gertrude “Michael’s Jackson’s behaviour was not bizarre – THAT was an OPINION the MEDIA attempted to sham us into believing was a fact. FACTS are not OPINIONS, of course, and I commend this writer for describing the media as cruel, which since they slandered, suppressed the truth about, and BULLIED Jackson to death, is putting it mildly”.

(continued) And for that media-fuelled rubbernecking, Lee says there’s plenty of shame to go around.

“People, they had the hater-ade. They were drinking hater-ade,” the two-time Academy Award nominee said in an interview from a swanky hotel suite Saturday during the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie screened.

“Read the reviews of the ‘Bad’ album. They wrote like this was some piece of (crap). And (they) don’t call him by his name — ‘Wacko Jacko?’ It’s shameful…. Those people should be ashamed what they did to him.”

And while Lee’s reverential film remains studiously focused on Jackson’s work, it also reveals much about an intensely private man who really never experienced privacy.

“Bad 25” picks up in the wake of the titanic success of Jackson’s second album as an adult solo artist, 1982’s game-changing stunner “Thriller.” The best-selling album of all time, “Thriller”‘s sales numbers are still too gaudy to believe — after all, it’s been certified platinum 29 times over in the U.S. alone while going twice diamond in Canada.

But Jackson wasn’t satisfied with that. Just as he was determined to make “Thriller” a much bigger success than his 1979 disco-informed classic “Off the Wall,” Jackson thought he could similarly top the biggest hit of all time. As Lee’s film uncovers, Jackson even used to scrawl “100,000,000” on mirrors and notebooks as a reminder to himself of the impossibly lofty sales number he wanted to achieve with “Bad.”

Of course, that produced an almost unprecedented amount of self-imposed pressure for a pop artist.

So Lee’s film captures Jackson obsessing over not just the 11 tracks that formed “Bad” but also its ambitious music videos (one of which was directed by film luminary Martin Scorsese), the choreography of the album’s eventual epic tour (which included a show in front of 72,000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium) or even bits of promotional minutiae only tangentially related to Jackson’s music.

Lee says Jackson believed that he couldn’t stop pushing himself or everything he had worked to build would deteriorate.

“He was not stupid,” said Lee, clad in a glittering Michael Jackson T-shirt with matching custom Nike kicks.

“He saw people, black artists, who were at the top and then broke. He saw many great black artists who were confined to just being black artists.

“Michael’s about breaking boundaries.”

Still, Lee can’t necessarily relate to Jackson’s unyielding eye for detail.

“There’s nothing wrong with being a perfectionist. Now, me, I’m not going to do 80 takes like David Fincher of somebody picking up a magazine. I’m not going to do that!” he adds, laughing as he picks up and slams a nearby lifestyle mag for emphasis.

“But it was his money…. He put his money into his work.”

Along with Lee’s film, the 25th anniversary of “Bad” is being celebrated with a spiffy new deluxe re-release on Tuesday.

The new two-disc set includes a remastered version of the original album, plus a slate of worthy B-sides that were once axed from its concise tracklist. (With characteristic honesty, Lee dismisses a portion of the second disc’s new material, screwing his face into a frown as he warns: “Forget about the remixes.”)

Michael Jackson in a concert at Wembley stadium on July 15, 1988

Lee doesn’t think there’s room for debate over how the record — which featured such hits as the title track, “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Smooth Criminal” — wears its age.

“Look at the Billboard charts when ‘Bad’ was released 25 years ago, and then listen to those songs, and see if they still sound contemporary or dated,” said Lee, whose film will air on ABC on Nov. 22 in Canada.

“‘Bad’ still stands up. Those other songs that were on the Top 10 list 25 years ago? Who were they? Thin Lizzy? Are we still speaking about those people?” he asks incredulously.

“The greats will stand the test of time. It’s not even an argument.”

Although Lee has condemned those who eagerly gawked at Jackson’s downfall (the film doesn’t cover the accusations of child sexual abuse brought against the singer in 1993), he does admit to some level of curiosity about one specific element of Jackson’s life: his gradually lightening skin tone.

While it was later reported that Jackson’s colour was changing due to the skin condition vitiligo and treatments for lupus, Lee watched the transition with some interest.

“Black folks were wondering about (that) — I’m not going to lie,” Lee said with a chuckle, pinching his own skin. “Because Michael never came public that he had this disease. I was one of them. Like, ‘Wait a minute man. What’s up brother?’

“I’m not going to lie. That’s full disclosure. And I’m not speaking on behalf of 45 million African Americans, but there were discussions about Michael’s complexion.”

Of course, there were discussions about virtually every element of Jackson’s life.

Ten of the 11 songs on Bad were accompanied by an elaborate music video. The only one not given the visual treatment is “Just Good Friends,” a collaboration with friend Stevie Wonder (theroot.com)

Lee had access to a deep well of sensational archival footage, supplementing original interviews conducted with Jackson collaborators including Scorsese and director Joe Pytka (as well as such admirers as Kanye West, Mariah Carey and Canada’s Justin Bieber) with clips of Jackson in the studio or warming up on video sets.

But amid all the shots of Jackson fervently fretting over some seemingly insignificant tone or lyric, there are revealing insights about the strange way he lived his life.

This is a man who adopted devious disguises just to meet up with his brothers for dinner, whose every public appearance devolved into hysteria and whose earliest memories of childhood were indivisible from showbiz.

“He had to sing and dance to eat since he was six years old,” Lee said simply.

At one point in the film, a teary-eyed confidante of Jackson’s relates a conversation they shared in which the singer yearned to be a fly on the wall at a party, to see what normal people talked about.

And one of the bonus tracks on “Bad 25” is the knotted, claustrophobic “Price of Fame,” in which Jackson laments the cost of dealing with the demands of a massive audience that’s blindly obsessed with him.

Lee doesn’t think long when asked what that cost was.

“Look, he’s not here. He’s not here. Not in this physical form,” he replies.

“You get to be the most recognizable person on this planet, there’s a price for that…. You could say he paid with his life, really.”

Full story: http://www.cp24.com/entertainment/spike-lee-calls-media-treatment-of-mj-shameful-1.957363

“It was his money. He put his money into his work” – this phrase somehow brought home to me where Michael’s money really went into – into those 80 takes of one and the same episode and all of them in search of perfection. What a wise investment it was…

The next article says that Michael learned the work ethic from his father (which is probably correct). Only recently did we see an email from Paul Gongaware’s of AEG who accused Michael of being “lazy” and heard AEG  insisting on “tough love” towards Jackson to make him work – and here we are, life itself is refuting these callous lies about the man. Michael never needed to be pushed about as he was the one who did ten times as much as anyone else would and did it all by himself!

Paul Gongaware of AEG wrote to its CEO Randy Phillips: “. “We let Mikey know just what this will cost him in terms of him making money…. he is lazy and constantly changes his mind to fit his immediate wants.”

September 16, 2012

Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson doc transcends the man in the mirror

By Liz Brown

Metro Canada

What do you do when you’re the man behind the bestselling album in music history?

You vow that your next one will be even better, naturally.

Such is the pursuit of perfection that propelled — and plagued — Michael Jackson as he spent two years writing and composing Bad, his followup to 1982’s Thriller.

In Spike Lee’s documentary, Bad 25, we learn that in the Bad years, Jackson scrawled ‘100 million’ on his bathroom mirror, so every morning as he brushed his teeth, he’d be reminded of his goal — sell 100 million records.

The album, released in 1987, ended up being a commercial and critical success, with around 40 million copies sold. But it never came close to the sales of Thriller, which rang in somewhere near the 100 million mark.

The failure to reach his 100 million goal wasn’t for lack of effort on Jackson’s part, though.

Bad 25 reveals the late-night dance sessions, the meticulous recordings and the almost pathological work ethic of a man who seemed to be chasing a near-impossible dream.

“Michael got his work ethic from his father,” says Lee on Saturday at Toronto’s Trump Hotel, dressed in a T-shirt sporting Michael Jackson’s iconic Bad pose, just hours before the North American premiere of his documentary at TIFF.

“(Joe Jackson) had him singing and dancing from five, six years old. I’m not going to make a villain out of Joe Jackson. Many people do, but he got their asses out of Gary Indiana and his children didn’t have to work at the steel mill that he slaved at. Something worked. He’s not all bad.”

But as anyone knows, getting out of Gary and becoming the world’s biggest pop star didn’t come without its struggles. As Jackson was promoting Bad and selling out venues around the world in a 16-month tour that set three world records, darkness was moving in on his star power.

An adorably animated music video for “Leave Me Alone” pokes fun at Jackson’s tabloid troubles. He goes on a wild ride being chased by paparazzi, dances with the bones of the Elephant Man and dodges the shocking claims of newspaper headlines like, “Michael Weds Alien,” “Jackson’s 3rd Eye Starts Sunglasses Fad,” “Michael and Diana Same Person” and “Bubbles the Chimp Bares All About Michael.” (the root.com)

The media became increasingly cruel as Jackson’s behaviour became increasingly bizarre — there were tales of him sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber, his pet chimpanzee Bubbles, and rumours that he had tried to buy the Elephant Man’s bones.

In the documentary, Jackson’s choreographer and confidant Vince Patterson shares some advice he gave the superstar: Don’t ever let a bully know they’re hurting you.

It’s a poignant moment when we are reminded that despite his fame and fortune, Jackson was human — a remarkably talented human — and that somewhere in the mess of scandals and rumours, the wonder of that talent got lost.

Bad 25 reminds us just how wondrous that talent was. Witness the lean in Smooth Criminal (don’t hold your breath — this doc doesn’t reveal the secret behind it), or the head-turning intro to The Way You Make Me Feel.

For Lee, Bad 25 is an ode to Jackson the performer; a tribute to an artist and friend he respected.  “I try not to focus on the fact that he’s not here, because the way I take it, Michael’s not here in his physical form, but he’s here in his spiritual form and his music is here,” says Lee.

http://metronews.ca/scene/372001/spike-lees-michael-jackson-doc-transcends-the-man-in-the-mirror/

The readers commented:

  • layonmcd • I’m puzzled why this science fiction gets trotted out for public consumption every time Jackson’s name comes up. I’m talking about: “The media became increasingly cruel as Jackson’s behaviour became  increasingly bizarre — there were tales of him sleeping in a hyperbaric  chamber, his pet chimpanzee Bubbles, and rumours that he had tried to  buy the Elephant Man’s bones.” This is ridiculous, distorted, and desperately needs rethinking. We’ve known for almost two decades now that Jackson didn’t sleep in a hyperbaric chamber (it’s a piece of medical equipment he donated to a hospital burn center), that many people enjoy exotic pets, and in fact Jackson did NOT try to buy Elephant Man’s bones. Can you give this a rest? No need to continue the “cruel” part of it by repeating these lies over and over.  The bizarre behavior belongs to the media endlessly repeating the tall tales, not Jackson. Stop with the hyperbaric chamber, pet chimp, Elephant Man bones narrative! It ceased to be amusing years ago.
  • elke hassell  Michael Jackson saved Bubbles from a Research Institute. FACT! Quote:“Why not just tell people I’m an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They’ll believe anything you say, because you’re a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, ‘I’m an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight’, people would say, ‘Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts.  He’s cracked up. You can’t believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth.” END QUOTE. People got to stop this nonsense once and for all, to believe everything that has ever been said about him. Start saying SORRY MICHAEL JACKSON FOR WHAT WE DID TO YOU, and thank the Lord that Michael was a FORGIVING SOUL!
  • masonjud  The same old stale chestnuts reheated — the chimp, the chamber and the bones — are hardly worth a yawn by today’s standards of epic excess, self indulgence, and being famous for being famous. The media became increasingly cruel not as ‘Jackson’s behavior became increasingly bizarre’, but as he became astronomically successful. Michael Jackson earned every bit of his well-deserved fame, and he thanked God for it every day — God and rehearsal. Looking forward to Spike Lee’s documentary and delighted it will air on network television square in prime time where it belongs. In due course the Empire of Trash Media and Junk Food Journalism will collapse of its own arrogance and corruption.

Together with these readers I am thrilled by the perspective that the anniversary of each consecutive album by Michael Jackson will be a discovery of his music by the generations of new fans. I even presume that Michael Jackson belonged so much to the future that the public simply did not catch up with him, and that people will come to appreciate his later work when they are ready for the albums to be re-released again. (Will there be an Invincible 25th album in 2026? And shall we have to wait that long? Can we make it earlier, please?).

I am also rejoiced to see that it wasn’t only me who welcomed and appreciated the “Michael” posthumous album:

  • Model Tatiana Thumbtzen appeared in the music video for “The Way You Make Me Feel” and became the first person to publicly kiss Jackson in an onstage performance of the song. Thumbtzen claimed she had an affair with Jackson but later retracted the claim in a tell-all book and admitted in a European documentary that she took the initiative to kiss him onstage and never got to see or speak to him ever again (theroot.com)

    layne4  In the shadow of Thriller and surrounded by media focused on nonsense at that time, BAD truly deserves this re-release and recognitiion. I’d like to add that Spike Lee’s documentary BAD25 has been critically praised and was a huge hit in France, London and Toronto. Oh, and personally, over produced or not, I am happy to own and appreciate ‘Michael’.

  •  Chaz: Thanks for the write-up on the re-release of the “Bad” album. As it fell into the massive shadow of “Thriller” it didn’t get the critical attention it might have otherwise, especially since the tabloid media were already poisoning any hope Michael Jackson ever had of the focus staying on his art. Like others here, I highly value the “Michael” album warts and all, and I also think that “Just Good Friends” is notable for two of the best singers ever giving it their best energy and a full-on effort – Michael’s vocal is stellar. Not sure what your poke at his other producers means, but he had some really good ones down the line – “Dangerous25” should be another treat if more treasures pop out of the vaults. Hope I’m still alive to see it. (Hello, Estate? We aren’t getting any younger!)
  • Tabinformed The attention to detail and the work ethic that Michael Jackson Jackson put into his art makes it timeless. There are so many layers and so much to learn about it. It would be nice if today’s artists spent that much time on their craft. Though the 2010 “Michael” album was somewhat overproduced, I still think it stands above most of today’s artists. It was controversial only because Michael Jackson’s fans are very particular and know his music and high standards well. I choose to love the album for the love that the producers of each song clearly put into their work. It was a glimpse into what Michael was working on in his last years as well as the regard that those who worked with him through the years had for him. There are some great tracks on there including “Hollywood Tonight” whose remix became #1 on the Billboard dance chart. It has a killer hook.

The next review is rather funny. The author admits he is “one of twelve people” (implying that all the rest are already fans) who have no particular fondness for Michael Jackson, but even a hardened non-fan like him was moved to tears by Michael Jackson’s performance of “Man in the mirror”.  The journalist sees it as a clear indication of” something special going on” with which I readily agree – we also feel that something special is going on.

One of the more emotional moments I’ve had in a theater all year

Jordan Hoffman September 11, 2012

Hello. My name is Jordan Hoffman, and I am one of twelve people on God’s green earth who holds no particular fondness for Michael Jackson.

…The point is this: if a film can bring me to tears — TEARS — by a performance of “Man in the Mirror,” a song I normally roll my eyes at when I hear it at CVS, a song that reflexively fires my “change the station” maneuver on the car radio, this is an indication that something special is going on.

Spike Lee’s “Bad 25″ is, on the face of it, nothing too removed than one of those “Classic Albums” programs that used to air on VH1. Songs are discussed one by one, with tidbits about the recording and writing, and sometimes the mix is finagled so we get to focus on what the bass player is actually doing. “Bad 25,” however, is a Spike Lee film.

…With incredible access to Jackson’s estate, “Bad 25″ shows just how involved he was in every aspect of the album, from writing, recording and producing, as well as the business. For Jackson, of course, an album wasn’t just the music. It was the style, choreography and “short films” that accompanied each track.

Jackson’s drive is made evident through phone messages to collaborators, rehearsal videos shot all through the night and copious notes to self from his diaries. The influences are as diverse as Mavis Staples, Buster Keaton, Fred Astaire and “The Third Man.” It is impossible not to feel tremendous respect for this artist.

Jackson’s life is full of sadness, too. His collaborators (some famous, some not) all describe his inability to live a normal life. His idiosyncrasies aren’t dismissed, but they are put in context. Try to dance a mile in his shoes.

Lee breaks from the standard talking head doc format in discussing Jackson’s death. Everyone — and the list of boldfaced names is as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Justin Bieber, Will Vinton and Greg Phillinganes, to just scratch the surface — gets a moment just to bear witness. It is fascinating portrait of grief, a “where were you” collection of anecdotes like those that people trade about the Kennedy assassination or 9/11.

This is followed by an analysis of “Man in the Mirror,” bringing an enormous weight to the story of that important anthem’s birth. “Bad 25″ concludes with a live, complete performance of the song from Wembley Stadium that, I swear, was one of the more emotional moments I’ve had in a theater all year.

No one needs more hagiographic documentaries about famous people. “Bad 25″ isn’t that. It is one of the most energetic and sublime investigations into the creative process put to film. Non-fans will be enthralled. Actual fans will be ecstatic.

http://www.film.com/movies/bad-25-review-2012

But the most insightful of all is Joseph Vogel’s article which puts the Bad album in the history context and provides a good deal of reasons why Michael Jackson’s harassment campaign started as early as 1985. After reading it you will realize that the media waited only for a pretext  to bring Michael down.

I even wonder why the media waited for this “information event”  for full six years until 1993, if they could arrange it by their own ways and means much earlier (remember the Newt brothers promised by the media $150,000 for lying about Michael? If you don’t, please go here for details http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,152708,00.html) . Evidently all the other candidates for the job of slandering Michael – except the Chandlers – turned out hopelessly honest and upright.

I also suddenly recalled that Victor Gutierrez, the author of a child pornography book about MJ (even banned in the US) and a grave suspect of the NAMBLA membership, admitted starting making rounds of parents of children who Michael Jackson was friends with at about the end of the 80s too. What’s crucial about those rounds is that he didn’t ask the parents about Michael – he actually told them something like “You don’t know who he really is? Then let me tell you…”  which is in fact malicious spreading lies about Jackson and definitely not searching for the truth about the man.

As a example of his “approach” here is a quote from Gutierrez’s book about the way he told flats lies about Jackson presenting them as if they were facts.  Wade Robson’s mother Joy never believed them, while Evan Chandler unfortunately did…

  • “I introduced myself to the mother saying that I was a journalist and that I was writing a book about Jackson which concerned his relationship with minors, including his being a pedophile. When I finished speaking, Joy exclaimed “It’s not true!” I asked her to at least let me explain what I had found out up until now, and then ask her if there was anything that she wanted to add. If not, I would understand”.

I hope there will be another time to handle Victor Gutierrez in full seriousness, but now let us get back  to Joe Vogel’s article. It is long but  is well worth reading,  as it explains a lot about what happened to Michael and why:

How Michael Jackson Made ‘Bad’

SEP 10 2012, 3:41 PM ET 

The story of how the landmark album, which just turned 25 and will soon be re-released in a three-disc set, was forged by the “Wacko Jacko” backlash against the pop star

At the height of his fame, Michael Jackson disappeared.

In 1984, he seemed to be everywhere: on MTV and in Pepsi commercials, at the Grammys and the White House, on Rolling Stone and Time magazine, and all across the United States on the Victory Tour. The next year, however, besides a brief appearance in “We Are the World,” he was nowhere to be seen.

“The year 1985,” wrote Gerri Hirshey for Rolling Stone, “has been a black hole for Michael watchers, who witnessed the most spectacular disappearing act since Halley’s comet headed for the far side of the solar system in 1910.” It was a strategic move from a performer who understood the power of anticipation and mystique. 1986 was much the same. Jackson was said to be a recluse “in hiding” and made few public appearances.

The Gulliver, chained by Lilliputs

In his absence came a flood of fantastical stories about shrines, hyperbaric chambers, and Elephant Man’s bones. Most of these were harmless (and actually amused Jackson), but there was a darker side to the media backlash. Jackson had become the most powerful African American in the history of the entertainment industry. Not only had he built an empire through his own record-shattering albums, videos and performances, he had resurrected the fortunes of CBS/Epic Records, surged life into MTV, and set the bar for live entertainment. He also smartly retained full ownership of his master recordings and with the help of his attorney, John Branca, actively acquired publishing rights, including songs by Sly and the Family Stone, Ray Charles, and of course, the crown jewel of popular music: the ATV/Beatles catalog.

It is no coincidence that this was the precise moment when the tide began to shift. From industry heavyweights and media alike, there was now suspicion, resentment, and jealousy. It was clear Jackson was not merely a naive man-child (as he was often presented), or a song-and-dance man who knew and accepted his place as a static, submissive “entertainer.” He was outwitting some of the most powerful figures in the industry. He was growing artistically and financially. And he was beginning to learn how to wield his considerable power and cultural influence for more social and political ends.

“He will not swiftly be forgiven for having turned so many tables,” wrote James Baldwin in 1985, “for he damn sure grabbed the brass ring, and the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo has nothing on Michael. All that noise is about America, as the dishonest custodian of black life and wealth; the blacks, especially males, in America; and the burning, buried American guilt; and sex and sexual roles and sexual panic; money, success and despair…”

The backlash, then, was not merely about Jackson’s perceived eccentricities. It was also about power, money, and more subtle forms of institutional and cultural dominance. In the decades preceding Jackson, as James Brown put it, black recording artists were all-too-often “in the show, but not in show business.” Now Jackson was a financial force to be reckoned with. His status, however, also turned him into an enormous target.

Beginning in 1985, the media became increasingly vicious toward the artist. “They desire our blood, not our pain,” Jackson wrote in a note in 1987. Tabloids soon began disparaging him with the nickname “Wacko Jacko” (a term Jackson despised). It was a term first applied to the pop star by the British tabloid, The Sun, in 1985, but its etymology goes back further. “Jacko Macacco” was the name of a famous monkey used in monkey-baiting matches at the Westminster Pit in London in the early 1820s. Subsequently, the term “Jacco” or “Jacco Macacco” was Cockney slang to refer to monkeys in general. The term persisted into the 20th century as “Jacko Monkeys” became popular children’s toys in Great Britain in the 1950s. They remained common in British households into the 1980s (and can still be found on Ebay today).

The term “Jacko,” then, didn’t arise out of a vacuum, and certainly wasn’t meant as a term of endearment. In the ensuing years, it would be used by the tabloid and mainstream media alike with a contempt that left no doubt about its intent. Even for those with no knowledge of its racist roots and connotations, it was obviously used to “otherize,” humiliate and demean its target. Like Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” scene in Invisible Man, it was a process by which to reduce Michael Jackson the human being and artist, to “Jacko” the minstrelized spectacle for avaricious amusement. (It is significant to note that, while the term was used widely by the white media, it was rarely, if ever used by black journalists.)

This was the ominous undercurrent beginning to swirl around Jackson and it had an impact on both his own psyche and that of the public (particularly in the U.S.). The tension between control and liberation or escape percolates throughout the Bad album and its accompanying music videos.

In the short film for “Leave Me Alone,” for example, Jackson keenly conveys the carnivalesque reality of his life as an objectified entertainer. Inspired in part by Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, a larger-than-life Jackson is literally trapped in an amusement park attraction as dogs in corporate suits pound pegs in the ground to keep him in place. Later in the video he sings out of newspapers, dollar bills, and within reenactments of tabloid stories. It is a shrewdly self-aware (and socially aware) examination of entrapment, exploitation, and double consciousness in the postmodern age.

Part of Jackson’s “disappearance,” then, also had to do with the realities of his life. He could no longer walk freely anywhere in the world without being mobbed, scrutinized, and dissected.

His retreat was in his art. From 1985 to 1987, away from the public eye, he was writing and recording prolifically. The Bad sessions would ultimately generate more than 60 songs in various states of completion. At one point he considered releasing it as a triple-disc album.

Jackson called his home studio at Hayvenhurst “the Laboratory.” This is where the magic was created with a small group of musicians and engineers, including Matt Forger, John Barnes, Chris Currell, and Bill Bottrell (often referred to as the “B-Team”). It has now become the stuff of legend that Jackson wrote “100 million” on his bathroom mirror, the number of albums he expected Bad to sell. The figure was more than double the number of what Thriller had sold to that point. Such was the scope of Jackson’s ambition.

However, it wasn’t just commercial success he was after. Jackson wanted to innovate. He told collaborators he wanted to create sounds the ear had never heard. Exciting new synthesizers were coming on the scene at the time, including the Fairlight CMI and the Synclavier PSMT. “It really opened up another realm of creativity,” recalls recording engineer Matt Forger. “The Fairlight had this light pen that could draw a waveform on the screen and allow you to modify the shape of it. The Synclavier was just an extension of that. Very often we would end up combining two synthesizer elements together to create a unique character. You could do that within the Synclavier, but you also had the ability in a very fine increment to adjust the attack of each sound character. And by doing that you could really tailor the sound. We were doing a lot of sampling and creating new sound characters and then creating a combination of sample sounds mixed with FM synthesis.”

Jackson was fascinated with these new technologies and constantly on the lookout for fresh sounds. The opening sound character for “Dirty Diana,” for example, was created by Denny Jaeger, a Synclavier expert and designer from the Bay Area. When Jackson heard about Jaeger and his library of new sound characters and soundscapes, he reached out and enlisted him for Bad. Jaeger’s sounds ultimately appeared on both “Dirty Diana” and “Smooth Criminal.” “Michael was always searching for something new,” Forger says. “How much stuff could we invent ourselves or research and find? There was a whole lot of that going on. That was what the Laboratory was about.”

What makes the Bad album so timeless, however, is the way Jackson was able to compliment this technological innovation with more organic, soulful qualities. In “The Way You Make Me Feel,” for example, the relentless steel-shuffling motion of the beat is juxtaposed with all kinds of natural, improvisational qualities that give the song its charm: the vocal ad libs, the finger snapping, the blues harmonies, the percussive grunts and gasps, the exclamations. Recording engineer Bruce Swedien speaks of how he left all of Jackson’s vocal habits in as part of the “overall sonic picture.” He didn’t want to make the song “antiseptically clean” because it would lose its visceral effect.

In so many ways, Bad was Jackson’s coming-of-age as an artist. Quincy Jones challenged him at the outset to write all the material and Jackson responded, writing nine of the 11 tracks that made the album and dozens more that were left off. “Study the greats,” he wrote in one note to himself, “and become greater.” He spoke of the “anatomy” of music, of dissecting its parts. He was also reading a great deal, including the work of Joseph Campbell. He wanted to understand what symbolism, myths, and motifs resonated over time and why.

By the time he brought demos to Westlake Studio to work on with Quincy Jones and Bruce Swedien (the A-Team), most of the key elements of the songs were in place. Now it was a matter of details: small-brush coloring, polishing, augmenting, and to Jackson’s chagrin, paring down. Assistant engineer Russ Ragsdale estimates that more than 800 multi-track tapes were made to create Bad, an extraordinary number. Synth stacks filled the tracking room, where Jackson often worked with synth programer John Barnes. Vocals were rerecorded until Jackson felt satisfied. Jackson, Quincy Jones and Bruce Swedien continued to tweak and debate decisions until the final minute before the deadline.

Just as much attention went into the short films. In his notes following the Bad video, Jackson indicated that he still wasn’t completely satisfied with the choreography. The moves had to be so internalized that there was no thinking whatsoever. He had to dissolve into the steps and the music until it became pure feeling.

Many people still don’t realize the input Jackson had on every detail of his work, from choreography to lighting to costumes to story. While rehearsing for the short film for “Smooth Criminal,” Jackson eloquently explained to director Colin Chivers and choreographer Vincent Paterson the tension and release he hoped to achieve in the bridge. “That’s why we build it to a mountain and we bring it back down,” he instructed. “Then at the top [mouths sounds effect] with the high strings. Something to just ride the emotion that we didn’t put into it [mouths sound effect]. Just a horn or something, you know… To ride the feeling of it… I want the music to represent the way we feel… It’s gotta dictate our emotion, our moods. We’re expressing the way everybody feels. It’s rebellion. You know what I mean? We’re letting out what we always wanted to say to the world.Passion and anger and fire!”

Twenty-five years later, the results speak for themselves. Videos like “Bad” and “Smooth Criminal” are among the finest the medium has to offer. Songs like “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Dirty Diana,” and “Another Part of Me” remain staples in Jackson’s vast catalog. Hearing the remastered album, included in the three-CD Bad25 set out September 18, is a reminder of its singular personality and pleasure. Listen to the propulsive bass lines, the layers of rhythm, the vocal experimentation, the cinematic narratives, the signature exclamations and invented vocabulary, the sheer vitality and joy. This is pop at its most dynamic, and it stands, along with the best work of Prince, as one of the best albums of the 1980s.

Bad is a portrait of the artist in peak form—bold, creative and confident. Now as then, “the whole world has to answer.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/09/how-michael-jackson-made-bad/262162/2/?single_page=true

Michael  indeed did mammoth creative work on all his albums. As regards BAD he composed about 70 more songs for it in addition to those nine which went into the album.

Here is the proof of it – it is an excerpt from Michael Jackson’s deposition in 1994 made in connection with some ridiculous claim concerning his “Dangerous” song. Michael testifies here that he started composing  music at the age of seven, wrote his first song at the age of fifteen, wrote altogether a “couple of hundred songs” by the year 1994 and composed some 70 songs in addition to the nine released for Bad:

“Dangerous” deposition

Interview year: 1994

Clerk of the Board: Do you solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that the testimony you shall give in this matter now before the court shall be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth; and this you do under the pains and penalties of perjury?

Michael Jackson: Yes, I do.

Clerk: Please, be seated.

Clerk: State your name for the record? Please spell your last name.

MJ: Michael Joseph Jackson. J-A-C-K-S-O-N.

Lawyer (Daniel S. Hoffman): Mr. Jackson, would you tell us the nature of your occupation?

MJ: Performer, song writer…

L: Would you tell us when you started composing music?

MJ: Probably since the age of seven.

L: Would you tell us, how old you were when you had your first song published?

MJ: That I wrote myself?

L: Yes, sir.

MJ: Fifteen.

L: Could you tell us approximately Mr. Jackson, how many songs you’ve written to date?

MJ: In general couple hundred

L: And approximately, how many of those songs had been released to the public?

MJ: About fifty, sixty.

L: How many songs Mr. Jackson were on the “Bad” album?

MJ: I think nine.

L: And how many songs did you write for the “Bad” album that were not published?

A: Objection, your honor. Irrelevant.

Judge: Overruled.

MJ: I wrote probably sixty or seventy songs for “Bad” album that weren’t published.

http://mjtranslate.com/pl/interviews/1228

Can you imagine the measure of Michael’s perfectionism if he wrote about seventy more songs for the Bad album alone? In addition to those nine? And can you imagine the thrill of discovering these new  songs and reliving the past together with Michael Jackson now? How many more treasures can that vault of his have?

Before we listen to one of them there is one more article to cite which is a necessity for reasons of its own.

Spike Lee Revisits Michael Jackson’s Career for ‘BAD 25’ Documentary

Rolling Stone 

At the outset of BAD 25 – the documentary film celebrating the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Bad album – director Spike Lee quickly dispenses with talk of the pop superstar’s personal struggles, diving right into the artistic perfectionism that drove him to achieve his career milestones.

“Hopefully, that’s what this documentary is about – it’s gonna have people return to focusing on the music, his art, which I feel is his legacy, in addition to his children,” Lee, dressed in a white BAD 25 T-shirt, told reporters at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie had its North American premiere over the weekend, after debuting in Venice 25 years to the day since Bad’s release.

To piece together the making of Jackson’s landmark LP, Lee unearthed archival footage from studio sessions and music video shoots and conducted interviews with Jackson’s many collaborators, including Quincy Jones, Martin Scorsese, Stevie Wonder and Sheryl Crow, and stars who were inspired by his music, from Kanye West and Mariah Carey to Questlove and Justin Bieber.

The film, which will get a television premiere on ABC on November 22nd, follows the making of Badtrack by track; though it can feel clinical at times, it also revels in cool details,  like the origin of Jackson’s gravity-defying lean in “Smooth Criminal” and his famous expression, “Shamon!” Then, abruptly, Lee shifts to Jackson’s death in the summer of 2009, collecting reactions from his interview subjects, many of whom choke back tears and break down. “Those were all real, raw emotions that were displayed,” said Lee.

One of the most impactful statements in the documentary comes from music journalist Danyel Smith. “We should all be ashamed,” she says. “The way that I interpret that,” said Lee, “is that Michael should be with us. He should be here.”

… “Listen to the song ‘Price of Fame,’ which he wrote specifically about the situation,” said Lee, holding a copy of the release. “How can you get privacy when you’re the most recognizable person on the planet?”

“Did you see the disguises he had?” Lee added with a laugh, referring to a moment in the film that shows photographs of Jackson wearing intricate facial disguises.

“He had to do that. He couldn’t go anywhere in the world without there being a riot. Man, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. He became a prisoner of his fame. I mean, I’m not rewriting Michael’s titles, but [the song] could’ve been [called] ‘Prisoner of Fame,’ instead of ‘Price of Fame.'”

http://news.yahoo.com/spike-lee-revisits-michael-jacksons-career-bad25-documentary-221540437.html

 The photo accompanying this article is of special value to us.

In an uncharacteristic move for the media people Max Rossi of Reuters noticed a crucifix over the image of Michael Jackson on Spike Lee’s t-shirt (as he poses during the photocall of the movie “Bad 25” at the 69th Film Festival in Venice August 31, 2012). And not only did he notice it but he pointed it out to the public and newspapers reprinted it.

The photo is circulating on the net in its own capacity now.  The crucifix and Michael Jackson coming together do not surprise me in the least as crucifixion is indeed what was done to him.

What surprises me though is that it was the media which noticed it at last. Something special must indeed be going on if even they see it now.

*  *  *

As a true messenger Michael Jackson is sending us a message even from behind the closed door. It is a new hit from the Bad 25 album called “Abortion papers”. The beat and power of it are amazing. But what amazes me most is that Michael Jackson keeps talking to us even from beyond the grave. About life, children and God again.

Sister don’t read, she’ll never know
What about love, living a Christian soul
What do we get, she runs away
What about love, what about all I pray

Don’t know the worst, she knows a priest
What about God, living is all I see
What do you get, things she would say
What about love, that’s all I pray

Those abortion papers
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child

Sister’s confused, she went alone
What about love, what about all I saw
Biding a life, reading the words
Singing a song, citing a Bible verse

Father’s confused, mother despair
Brother’s in curse, what about all I’ve seen
You know the lie, you keep it low
What about heart, that’s all I’ve known

Those abortion papers
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child

Those abortion papers (whoo)
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child

Look at my words, what do they say
Look at my heart, burning is all heartbreak
What do you get, what do you say
What about love, I feel my sin

Those abortion papers
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child

Those abortion papers (whoo)
Think about life, I’d like to have my child (whoo)

Who have the grateful, where will she go
What will she do to see the world

Sister don’t know, where would she go
What about love, what about all I saw
What would you get, don’t get so confuse
Love all the things, it’s just the things I do

Those abortion papers
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child

Those abortion papers
Those abortion papers
I’d like to have my child

Those abortion papers
Those abortion papers
I’d like to have my child
Those abortion papers….

*  *  *

Updated October 15, 2012

OVERWHELMING PRAISE FOR BAD25

Overwhelming Praise for BAD25
September 20, 2012

Critics lauded “Bad25” when it debuted on September 18 commemorating the 25th anniversary of Michael’s album that changed pop music history.

Entertainment Weekly gave Bad25 an “A,” saying it is “a potent reminder of just how much “Bad’s pulsing pop holds up.” The Houston Chronicle called Bad25 “a layered, loving tribute” while the Seattle Post Intelligencer called Bad25 “a positively electrifying celebration of this often underrated album.”

Of the DVD of Michael’s 1988 Wembley concert from the landmark “Bad” tour included in the deluxe package, the Huffington Post compared it to “the equivalent of the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965” but added, “make no mistake: , Jackson’s performance here eclipses even his most talented predecessors.”

Read what critics are saying about Bad25…

Entertainment Weekly

A… The three discs and one DVD of live, remixed, and premastered material here are a potent reminder of just how much Bad’s pulsing pop holds up. ”

Read the full review.

Vibe

“It’s all about the songs, which includes five no. 1 singles. “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Man In The Mirror,” “Liberian Girl”…this is greatness, y’all.”

Read the full review.

Seattle Post Intelligencer

“Marking the quarter century mark since the release of Michael Jackson’s work of pop genius, Bad 25 is a positively electrifying celebration of this often underrated album. ”

Read the full review.

Houston Chronicle

“This is a layered, loving tribute whose power ultimately resides in the genius of the original album.”

Read the full review.

NBC News’ The Grio

“Bad25: A Michael Jackson masterpiece gets its due.”

Read the full review.

Huffington Post

“The Wembley shows are the equivalent of the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965. But make no mistake: Jackson’s performance here eclipses even his most talented predecessors.”

Read the full review.

Showbiz411.com

“Fans will love all the versions of “Bad25,” believe me.”

Read the full review.

BBC

“An awesome, evergreen and essential pop masterpiece.”

Read the full review.

Blog Critics

“… Bad is a treasure chest of indelible pop hooks, tasteful arrangements, devastating dance grooves, and some impeccable vocal performances.”

Read the full review.

50 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2013 11:13 pm

    As I have just got familiar with the NYTimes collection of articles about Michael Jackson which they themselves evidently consider their best, here is one I would like to draw your attention to. It concerns the ‘Bad’ album and was written in 1987.

    The way Michael Jackson is portrayed here really made me wonder. All these dark innuendos (beginning with the headline) look like setting the scene for a future campaign against him and is a sure indication that Michael Jackson was terribly getting on someone’s nerves.

    It looks like they can hardly bear his presence any more. And this is 1987!

    POP VIEW; THE DARK SIDE OF PETER PAN
    By Stephen Holden
    Published: September 13, 1987

    FROM ELVIS PRESLEY TO Michael Jackson: In the space of a month, the two most enigmatic icons of modern American pop have spawned back-to-back media frenzies that have an eerie symmetry.

    Early August saw the further deification of Elvis Presley on the 10th anniversary of his death. The man who brought aggressive sexuality to the center of popular music was remembered as an unofficial American monarch, our one and only show-business ”King,” who died of his own earthly excesses.

    No sooner had his commemoration ended than the drums started beating for the reappearance of Michael Jackson, the delicate, androgynous man-child whose mystique revolves around a transcendence of the body. If Elvis Presley was modern pop’s symbolic king, Michael Jackson is surely its symbolic ”savior,” an ascetic angel-sprite to whom Elizabeth Taylor, E. T. and Jesus seem to represent equally divine ideals.

    ”Bad,” Mr. Jackson’s first album in nearly five years, arrived in record stores on the same day that CBS broadcast a half-hour prime-time promotional special, ”Michael Jackson – The Magic Returns,” featuring the Martin Scorsese-directed music video of the title song. In this 20-minute mini-movie, the first of the album’s several music videos, the star imperiously rebuffs the glorification of outlaw behavior by black inner-city youth.

    Filmed mostly in black and white, with gritty streetwise dialogue by Richard Price and direction by Mr. Scorsese that reprises the mood of ”Mean Streets,” this video is heavily tinged with the star’s disturbing mixture of messianic pretension, rampant paranoia and narcissism.

    In it Mr. Jackson portrays a refined prep-school student returning on a vacation from New England to his New York ghetto neighborhood. Arriving at his tenement home, he finds his old teen-age buddies lounging on the building’s front steps. After they challenge him to prove that he is still ”bad,” he agrees to participate in a subway robbery. But at the very last minute, he foils the assault on an old man and turns on the gang, shouting rhetorical questions about good and evil and the meaning of the word ”bad.”

    During the harangue, the black-and-white film turns to color, and the deserted subway station becomes the set for a rainbow-hued, singing-and-dancing extravaganza in which Mr. Jackson triumphantly struts his loose-limbed prowess as a theatrical rock hoofer. Then, in a final tense moment, we’re back in black-and-white hell, as Mr. Jackson faces the gang leader eye to eye. Will they fight? No, it turns out. They solemnly shake hands. Good has triumphed over bad.

    While this mini-movie is a technically much-improved variation of ”Beat It,” the landmark music video from his 1982 megahit album ”Thriller,” in which Mr. Jackson’s spiritual powers and kinetic energy transform a gang war into a dance, Mr. Jackson’s demeanor in ”Bad” is disquietingly, sadly bizarre. Even the song has a masochistic undertone, as the singer implores, ”If you don’t like what I’m sayin’/ Then won’t you slap my face?”

    The dark side of Mr. Jackson’s Peter Pan image is a self-flagellating, sullenly martyred outsider. In the years since ”Thriller,” the star has surgically altered his appearance to produce this image. He has added an odd little cleft to his chin and made his lips thinner, desensualizing his features and blurring his racial heritage.

    In the ”Bad” video, his skin has taken on an unnaturally ashen hue, and his heavy eye makeup and designer outfit of studded black leather present jarringly mixed messages. Capping the confusion is Mr. Jackson’s speaking voice, which even at its most forceful sounds like a wounded whimper.

    Amid all the hoopla surrounding the new album, the big question being asked by the music industry is whether the record can possibly exceed the popularity of ”Thriller,” the best-selling record in history, with sales of 20 million copies in America and 38 million worldwide. By all accounts, Mr. Jackson is more obsessed than anyone with topping his own world record and dreams of selling 100 million copies of ”Bad.”

    But unless Mr. Jackson’s freakish new image proves irresistibly fascinating, ”Bad” seems unlikely to match, or even approach, the sales performance of ”Thriller.” One of the most innovative pop albums of modern times, ”Thriller” summed up a moment in American pop cultural history when music videos were young and the science-fiction and horror movie cycles that inspired his videos hadn’t run out of steam.

    ”Thriller” was a pop-music answer to movie myths like ”E. T.” and the ”Star Wars” trilogy, offering romance and chills to kids of all ages. The songs on ”Bad” break no new ground either stylistically or in their subject matter. The record lacks anything as snazzily audacious as ”Billie Jean.” The new album’s attempt to duplicate ”Billie Jean” is a sourly misogynistic diatribe, ”Dirty Diana,” directed at a predatory groupie who entraps the passive-aggressive narrator. And the song’s reiteration of the word ”dirty” to describe the vixen has a snidely priggish ring.

    On the positive side, the album sounds like the $2 million it cost to make. Quincy Jones’s richly dimensional production helps to turn songs with fragmentary, undistinguished lyrics into miniature soundtracks. And Mr. Jackson’s ballads, ”I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” and ”Liberian Girl,” are gorgeously sung and recorded reveries. On the uptempo songs, the gasping choked-up intensity of Mr. Jackson’s acrobatic vocals, which leap, skid and pirouette with a dynamism that matches his dancing, infuses even the most banal lyrics with a charge of high Hollywood drama.

    Having crafted a disturbing, otherworldly image that is more memorable than the peace-and-love pieties he dispenses, Mr. Jackson is gambling that in today’s pop climate, a performer’s personal iconographic power can give his nursery-rhyme sentiments the resonance of Scripture. But what Mr. Jackson conveys through his image is pretty forbidding, since the distinctions of sex, age and race – three of the principal obsessions of pop music – are all obliterated.

    Posing as a benign, alien star-child stranded somewhere between Disneyland and the astral home of ”E. T.,” he seems to want to demonstrate that spiritual salvation can only be attained by willfully evading reality and remaining a child. What a profoundly pessimistic message! For his self-transformation into a cartoonlike character of his own invention represents a rejection of the very humanity he has sought to help and enlighten through songs like ”We Are the World” and ”Bad.”

    What we are left with is a staggeringly talented, terror-struck symbol of our collective longing for an occult solution to human suffering. As Elvis Presley’s role of ”king” eclipsed his vitality as an entertainer, Michael Jackson has already begun to disappear into his role of pop’s surrogate savior. If we think good thoughts and wish upon the stars hard enough, he would lead us to believe, maybe an extraterrestrial playmate will arrive in time to save us.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1987/09/13/arts/pop-view-the-dark-side-of-peter-pan.html?src=pm

    Like

  2. October 31, 2012 12:29 am

    Another great review about Michael Jackson in Spike Lee’s Bad25:

    Review: Michael Jackson triumphs in ‘Bad 25’
    Spike Lee in-depth look at Jackson’s 1987 album, ‘Bad,’ moves like a great pop song, with performance clips, ‘who knew?’ anecdotes and A-list testimonials.

    By Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times
    October 25, 2012, 4:06 p.m.

    An unexpected narrative has solidified around Michael Jackson’s legacy since the pop superstar died in 2009: that as much as he was a creative genius — an artist capable of pulling inspiration from the cosmos, as Jackson himself describes it in Spike Lee’s new documentary “Bad 25” — his success came largely as the result of hard work.

    The master is being remade as a trouper.

    We saw the beginnings of this in “This Is It,” the 2009 documentary-cum-concert film assembled by Kenny Ortega from footage recorded during rehearsals for Jackson’s ill-fated run of shows at the O2 Arena in London.

    And now the story advances in “Bad 25,” which takes an in-depth look at the making of Jackson’s 1987 follow-up to the world-dominating “Thriller.” (It’s part of a 25th-anniversary onslaught that also includes a deluxe reissue of the album.)

    “This documentary celebrates the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and the achievements of his album ‘Bad,'” reads a title card at the end of the movie, and the word “achievements” seems instructive: Lee revels in the long hours and musicianly expertise required to produce hits such as “Smooth Criminal” and “Man in the Mirror.”

    The album’s commercial triumph, in his account, simply rewarded a job well done.

    “Celebrates” is another telling word. Packed with flattering performance clips and fawning testimonials from A-list admirers, Lee’s two-hour film is no less worshipful than “This Is It.”

    The director nods to the extra-musical pursuits that threatened to destabilize Jackson’s career during the extended layover between “Thriller” and “Bad.” He’s especially insightful on the singer’s controversial acquisition in 1985 of the Beatles’ songbook, which cultural critic Nelson George says unsettled people — white people, one infers — who view those songs as “sacred.”

    But those were distractions, Lee decides.

    What elevates “Bad 25” over sizzle-reel utility Lee’s his distinctive personal touch. Partly, that means Lee’s ability to get celebrities in front of a camera, as he did here with Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey and Kanye West, who thanks Jackson for introducing him in “Dirty Diana” to a predatory-groupie type he’s since come to know well.

    In one memorable sequence, the director dissects the “Bad” video with its director, Martin Scorsese — a kind of “Behind ‘Behind the Music'” moment that reflects the obsession with minutiae that animates all of Lee’s work.

    And with Jackson, there’s never any shortage of fascinating insider anecdotes. Who knew, for example, that playwright August Wilson had been asked to write a script for the video for “The Way You Make Me Feel”? (Wilson said no.)

    All those details suggest that a nearly Jacksonian level of effort went into this meticulously researched movie, which following a theatrical run in L.A. is due to air on ABC on Thanksgiving. But not unlike the singer and his producer Quincy Jones, Lee stitches them together with speed and precision.

    On-screen, “Bad 25” moves in the style of a great pop song.

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-michael-jackson-bad-25-documentary-20121026,0,492252.story

    I wish I could see it!

    Like

  3. Rodrigo permalink
    October 21, 2012 8:20 pm

    Now this is the stuff I wanted to include in my upcoming Savile post.

    The media was all over Michael from 1993-2005. Printing every negative and deceitful tale they could conjure up. Paid people to say things about him.

    Now…look at how forgiven they are, or at least can be. Now would the attitude change if THEY firmly believed as individuals that Michael was guilty? Now after the mud throwing, they sing him praises.

    But will we see that with Saville? Saville was a good presenter and philanthropist, will they mention that years down the line? I don’t think so.

    With Saville the attitude is ENTIRELY different. The media are treating him as the criminal he was. They treat Michael like he was friggin circus performer and the whole ordeal for him was just a big show.

    Their attitude with Michael is very telling at JUST HOW WRONG THEY WERE.

    You compare the investigation of Jimmy Saville with the Michael Jackson and tell me which one was treat seriously and which one as a total joke?

    Like

  4. October 21, 2012 12:28 pm

    “I think we are all interested in positive things about Michael. So I want to tell you that last night one of our German TV channels (which aired very negative stuff about MJ in the past) aired a 4 hour documentary about BAD25 which included Spike Lee’s doc, and it was very positive”

    Susanne, good news! Of course we are all interested in positive things about Michael! Changes for the better is the main idea of vindication work at all. It will be over only when we see that the overwhelming majority of people wake up to understanding that Michael was innocent and was simply framed up. The work will be considered done only when Michael’s detractors are seen as a small group of rabid haters – hopeless in their insanity and living in some twilight zone of their own.

    All we need to do to make it happen is go on working and keep the faith.

    Today Yvonnejustice Lovemichael posted on her FB a great video to Michael’s song Keep the faith (with lyrics). Michael’s faith in God, truth and doing the right thing despite all obstacles is a great inspiration and a huge support for all of us!

    You can be a winner but you got to keep the faith… the power is in believing… it’s just a matter of time!

    If you call out loud
    Will it get inside?
    Through the heart of your surrender
    To your alibis

    And you can
    Say the words
    Like you understand
    But the power’s in believing
    So give yourself a chance

    Cuz you can
    Climb the highest mountain
    Swim the deepest sea

    All you need is the will to want it
    And a
    Little self-esteem

    So keep the faith
    Don’t let nobody turn you round
    You got to know when it’s good to go
    To get your dreams up off the ground

    So keep the faith
    Baby yeah
    Because it’s just a matter of time
    Before your confidence will win out

    Believe in yourself no matter what it’s gonna take
    You can be a winner but you gotta keep the faith
    Gon’ keep it brother
    You got

    And when you think of trust
    Does it lead you home?
    To a place that you only dream of
    When you’re all alone

    And you can go by feel
    ‘Stead of circumstance
    But the power’s in believing
    So give yourself a chance

    I know that you can
    Sail across the water
    Float across the sky-i
    Any road that you take will get you there
    If you only try

    So keep the faith
    Ow
    Don’t let nobody take you down brother
    Just keep your eyes on the prize
    Feet flat on the ground

    So keep the faith
    Baby yeah
    Because it’s just a matter of time
    Before your confidence will win out

    I told my brother how to do the thing right
    Lift up your head and show the world you got pride
    Go for what you want
    Don’t let them get in your way
    You can be a winner but you gotta
    Keep the faith
    Gon’ keep it brother
    You got

    I know that keepin the faith
    Means never givin up on love
    But the power that love has
    Has to make it right
    Makes it
    Makes it right

    So keep the faith
    Don’t let nobody turn you round brother
    You got to know when it’s good to go
    Get your dreams up off of the ground

    So keep the faith
    Baby yeah
    Because it’s just a matter of time
    Before your confidence will win out

    Better stand up and act like you wanna do it right
    Don’t play the fool for the rest of your life
    Work on it brother and you’ll make it someday
    Go for what you want and don’t forget the faith

    Look at yourself and what your doin right now
    Stand back a minute just to check yourself out
    Straighten up your life and how your livin each day
    Get yourself together cuz you gotta keep the faith

    Don’t let nobody take you down brother
    Just keep your eyes on the prize
    Your feet flat on the ground

    So keep the faith
    Baby yeah
    Because it’s just a matter of time
    Before your confidence will win out

    Lift up your mind before your mind gets blown
    Some things in life you’re best just leave them alone
    Go for what you want
    Don’t let it get in your way
    You can make it happen but you gotta keep the faith Gon’ keep it brother
    You got to keep the faith
    Yeah keep the faith
    Gon’ keep it sista
    You got to keep the faith

    I told my brother how to do the thing right
    Lift up your head and show the world you got pride
    Go for what you want
    Don’t let them get in your way
    You can be a winner if you keep the faith

    Straighten out yourself and get your mind on track
    Dust off your butt and get your self-respect back
    You’ve know me long enough to know that I don’t play
    Take it like you want it but you got to keep the faith
    Gon’

    Don’t let nobody take you down
    Just keep your eyes on the prize
    Your feet flat on the ground

    So keep the faith
    Baby yeah
    Because it’s just a matter of time
    Before your confidence will win out
    But till that day
    I said you gotta keep the faith

    Like

  5. Susannerb permalink*
    October 21, 2012 11:26 am

    Guys, I think we are all interested in positive things about Michael. So I want to tell you that last night one of our German TV channels (which aired very negative stuff about MJ in the past) aired a 4 hour documentary about BAD25 which included Spike Lee’s doc, and it was very positive. In the first part, which was about all of MJ’s albums, they even talked about the allegations. It was said that they were not true and that this was proven in court. They presented Michael as the genius and humanitarian he was.
    I am not easily to be satisfied with the media and I was very sceptical in the beginning, but this was really a change in the presentation of MJ on our TV programs. It still can be done better, but I am happy about these small steps of progress.

    Like

  6. October 21, 2012 10:39 am

    Here is a wonderful review of Spike Lee’s documentary about Bad25. I wish I could see it!


    Sam Emerson
    Michael Jackson, left, and Vincent Patterson working out “Smooth Criminal” choreography in “Bad 25.”

    The Steps of Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’
    Spike Lee’s ‘Bad 25,’ About Michael Jackson and His Album

    By JEANNETTE CATSOULIS
    Published: October 18, 2012

    Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album and subsequent world tour, “Bad 25” reintroduces us to an artist viewed too often through the prism of tabloid speculation.

    Deconstructing the design and shooting of the album’s videos — or, as Jackson insisted on calling them, short films — the director, Spike Lee, assembles a fond and meticulously detailed mosaic of a perfectionist at work. Buoyant interviews with Jackson’s friends, collaborators and business partners supply a deluge of revealing yarns and trivia, while priceless rehearsal footage offers glimpses of a genuinely sweet personality. Though at times a tad worshipful, the film’s tone is ultimately more awed than hagiographic, its commenters too cleareyed and candid to back away from negative publicity or public disenchantment.

    Filled with oh-wow moments — like a 1988 clip of Sheryl Crow, with mountainous hair, partnering Jackson in the ballad “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” — “Bad 25” confirms the genius of an authentic pop original. Dancing us back to a time when a music video could be directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Richard Price and star a menacing Wesley Snipes, the film insists you don’t need to be a fan: you just need eyes and ears.

    http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/movies/spike-lees-bad-25-about-michael-jackson-and-his-album.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=2&

    Like

  7. October 18, 2012 11:20 pm

    David, and here is an excellent review of Spike Lee’s documentary:

    Michael Jackson’s (and Spike Lee’s) BAD25 Proves Your Butt Is Still His

    By Alan Scherstuhl Wednesday, Oct 17 2012

    Look, if there’s any part of you that thinks you might be interested in catching BAD 25, Spike Lee’s two-hour celebration/behind-the-scenes history of Michael Jackson’s 1988 Bad LP, then seriously, get to it. This is a bliss-out. The performance footage alone is thrilling, and Lee has augmented it with archival treasures: dance rehearsals where Jackson and choreographers Jeffrey Daniel and Caszper Canidate seem lost in the joy of invention; recordings of vocal exercises revealing Jackson’s rarely plumbed lower registers; video shot by Jackson himself of Siedah Garrett singing her then-new song (co-written with Glen Ballard) “Man in the Mirror” to Jackson and Quincy Jones.

    Even without such finds, Lee’s talking heads would be worth a ticket. Lee rounds up the engineers and keyboard players, the choreographers and horn arrangers, the people who actually have insight into the actual art. There are celebrities, too, Kanye and Mariah Carey in humble-fan mode, and Justin Bieber gets a laugh just by popping up to point out that his video for “Baby” rips off Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” (Weirder still, L.A. Reid brags that in that “Baby” video he forbade Bieber from kissing a black woman.)

    Film geeks will relish scenes of Martin Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker re-watching Scorsese’s video for “Bad,” especially as Lee, off camera, hollers questions: That’s a crane down and a dolly back? Did you know he would be grabbing his crotch so much?

    Among the many pressing concerns the movie clears up: Jackson’s shouts of “Sham on!” it turns out, come from Mavis Staples. Annie—the woman who has worried the smooth criminal with her potential not-OK-ness—is a CPR dummy, and Diana isn’t anyone whom you should know. The reason the title track wasn’t a duet with Prince, as Jackson had hoped, is that at their meeting, Jackson became convinced that Prince was subjecting him to some sort of spellcraft. (Prince’s excuse, not in the movie, has been simpler: He wasn’t going to sing “Your butt is mine” to Michael Jackson.) Nobody is willing to talk about how Jackson and Co. achieved the famous leaning dance moves from the “Smooth Criminal” video, but in on-set footage, you can see the wires. And everyone from Jones to Stevie Wonder agrees: “Just Good Friends” kind of sucks.

    Lee doesn’t dwell much on the controversies in which Jackson was pickling. Instead, he works through the album song by song, covering the writing, recording, video making, or whatever else seems relevant. Highlights abound: a quick primer on the evolution of Jackson’s dancing; Garrett and Ballard re-creating the moment they came up with “Man in the Mirror”; occasional pages of notes Jackson wrote exhorting himself to work harder, to be better.

    For all its high-end pop professionalism and by-the-numbers industry record breaking, Michael Jackson’s Bad remains a vital, personal, sometimes inscrutable album, one that bears the odd distinction of being underrated despite having launched five elevenths of its tracks to the peak of the singles charts. It’s the last indisputable triumph from a performer who until then had known little else. It’s the first instance of that performer having to work harder than usual to catch up to a culture that was moving past him. And it’s the last instance I can think of when what was far and away the most popular music could lay a serious claim to being the best music, if not the most innovative, or always the most inspired, certainly among the best crafted, best sung, and best played. The strut-along lope of “The Way You Make Me Feel”? The angular synth stabs powering “Another Part of Me”? The bat-shit rubbery synth-bass runs on “Speed Demon”? And the whole of “Speed Demon” itself, the perfect counterexample to everything I just said about Bad not being too innovative or inspiring, an anxious, id-driven jitter-funk spazz-out as weird as anything Prince ever did but sold to young America in a Moonwalker segment whipped up by Will Vinton, the guy behind the California Raisins. Lee even plays a priceless video Jackson made showing Vinton the expressions he wanted on the Claymation raisins in his own commercial.

    That right there is stranger than any of the then-current “Wacko Jacko” stories, the ones that almost made it news when he declared that it was still a man that he saw in his mirror. On songs like “Leave Me Alone” and “Smooth Criminal,” this perennially childlike artist dug deep into his adult fear and anxiety different from what anyone else alive could ever have felt, and through sour-candy pop craftsmanship, he and his collaborators transformed the night sweats of the world’s most famous man into near-universal art that still signifies across generations, languages, and cultures. That art is now perennially repackaged and resold, with tribute tours and reissues demanding absurdly high fan buy-ins. The hell with those. Spike Lee has given the world the first tribute that fully measures up to Jackson the artist. Come on get your sham on.

    http://www.villagevoice.com/2012-10-17/film/michael-jackson-s-and-spike-lee-s-bad25-proves-your-butt-is-still-his/

    Like

  8. sanemjfan permalink
    October 18, 2012 10:47 pm

    Here’s the trailer for Spike Lee’s Bad 25 documentary, which airs Thanksgiving night on ABC! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P0toSi4nbE

    Like

  9. October 16, 2012 11:54 pm

    This was posted by MJJJusticeProject:

    Amended – From the Estate Of Michael Jackson

    Michael Jackson’s Wembley Concert is the No. 1 selling DVD in the world. Spike Lee’s Bad 25 documentary is drawing rave reviews from film critics and will air on ABC Thanksgiving night. Entertainment Weekly gave Bad 25 album an “A” calling it “a potent reminder of just how much Bad’s pulsing pop holds up.” Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour” was Pollstar’s top selling North American concert tour in the first six months of 2012, debuts this month in Europe and recently received Billboard’s Creative Content Award. And “This Is It” is the most successful concert film…EVER.

    The world loves Michael Jackson. Rest assured that every action the Estate takes will continue to endeavor that fans experience exciting new projects that further build upon and enhance his incredible legacy as an artist and humanitarian, while securing the financial future of those he specifically named as his beneficiaries.

    Sadly the full potential of Michael’s legacy continues to be hindered by a small handful of people who recklessly spread false rumors and obsess over stale, internet-fueled conspiracy theories much as they did when Michael was alive. These rumors have long since been debunked and have no legal or factual foundation.

    This week, some of these baseless theories appeared yet again in an article in Vanity Fair in the form of an excerpt from a book written by Randall Sullivan that will rehash these tired theories. While we do not want or need to respond to all of the nonsense, we do want to remind everyone of at least a few truths.

    The suggestion that John Branca or Howard Weitzman have a conflict of interest when it comes to AEG, and for that reason did not join Katherine Jackson in suing AEG, is not only false but reckless and noticeably unsupported by any facts. The Estate chose not to join in the lawsuit because it saw no evidence that AEG was culpable in Michael’s tragic passing. Eventually, should the case proceed to trial any decision on AEG’s liability will be decided by a jury. That said, the Executors are troubled by the unfortunate and distasteful information being brought out in those proceedings which could sully and damage Michael’s reputation and our memory of him.

    Another outrageously false claim is that Michael’s burial was delayed by any action of the Estate.

    As for the Will filed in the Probate Court, let’s be clear: IT IS LEGALLY VALID, and the court properly appointed John Branca and John McClain as co-Executors. Those who wished to contest Michael’s wishes had every opportunity to challenge his Will. It should be noted that the 2002 will is consistent with Michael’s wishes as expressed in three prior wills.

    Sitting in the cheap seats and perpetuating tired cloak and dagger theories as Mr. Sullivan has done is not journalism, it’s gossip mongering for profit. Look no further than some of the sources Sullivan relied upon for much of the incorrect information he chose to include in this book.

    Our commitment is and always has been to Michael’s legacy, his beneficiaries, his fans and to the spirit of an extraordinary artist and humanitarian who continues to touch the world.

    http://www.twitlonger.com/show/jhftqj

    Like

  10. October 16, 2012 11:33 pm

    Let us catch up with the news. Look at what critics are saying about Bad25!

    OVERWHELMING PRAISE FOR BAD25

    Critics lauded “Bad25” when it debuted on September 18 commemorating the 25th anniversary of Michael’s album that changed pop music history.

    Entertainment Weekly gave Bad25 an “A,” saying it is “a potent reminder of just how much “Bad’s pulsing pop holds up.” The Houston Chronicle called Bad25 “a layered, loving tribute” while the Seattle Post Intelligencer called Bad25 “a positively electrifying celebration of this often underrated album.”

    Of the DVD of Michael’s 1988 Wembley concert from the landmark “Bad” tour included in the deluxe package, the Huffington Post compared it to “the equivalent of the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965” but added, “make no mistake: , Jackson’s performance here eclipses even his most talented predecessors.”

    Entertainment Weekly

    A… The three discs and one DVD of live, remixed, and premastered material here are a potent reminder of just how much Bad’s pulsing pop holds up. ”

    Vibe

    “It’s all about the songs, which includes five no. 1 singles. “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Man In The Mirror,” “Liberian Girl”…this is greatness, y’all.”

    Seattle Post Intelligencer

    “Marking the quarter century mark since the release of Michael Jackson’s work of pop genius, Bad 25 is a positively electrifying celebration of this often underrated album. ”

    Houston Chronicle

    “This is a layered, loving tribute whose power ultimately resides in the genius of the original album.”

    NBC News’ The Grio

    “Bad25: A Michael Jackson masterpiece gets its due.”

    Huffington Post

    “The Wembley shows are the equivalent of the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965. But make no mistake: Jackson’s performance here eclipses even his most talented predecessors.”

    Showbiz411.com

    “Fans will love all the versions of “Bad25,” believe me.”

    BBC

    “An awesome, evergreen and essential pop masterpiece.”

    Blog Critics

    “… Bad is a treasure chest of indelible pop hooks, tasteful arrangements, devastating dance grooves, and some impeccable vocal performances.”

    http://www.michaeljackson.com/us/news/overwhelming-praise-bad25

    Like

  11. October 1, 2012 2:51 am

    “I would certainly appreciate prayers for Mum – she fell last night and broke her hip! operation is expected to be this afternoon.”

    Oh, Alison, it never rains but it pours. What awful news. It is so sad to see people suffer so much. I wish you strength and God’s help – to both of you!

    Like

  12. Alison permalink
    September 29, 2012 10:31 am

    Thank you so much Helena, thats lovely of you. I would certainly appreciate prayers for Mum – she fell last night and broke her hip! operation is expected to be this afternoon.

    I have listened to some of the new songs now – ;Abortion papers’ is good, and i like ‘Free’ but at the moment I think ‘Price of Fame’ is amazing, really like that one.

    with ‘Abortion papers’, i agree with you its about suffering with the girl. also as it says ‘signed “in your name” it suggests its a lot about others deciding FOR her and her not having a lot of say in it, being controlled and its speaks of confusion and pain. i don’t know at the moment whats been being said against it, only what i’ve read here, but it doesn’t sound anything for people to get hot under the collar about, its a song of compassion and empathy, its not about judgement.

    Like

  13. Lulu permalink
    September 29, 2012 6:57 am

    “Oh, Lulu, I hope so much for it! Let us all ask the Heavens to help the truth to prevail. Unfortunately when I read people’s comments about Michael I still see that there are too few of us in comparison with the hordes of nasty, mean and ignorant people who go on spreading absurdities about Jackson. If we are alone it will be difficult to bring each and everyone to their senses. But with His help we can do it. And all we need is asking Him.”

    Count me in, Helena. I am a newbie — only took serious cognizance of Michael when he passed. (In case you’re interested and have the time, I write about it in this brief piece: http://loudeedah.blogspot.com/2009/08/michael-jackson-51.html.) This is one regret I still keep in my heart. But it didn’t take me long to “see” him for what he really was, most of them opposite of what his bashers say. I guess when one’s mind is made up, that person will only see what s/he wants to see. Thank God, I decided to keep an open mind when I embarked on my own research on MJ. I continue to be amazed at the wonderful things I come across to this day!

    In death, MJ continues to resonate God’s messages to mankind. How delighted the Lord must really be at Michael. Hope and faith in the Almighty are two things MJ consistently reiterated in his songs, his interviews, his writings. If we learn nothing but those from him, we’ll be OK. (Here I write about the lessons I noted from my research on MJ: http://loudeedah.blogspot.com/2009/12/thank-you-little-star-of-bethlehem.html)

    Thank you and more power to you for sustaining this site. I savor your insightful pieces. God bless you.

    Like

  14. September 28, 2012 3:05 am

    “As VindicateMJ (Helena) commented, God has taken MJ’s defense in His own hands. Those who have been and still are spewing lies about MJ will eventually have the veil pulled away from their eyes. Hopefully they will have the humility to accept they’ve been wrong about him.”

    Oh, Lulu, I hope so much for it! Let us all ask the Heavens to help the truth to prevail. Unfortunately when I read people’s comments about Michael I still see that there are too few of us in comparison with the hordes of nasty, mean and ignorant people who go on spreading absurdities about Jackson. If we are alone it will be difficult to bring each and everyone to their senses.

    But with His help we can do it. And all we need is asking Him.

    Like

  15. September 28, 2012 2:42 am

    “My Dad died the evening before Michael’s birthday, very unexpectedly, and my Mum who is 88 was already in hospital, and since then I have been in shock and only been focused on looking after her, and the funeral was only last week.”

    Alison, you are going through a very hard time now and I am sure that everyone who has read your words feels sorry about it and wishes you strength and perseverance. I do too and hope that at least your mother will be well and strong, and you will still enjoy many great moments together. And Michael, his music and the example of his stoicism will surely help too. I wish God gives you all the help and support you need so much now.

    Like

  16. September 26, 2012 2:27 pm

    So much good and interesting has come out of late. I am in the unfortunate position of my
    computers sound system having broken down.So I can´t listen to and miss vid.clips and music for the time being.Thamk you all for the good reviews.

    Like

  17. Alison permalink
    September 26, 2012 10:06 am

    I have a lot to catch up on with Bad25. I have it because i ordered it ages ago but have not yet been able to listen to it so cannot make any comments yet. My Dad died the evening before Michael’s birthday, very unexpectedly, and my Mum who is 88 was already in hospital, and since then I have been in shock and only been focused on looking after her, and the funeral was only last week. She is moving to live with my sister tomorrow, so I will soon have a little more time to attend to my own life – I have spent so much of my non – work time looking after them both for months – but my brain is in a very strange place at the moment, and i have listened to no music at all since Dad died.
    from the post and the few comments i have read it sounds as if Bad 25 is great, mostly, so i look forward to being able to listen to it soon.

    Like

  18. Lulu permalink
    September 26, 2012 5:39 am

    Now God is showing us in a new light and in no uncertain terms how Michael Jackson is really so special to Him. As VindicateMJ (Helena) commented, God has taken MJ’s defense in His own hands. Those who have been and still are spewing lies about MJ will eventually have the veil pulled away from their eyes. Hopefully they will have the humility to accept they’ve been wrong about him. This is It, BAD 25 — there is more if they want more that will debunk all the lies and show how rare a gem Michael was/is.

    Like

  19. September 24, 2012 12:32 am

    Here is Debbie Kunesh’s take on Abortion Papers: https://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/reflections-on-the-dance-an-honest-look-at-michael-joseph-jackson/mj-abortion-papers-faith-christianity-and-going-deeper/497551320264338

    Thank you, David. Debbie’s article is very much to the point – speaking about Michael without speaking about God is simply impossible. I am actually surprised that “Abortion papers” is such a revelation to people – could we, knowing Michael’s views, expect anything different from him? It is the boldness with which he speaks his mind and the quality of the song that are amazing, while the ideas could be very well predicted from all we know about MJ.

    I personally feel that God has taken vindication of Michael Jackson into His hands because it is already the third time that Michael posthumously refutes lies about himself.

    The first was the song “Do you know where your children are?” which is a cry for protection of children against sexual abuse.
    The second was disclosing the tape of Michael speaking under sedation, and him showing to the surprised world how pure his soul was. He spoke of an innocent dream to build a hospital for children, of how it hurt him to see ill children and of God wanting him to take care of them.
    And now this song which proves better than anything else how truthfully Michael lived by God’s commandments.

    Could Michael ever do (or think of doing) what they accused him of? Absolutely not. His mind was elsewhere, in the spheres his haters never enter and never will. While they were crawling in all this dirt, his spirit was flying very high.

    Like

  20. September 23, 2012 10:56 pm

    “Helena, the point of my post is simply that there are a lot of people that simply do not understand how narrative art works. The song has become “controversial” for some, but for the wrong reasons.”

    Raven, I perfectly understand – you needn’t even explain. I’ve read your very well-grounded post and also know that Michael is not singing about himself. It would be too flat to think that he is. If this is the point of controversy, then it is a complete joke.

    Michael was a gentleman and wouldn’t have discussed any of his girls in public. Also I cannot imagine a girl not wanting to have a baby by Michael Jackson – especially if he prayed for her to keep a child, and especially at that time, when he was at the peak of his fame. It was also a direct way to have him marry her, so the way I imagine it the situation was exactly the opposite – girls surely hunted for him and wished to tie him to themselves by giving him a baby. So if understood it right the whole idea of Michael possibly singing about his girl is ridiculous and can spring only from the too turbulent fantasy of some fans.

    I thought the controversy was over the matter of abortion in principle. I’ve already noticed that speaking about things like that are for some reason considered a taboo. Soon we will have nothing to discuss as everything will be a taboo.

    Michael was different. He was bold and innovative, he spoke his mind and wrote songs about things that really mattered to him.

    Like

  21. Raven permalink
    September 23, 2012 7:41 pm

    Helena, the point of my post is simply that there are a lot of people (judging from many of the articles and comments I have been reading) that simply do not understand how narrative art works. The song has become “controversial” for some, but for the wrong reasons. My personal opinion of the song is the same as yours. I think it is a fantastic song-probably the best, so far, of all the previously unreleased MJ tracks I have heard, but also one that deserves to be heard and appreciated unclouded by one’s own political/personal views on abortion. There are many who can’t make that separation enough to be able to appreciate this as a great song on its own merits.

    Like

  22. September 23, 2012 7:02 pm

    And this song will take you flying in happiness.

    FREE

    Like

  23. September 23, 2012 6:24 pm

    Guys, I am getting familiar with the new songs on the BAD 25 album and am totally stunned by the remix of Bad featuring Pitbull (by Afrojack Featuring Pibtull – DJ Buddha Edit). Don’t know who Pitbull is but the song was ruined altogether. The media, as usual, selects only the worst out of the whole collection instead of focusing on the best, but in this case they are right:

    Michael Jackson feat Pitbull
    Bad (Remix) (Epic) …
    Except nobody is safe. Not even MJ. If Michael Jackson were not already dead, he would want to be by the time he had finished listening to this. As it is, fans offended by this remix can now at least find a positive in Jackson’s death, knowing as we do that Michael will never hear what has been done to his song. As with most cases of grizzly murder it feels irresponsible to go into too much detail about the precise nature of Pitbull’s emotionless assault, but the listening experience is much as you might expect: you try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/sep/15/this-weeks-new-tracks

    When people lack talent and have no respect for the work of a real genius they should not even try. If this is what today’s “stars” are like it is a complete shame and degradation. In the place of the Estate I would call off this track if it were possible or rename it into something like “See how low the music fell in the absence of Michael Jackson”.

    Like

  24. September 23, 2012 6:09 pm

    Susanne, this is what I’ve found:

    PRICE OF FAME

    I took my baby on a river boat cruise
    And she was well aware
    I was excited about the way things could have been
    Cause in it I don’t care
    I want a face no one can recognize, in disguise
    Someone called out my name
    They thought of taking pictures, autographs, then they grab
    My joy has turned to pain

    Father always told me
    You won’t live a quiet life
    If you’re reaching for fortune and fame
    I feel the pressure setting in, I’m living just to win
    I’m down in my pain, don’t you feel it?
    It’s the price of fame, you pay the price of fame
    So don’t be feelin’ no pain!
    It’s the price of fame, it’s the price of fame
    So don’t you ever complain!

    I’m on; the cover of the magazine, what a scene
    They know my every do’s
    “Just sign your name on the dotted line, you’ll be fine” – that always bothers me
    Get in your car, you wanna take a ride, look behind
    Someone is following you
    You try to get away you turn real fast, but too bad
    They know your every move!

    My father always told me
    You won’t live a quiet life
    If you’re reaching for fortune and fame
    I feel the pressure setting in, I’m living just to win
    I bleed all this pain, don’t you ever complain!

    It’s the price of fame, you pay the price of fame
    So don’t you ever complain!
    It’s the price of fame, you pay the price for fame
    So don’t be feelin’ no pain!

    It’s the price of fame, you pay the price of fame!
    Father never lies, my father never lies
    My father never lies
    So don’t be feelin’ this way boy!

    I’d like to take some time and get away, then they’ll say,
    Is that boy still alive?
    The week in village… what a thrill
    Only the strong survive

    My father always told me,
    You won’t live a quiet life,
    They startin’ to wonderin’ where have you been?
    I feel their envious looks at me
    Their mistaken jealousy
    Then stand here in my shoes
    And then get a taste of my blues!

    It’s the price of fame
    You pay the price of fame, so don’t you ever complain!
    It’s the price of fame
    You pay the price of fame
    So don’t be feelin’ this way!
    It’s the price of fame
    You pay the price of fame, so don’t you ever complain!

    It’s the price of fame, you pay the price of fame!
    Father never lies, my father never lies baby
    My father never lies
    So don’t be feelin’ no pain boy!

    http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/michael_jackson/price_of_fame.html

    By the way Michael’s vibrato is very visible here which reminds me of the “Michael” album.

    Like

  25. susannerb permalink*
    September 23, 2012 5:26 pm

    I see what you mean, Helena.

    Does anyone have the lyrics to “Price of Fame”? From what I understood so far, this song cuts in my heart like a knife!

    Like

  26. September 23, 2012 2:38 am

    “HIStory was more about him finally singing about ALL the **** in his life that’s happened to him through others. He exploded with nearly all the emotions he felt in his life. He sung about being attacked at every twist and turn, about the accusations, his personal enemies, his passion for saving the Earth, and his lost childhood. This was him pleading for some understanding and mercy. But it was an evolution from what he introduced from Dangerous.

    Look at how dark and messed up his new material from Blood On The Dance Floor was, still excellent stuff though. But Morphine wouldn’t have been created if it weren’t for the accusations and the pressure he felt.

    Invincible was a step where he finally settled in his life, while still reeling from everything. He injected some of his old romantic and poetic qualifies into that album. He mixed in his care and adoration for others again, Speechless and The Lost Children. He kept onto that mild hurt and hate towards those who hurt him again, but didn’t allow it to dominate the album. But the true highlight that album uses and Michael’s message signing off is, Unbreakable. You can’t destroy him and this is who he truly is, so screw you. It was new and old mixed together, creating something unique.” – Rodrigo

    Rodrigo, this was precise!

    Like

  27. September 23, 2012 2:13 am

    “That’s ridiculous, to judge the value of art on how many prizes it receives, because this is seen as the definition of success”

    Susanne, let us recall that Salieri was more popular and much more prosperous than Mozart at the time when they were told to be rivals. Salieri enjoyed much more success than Mozart, however who remembers him now? His name is recalled only in connection with Mozart who wasn’t showered with money and attention and was a rather struggling composer. This is one of the paradoxes of life – worldly success may be superficial and fall on those who don’t deserve it, while a true genius may go unacknowledged during his whole life.

    So the Grammy not given to Michael for “Man in the Mirror” is absolutely no sign of Michael being “second-rate”. It is simply a sign and even stigma of shame which will forever dog those who didn’t give him an award in the year 1988.

    “Michael evolved from album to album and to me he was getting better and better in his art.”

    I am absolutely sure of it too. In my telephone Michael’s songs come in an alphabetical order, so “Billie Jean” is followed by “Blood on the dance floor”. And when you listen to them in so close proximity you can’t help realizing that “Blood on the dance floor” resembles Billie Jean but is a step forward in comparison even with that thunderous song.

    And though being better than Billie Jean is seemingly impossible, the later song is still more sophisticated and stylish – like a diamond of a unique cut. And the video – the camera work, the dance and Michael himself… oh……

    Billie Jean:

    Blood On The Dance Floor:

    See what I mean?

    Like

  28. September 23, 2012 1:00 am

    “Here is Raven Woods’ new post about the controversy surrounding “Abortion Papers”: http://www.allforloveblog.com/?p=7161

    David, sorry but I don’t see any controversy about “Abortion papers”. I’ve heard it just now and since then cannot stop listening to it. It is absolutely smashing – one of Michael’s best songs!

    As to its message our minds are so terribly confused these days that Raven even finds it necessary to sort of “defend” Michael against his angry fan-girls. There is absolutely no need to be confused or angry about it. Nobody is denying them the right to decide for themselves whether to keep a baby or not. Michael is not forcing anyone to live by God’s commandments.

    He is simply suffering together with this girl and is conveying his anquish at what he saw or heard of. Abortion is always a very sad experience – even if it is unavoidable (in some circumstances). I wish all men felt as strong about it as Michael does and took it as close to their hearts as he does. There would be fewer tragedies and much more responsibility in human relations.

    Here is the song. It is unbelievably good.

    One commenter said: “I absolutely admire his ability to stand his ground on these issues, in an industry and world surrounded by dark energy. I have immense respect for him as an artist, a teacher and a man”

    Another commenter said: “Only MJ”.

    I agree. ONLY MJ.

    Like

  29. September 23, 2012 12:36 am

    “But I wonder what would he would’ve wrote if the world didn’t try to crucify him?” – Rodrigo

    He would have written “Abortion papers” and other songs quietly guiding people on which decisions to take. He would have taught us to love simple truths and shown the beauty of living in harmony with the Creator. He would have taught us to look at the stars and dream, and turn our dreams into a reality. He would have encouraged us and made us smile instead of crying in moments of sadness. He would have taught us to do good things together and dance our way to the dream.

    It would have been a highly enjoyable journey full of laughs, humor and great music. And the world would have been a much better and happier place to live in.

    Like

  30. Rodrigo permalink
    September 22, 2012 9:35 pm

    I wonder what Michael’s music evolution would have been like if not for the accusations?

    Bad was excellent stuff, but look at Dangerous. He was growing and evolving into something different at that point. Dangerous was him stepping into adulthood with the music.

    HIStory was more about him finally singing about ALL the **** in his life that’s happened to him through others. He exploded with nearly all the emotions he felt in his life. He sung about being attacked at every twist and turn, about the accusations, his personal enemies, his passion for saving the Earth, and his lost childhood. This was him pleading for some understanding and mercy. But it was an evolution from what he introduced from Dangerous.

    Look at how dark and messed up his new material from Blood On The Dance Floor was, still excellent stuff though. But Morphine wouldn’t have been created if it weren’t for the accusations and the pressure he felt.

    Invincible was a step where he finally settled in his life, while still reeling from everything. He injected some of his old romantic and poetic qualifies into that album. He mixed in his care and adoration for others again, Speechless and The Lost Children. He kept onto that mild hurt and hate towards those who hurt him again, but didn’t allow it to dominate the album. But the true highlight that album uses and Michael’s message signing off is, Unbreakable. You can’t destroy him and this is who he truly is, so screw you. It was new and old mixed together, creating something unique.

    But I wonder what would he would’ve wrote if the world didn’t try to crucify him?

    Like

  31. sanemjfan permalink
    September 22, 2012 6:55 pm

    Here is Raven Woods’ new post about the controversy surrounding “Abortion Papers”: http://www.allforloveblog.com/?p=7161

    Like

  32. susannerb permalink*
    September 22, 2012 2:34 pm

    YES! YES! YES! I agree with you, Helena, and with the people who made these great comments. Michael evolved from album to album and to me he was getting better and better in his art. It makes me absolutely angry when people say he passed his peak with the Bad album, and that all later albums were of less worth because they didn’t win all these grammys like Thriller. That’s ridiculous, to judge the value of art on how many prizes it receives, because this is seen as the definition of success. OK, Michael himself was interested in numbers and success, but I personally think that he only wanted to show that a black artist can reach the same as a white artist – or more, and later he wanted to have an impact on the world – to make that change!
    Michael’s development through all his albums is so obvious, and future music scientists will see that. Michael himself said that the Invincible album was ahead of it’s time and will be understood later. It’s really a crime of this society that it didn’t give him the chance to continue his work People still don’t know what they missed. But I’m glad that it already starts in some circles to acknowledge these facts.

    Like

  33. September 22, 2012 12:52 am

    Things are definitely changing. Look at this letter of repentance and love for Michael Jackson from Entertainment.Inquierer.net. An honest word about honest feelings:

    Remembering the only ‘King of Pop’

    By Joseph R. Atilano
    INQUIRER.net
    September 18, 2012 | 9:33 pm

    In one night, everything can change. That is what happened when Michael Jackson died. It has been 3 years since the “King of Pop” suddenly passed away. In the aftermath, people now have a greater appreciation and understanding of all his valuable contributions and everything he pioneered in when it came to making superb commercial and accessible pop music. Just look at all the re-issues of all of his albums, his greatest hits compilations, his album of unreleased tracks and even a posthumous movie about him.

    But let us stop the hypocrisy and pretending that everybody respected the guy. There are a lot of hypocrites who are suddenly rooting for a guy they despised early on before his death. I clearly remember the last couple of years before he died: when he was the envy of a lot of people; how he was the constant joke in late night shows; and how he was parodied in sit coms and even cartoons.

    MJ’s name and legacy were tarnished further and made a joke of! Because the harsh reality in life is such that once you are down, certain people will kick you and make sure you don’t get back up! That’s how it was – a lot of people had forgotten that this genuine artist was untouchable in the 80’s to the early 90’s. He had sold out stadiums, had the highest grossing ticket sales at the time, multiple number one hits, and multi-platinum record sales. He revolutionized how music videos were made and he won a few dozen awards from different award giving bodies in the music industry.

    Can anybody top that today? I doubt it. And No, Justin Bieber is nowhere near this guy in terms of overall talent! Anyway, in what universe should the name of Justin Bieber even be mentioned in the same breath with MJ? It is like comparing an anthill to a mountain. They are miles apart and nowhere near in the same level.

    Say what you want to say about Michael Jackson and his personal life and how he lived it. But in the end, he was redeemed by the sudden outpouring of support and the rekindled fanfare of his illustrious career in the music industry. His death became his “comeback”! That was the memory that he was once the greatest pop star in history and that was enough for almost everyone to have a sense of nostalgia and to remember why they had loved his music in the first place. It is just too bad; he didn’t live to see the day–how important he has become again.

    Nobody can replace him and certainly no one can be the next Michael Jackson. People like him are not one in a million but rather, he was THE ONLY ONE and ever will be in existence!

    http://entertainment.inquirer.net/59034/remembering-the-only-king-of-pop#.UFltZUBM3m0.facebook

    Like

  34. September 21, 2012 9:57 pm

    What a wonderful comment a reader made on that highly biased Atlantic article we’re discussing!

    Tabinformed •
    Each and every Michael Jackson solo album is completely different from the last. It is really impossible to compare them. 5 #1 singles is incredible and combined with over 40 million in sales, it is off the charts brilliant. Thriller was a superb album whose timing was right but set up critics to be especially judgmental of Jackson’s next release. That was reflected in the Grammy’s that year with many thinking that Jackson had already won too many. But, it is completely sacrilegious to give a Grammy to “Don’t Worry Be Happy” over a powerful ballad delivered with such heart and soul as “Man In The Mirror.” Check out YouTube for Jackson’s 1988 Grammy performance. Every member of that audience, Jackson’s “peers” if there even really were any, knew they were in the presence of greatness. Everyone knew that Jackson was stiffed in the Grammy’s. That unfair criticism continues today so that critics never seem to want to bestow upon Michael Jackson the credit he deserves.

    Bad represents a progression in Michael’s career where he takes more creative leadership in his work. It was innovative and every song is spectactular. Jackson’s incredible vision from costumes to choreography exhibited in the short films help us to always associate the song with the short film. To attribute the brilliance of the short film for “Smooth Criminal” to the choreography of others instead of Michael Jackson is just wrong headed. I say, thank you Quincy for kind of getting out of the way, and letting Michael do his thing on “Bad.”

    Jackson’s follow up to Bad, Dangerous, is actually my favorite. Long live the legacy of Michael Jackson.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/09/michael-jacksons-bad-just-wasnt-that-good/262551/

    Here is Michael Jackson’s 1988 Grammy performance:

    Yes, it was completely sacrilegious not to give Grammy to this song!
    Especially preferring “Don’t Worry Be Happy” to it! An intentional mistake which took history along a wrong path!

    “Man In The Mirror”

    I’m Gonna Make A Change, For Once In My Life
    It’s Gonna Feel Real Good, Gonna Make A Difference
    Gonna Make It Right . . .

    As I, Turn Up The Collar On My Favourite Winter Coat
    This Wind Is Blowin’ My Mind
    I See The Kids In The Street, With Not Enough To Eat
    Who Am I, To Be Blind? Pretending Not To See
    Their Needs
    A Summer’s Disregard, A Broken Bottle Top
    And A One Man’s Soul
    They Follow Each Other On The Wind Ya’ Know
    ‘Cause They Got Nowhere To Go
    That’s Why I Want You To Know

    I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror
    I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways
    And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
    If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
    (If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place)
    Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change
    (Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change)
    (Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na, Na Nah)

    I’ve Been A Victim Of A Selfish Kind Of Love
    It’s Time That I Realize
    That There Are Some With No Home, Not A Nickel To Loan
    Could It Be Really Me, Pretending That They’re Not
    Alone?

    A Willow Deeply Scarred, Somebody’s Broken Heart
    And A Washed-Out Dream (Washed-Out Dream)
    They Follow The Pattern Of The Wind, Ya’ See
    Cause They Got No Place To Be
    That’s Why I’m Starting With Me
    (Starting With Me!)

    I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror
    (Ooh!)
    I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways
    (Ooh!)
    And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
    If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
    (If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place)
    Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make A Change
    (Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make A Change)

    I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror
    (Ooh!)
    I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways
    (Change His Ways-Ooh!)
    And No Message Could’ve Been Any Clearer
    If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
    (If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place)
    Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make That . . .
    (Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make That . . .)
    Change!

    “Don’t Worry Be Happy” is a nice song of course, but it isn’t what brings people together and gets them on their feet 25 years later:

    Like

  35. September 21, 2012 9:47 pm

    “I already spent half of the night watching the Wembley concert.”

    Susanne, I’d love to watch it too and hopefully will. I saw only one full concert in Bucharest. It was a revelation and the first time I watched it I cried like a baby at the end of it. It was soon after Michael’s death and each time I watched it again the effect was almost the same – How could we lose him? How could we do this to him? Why, why, why???

    There is also one phenomenon about Michael’s music I noticed. He gives so much energy that my blood starts throbbing in the veins after listening to him for some time. When I am dead tired or frustrated I use his music like medicine to bring me back to life. His energy is amazing, is running through time and space, and even defies death.

    “You gave a good summary about the songs on the BAD album, Helena. Correct – it’s a transition going into the direction of the Dangerous album.”

    Thank you, Susanne, it was a spontaneous burst-out, but I really see Michael evolving in his music and lyrics from album to album (no pretence or flattery to MJ). When the media tells us that his Thriller was the best because “it won so many Grammies”, it always unspeakably annoys me – they are trying to impose on us their understanding of success – if they do not give Grammies, everyone should think (like they want us to) that the rest from MJ was second-rate.

    Sorry for the language but I don’t give a damn for what they think. What they are saying is a complete LIE, because Bad is superb, Dangerous is fantastic and History is absolutely ground-breaking. Michael was changing like Mozart or Bethoven was, and each new album is a new step in his evolvement.

    This is why I am so intent on finding out what Michael was working on in his later years of life and welcome so much the new songs from that period – finished, unfinished, whatever. I want to know what he felt like, and what his thoughts were like, and in which direction his music genius was taking him.

    And this is the reason why one of the charges we should make against the media, prosecution and those who sued him non-stop is a charge of the crime of getting in the way of Michael’s evolvement and hindering him to make his music . It is a crime against culture, against civilization, a crime against humanity.

    How much more could he have written if they had left him alone? How much more good could he have done? What changes in human relations and thinking could have taken place had he been not stopped? What I am saying is no joke and in the long run this will the highest bill humandkind will one day submit for payment to people like Sneddon, Dimond, Nancy Grace and Maureen Orth.

    Like

  36. September 21, 2012 1:10 pm

    My package has arrived and I already spent half of the night watching the Wembley concert. I love especially MJ’s introduction of his musicians. You gave a good summary about the songs on the BAD album, Helena. Correct – it’s a transition going into the direction of the Dangerous album.
    This is a great post of Joe Vogel that fits in this post of Helena: http://www.joevogel.net/studying-michael-jackson (with a preview of a book about the Dangerous album of Dr. Susan Fast)
    Finally, we see a lot of things going into the right direction, at least regarding Michael, the artist.

    Like

  37. kaarin22 permalink
    September 21, 2012 2:04 am

    The winds are changing and I hope M:B,DD.MO and many others will start feeling the shame they deserve.I can exacty know where I was and stood when the news of Michaels death reached me. Although not a fan type I believe it started then, and thanks to VMJ I know in detail much more of his life. Hope Sneddon gets his due, and even if not he has suffered a moral defeat.- I have in my personal life experienced what it is like when your whole life suddenly crambles. I still from time to time feel the pain and stress of the last weeks, and worry over his childrens future he had..
    Victot Gutierrez was a messenger from hell .And Michaels destructoin owes much yo him. And to think Sneddon and his department all read that phantasy book by him in 2003.2005,
    He may have had a knack for storytelling and maybe even writing- a gift he used for the ill forces of this earth.

    Like

  38. September 20, 2012 1:27 pm

    “John Murph wrote a negative review of Bad in the Atlantic. I thought it was mean-spirited”

    Kristheywood, it isn’t exactly bad but mean-spirited for sure. It is also terribly untrue and is reducing the subject to very primitive matters. The author completely denies the fact that in the Bad album Michael was growing into something much bigger than a singer/ dancer/composer, and growing on a really big scale.

    BAD is a sort of a mix of Michael Jackson “the entertainer” and him gradually turning into a messenger of powerful ideas. A messenger whose thoughts, music and overall style had a huge social impact on the people.

    A fresh look at the list of Thriller and BAD songs and remembering the videos Michael accompanied them with amazes you by showing things you’ve never noticed before. You see Michael definitely stepping into the territory where music industry did not expect him to go. And over here the author is right – the Bad album is Michael in transition, only it isn’t a mere transition from one album to another but a fascinating transition from a mere entertainer to someone carrying a powerful message to the people.

    Thriller:
    1. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
    2. Baby Be Mine
    3. The Girl Is Mine
    4. Thriller
    5. Beat It
    6. Billie Jean
    7. Human Nature
    8. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
    9. The Lady In My Life

    Bad:

    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

    Even when you look at the names of the songs you see that though authors like the one from the Atlantic would like Michael to stay within the scope of easy songs like “Baby is mine – Lady in my life”, Michael is transcending these borders. The maximum they allow Michael is allowing him to want starting something in “Wanna be starting something” and thrilling people in “Thriller”. Or being a peace-maker between street bands in “Beat it”. But this is the limit they allow him to reach. Hence the Grammies and encouragement to go in the same direction.

    However Bad is carrying a totally different message. Of course it takes Michael further in exploring women and displays a more practical approach to them in “The way you make me feel” and “I just can’t stop loving you”.

    But the rest of it – from the defiance of “Bad” and Michael moving like a “Speed demon” to understanding “Another part of him” and ultimately taking him to the “Man in the Mirror”???

    No, this is really too much for an “entertainer”!

    And even “Dirty Diana” is no longer the mysterious Billie Jean but is a very precise observation on the not too welcome phenomena like groupies, deplorable prevalence of lust over love and dirty relations in general.

    And the power, skill and potential strength of a chased “Smooth Criminal” (whose activity is willingly covered up by a gang of like-minded people) also point to a clear transition from a man who previously wanted to “thrill” only to someone who is ready to fight. Just “Leave him alone” and let him be a peaceful self.

    “Leave him alone” and he will show the world what he is capable of. A laugh, a joke, a little eccentricity but also a giant Gulliver who breaks the chains Lilliputs tied him with. He will stand on his feet to share his gift with people and teach them to look at themselves in the mirror.

    Yes, BAD is a transitional album. It is a transition to Michael the Messenger, Michael the “Dangerous” with his “Heal the world”, “Black or White” and “Keep the faith”. And also with “Why you wanna trip on me” and “Will you be there?” written in full understanding that they absolutely do not intend to leave him alone.

    Like

  39. September 20, 2012 4:43 am

    John Murph wrote a negative review of Bad in the Atlantic. I thought it was mean-spirited. I am disappointed the Atlantic published it. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/09/michael-jacksons-bad-just-wasnt-that-good/262551/

    Like

  40. sanemjfan permalink
    September 20, 2012 1:23 am

    Hey, I found the lyrics to “Abortion Papers” and posted them here! I’ll post the lyrics to the other bonus songs once I find them! http://www.twitlonger.com/show/jbo1v4

    Sister don’t read, she’ll never know
    What about love, living a Christian soul
    What do we get, she runs away
    What about love, what about all I pray

    Don’t know the worst, she knows a priest
    What about God, living is all I see
    What do you get, things she would say
    What about love, that’s all I pray

    Those abortion papers
    Signed in your name against the words of God
    Those abortion papers
    Think about life, I’d like to have my child

    Sister’s confused, she went alone
    What about love, what about all I saw
    Biding a life, reading the words
    Singing a song, citing a Bible verse

    Father’s confused, mother despair
    Brother’s in curse, what about all I’ve seen
    You know the lie, you keep it low
    What about heart, that’s all I’ve known

    Those abortion papers
    Signed in your name against the words of God
    Those abortion papers
    Think about life, I’d like to have my child

    Those abortion papers (whoo)
    Signed in your name against the words of God
    Those abortion papers
    Think about life, I’d like to have my child

    Look at my words, what do they say
    Look at my heart, burning is all heartbreak
    What do you get, what do you say
    What about love, I feel my sin

    Those abortion papers
    Signed in your name against the words of God
    Those abortion papers
    Think about life, I’d like to have my child

    Those abortion papers (whoo)
    Think about life, I’d like to have my child (whoo)

    Who have the grateful, where will she go
    What will she do to see the world

    Sister don’t know, where would she go
    What about love, what about all I saw
    What would you get, don’t get so confuse
    Love all the things, it’s just the things I do

    Those abortion papers
    Signed in your name against the words of God
    Those abortion papers
    Think about life, I’d like to have my child

    Those abortion papers (abortion paper, this paper, hee-hee)
    Those abortion papers (hee-hee-hee, hee, hee-hee)
    I’d like to have my child (hee-hee, hee, hee-hee)

    Those abortion papers (hee-hee, hee, hee-hee, hee, hee-hee, hee, hee-hee)
    Those abortion papers (hee-hee, hee, hee-hee
    I’d like to have my child (hee-hee, hee, hee-hee, hee-hee, hee-hee)
    Those abortion papers (hee-hee, hee, hee-hee)

    Like

  41. September 20, 2012 1:16 am

    “His status, however, also turned him into an enormous target.” True words!”

    Susanne, yes, Michael was an enormous target. And the frame-up they arranged for Michael is indeed shocking in its volume and number of people and groups involved. There are so many threads coming from various directions and all of them tied into one knot. It is racism, jealosy, greed and much-much more.

    Look at Evan Chandler, instigated in everything he did by Victor Gutierrez (a person heavily suspected of pedophilia).

    Look at Diane Dimond who said that Victor Gutierrez was “her best source”. A man suspected of pedophilia was her best source!

    Look at Diane Dimond again in that “Canadian case”. She went to Canada led by another source of hers, who claimed that there was a “victim” of MJ, in Canada this time. Fortunately the Canadian police got the bottom of the matter, the boy invented the story, but the source of Diane Dimond was later found out to be … a pedophile again! Another of Diane Dimond’s sources is a convicted pedophile who is now in prison!

    Look at Tom Sneddon who built the Arvizo’s case on books like those by Gutierrez and Ray Chandler. He even tampered with the evidence to get Michael convicted. And I am talking not only of those magazines which he allowed the Arvizos to handle without gloves so that they leave their fingerprints there. I am also talking about the dirty underwear stored in some totally inappropriate place on the fabric of which the police suddenly found cocaine. The cocaine was on the small spot of blood – not IN the blood (in the form of metabolytes), but ON the blood as if rubbed into it. This was the time when Michael’s defense thundered about malicious prosecution against Jackson. To put it simply that cocaine was probably planted.

    Look at the media and what they were doing. Look at Maureen Orth with her vodoo baths with the blood of 42 cows in which MJ allegedly bathed to put a curse on Steven Speilberg! All that sea of blood in the heart of Switzerland!

    Look at all those strange coincidences when some crazy “witnesses” emerged just in time for the Grand Jury to indict Michael in April 2004. Scott Thorson telling his story of “gay love” before the Grand jury deliberations – the story which he was shy to repeat in full when he recently re-emerged on TV after being released from prison. Or Joseph Bartucci who suddenly recalled that at the age of 18 (!) he was “molested” by young MJ and he forgot this episode for full 20 years to remember it after Sneddon approached the nation with a plea for more “victims”. The police waited for several months and disclosed information about Bartucci just in time for those Jury deliberations. The media blew both cases out of proportion, Michael was indicted and immediately afterwards the media and prosecution forgot about them.

    And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    No, all this is totally impossible.

    Bringing Michael down was such a huge project that a human mind simply cannot cope with the scope of it.

    Like

  42. September 19, 2012 3:36 pm

    “this was literally his best album”

    SRJ, wait till they release Dangerous25. If we live to see it we’ll have a good deal to discuss then.

    Everyone thinks that Thriller was the best because it sold the biggest number of copies, but to me it looks like a huge misconception. Michael’s music was evolving with time and with each new album Michael made a huge leap forward. Only the environment for the albums following Thriller was totally wrong – hostile, prejudiced and full of lies. All future albums by Michael Jackson will have to be reevaluated now, as their earlier perception was totally distorted.

    Like

  43. September 19, 2012 3:24 pm

    “But it’s been really incredible to see Michael and his legacy get the respect they rightfully deserve”.

    Rodrigo, it is indeed incredible. Though the Estate (and Sony, sorry for mentioning them) are surely promoting both the album and Spike Lee’s film you can still feel that the current new recognition of Michael Jackson by the media and the public is genuine. Something is indeed changing. The air has a different chemistry.

    “I hope they watch and really listen to his most meaningful song right at the end, Man In The Mirror. I hope they realise it’s not just a song, but a message to them.”

    Yes, I also hope that people start listening to Michael’s lyrics at last, and not only clap their hands to his beat.

    “And I’ve managed to bring another onto team. Listened to The Lost Children and Smile, and wouldn’t stop. My friends little girl, only two.”

    Great. Michael Jackson is like Mozart – for all times and every generation. Sometimes I think about how much more he would have written and composed if he had not been stopped by mediocrities.

    Like

  44. September 19, 2012 3:07 pm

    “are these people feeling guilty at last for what was done to MJ?” – Sandra

    I hope they are. At least we see the first signs of it. However for everyone to fully wake up they should be constantly reminded about it. Nothing should be forgotten. Here is another great comment made by a reader on an article about leaked AEG’s emails, and though the context is different the subject is the same:

    MiaOf1960 September 3, 2012

    Why did we do this to Michael Jackson?
    Why didn´t we allow him to be a person like ourselves?
    We all bear responsibilty to what happened to him.
    Just like he did, I know what it means not being able to sleep, it has tortured me for many years. It´s because life is too stressful and too harsh. The memories of pain and emotional scars are always present, they won´t go away. We may have different strategies to deal with it, but in the end when we are too ill and fragile, it will be fatal. What kind of doctor was this, that was not able to see this? I would argue that it was obvious to the rest of the world.

    Like

  45. September 19, 2012 2:06 pm

    This is a great article of Joe Vogel. He told the correct background behind the Bad album release: That “the media became increasingly vicious towards MJ” because he “had become the most powerful African American in the history of the entertainment industry”, that the backlash “was also about power, money and institutional and cultural dominance”, and that there was “suspicion, resentment and jealousy”. He was not only “in the show” as black artists were supposed to be, but dominated show business. “His status, however, also turned him into an enormous target.” True words!
    I am waiting for the arrival of my Bad 25 package, it’s on its way. And I can’t wait to watch the Wembley concert.
    And in a few years we hopefully will have Dangerous 25 with a new evaluation of “Black or White” and the panther dance!

    Like

  46. September 19, 2012 9:19 am

    I am SO in the “Bad” Era mood…this was literally his best album and I LOVE the hype, especially how they tailored Youtube for this event! EVERYONE has to love something about this, fan or otherwise! Can’t wait for the mail to arrive! Onwards to Dangerous 25!

    Like

  47. Rodrigo permalink
    September 19, 2012 7:28 am

    Thanks for this Helena.

    The atmosphere amongst the MJ community has been buzzing! It’s been so great to see old and new fans come together for this. No hater could rain on the parade, which I believe are a dying breed now anyways, thank God.

    But it’s been really incredible to see Michael and his legacy get the respect they rightfully deserve. Bad 25 has captured everything great about Michael and brought it to everybody’s attention once again. I hope they watch and really listen to his most meaningful song right at the end, Man In The Mirror. I hope they realise it’s not just a song, but a message to them. A message Michael wanted them to remember and be remembered for.

    And I’ve managed to bring another onto team. Listened to The Lost Children and Smile, and wouldn’t stop. My friends little girl, only two. I’m going to teach her the moonwalk next😀

    Like

  48. September 19, 2012 7:05 am

    yes, so many review are positive, are these people feeling guilty at last for what was done to MJ?

    Like

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