Bad (Michael Jackson song)

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Michael Jackson
publication September 7, 1987
length 4:07 (album / 7 ″ version)
8:22 (12 ″ version)
Genre (s) Dance pop , funk
Author (s) Michael Jackson
Label Epic Records
album bath

Bad is a song written in 1987 by Michael Jackson . The song was the second of five Billboard Hot 100 number 1 hits from the album of the same name, Bad , after I Just Can't Stop Loving You . The piece was released as a single on September 7, 1987.

Overall, it was his seventh number 1 single in the US . The song was originally planned as a duet with Prince . However, the album's producer Quincy Jones stated on the Bad Special Edition that Prince thought the song would be a hit without him. The word bad ( English. Bad, bad ) can in Youth Language as "cool" are considered. Bad was written and composed by Michael Jackson.


"Bad" is considered a pop song with R&B and funk influences. The song is in A minor with a 4/4-stroke written. Jackson sings in a range of E4 to C6. “Bad” has a tempo of 120 beats per minute . The song is based on a sequence of D3 – B3 – F3 – G3 as a progression .

Rolling Stone's Davitt Sigerson says of the text:

"When Jackson announced that the whole world has to answer right now ('the whole world has to answer right now'), he wasn't bragging about it, just describing the facts about his extraordinary status as a superstar. If at all, he smiles at the self-proclaimed 'nobility of funk' and invites the public to spurn him if they dare. Since James Brown's 'Is it good, ya?' there was no longer such a rhetorical question on the radio. Lyrically, 'Bad' confirms that you're tough when you show off with Jackson, who keeps asking, 'who's the best?' and 'who's bad?' in the chorus of the song. "

- Davitt Sigerson : Rolling Stone Magazine


For the organ solo, the producer Quincy Jones hired jazz legend Jimmy Smith, who played the memorable solo on his Hammond organ before Greg Philinganes followed up with a synthesizer solo.

Music video


The full version of the music video for Bath is a 16-minute short film written by Richard Price and based on the Edmund Perry case . The director was Martin Scorsese and Michael Jackson is in the lead role. The video contains many allusions to the film West Side Story from 1961. Especially the colored sequence. You not only see a gang dancing in an urban setting, but the choreography was also heavily influenced. Jeffrey Daniel , choreographer of the video, confirmed that they were influenced. However, they tried to create a more contemporary version. The full version of the video first appeared on the DVD called Video Greatest Hits - HIStory from 2001.


He plays a boy named Daryl who has just had a successful time at an expensive private school. He takes the subway back to his old city, where he arrives in an abandoned neighborhood. Daryl finds his house empty (his mother is played by Roberta Flack , but it's just a voice-over ). He is met by his old friends, led by Mini Max ( Wesley Snipes ). Daryl spends an evening with them. The relationship seems strange but friendly. But after a while the mood worsens. The gang realizes how much he's changed, especially with regard to their attitude towards petty crime. Daryl wants to prove to them that he is still "cool" and so he takes them to a metro station in Brooklyn (Hoyt Schermerhorn Station). There he tries to ambush an older man. However, he changes his mind at the last minute. Mini Max insults him and tells him that he is no longer "bad". After further attacks by Mini Max, the video changes from black and white to color, and Daryl, now clad in leather from head to toe, sings the song Bad . He dances with a group of punks and shows his new ballerina dance steps. (On TV the video usually starts here). Daryl shows them that Max won't get very far in life like this. His friends now recognize this and accept it. After a handshake with Daryl, they disappear and leave him alone. The picture changes back to black and white. It shows Daryl in his tracksuit again, watching the group.


Bad was able to climb to the top of the charts in several countries, such as the USA , Belgium , Canada , Denmark , Ireland and the Netherlands .

Chart (1987) highest
Austria 9
Germany 4th
Switzerland 3
Great Britain 3
US Billboard Hot 100 1
Chart (2009) highest
Austria 38
Switzerland 15th
Great Britain 40
US Billboard Hot Digital Songs 23


Bad was usually the last song on the Bad World Tour concerts and occasionally on the Dangerous World Tour . Michael Jackson preferred to play the song in an extended version.

Cover versions

Live covers


  • Weird Al Yankovic , who previously parodied Jackson's hit Beat It as Eat It , recorded a parody of Bad called Fat in 1988 for his album Even Worse . The title and cover of the album also alluded to Bad . The music video for Fat parodies many aspects of the original. Jackson allowed Yankovic to use the same set he used for his own parody called Badder from the movie Moonwalker .
  • Country musician Ray Stevens recorded a cover on his 1988 album I Never Made A Record I Didn't Like . This version includes a Michael Jackson imitation.
  • The satirical puppet show Spitting Image poked fun at Michael Jackson and his song Bad (as Mad ).
  • Lenny Henry also recorded a song called Mad , which pissed off the Jackson song.
  • Frank Zappa parodied and referenced the songs Bad and Billie Jean on the song "Why Don't You Like Me?" From his album Broadway the Hard Way in 1988.
  • Bo 'Selecta!' S cartoon of Michael Jackson often uses the term shamone . A reference to "bathroom".
  • Lady Gaga's video for LoveGame uses elements of "Bad"

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. release date
  2. ^ Billboard Hot 100, September 19, 1987
  3. ^ Billboard Hot 100, October 24, 1987
  4. bathroom.
  5. ^ The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits Fred Bronson. p. 713. Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6
  6. 'Bad' choreographer Remembers Michael Jackson . Jeffrey Daniel interview. National Public Radio.
  7. Rich Calder: Jacko Off Tracko . In: New York Post , September 2, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2009. 
  8. Swiss Singles Chart Archives . Access date: July 18, 2009.
  9. Michael Jackson Breaks Billboard Charts Records Keith Caulfield. June 30, 2009.
  10. Michael Jackson Remembered: "Weird Al" Yankovic on Imitation as Flattery . "Weird Al" Yankovic. July 9, 2009. Rolling Stone . Taken on: July 10, 2009
  11. On the Scene: Lady GaGa's 'LoveGame' video . In: Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved October 31, 2009.