The Anticipation Of Michael Jackson's 'Bad' Album

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by FaithMonkey, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. FaithMonkey

    FaithMonkey Forum Resident Thread Starter

    After coming from Thriller's huge success, what was your reaction when MJ released his next album 'Bad'? Also what was the reaction of the public at that time?
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  2. Not that big of a Jackson fan but ' Bad ' is arguably a better album than ' Thriller '

    ' Thriller ' was very much an album of its time. A lot of hysterical hype which was bolstered by that video. A couple of dynamite tracks but some very twee ones too.

    There wasn't a hope ' Bad ' would surpass ' Thriller' s success.
  3. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident

    I can't really claim to be an expert on the reaction compared to Thriller as I didn't get into his music until the Dangerous era. However my observations were:

    - there were more self penned songs on Bad

    - he made more short films for Bad (including Moonwalker which was released theatrically).

    - he was going for a tougher, more streetwise image

    On a separate note, my older brother bought Bad the day it was released. Obviously, this was the time when people started to speculate on the colour of his skin. I remember my brother hilariously thinking it was an optical illusion because he wore white on the Thriller album cover and dark clothes on the Bad album!
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  4. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Highly anticipated and the video for Bad hit big.

    My reaction...I thought it was too hard to top Thriller, but he did a very good job.
    In the end, not Thriller by a long shot...but a good shot nonetheless.
  5. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    i was working in a record store when 'bad' came out.

    keep in mind, michael jackson was THE biggest thing in music at that time.

    we had a midnight sale (remember those?).

    i know we sold a whole hell of a lot of copies.

    'dangerous' on the other hand, we literally could not give a way. i think that in all the years i worked there we never more used copies of any other album then 'dangerous", cassettes and CD's and vinyl.
  6. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    New York
    I used to say the title Bad was of arrogance. Michael had such monumental success with Thriller he felt he could name an album Bad and it would still sell millions. IMHO

    There was huge hype for Bad spring 1987 but I never believed it would oust Thriller as far as album sales. Yes Bad would go on to sell over 45,000,000+ world wide with its short gritty street wise videos. It would no way top Thriller in sales and its videos the way Thriller did. The cultural impact of Thriller was felt all over the world.

    Thriller was so huge many people who never cared for Michael or his type of music would end up buying Thriller and liking it. 104,000,000+ sold Michael and Quincy did something right. In my mind there was no way Michael could top the Thriller Tsunami but always knew if it was possible he could.

    Bad lived up to its hype at least sales wise the videos were interesting. Michael would contribute more writing on Bad. The album had a sterile sound to it. I think that was a plus for it as it captured the times brilliantly. When I first listened to Bad on cd upon its August 1987 release I wasn't crazy about the sterile sound of the whole listening experience.

    After 25 years from Bads release I came to the conclusion that the sound of the album has done it a lot of good decades later. Many great tunes recording wise Bad is a recording of its time.

    Bads anticipation was high among Michael's fans and the media alike. I for one never thought pre August 1987 Bad could possibly top Thriller in sales and the cultural effect Thriller had on society. Love or hate Thriller it was a GARGANTUAN album of prolific proportions.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  7. dbone828

    dbone828 Only Visiting This Planet

    I'd be curious to know what album has the most copies sitting on second hand store shelves. Maybe it's just me, but I have yet to go to a thrift store that doesn't contain about 5 copies of N Sync's No Strings Attached. Others I see just about every time: 98 Degrees, Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, Jewel's Pieces of You, and if you ever want to own Celine Dion's back catalog, search no further than a second-hand store. Also, most R.E.M. and Oasis albums that I own were ones I found at thrift stores.
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  8. Batman21

    Batman21 If you don’t run you rust

    I was 5 yrs old and was mega pumped. Got the cassette from a family friend the week it came out. My whole family was psyched for the CBS special. I remember not watching ALF (or some show) to catch the special and being allowed to stay up later than usual.

    The making of Captain EO hosted by Whoopi Goldberg was on Disney Channel over and over around that time too. I had the MTV rotation down and knew Bad wld be on after Billy Idol ‘Mony Mony’ or George Michael ‘Faith.’ And as much as i liked the ‘Bad’ video, ‘the way you make me feel’ blew my mind. ‘Leave me alone’ also.

    oh and then the ‘moonwalker’ vhs and eventually the video game arrived. Man, crazy times.
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  9. Edwin Hawley

    Edwin Hawley Forum Resident

    I feel like we've had this discussion before. The gap between Thriller and Bad was huge at the time and many of us had moved on. MJ was starting to look weird too. For me, MJ never regained the appeal he had in 83-84.
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  10. Son of Ziggy

    Son of Ziggy Forum Resident

    People were more shocked at his image change than the music. At my school everyone was sharing plastic surgery jokes.
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  11. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    As I recall it, the lead single "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" came as a complete surprise. I bought the CD single which did not have the spoken intro. Bust when the album did drop, more was made about the video for the song "Bad".

    As an audiophile who followed such matters, there was an interview with engineer Bruce Swedien about it being a digital recording and how he hated the way it made Michael's voice sound thin. There was also stuff about how it was recorded on a Mitsubishi DASH.

    Anyway, I bought the CD as soon as it hit the street and was underwhelmed by the album. I felt it was too long, and that the songs were too long and boring. I could never get past "Speed Demon" before turning it all off.
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  12. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States
    Very interesting. Among Generation X, "Bad" was the greatest MJ album, and it sold well around here. But, it didn't sell right away. It was a slow burner as I remember it.

    The album was released August 31, 1987.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
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  13. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    New York
    That is correct. I was referring to the hype of the awaiting album during the spring of 87 eventually being released later in the year 8/31/1987.

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
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  14. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    R.E.M. is everywhere in the used stores everywhere i go, from cleveland to canada.

    i would venture a guess that you can buy their entire catalog (all 15 studio albums) used for less than $50

    never got R.E.M. and probably never will, i do the allure cannot possibly be michael stopes voice, which is a tough listen after 3 or 4 songs.
    Rockin' Robby likes this.
  15. Grant

    Grant Senior Member

    United States

    Oh, I seriously don't remember the hype.
  16. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    New York

    Well at least my friends at the time were eagerly awaiting the new Michael. I mean after Thriller most of us were. The press were eagerly awaiting to see what Michaels next offering would be like spring summer 1987.
  17. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident

    Austin, TX
    Good question. I was 23 in 1987, a big fan of "Thriller" so like much of the pop world, I was filled with anticipation for "Bad". Bought it the day it was released, on CD.

    In the USA, I think the reaction at the time was that (a) "Bad" was a very good follow-up to "Thriller", but that (b) it wasn't as good. "Bad" was excellent, but lacked the genius-factor that "Thriller" had. Yes, the "Bad" songs roared up the charts, but none of them were as good as their "Thriller" counterparts. That was my personal reaction as well.

    Also, "Bad" emerged in a climate in which Jackson's weird behavior - not pedophile stuff, that was years to come - but the lightening of his skin and his Howard Hughes like isolation qualities - were coming to the fore and giving him an aura of weirdness that was off-putting in the USA at least.

    Also, musically, rap had just broken out commercially, and was thus a new form of Afro-American pop music by which to make comparisons. That same year, LL Cool J came out with an album, "Bigger And Deffer", that coincidentally was known as "BAD" as well, and some critics contrasted his much tougher physical appearance and sound with that of Jackson, implying that MJ's brand of pop-funk was no longer the "baddest" kind of Afro-American music on the street.

    Finally, in terms of chart dominance, "Bad" faced intense competition. In the fall of 1987, acts like George Michael, Def Leppard, U2, and Whitney Houston had monster albums out that were spinning off big hits, and the "Dirty Dancing" soundtrack was massive as well. IIRC, all of those albums out-sold "Bad" in the USA.

    I always got the feeling that the reaction to "Bad" was more tepid in the USA than it was in the rest of the world. Reports from Europe and elsewhere seemed to indicate that "Bad" was being received as enthusiastically as "Thriller" had, though I can't comment on that for sure. This was before the internet so media sources were limited at the time.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
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  18. qJulia

    qJulia Forum Resident

    I became a MJ fan after his passing, and do not know what happened when Bad was released. Initially I like both Thriller and Bad. But now I like Thriller much more and rarely listen to Bad. Bad to me sounds a bit too 80s (loud drum), and MJ's singing was a bit problem too (pushy or a bit screaming). So thriller did and is still doing better for good reasons.
    Jarleboy likes this.
  19. daveidmarx

    daveidmarx Forem Residunt

    Astoria, NY USA
    This, pretty much. I bought the lead single (I Just Can't Stop Loving You) before the album dropped and thought it was kind of weak and had a ridiculously cringey intro. There was no video for the song, so seeing him on the album cover upon release (basically the first time the public had seen him in about two years) was a shock. He looked like he was made out of plastic. I bought the album and while it had some decent songs, there was nothing, and I mean NOTHING that approached the greatness of Thriller + Off The Wall. The Bad video came out and unlike Thriller, which demanded repeat viewings, felt like an over-long pretentious bore. Again, the scene where Michael is taunting Wesley Snipes with the "who's bad" bit was embarrassing to watch. And leading off the song (and album) with the line "your butt is mine" seemed like a bad idea. The Way You Make Me Feel + (especially) Leave Me Alone were much better videos, but whatever "magic" I thought Michael Jackson had was pretty much extinguished by Bad. Sadly, he would not even be this good for the remainder of his career.
  20. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    I said something about this album once. What was it again? Ah yes, here it is, reformatted to fit this screen.

    BAD raises many questions.

    - Why wasn't "Just Good Friends" the CD bonus track instead of "Leave Me Alone"? - If you strip off the synthesizers, what is "The Way You Make Me Feel" but a prime slice of pre-Beatles pop?
    - How many bad jokes did the line "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change" in "Man in the Mirror" spawn?
    - Why does "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" induce vomiting?
    - Did the title track deserve the fat jokes "Weird Al" grafted on?
    - How is "Speed Demon" not on my mixtape?

    Either way, it's three in a row for The King of Pop and Quincy and one of the best albums of the 80's.
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  21. daveidmarx

    daveidmarx Forem Residunt

    Astoria, NY USA
    Nice start, but you forgot a few important questions:

    How many feathers are on a Perdue chicken?
    How many fibers are intertwined on a Shredded Wheat biscuit?
    What does "touché et le les poux" mean?
    How many times did the Batmobile catch a flat?
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  22. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    Easy; seventeen, forty-two, "all right, I'll confess" and nine.
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  23. Stan94

    Stan94 Forum Resident

    Paris, France
    "Hit and lice".
    daveidmarx likes this.
  24. daveidmarx

    daveidmarx Forem Residunt

    Astoria, NY USA
  25. Phil12

    Phil12 Radiant Radish

    Bad as a record sounds great.

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