Bad 25 Reviews /Overwhelming Praise for BAD25 [Articles merged]

rsggamer123

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Thought this deserved its own thread. Post all reviews from fans, critics, media, etc here.


Music Review

Bad 25 (2012)
Rating: 11/12 - Review by Ray Rahman - 5 Sep 2012

The three discs and one DVD of live, remixed, and remastered material here are a potent reminder of just how much Bad's pulsing pop holds up. But the real treasures are the six previously unreleased tracks: Noticeably unfinished (refreshingly so, given Bad 25's hermetic polish) numbers like rhythmic earworm ''Don't Be Messin' Around'' and tender ''I'm So Blue'' shine, while ''Al Capone,'' an early sketch for ''Smooth Criminal,'' is strong enough to stand alone as its own single. A

Best Tracks:
I'm So Blue
Messin' Around

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20396305_20627104,00.html
 

Hunterr

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

Oh, excellent. Makes me look forward more that my fav entertainment mag (aside from Rolling Stone) likes it :D
 

MJBT

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

Looking forward to reading other reviews
 

Richard Lecocq

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

Al Capone is the bomb, it has a Centipede and Tell Me I'm Not Deamin' feel.
 

144000

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

how much do you wanna bet this will never get a negative review? i'd bet everything.
 

Bernard

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

how much do you wanna bet this will never get a negative review? i'd bet everything.

why shouldn't it get negative reviews? I wouldn't praise tracks that are actually awful (like it's the case imo with the tracks #11/12/13 on the second cd)
 

Memefan

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

I am waiting for Rolling Stone's review...I am not gonna lie, The trashed the original BAD album, and will be pissed if they praise this one.

Waiting...
 

IMWhizzle

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why shouldn't it get negative reviews? I wouldn't praise tracks that are actually awful (like it's the case imo with the tracks #11/12/13 on the second cd)

But praise them from a marketing point of view.
 

dam2040

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

Price of Fame and Al Capone are the only ones I really want to hear, I just can't get into ballads.
 

helena22

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

Thought this deserved its own thread. Post all reviews from fans, critics, media, etc here.


Music Review

Bad 25 (2012)
Rating: 11/12 - Review by Ray Rahman - 5 Sep 2012

The three discs and one DVD of live, remixed, and remastered material here are a potent reminder of just how much Bad's pulsing pop holds up. But the real treasures are the six previously unreleased tracks: Noticeably unfinished (refreshingly so, given Bad 25's hermetic polish) numbers like rhythmic earworm ''Don't Be Messin' Around'' and tender ''I'm So Blue'' shine, while ''Al Capone,'' an early sketch for ''Smooth Criminal,'' is strong enough to stand alone as its own single. A

Best Tracks:
I'm So Blue
Messin' Around

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20396305_20627104,00.html
Thanks for posting. This review is short yet sweet.
Can't wait to listen to all the demo tracks!!!

Judging from the way the reviewer put it, Al Capone probably sounds a lot different from Smooth Criminal. It might be a good idea to release it as a single, then.
 
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Vici

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

edit: posted in wrong thread
 
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144000

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

why shouldn't it get negative reviews? I wouldn't praise tracks that are actually awful (like it's the case imo with the tracks #11/12/13 on the second cd)

i wasn't speaking of fan reviews. i was talking about rollling stone, Time and other media mag reviews.
 

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'Bad' Is Back and It's Just as Good

Check out the re-release of an album that extended Michael Jackson's über-stardom beyond Thriller.


  • By: Jason King | Posted: September 13, 2012 at 12:33 AM

(The Root) -- There were a lot of cassette tapes that got play on my silver Sony Walkman as the summer of 1987 waned, including LL Cool J's Bigger and Deffer, U2's Joshua Tree, Jody Watley's self-titled debut, Prince's Sign O the Timesand Public Enemy's Yo! Bum Rush the Show. But by that August, all my musical anticipation was geared toward the release of Michael Jackson's Bad,which hit record stores the same day he was to debut a prime-time TV special.
Bad, his seventh solo studio album, felt like more than just another new release: To my teenage mind, it seemed like a world-historical event, a cultural experience. Cunningly marketed by Jackson and his record label to penetrate global consciousness and smash sales records, Bad was an album that could hardly fail commercially. But that didn't make it any less potent an artistic statement.
Bad happens to be the fifth most commercially successful album in history and the first to producefive consecutive No. 1 pop singles. On that score alone, this year's Bad 25th anniversary celebration and special-edition album release, driven by Sony Music Entertainment, feel appropriate.
Still, many fans see Bad as a lesser effort compared with his other two Quincy Jones-produced collaborations, Off the Wall (1979) and Thriller(1982). An unabashed corporate vehicle, Bad lacks the same breathless abandon as his two previous efforts, and some might find Bad's pan-genre, cater-to-all-markets approach too calculated and shrewd. British songwriter Rod Temperton remains a notable personnel omission on Bad; he was the secret ingredient who contributed the title tracks on bothOff the Wall and Thriller, as well as gems like "Rock With You," "Baby Be Mine" and "The Lady in My Life."

But the problem with comparing Bad with Off the Wall or Thriller is that it's not possible to separate Bad from the discourses that surrounded it. Badarrived at a unique time in the development of Jackson's artistry. 1979's Off the Wall was a propulsive funk record at the tail end of disco, doubling as a celebration of Jackson's nervy ascent into adulthood.
1982's Thriller, in turn, was a juggernaut. It broke sales records to become the most successful album of all time, Jackson single-handedly revolutionized the scale of pop stardom and the terms of racial crossover, and he managed to rescue the entire music industry from its financial doldrums and plunge it headfirst into the MTV era.
Despite Jackson's track record as a kiddie heartthrob since early 1970, no one could have truly predicted the breakaway success of Off the Wall in '79; nor could anyone have bet on the unhinged blockbuster success of Thriller in '82. Jackson's adult solo records were, in retrospect, the sound of a young star "coming up," staking his claim to supreme greatness in the pantheon of pop.


Putting His Dukes Up
Bad was a different story: It was a defensive comeback album. (Actually, every record after Badwould be a comeback album for Jackson.) Existential threats to Jackson's pop throne were coming from all directions. Whitney Houston and Prince had stormed the charts with hit albums in the months prior to Bad's release; new arrivals likeTerence Trent D'Arby and even rebranded sister Janet cribbed bits from Michael to craft their respective glories.
Critics demonized Jackson for his much-publicized eccentricities -- we learned he'd been sleeping in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber and that he wanted to buy the Elephant Man's bones -- and endless "Is he a sellout?" debates ensued, focused on how and why Jackson's skin had become lighter, his nose slimmer, his hair wetter and longer and his features more chiseled and feminine. In the interim betweenThriller and Bad, Michael Jackson the Pop Star and Culture Hero had, in critics' eyes, morphed into the derogatory Wacko Jacko.

Yet Jackson winningly used his art to fight back. The sneering opening line of Bad's title track begins, "Your butt is mine." Bonus album track "Leave Me Alone" is a seething retort to haters dressed up as a pulsating funk groove.
Even with his boxing gloves on, it was still hard to feel bad for "poor" Michael. In the five years that had passed between Thriller and Bad, he'd become an Epcot attraction starring in Francis Ford Coppola'sCaptain E.O.; he'd headlined alongside his brothers in the box-office-shattering Victory tour; he'd co-written the charity single "We Are the World," and it had become the fastest selling song of all time; he'd secured a multimillion-dollar endorsement deal with Pepsi; and in a sharky move, he'd bought the Beatles' publishing catalog right from under Paul McCartney's nose.
So in terms of critical reception, Bad was a victim of its time, set up to be hated even before its release. If you're one of those people who are always inclined to root for the underdog rather than the defending champion, you'd probably have a hard time accommodating Bad in your musical library of album masterpieces.



Bad also had to earn its status as "state of the art" entertainment. Into the second term of Reagan's America, pop music had become more musically aggressive and sonically risky. House music and hair metal had seeped into the water supply. Hip-hop artists like Run-DMC had begun reinventing the terms of crossover; the street, not gentlemanly Motown-inspired R&B, was becoming the new authenticator in black pop.
To his credit, Jackson decided to compete in this changing marketplace on his own terms. First he perfected a vocal sneer, and his singing became more percussive. He amped up his swagger, trading in his customary "military jackets with epaulets" look for the custom black buckles and boots that graceBad's cover.
Then, he narratively ironized his own authenticity issues by commissioning Martin Scorsese to helm the video for the title track. Jackson plays a young student who leaves the inner city for prep school, only to return and confront the homies he left behind who accuse him of becoming a sellout, and all of that occurs before the black-and-white video improbably morphs into a gaudy West Side Story-like dance extravaganza in a Brooklyn subway platform.
As a song and a video, "Bad" remains no less campy than "Thriller." Its self-conscious use of street slang and its cabaret machismo were easy targets to mock; parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic took up that charge readily. But on Bad, Jackson also updated his sound to suit the new, aggressive times. With its lean synthesizers and gated rhythm section, Bad is noticeably darker than his previous two efforts, and it's full of cryptic and paranoiac lyrics. There's the brittle, snaky "Speed Demon"; hard-rock "Beat It" follow-up "Dirty Diana," about a groupie stalker; and sinister, opaque funk workout "Smooth Criminal."

Bad Meaning Good
In 1987 the deeper meaning of some of those songs eluded me (no one seemed to know who Annie was in the chorus of "Smooth Criminal" or why wouldn't she be OK) and I don't remember ever being convinced back then that Jackson was truly "bad" or the thug he claimed to be in his art. But we were all willing to play along because of the supreme brilliance of his song and dance, because of the outsize reach of his cinematic imagination and because he'd managed to somehow synthesize the seamy underbelly of tabloid culture and spit it back out to us as arresting musical entertainment.
It's a shame the same fodder that kept Jackson a tabloid fixture gave critics ample reasons not to focus on the music. The reason Bad remains a classic album today is the pre-eminent quality of the music itself. Mixing gutbucket funk, phenomenal hook appeal and high-level musicianship, Bad's 11 songs remain a marvel. They're detail-obsessed; impeccably performed, produced and engineered; and full of winning idiosyncrasy.
There's Jimmy Smith's jazzy Hammond solo on "Bad." There's the trademark Jackson vocal ticks and the introduction of his "shamon" affectation. There's the tenderness of the Afrocentric quiet-storm ballad "Liberian Girl." There's the jazzy Temptations-like shuffle rhythm of toe-tapper "The Way You Make Me Feel."

And the album's centerpiece, the inspirational power anthem "Man in the Mirror," is a brilliant distillation of Oprah-influenced 1980s pop psychology and self-transformation ideals. Jackson was the album's co-producer and the songwriter on nine of the 11 tracks, and his genius -- especially his ability to move between various emotions and moods and to fuse R&B, funk, soul, rock and musical theater, among other genres -- is on full display.
Bad is spectacular entertainment, conceptualized for your TV or the concert stage -- the music is, in many ways, inseparable from the videos and live-concert performances -- as much as it was designed in 1987 for your turntable or Walkman. In the end,Bad did the trick of extending Jackson's superstardom and further mythologizing him. No matter what your thoughts on the album might be, even after his death, Michael Jackson has managed to leave us here, 25 years after the fact, still talking about his art. Now, that is truly bad.

Jason King is associate professor at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and the author of
Michael Jackson Treasures. Follow him on hiswebsite.









THE ROOT: RELATED SLIDE SHOW
1 of 27



25 Amazing Facts From Michael Jackson's 'Bad'


From the Prince duet that never was to the Pitbull remix, we recall the album 25 years later.




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 asThriller. At the time, the album was judged harshly against the monumental achievements of its predecessor; now, with hindsight, it is clear thatBad also earned its fair share of accolades and milestones.
Fans can get a chance to revisit the songs when the album gets a 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.") To celebrate the album's 25th anniversary, The Root presents 25 facts you may have overlooked about Bad.

Epic







http://www.theroot.com/views/michael-jackson-bad-25th-anniversary?page=0,2
 

MJJuniorSinceMW

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

I'm listening to the BAD25 remastered OG Album @ the moment.
I like what they did with the remastering: Everything stands out for itself a little more, each instrument, MJ's voice, etc...

Any thoughts of our audio experts already???


mods: Please move if wrong thread. Couldn't find an appropriate one..
 

bobmoo79

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

I haven't heard BAD25 so I might be wrong, but I thought they were using the same tracks as was on the 2001 special edition and not remastering them again for Bad25.

Have they remastered them again for this edition?
 

Vici

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

A review by Joseph Vogel about Live Wembley

"Twenty-five years ago in the late summer of 1987, Michael Jackson released his long-anticipated follow-up to Thriller, the Bad album. Bad went on to produce five No. 1 hits, several classic short films, and a record-setting world tour. To date, it has sold an estimated 30-45 million copies. To celebrate the milestone, the Estate of Michael Jackson and Epic/Legacy Recordings will release a three-CD package (Bad 25, out September 18), which includes the remastered original album, an album of bonus tracks, including demos and remixes, and a live album from his Bad World Tour.
Along with the new songs, the highlight of the Bad 25 box set is undoubtedly the "Live at Wembley" full concert DVD. This is a remarkable piece of history that might have been lost if not for a fortuitous discovery among Jackson's belongings. 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 predeccessors.

Unfortunately, in spite of an extensive search through the pop star's storage archives, Jackson's estate was unable to locate the original Umatic master tapes for the Wembley shows. Perhaps one of these days, they will show up somewhere. What they did find was a personal VHS copy of the concert from the singer's own video collection. "Even finding this VHS felt like a miracle to us," says estate co-executor John Branca.

A consummate perfectionist, Jackson often watched tapes like this of his shows to ascertain whether the "magic" was being captured and what could be improved not only in his own performance, but that of the rest of the crew. This was his viewing copy for the legendary July 16, 1988 performance, attended by 72,000 people, including Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

While the sourced footage remains "pre-HD, 1988 videotape quality," it has been restored by a team that has also treated recovered footage for NASA. The result isn't a perfect high definition picture, but for me, at least, took little away from the enjoyment of the experience. Watching the DVD is like being transported in time. It feels like the era it comes from. Generally, it seems the closer and mid-range shots are much sharper, while the distant shots can sometimes be a bit blurry. Fortunately, because the camera work is so good, we get many brilliant close-ups of Jackson that might almost be mistaken for high-definition. Add to that that the original audio was captured on multi-track and presented in 5.1 audio, and it is hard to complain about the results.

The Bad World Tour began in September 1987 in Japan and concluded nearly sixteen months later in January 1989 in Los Angeles. It became the highest-grossing and most attended concert series in history. Jackson played to an estimated 4.4 million fans in fifteen countries. It was also his first and last solo tour in North America.
The London shows came in the midst of the second leg of the tour. Michael-mania was sweeping through Europe. In Vienna, Austria, the Associated Press reported that over 130 people passed out during the concert. By the time he reached London excitement had reached a fever pitch. All seven concerts at Wembley Stadium sold out, shattering a record previously held by Madonna and Bruce Springsteen.

Watching the July 16 show on DVD 24 years later one can still feel that visceral energy and excitement in the stadium. When Jackson finally appears out of the smoke and starts into the opening number, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin,'" the crowd erupts. This is Michael Jackson at the height of his performing powers.

Yet part of what makes the performance so enjoyable is how stripped down and spontaneous it is (by Jackson's standards), from the stage design, to the costumes, lighting and overall presentation. Music director Greg Phillinganes heads up a dynamic band, elevated just behind the stage, while Jackson is flanked, on many of the choreographed numbers, with a talented group of androgynous, Blade Runner-esque dancers (including Lavelle Smith).

The minimalist approach allows Jackson's talent -- as a dancer, singer and performer -- to shine through. He is loose and exuberant, like he's simply having a great time, and we're there to watch in. Jackson sings live throughout most of the show, and improvises to brilliant effect in certain parts. At the conclusion of "I'll Be There," for example, he begins ad libbing like a gospel preacher possessed by the spirit. He does call and response with his backup singers and with the audience. "Can you feel it!" he exclaims. Dripping with sweat, the music pulsing through him, he begins rhythmically tapping his foot, then scatting, before launching into the next number.

Other highlights abound. Jackson's locking, popping, miming rendition of "Human Nature" and its ethereal cries directed outward to the audience. The intro to "Smooth Criminal," in smoky silhouette, which gives way to the now-famous, but still captivating high-art choreography. The extended drum-solo postlude to "Billie Jean" that allows Jackson to improvise to the beat -- gyrating, kicking, tapping and gliding. Part of what makes Jackson so compelling as a performer is how his body is constantly in motion and completely in-sync with the music. For the entirety of the show, he becomes, as he often said, "the medium through which the music flows."

One of the most enjoyable moments actually comes at the end as Jackson playfully introduces his backup singers, guitarists and band. It gives a sense of his humor and joy in being a part of a creative collaboration. He also allows a group of children on stage, who earnestly try to imitate their idol's dance moves.

The show concludes with a breathtaking encore performance of "Man in the Mirror." As Spike Lee (who ended up using the performance to conclude his Bad25 documentary) says, "If you look at that performance, he's somewhere else. That's one of the great performances ever. You see the way Michael's singing that song -- he's not of this world. He's somewhere else."

Jackson played a total of seven shows in London to an estimated 500,000 people. Ticket demand was so strong it was estimated he could have done at least 10 more sold-out Wembley concerts if he had desired. Everyone wanted to witness the phenomenon that was Michael Jackson.

On September 18, after years of gathering dust in storage, the world will finally have the chance to experience the magic again."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobil...8.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
 

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Music Review: Michael Jackson - Bad 25 - 25th Anniversary Edition (3-CD/1-DVD)
To commemorate the quarter-century mark of this classic album, Epic/Legacy Recordings has assembled a terrific set.
September 16, 2012 0
By Chaz Lipp, Contributor

mj-bad-25-thumb-380xauto-17486.jpg



It’s been 25 years since Michael Jackson unleashed Bad, his follow-up to the best selling album of all time, Thriller. With five consecutive Billboard number one hits, Bad managed to overcome somewhat mixed critical reaction, eventually selling somewhere between 30 and 45 million copies worldwide. Quincy Jones produced the album, the third and final time he would fulfill that role on a Jackson release. Epic/Legacy Recordings has put together an outstanding box set that includes the remastered original album, a disc of outtakes, alternate versions, and remixes, plus a complete (and previously unreleased) concert from the Bad tour on DVD and CD.

The album remains a classic collection of sterling pop songs with enough hits that it almost plays like a “best of” collection. Jackson was at peak level songwriting-wise, responsible for nine of the 11 tracks. Only the self-improvement anthem “Man in the Mirror” (a potentially treacly song that only Jackson could convincingly sell) and the disposable “Just Good Friends” were contributed by outside writers. The latter is a duet with Stevie Wonder that is unfortunately the weakest thing on the record. It’s easy to see why Jackson chose to record Siedah Garrett’s uplifting “Mirror” (Garrett also duets with him on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”). But “Just Good Friends” is a piece of junk that is far beneath the two great artists who sing it.

For the most part, the album sizzles with unforgettable hooks. Yes, the overall sound forever brands it as a product of 1987, but luckily Jones didn’t layer on more than what was needed (unlike some of the producers Jackson would go on to work with). Jackson’s vocals are jaw-dropping throughout, whether caressing a ballad like “Liberian Girl” or rocking out on “Dirty Diana.” With 25 years separating Bad from whatever post-Thriller expectations once surrounded it, the album works better than ever.

Bad%2025%20live%20wembley%20%28350x197%29.jpg



The bonus audio on the second disc runs about one hour. The first six tracks, all written by Jackson, are the most interesting. They’re previously unreleased demo versions of songs that didn’t make the final cut. As the liner notes make clear, no additional production work was added to the raw recordings. In fact, in cases where Jackson himself returned to a track to continue working on it, only the Bad-era original recordings were used. That was a smart choice, given the justifiably controversial reaction to the overproduced mess that was the posthumous album Michael (2010). Here we get a fascinating glimpse at true works-in-progress.

It kicks off with the mid-tempo, piano-driven “Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round.” Too bad he didn’t finish this one off, it would’ve made a far better duet vehicle for him and Stevie Wonder. With a Latin-tinged groove, it even recalls Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing.” The lyrics are far from finished, but it’s a very cool track with a killer hook. “I’m So Blue” is a pretty, melodic ballad with a confident Jackson vocal. The verses are far more fleshed out than on the previous track, though he hadn’t come up with lyrics for the chorus yet.

Things get super interesting with the edgy dance number “Song Groove (a.k.a. Abortion Papers),” starting with the title itself. The liner notes explain, “The song is about a girl whose father is a priest…She gets married in the church but decides, against the Bible, to have an abortion.” It features a searing vocal by Jackson, passionately belting out the chorus, “Those abortion papers/Signing your name against the word of God.” From what I can tell (since the lyrics aren’t always easy to understand), this isn’t a pro-life screed, but rather a meditation on the girl’s internal struggle with her decision. The song is likely to inspire some discussion or even debate among fans.

“Free” is a mellow piece of smooth pop. The soaring chorus is fully formed and Jackson harmonizes beautifully with himself, but the verses were still sketchy in this demo. It ends with Jackson breaking up in a fit of laughter. “Price of Fame” is possibly the most fully finished of the outtakes, and it’s a great song that would’ve fit perfectly on the album. The liner notes include a quote regarding the lyrics, taken from Jackson’s work notes, that says the song is about “the girls who are over-obsessed with me, who follow me, who almost make me kill myself in my car.”

It’s immediately clear from the herky-jerky rhythms that “Al Capone” would later evolve into “Smooth Criminal,” but it’s different enough to function as a song in its own right. Next up are the three songs that appeared on the 2001 reissue of Bad, “Streetwalker,” “Fly Away,” and “Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu” (the Spanish version of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”). If you haven’t heard “Streetwalker” before, you’re in for a treat as this is definitely an album-worthy cut. The French version of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” "Je Ne Veux Pas La Fin De Nous,” is thrown in for good measure. That’s where the bonus disc effectively ends for me, as I have zero interest in the three all-new remixes (two of “Bad” and one of “Speed Demon”). Surely the vaults must have held more interesting original outtake material that could’ve been used instead of these.

Perhaps the best part of Bad 25 is the full concert recorded live at London’s Wembley Stadium, July 16, 1988. For the DVD, the video footage was sourced from Jackson’s personal VHS copy of the Jumbotron broadcast that the capacity crowd saw that night (the only known copy to exist). That means, obviously, that we aren’t dealing with anything close to modern visual standards. But thankfully it’s a highly watchable picture, generally unblemished by the typical dropouts and such that mar old VHS tapes. Even better, the audio was sourced from the original multitrack soundboard recordings. It’s been remixed and is presented as an excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.

After a brief bit of news footage showing rabid fans charging into Wembley and Jackson meeting Prince Charles and Princess Diana (who attended the concert), the nearly two-hour show hits the ground running with “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” This is simply prime Michael Jackson. He’s in fantastic voice throughout, always in control of his instrument—even during the most delicate moments, such as “She’s Out of My Life.”

I’d list some highlights, but at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, the whole thing functions as a highlight. This concert is relatively stripped down visually, making it a perfect contrast to the more elaborately produced Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour DVD. It’s a kick seeing Sheryl Crow, who was a back-up singer on the Bad tour, getting an early taste of the spotlight as she duets on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” Older tunes like “Working Day and Night” and The Jacksons’ “This Place Hotel” sit well with the then-contemporary Bad material. Jackson’s dancing is as mesmerizing as ever, on full display during tunes such as “Smooth Criminal” and, of course, “Billie Jean.”


The DVD also includes, as a bonus track, a performance of “The Way You Make Me Feel” from the night before, July 15, 1988. Also added as a bonus are performances of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Bad,” taped at Japan’s Yokohama Stadium in September, 1987.

The entire setlist, minus the extended “Bad Groove” jam section that Jackson is offstage for, is included on CD. This is his first-ever officially released solo live album. A little trimming was done to fit all the songs onto one disc, but the editing doesn’t negatively impact the listenability. This concert makes for a great live album because unlike so many live recordings that are tweaked to death, practically sounding like studio recordings, this retains a very “live” feel.

With interesting extra tracks, outstanding live material, and the new remixes kept to a relative minimum, Bad 25 thoroughly trounces 2008’s Thriller 25. The sturdy (yet lightweight and compact) box also holds two separate booklets, loaded with liner notes and cool photos (my favorite is a shot of Jackson with Robert De Niro on the set of the “Smooth Criminal” video). This is a superb package that only enhances the legacy of Bad and of Michael Jackson as an artist.
http://www.themortonreport.com/ente...on-bad-25-25th-anniversary-edition-3-cd1-dvd/
 

gregson1

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

Just received my BAD25 case.. have the DVD on as I type. Pity it doesn't fill the screen... fantastic sound off it though
 

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'Bad 25' remembers the mastery of Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album was unleashed near the end of 1982, cementing his legacy as a superstar solo artist. It's a remarkable, unrivaled collection and has served as a blueprint for practically every pop album in its wake. You can hear, see and feel Jackson's influence in the work of Beyoncé and Chris Brown, Usher and Britney Spears, Madonna and Adam Lambert.

I was just 8 years old at the time, but "Thriller" made its mark on me, too. I sang along with the words. Tried to mimic the dance moves. Scooped up Jackson folders at Kmart and sold them to classmates (at retail price, of course).

"Bad" came around five years later and produced another string of hits. Its first five singles all shot to No. 1, but it only sold a fraction of the 30 or so million "Thriller," the best-selling album of all time, moved in the U.S. alone. (To be clear, 10 million copies is hardly a failure.)

But I was 13 by then, and music had become an intrinsic part of my life, an outlet for expression and a means of escape. The songs of "Bad" are embedded in my memory perhaps more vividly than "Beat It" or "Billie Jean." And that cover photo, all steely gaze, straps and belts, remains iconic.

"Bad 25," in stores today, repackages the original album with lush bonus features and artwork, including unreleased demos and a 1988 concert at Wembley Stadium in London. This is a layered, loving tribute whose power ultimately resides in the genius of the original album.

I remember waiting impatiently for the parade of MTV video premieres from the album: "Bad," "Man in the Mirror," "Leave Me Alone," "Dirty Diana." These weren't mere promotional clips. They were mini-movies. In its entirety, the "Bad" short film, directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Richard Price, ran 18 minutes and debuted in prime time on CBS in 1987.

A "Bad 25" documentary, produced and directed by Spike Lee, is set to debut on ABC in November. It screened at the Venice and Toronto film festivals and includes rare footage and interviews with Jackson's collaborators and friends, including Scorsese, Kanye West and Justin Bieber.

The entire album has been remastered, and the best songs still sound crisp and modern. Jackson co-wrote and co-produced the bulk of it with Quincy Jones, who knew how to balance commercial sheen with eccentric edges.

The title track still bristles with zeal and aggression, and "The Way You Make Me Feel" could be a hit on radio today - or any day. It's a perfect pop song - joyful and ominous, buoyed by a galloping beat and razor-sharp vocal work. The network video premiere, which featured Jackson smashing the windows of a car, was derided as overly violent. (Sort of hilarious today.)

"I Just Can't Stop Loving You" remains a highlight, an alternately hushed and sweeping ballad lifted high by Jackson's pleading, emotive vocal. "Dirty Diana" grooves harder than most anything on current rock radio, and the often-overlooked "Liberian Girl" is a smooth, soothing gem.

A second disc boasts unfinished demos recorded at Jackson's Hayvenhurst home in Encino, Calif. Among the filler are previously issued "Flyaway," "Streetwalker" and Spanish and French versions of "I Just Can't Stop Loving You." There's also a frenzied Afrojack remix of "Bad" featuring an unnecessary Pitbull rap.

To be sure, there are some true finds, including "Al Capone," which would eventually become "Smooth Criminal." Traces of the final song are evident, but the final result was a wholly different song. "Free" and "I'm So Blue" are lovely, lilting tunes that fall in line with Jackson's penchant for simple, effective balladry.

"Song Groove," also known as "Abortion Papers," rides a distinctly '80s rhythm for its tale of a young, religious girl who decides to have an abortion. Imagine the fuss that would have created. It dwindles into repetition, but Jackson's message is clear even in the early stage.

Jackson describes "Price of Fame" in the liner notes as an ode to "the girls who are over-obsessed with me, who follow me, who almost make me kill myself in my car, who just give their lives to do anything with me, to see me - they'll do anything and it's breaking my heart. It's running me crazy. It's breaking up my relationship with my girl, with my family."

The song's ominous strings and melody make it a ringer for "Billie Jean," which might be why Jackson never put it on an album.

The biggest draw of "Bad 25" is likely to be the July 16, 1988, concert at Wembley Stadium. It was one of seven sold-out shows, and Prince Charles and Princess Diana were in attendance. Jackson brought the same show to the Summit (now Lakewood Church) for three shows, April 8-10, 1988, and I was at one of them. When I close my eyes, I can still remember the electricity, the cheering, the pop magic.

Jackson had every show on the tour recorded for his review, but we're talking late-'80s. This is pre-HD, videotape quality, and the footage is often grainy. But the power is undeniable. He gives every inch of himself - quivering lips, hips and hands - to the songs, kicking off with the rocket-fueled blast of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin.'" He pairs up with hilariously halter-topped, big-haired background singer Sheryl Crow for "I Just Can't Stop Loving You." And the one-two punch of "Smooth Criminal" and "Dirty Diana" is nothing short of fantastic. His dancing, of course, remains a remarkably controlled feat.

But despite the fanfare, the hysteria, the sheer hugeness of the songs, performances and persona, "Bad 25" manages to highlight the artistry and the inspiration that Jackson so desperately wanted to be remembered for. His gift to us is our gift to him.

http://www.chron.com/entertainment/...rs-the-mastery-of-Michael-Jackson-3872373.php
 

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Music Review: Michael Jackson - Bad 25 - Deluxe Anniversary Edition [3-CD/1-DVD]

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. Released five years after Thriller, Bad ended up being regarded by many as a disappointing follow up to what became the best-selling album of all time. While Thriller was certainly a hard act to follow, Jackson did so by stepping up his songwriting output. With only two exceptions (“Man in the Mirror” and “Just Good Friends”), he wrote the entire record.

Of course, songwriting credits alone don’t spell greatness. What does is the sheer craftsmanship and artistry that went into songs like “Smooth Criminal,” “Dirty Diana,” “Leave Me Alone,” and “The Way You Make Me Feel.” These hits helped define pop music in the late-‘80s and continue to serve as standard bearers. Even the lesser known album tracks, such as the propulsive “Speed Demon” and silky “Liberian Girl,” stand out as prime examples of Jackson’s abilities. It helped having Quincy Jones on board as producer, as he had been for Off the Wall and Thriller.

In other words, Bad is a treasure chest of indelible pop hooks, tasteful arrangements, devastating dance grooves, and some impeccable vocal performances. Epic/Legacy Recordings, in collaboration of the Estate of Michael Jackson, meant business when they put together this special anniversary edition. The remastered album sounds great, but the draw for fans is the additional material.

I’m going to jump right to the DVD, which contains a full, unedited two-hour concert from London’s Wembley Stadium, July 16, 1988. Want to see a 26-year-old Sheryl Crow duetting with Jackson on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You?” Crow was a backing vocalist on the Bad tour, but was given a featured spot on that chart-topping ballad. Looking for a few surprises in the set list? There’s a slamming take on the Jacksons’ 1980 hit “This Place Hotel.” This concert is simply incredible from start to finish. Jackson literally finishes “She’s Out of My Life” in tears, bringing a stunning level of intimacy to the 72,000 fans on hand.

Here’s the only catch—the video of the concert was sourced from a VHS cassette from Jackson’s private collection. It was made from the JumboTron feed that the concertgoers saw that night. While the image has been remastered, we’re still stuck with a mid-‘80s home video-quality picture. It’s not nearly as bad as it might sound though. The image, for all its obvious shortcomings, is never difficult to watch. The best part is that the audio was all sourced from the multitrack board tapes, which means it’s excellent. In fact, the DVD boasts a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.

There are a couple bonus clips included on the DVD. “The Way You Make Me Feel” was not performed during the July 16 show, but it was the night before. They recreate the music video, with Sheryl Crow sashaying around as the object of Jackson’s affection. A pair of songs from a September, 1987 show in Japan are included, “Bad” and “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” Crow duets with Jackson on the latter, getting soulful and pulling some priceless Joe Cocker faces during an extended ending that isn’t present in their duet from the Wembley performance.

Though slightly edited to fit on one CD, the entire concert is included as a live album—which makes it the first of Jackson’s solo career. The only things missing from the concert video are a “Bad Groove” jam section (that Jackson was not involved in) and a few extended endings (including a spine-tingling coda to “I’ll Be There”). In other words, it’s a sensational live album with 16 tracks of primo Jackson greatness in pristine sound quality.

Then there are the studio outtakes, alternate versions, and new remixes on the other disc. While the remixes may be interesting for some listeners, I didn’t find them to be an essential (or even desired) part of the package. But two Afrojack remixes of “Bad” (one featuring Pitbull) and Nero’s remix of “Speed Demon” are included. Carrying over from the 2001 Bad reissue are “Streetwalker,” “Fly Away,” and the Spanish version of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” This edition adds a French language version of the latter song for good measure.

The real prize is a group of six unvarnished, previously unreleased demos, all written by Jackson and recorded during the Bad sessions. The most immediately attention-getting is “Song Groove (a.k.a. Abortion Papers),” a track that many fans have already begun debating the meaning of. Regardless of whether it carries a pro-life or pro-choice message, it presents a scintillating dance groove with a fiery vocal. While I can’t quite decipher all the lyrics, the liner notes include some quotes from Jackson’s own notes about the song that suggest it’s something more ambiguous than a straightforward “message” song.

“Al Capone” bears strong rhythmic and structural similarities to the track it evolved into, “Smooth Criminal,” but it stands as its own funky workout. I love the piano-driven “Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round” and the smooth sounds of “I’m So Blue” and “Free.” Those three are fascinating glimpses at Jackson’s songwriting process as they each have clearly unfinished lyrics. Much more complete is “Price of Fame,” a song about obsessive fans that sounds more or less album-ready and would’ve made a great addition to the final product.

Two booklets are included, each with pictures and liner notes. There’s also a double-sided mini-poster folded up inside the matte-finish black box. We fans can only hope for similar treatment for Dangerous and beyond, but for now Bad 25 offers plenty.

http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-review-michael-jackson-bad-25/page-3/
 

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Not really review but great read.


BAD 25 SHINES LIGHT ON MICHAEL JACKSON’S MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM, ERA, AND COMPETITIVE OBSESSIONS
Keith Murphy Posted September 18, 2012

In the summer of 1986, Thriller hung around Michael Jackson’s neck like a mammoth, neon albatross; a 25-million-copies-sold albatross to be exact. Indeed, it is now well documented that the biggest pop star to ever moonwalk across the planet wanted to bury music’s most commercially/culturally successful album of all time (now 42 million and climbing in America alone). To achieve this ridiculous coup, Jackson envisioned a follow-up work that was bolder, more musically groundbreaking, and grander in epic songwriting scale.

When the dust settled months after its much-anticipated August 31, 1987 release, Jackson’s Bad album did not meet the late Gloved-One’s over-the-top ambitions of quadrupling his previous landmark 1982 statement in sales. But it did something much more impressive. The no. 1 Billboard album displayed a genius talent who grew exponentially as a songsmith, producer, and vocalist. Unlike previous releases, 1979’s glorious Off The Wall and the monster that is Thriller, this time Jackson ran the show, leaving all-world producer Quincy Jones to settle on backseat driver duties.

Which is why Tuesday’s release of BAD 25—a deluxe package featuring three discs that includes a remastered version of the original album; remixes by electronic music visionaries Afrojack and Nero; unreleased songs; and the first ever commercial DVD of the 1988 Wembley Stadium concert from Jackson’s record-breaking Bad tour—is an intriguing set. Let the music historians and insiders dwell on how Bad “failed” to meet the record industries’ (and MJ’s) grandiose sales expectations. Brush aside Bad’s impressive U.S. numbers of more than 20 million copies off the shelves. And set aside its movie-quality barrage of award-winning music videos. 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.

To discuss BAD 25, VIBE caught up with members of Jackson’s Bad-era band including acclaimed keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, guitarist Jon Clark, and choreographer Vince Patterson. From what it was like to work with a hungry Jackson in the recording studio during the making of Bad and their time on the record-breaking madness of the Bad tour to the one person Jackson viewed as his true competition, this is a Q&A that shows why MJ remains a transcendent figure nearly three years after his death. Bad, indeed.—Keith Murphy (@Murphdogg29)

VIBE: For Michael, there was a lot to live up to with the release of Bad. By now we’ve all heard the stories about how he was intent on destroying the record sales of Thriller. But Michael was also intent on raising the bar artistically with Bad from the album to the tour. Can you talk about his mindset going into that era, album and tour?
Greg Phillinganes: He simply wanted to top Thriller.

He was aiming for 100 million copies, so says the legend, correct?
Greg: Yes, but there’s a fine line between having a goal and being unrealistic [laughs]. Thriller broke all the records. It became this massive iconic success that it is today. But Michael was driven [during those Bad album sessions]. By this time he had way more songwriting and production input in the music. It was still up to Quincy [Jones] to keep everything solid and make sure we didn’t lose touch with reality.

Was there any moment during those Bad studio sessions that you thought, this is surreal…I’m playing for Michael Jackson!
Greg: All the time. I remember making “The Way You Make Me Feel” in the studio. Michael would stand right next to me when I would do my [keyboard] part. He would just groove and bob his head and snap his fingers.

That had to be intimidating, right?
Greg: Well, the thing is Michael was very much into the character of not only each song, but each part of the song. Sometimes you don’t realize how brilliant he was. I know it’s now funny for me to say that, but you actually forget Michael’s sheer brilliance in not only dancing, but in his songwriting and singing. My God, he was great! You could to see the extent of his influences: Fred Astaire, James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr…everybody.

Patterson: From a dancing aspect, Michael always wanted to raise the bar. He was never a choreographer except for his own movements. But he still knew what he wanted from the [other dancers]. I was involved in videos for “Beat It,” “Thriller,” and all of the ones off the Bad CD, including “Smooth Criminal” and “The Way You Make Me Feel.” And you know Michael did really evolve.

He was also a serial perfectionist, right?
Vince: [Laughs] Yes! I’ll give you an example from the “Smooth Criminal” [video shoot]. There’s this one dance phrase that repeats itself in the video. I gave it to Michael and he stood in front of the mirror for four hours doing just the same count again and again and again! I kept coming over and saying, “Michael come on…you can take a break.” And Michael told me, “No, Vincent…I want to do this ‘til it’s perfect.” Michael was a taskmaster on himself.

And that inhuman drive carried over to the actual Bad concerts?
Jon Clark: True. My job on the tour was to play the guitar parts that you heard on the Bad album. I knew all the guys that played on his albums like Paul Jackson and David Williams. I can tell you what Michael gave me as a guy coming in as support for my role as the guitar player on that tour. It was life changing for me. Michael told me one thing when we first met…he said, “You know, guitars make me dance.” What do you say to that [laughs]?

You just play your ass off…
Jon: [Laughs] Yes…that’s exactly what you do! We were all watching the Bad concert movie the other day. You notice that the speed and pace of the show was just amazing. I looked back at Greg, who was Michael’s music director, and I said, “I can’t believe we were doing that show at this fast of a tempo.” But at the same time, not one note or one groove or one space in the music changed. The spirit of the songs never changed because Michael set the tempo.

There are many readers who may be too young to remember. But could you describe just how mammoth the Bad tour was during that time?
Jon: It’s important to note that at the time the Bad tour was the biggest production ever. We were in London and someone said that this was the biggest tour they had ever seen…bigger than U2, bigger than everyone. And I just remember during the “Billie Jean” section there was a special light that was developed just for Michael’s tour. It was made just for him to do his thing on “Billie Jean”.

Vince: That was spectacular. But you know what was even more spectacular? Watching Michael dance from behind! But this is what also blew me away, Keith. In terms of that time we thought the Bad tour was huge. And it was. We thought what we were actually constructing on the stage was huge, but looking back at it in comparison to what happens today this was basically a very simple, simple show.

How so?
Vince: There were no set changes or costume changes. The only time Michael left the stage is when he graciously left the stage and gave those amazing musicians the chance to really show the world what they could do. But this was a very simple tour. It was about the musicians, the music, the dancing and Michael’s performance. That’s what blew me away.

Greg: The true bigness of the Bad tour was the size of the actual set. We were building sets in the stadium as opposed to the arenas. We had several bags of airplane regulation landing lights [laughs]. They would blind the hell out of you when they first turned on. But Michael’s favorite toy was the cherry picker. It was the extended ladder with an arm that moved out, so he was able to dangle off of it over the crowd.

Jon: Dangerously dangle off it [laughs].

Greg: Right…the fans loved it, but it scared the hell out of the insurance guy [laughs].

As groundbreaking as the Bad tour was musically the instruments that were being used on the Bad album were groundbreaking as well. The keyboard work was state-of-the-art from the Synclavier to the Synth Axxe. How cutting edge was the actual work on the Bad album?

Greg: It was very cutting edge. The Synclavier had just become the major player in synthesizers. We carried two full-blown units. And they were not cheap.

How much of a task was it to transfer the sounds on Bad to an actual live format? I could imagine how daunting it would be to bring songs like “Bad” or “Smooth Criminal” to a live setting given the technical work it took to record those tracks.
Greg: I had already made those sounds on the Bad album. I created them in the studio, so I totally had an advantage. But the new technology really helped everyone on the Bad tour when it came to creating the support tracks…the things we couldn’t actually play from the album. The Synth Axxe was part of that [arsenal]. We were able to maximize the strengths of everyone in the band. One of our band members, Chris [Currell], was really brought on as a programmer. He wasn’t really into performing, but man, we dressed him up. Chris ended up looking like one of the members of KISS [laughs]. He ended up making a solo out of playing samples!

Jon: That freaked me out, Greg. It was actually brilliant.

Greg: Yeah…the guys was playing a freaking solo with nothing but samples on the Synclavier. And he was doing it in time. He wore it out every night.

Jon: I was subbing for people like Ray Parker Jr. and Paul Jackson Jr. That was my gig. So I learned a lot from these guys. When the Bad tour came around I kind of had an idea of what I needed to do. It wasn’t a George Michael gig, it wasn’t a James Brown gig…it was a Michael Jackson gig.

And a Michael Jackson gig is a whole different ballgame, right?
Jon: It really was. But here’s the thing. David Williams was Michael’s favorite guitar player. And it’s impossible to play like this guy, but I knew what he was doing. For me, as a musician, I knew what I needed to do programming wise. I spent many, many, many hours getting it right; all the hours spent programming guitar sounds for me and Jennifer [Batten] for that tour. So I got it right away.

But as with most Michael Jackson productions, choreography was just as important as the music. Vince, did you have a tougher road recreating some of Michael’s music videos, especially from the Bad album?
Vince: A lot went into that. The tour started in Japan, and once they decided they were going to go around the world I was pulled in. I sat with Mike and Greg and talked about changing the order of some of the songs around and what pieces would go in it. But because it was Michael and everything was movement related, everybody was dancing. I don’t care if they were standing behind keyboards or playing drums. I wanted to make sure that everybody had something to do movement wise. It was more than just re-creating the videos.

You guys were playing stadiums that held 70,000 plus people. Did you ever look out onto that massive crush of people, shit your pants and say, “This is insane”?
Jon: Kind of…I did…yes [laughs].

Vince: I forgot how it looked when Michael threw his hat out in the audience and when there was that quick shot of these people I thought, “Oh, my God…they are gonna rip each other’s arms off!”

Jon: I never shit my pants when I looked out into the crowd [laughs]. But I will tell you that you will never know what it feels like to see 70,000 people swaying while you are playing “Man In The Mirror.”

Greg: It’s like watching the movie Saving Private Ryan. When they are storming the beach and there’s not a word spoken, you just hear bullets and screams. My first experience on the Bad tour in Tokyo when those airplane lights opened, it was like Saving Private Ryan. You didn’t hear anything…you just saw. I saw Michael’s eyes looking at me and he came over. It was just a surreal moment. I can’t express it to you. It was all in slow motion.

Michael was really known as the ultimate competitor. He looked at other artists in terms of what they did musically and performance wise and wanted to top them. During the Bad era who was the one person that Mike looked at and said, “Oh, I have to raise my game to another level”?
Jon: That had to be Prince [laughs]. During the Thriller and Bad eras, it what just those two guys—Michael and Prince. And they both knew it. Everyone has read about that infamous summit that Quincy put together. Only Quincy could bring Michael and Prince together in one house and try to convince them to do “Bad.” But Prince [decided not to be a part] of the song. You could see the friendly rivalry between those two, even on their tours and in their videos. Michael would tend to hone in on some of things Prince was doing. They were both amazing and brilliant.

Imagine those conversations…
Greg: Crazy. But the craziest thing is at the Wembley shows I personally set out to make a statement. During the band solos I would play tunes from artists that I would find out were in the audience. So I had heard Prince was at the show. So I did a whole separate section of “It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night” by Prince. I’m talking about the groove, the breakdown and everything! We stepped down to the front of the stage and got the audience to clap on the four. We wore that shit out [laughs]. And I still don’t know if Prince was really in the audience. But the bad news is that session will not be included in this DVD because Prince decided not to give us the rights. And I wish he would change his mind.

Jon: And you know what, it was just an homage to him.

Greg: And that’s the irony…

Vince: There was a mantra that Michael had always said for as long as I’ve ever known him. He would pull you aside and say, “We gotta do something that the world has never seen before. I want to give something to the people out there that loves us that they’ve never seen before.” That was Michael’s goal…to constantly break the boundaries. And that goes for anything he was doing whether it was an album, a live tour or a short film. That’s why Michael was so competitive. That was his drive.

Looking back at Michael Jackson’s Bad album, what is the overall legacy of that work?>
Greg: Bad showed off his solo artistry because Michael was more involved production wise and songwriting wise. Yes, he worked with Quincy…but it was not quite as much as Off The Wall and Thriller. You saw the transition of Michael becoming more of a solo force behind the scenes and away from the Jacksons. By the time he went into Dangerous, Quincy was no longer there. Michael started bringing in different producers to express his musical ideas. I think Bad is the most definitive expression of Michael’s craft.

http://www.vibe.com/article/bad-25-...rrated-album-era-and-competitive-obsessions-2
 

HIStory

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Bubs;3711127 said:
Greg: Crazy. But the craziest thing is at the Wembley shows I personally set out to make a statement. During the band solos I would play tunes from artists that I would find out were in the audience. So I had heard Prince was at the show. So I did a whole separate section of “It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night” by Prince. I’m talking about the groove, the breakdown and everything! We stepped down to the front of the stage and got the audience to clap on the four. We wore that shit out [laughs]. And I still don’t know if Prince was really in the audience. But the bad news is that session will not be included in this DVD because Prince decided not to give us the rights. And I wish he would change his mind.

People who already have the DVD mentioned that there were parts from Eric Clapton and Phil Collins songs played during the band solos. So does it mean they were there too?
 

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Michael Jackson's 'Bad 25' box: Is it worth your time and money?



By Randall RobertsLos Angeles Times Pop Music CriticSeptember 18, 2012, 9:41 a.m.


A quarter of a century ago, Michael Jackson released “Bad,” his follow-up to the blockbuster album "Thriller." It sold over 30 million copies, contained many hits that you can probably sing by heart -- “Dirty Diana,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and others -- and has become one of the touchstone pop recordings of the era.

Since his death, Jackson’s record label Sony Music has understandably started capitalizing on his legacy, doling out a handful of tracks for last year’s “Michael” album and adding remixes to his Cirque du Soleil performance. Now, on "Bad 25," the label has dug into the archives for a disc’s worth of unreleased rehearsal recordings and a complete 1988 live performance at London’s Wembley Stadium.

The result is the three-CD, one-DVD box set released Tuesday. The set’s list price is 34.99. Is it worth it?


The sturdy box, which is kept shut with a nifty magnet, includes two double-disc collections with glossy cardboard gatefold sleeves. The first features a remastered version of 10-song album (with the bonus track "Leave Me Alone") and a selection of demos on the second disc that illustrate the musician at work.
The best of these is also the most revealing: a track tentatively titled "Song Groove" but also known as "Abortion Papers." Somewhat understandably, Jackson struggled with the lyrics to this story about a teen pregnancy, and ultimately decided not to tackle the hot-button issue on "Bad."

Also featured on that disc are new remixes by current EDM hitmakers Afrojack and Nero intended, one would assume, to appeal to a young generation that wasn’t yet born when Jackson was a commercial force. These are terrible commercial house tracks -- especially Afrojack's "Bad" remix featuring Pitbull -- and are an insult to MJ's memory not because they rework his music, but because they do it so ungracefully.

Two different glossy booklets focus on, respectively, the recording of “Bad” and a rundown of the outakes, and the Wembley Stadium performance of July 16, 1988. They’re detailed accounts, filled with dozens of striking photos of Jackson in performance, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of him with his many admirers.


That Wembley gig is documented in its entirety on DVD, and shows Jackson in peak form, moving through then-new songs and dipping into his back catalog to highlight both earlier solo work and a hot medley of Jackson 5 hits. It's a solid, if thinly recorded, document that lacks sonic heft. The rhythm section sounds a mile away, and lacks the pop of a well-recorded concert.

And, for the 8-year-old kid in you, the package also includes a fold-out poster and a “Bad 25” sticker you can put on your locker door.

Worth noting are other versions of this collection that are also available. A two-CD set features only the remastered "Bad" and disc of outtakes and is available for $12.99, and you can get just the Wembley show and DVD for the same price. A "Deluxe Collector's Edition" features all of the above plus a fancier box and an MJ T-shirt, and is available for $199.99.

Price, though, isn't the issue for a product designed for diehard MJ fanatics who covet posters and stickers as much as they do the music. At $35, the full box isn't a bad deal if you're a completist. The asking price of the $200 version is more than a little ridiculous, but this is Michael Jackson we're talking about.

Alas, regardless of which version you take, consumers will have no choice but to receive the aforementioned new remixes. Which is a shame because not only do they tarnish a legacy, but signal a future in which Jackson's music is officially deconstructed to unfortunate ends with full sanction of the singer's estate.
Here's hoping that Paris Jackson has better taste in dance music than estate co-executors John Branca and John McClain.



http://www.latimes.com/entertainmen...-it-worth-your-money-20120918,0,2000283.story
 

bluesky

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Why the Music Video for “Bad” Is One of Michael Jackson’s Greatest Works


By Aisha Harris
|
Posted Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, at 12:42 PM ET





The 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Bad is prompting some well-deserved looks back on the landmark album—most notably a making-of documentary directed by Spike Lee and a commemorative special edition with unreleased tracks. But besides the record’s great songs, Bad is also responsible for Jackson’s best work in another genre: the music video—or “short film,” the term he preferred. For the album’s title track, Jackson collaborated with two greats from other media, the writer Richard Price (the author of Clockers, who later helped write The Wire) and the director Martin Scorsese, on an 18-minute short film that is one of the most introspective things Jackson ever did—and says more about Jackson’s take on racial identity than all the tracks on the actual album.



The film’s story plays out in black and white, with a four-minute musical interlude in color. It opens with Jackson’s character, Darryl, celebrating the end of a school semester with his all-white prep school classmates. As the boys pile down the school stairs, one friend congratulates him on a job well done: “You did a real good job this term, and uh, I guess I’m proud of you, you know? I see how hard you’re working.” Darryl smiles sheepishly and thanks him.



The moment will be familiar to any black American who has gone to a majority-white school
where white students and teachers can seem simultaneously surprised and proud when a black (aka “at-risk”) student succeeds. There are many such stories in Touré’s recent book Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?, in which black professionals recall their interactions with white counterparts who seem nonplussed about occupying the same social sphere. Tellingly, Darryl does not appear insulted by his classmates’ back-handed compliment—he glows, happy that another classmate is proud of him. There’s an echo here of Jackson’s eager-to-please artistry.

In his book, Touré notes that some people in the black community seem to agree with the notion that blackness is incompatible with academic achievement. When Darryl returns home to the inner city, his black “friends” (including a young Wesley Snipes) tease him for his articulateness, calling him “Joe College” and “Dobie Gillis.” When Darryl doesn’t go along with their plans to rob a stranger, they accuse him of not being “down.” “Are you bad or what?” Snipes asks.



The real question that’s being asked, of course, is whether or not Darryl/Jackson is truly “black,” and Jackson’s attempt to address that question—with the help of Price and Scorsese—is fascinating. In Spike Lee’s upcoming film, Price laughs at the thought that Jackson hired an Italian and a Jew to help him make a video that would “show the brothers that he’s down with them,” a hint, perhaps, at Jackson’s confusion about his relationship to his black audience. Recall that by 1987 Jackson had gone from critics’ darling to media target: No longer the cherubic, brown-skinned moonwalker everyone wanted to emulate, his whitened skin and slimmed-down nose caused many in the black community to question his solidarity with them. His later video for “Black or White” addressed the transformation—but with a global audience in mind. “Bad” addresses the black community directly.



By now, the images of Jackson and his street dancers in the video’s musical interlude are etched into popular memory, but the full version of the film is seen far less often. This is unfortunate, as the complete film has something striking to say about “acting white”—an accusation people still hear 25 years later, under the administration of a black president. The ending of “Bad” finds Darryl and his now former crew coming to an understanding—but with Darryl ultimately alone. Darryl does not quite “fit” in either of his worlds. Jackson, too, was never fully comfortable anywhere but on stage. And while “Bad” the song is about making “the world a better place,” the film takes on a different meaning: It is, finally, about making his own place, one no less true to his experience or identity than the more traditional options he saw in the world around him. What Jackson tried to express is that black identity has no limits.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat...uggles_brilliantly_with_racial_identity_.html
 

Bubs

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Re: Bad 25 Reviews

People who already have the DVD mentioned that there were parts from Eric Clapton and Phil Collins songs played during the band solos. So does it mean they were there too?

If you were EC or PC, wouldn't you want to see Michael:D
It doesn't surprise me that even big stars want to see how magic is made, and perhaps pick some cool moves:cheeky:
 
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