BEHIND THE GROOVES: a music blog by Jeff Harris

On this day in music history: August 31, 1987 - “Bad”, the seventh solo album by Michael Jackson is released. Produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, it is recorded at Westlake Audio Recording Studios in West Hollywood, CA from January 5 - July 9, 1987. Issued as the long awaited follow up to the massively successful “Thriller”, the final track listing for album (ten on the original LP, eleven on the CD release) will be selected from sixty songs (nearly all written by Jackson himself), with thirty of them being recorded, nine of the eleven songs are written by Jackson. Pre-production on “Bad” begins in November 1986 with the first session taking place on January 5, 1987. The album will also be Jackson’s first to be recorded, mixed, and mastered entirely on digital recording equipment. Following the enormous sales of “Thriller”, anticipation and expectations for the new album are high. The album will spin off seven hit singles including an unprecedented five number one Pop and R&B singles (“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man In The Mirror”, “Another Part Of Me” (#1 R&B, #11 Pop) and “Dirty Diana” (#1 Pop, #8 R&B). At the time of its release, American critics will be shortsighted in their critique of the album, calling it “a disappointment” when it sells less half of what “Thriller” sold initially in the US. Internationally, it will more than surpass its domestic sales performance. To date, the album has sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, winning two Grammy Awards, including one for Best Short Form Video for the track “Leave Me Alone” and for Best Engineered Recording (non-classical) (awarded to engineer Bruce Swedien). The album will be reissued twice. In 2001, a remastered edition with seven bonus tracks, including interview clips with producer Quincy Jones on the making of the album. In 2012, a 25th anniversary edition including the bonus tracks from the 2001 release (w/out the Jones interviews), adding seven more unreleased tracks, and remixes of the title track and “Speed Demon”. It is also released as a deluxe boxed edition with a live concert DVD filmed at Wembley Stadium in London in July of 1988 (also sold separately).  ”Bad” will debut at number one on the Billboard Top 200 spending six weeks at the top, eighteen weeks at number one on the R&B album chart, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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