Just Good Friends - What's wrong with it?

analogue

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7,993
Points
113
Seriously, what the hell is wrong with it? This song gets a lot of hate, and for the life of me I will never understand why. The song is fun and funky. MJ and Stevie sound great together, and it has great ad libs from MJ. It makes me sad when I see fans say that it sould've be removed from BAD in favor of (Insert song here). Just Good Friends is an awesome song, and it deserves it's place on BAD.
 

Michaels Lover

Guest
I agree (about the song), but each to their own. we don't all like the same things, that's life. get over it and move on. imagine if everyone made threads like this. it would be as annoying as all those appreciation threads
 

telimens

Proud Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Messages
50
Points
18
For me, it's very fascinating and lovely song. Especially, first verse of Michael's vocal...
Here:
 

analogue

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7,993
Points
113
I agree (about the song), but each to their own. we don't all like the same things, that's life. get over it and move on. imagine if everyone made threads like this. it would be as annoying as all those appreciation threads

I just asked a question. If this thread annoyes you so much, then stay away from it.
 

HIStoric

Proud Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
3,456
Points
48
Currently I'm not the best at explaining specifically how and why a song does or doesn't work for me but I'll do my best anyway?

I think Just Good Friends is an alright song at best, but it's an alright song that is surrounded by 10 other incredible songs, so it stands out like a sore thumb by contrast whenever I look at the track listing. Then the fact it's a song by MJ and Stevie just made me have higher expectations... especially once I heard Get It, which I definitely prefer of the two songs they sung together.

It's just very... very average on the whole, especially so if you ignore who's singing it. I wasn't entirely surprised when I found out MJ and Stevie didn't write it, given the averageness of the lyrics as well. I think we would've had a much better outcome had Michael and Stevie written something together, rather than utilising third party writers. In fact... why didn't they write something together? Always wondered that.

I mean, I still like the song; it's fun and if it comes on I'll sing along and what not! And as indecisive as this sounds, I'm fine with it's inclusion on the album but if given the choice, I would replace it with Get It, Streetwalker or perhaps another song. I'm flexible ok :p

But yeah, it was just a very, very average song sung on a legendary album filled with incredible songs. They could've done much better and they have. Bad is my second favourite MJ album btw (after Dangerous) and I'd give it 5/5 either way :)
 
Last edited:

Galactus123

Proud Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Donations
$8.00
Messages
5,214
Points
83
I like it. It's one of the best songs on Bad in my opinion. Bad is also my favorite album.
 

barbee0715

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2012
Messages
6,940
Points
63
Location
Texas, USA
I always liked it, but loved it after watching the studio footage of them in Bad 25. It didn't seem like a real proper song to me, but more 2 great friends having a great time in the studio, horsing around. Just fun.

I think the reviews back in the day only complained that the two of them could have and should have written a song together.
 

HIStoric

Proud Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
3,456
Points
48
I always liked it, but loved it after watching the studio footage of them in Bad 25. It didn't seem like a real proper song to me, but more 2 great friends having a great time in the studio, horsing around. Just fun.

That's a good way to look at it. I feel it'd fit better as a B-side or something... perhaps?
 

innuendo141

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Messages
3,407
Points
63
Seriously, what the hell is wrong with it? This song gets a lot of hate, and for the life of me I will never understand why. The song is fun and funky. MJ and Stevie sound great together, and it has great ad libs from MJ. It makes me sad when I see fans say that it sould've be removed from BAD in favor of (Insert song here). Just Good Friends is an awesome song, and it deserves it's place on BAD.

Absolutely nothing. Suits both singers perfectly, who each sing their parts perfectly. It's a fun song, and eminates exactly what you would think of when putting MJ and Stevie Wonder together without either of them getting bogged down with deep songs about the world. Probably the song that defines the 80's sound impeccably for me, while maintaining a great melody, chorus, harmonies and ad libs.

It's one of the few songs that when I hear it it brings me back to an exact moment of my childhood. Such a great great song.

The only thing that boggles me is WHY the song is on the cover as "Just Good Friends" without any mention of Stevie? Paul got a mention on Thriller? Michael got a mention on Characters? Maybe it was supposed to be a surprise?

Thanks for the thread- got some good vibes now! na, na na na na na, na - hoo hoo!
 

lubyss

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
1,095
Points
48
Currently I'm not the best at explaining specifically how and why a song does or doesn't work for me but I'll do my best anyway?

I think Just Good Friends is an alright song at best, but it's an alright song that is surrounded by 10 other incredible songs, so it stands out like a sore thumb by contrast whenever I look at the track listing. Then the fact it's a song by MJ and Stevie just made me have higher expectations... especially once I heard Get It, which I definitely prefer of the two songs they sung together.

It's just very... very average on the whole, especially so if you ignore who's singing it. I wasn't entirely surprised when I found out MJ and Stevie didn't write it, given the averageness of the lyrics as well. I think we would've had a much better outcome had Michael and Stevie written something together, rather than utilising third party writers. In fact... why didn't they write something together? Always wondered that.

I mean, I still like the song; it's fun and if it comes on I'll sing along and what not! And as indecisive as this sounds, I'm fine with it's inclusion on the album but if given the choice, I would replace it with Get It, Streetwalker or perhaps another song. I'm flexible ok :p

But yeah, it was just a very, very average song sung on a legendary album filled with incredible songs. They could've done much better and they have. Bad is my second favourite MJ album btw (after Dangerous) and I'd give it 5/5 either way :)

I totally agree... :) It is a good song, but the worst song on BAD album. :) and BAD is the second song behind JGF :)
 

HIStoric

Proud Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
3,456
Points
48
The only thing that boggles me is WHY the song is on the cover as "Just Good Friends" without any mention of Stevie? Paul got a mention on Thriller? Michael got a mention on Characters? Maybe it was supposed to be a surprise?!

Janet was credited for Scream as well.

I've actually noticed often in the past, sometimes you don't see featured artists credited as much as they are nowadays. Sticking to MJ, I don't think Siedah is featured on the back for IJCSTLY either (sometimes she is on iTunes!). Biggie wasn't credited on the back for his verses on This Time Around or Unbreakable, nor was Carlos Santana on Whatever Happens or Rod Serling on Threatened. There's all the rappers you hear on various songs from Dangerous onwards too!
 

analogue

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7,993
Points
113
The only thing that boggles me is WHY the song is on the cover as "Just Good Friends" without any mention of Stevie? Paul got a mention on Thriller? Michael got a mention on Characters? Maybe it was supposed to be a surprise?

Maybe Stevie requested not to have credit
 

KOPV

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
13,016
Points
83
I personally very much like the song.. Under rated for sure! I think it just did not get enough promotion when Bad had these other big hits to back it... I mean this song and Speed Demon never were the only songs not released as a single.... Speed Demon had a music video to promote it on Moonwalker..

That said it was the least promoted song on the album and had MJ an STEVIE for Gods sake.. I wonder if the low/no promotion and the fact Stevie is not credited have anything to do with each other..
 

DuranDuran

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
11,515
Points
83
Get It

That said it was the least promoted song on the album and had MJ an STEVIE for Gods sake.. I wonder if the low/no promotion and the fact Stevie is not credited have anything to do with each other..
In the USA, Get It was released as a single. Although it made the Top 5 on the R&B chart, it only made it to #80 on the Hot 100. Really after Stevie's 1985 album In Square Circle, pop radio pretty much stopped playing Stevie's music and he never had a Top 10 pop hit after, although he still received some R&B airplay. So I'm not sure if releasing Just Good Friends as a single would have made a difference.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
10,191
Points
0
Location
Mexico
It's a weak track for the caliber of such artists and it's the song which has aged the most of the Bad album. Get It has aged as well but it's superior to JGF. analogue among others give a lot of criticism to TGISM for example but I prefer those 3 songs Michael recorded with Paul by a landslide than JGF
 

Scream

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
119
Points
0
Location
Manchester
It's just a weaker version The Girl Is Mine. I'm not the biggest fan of that song, but it does have some character with the interactions between Michael and Paul. This is just a rather sterile duet with a lot less personality. Not a bad song (no pun intended) by any means and both guys give it their all vocally, but when you get two of the all time greats, you expect absolute magic.
 

KOPV

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
13,016
Points
83
I personally enjoy Just Good Friends over The Girl Is Mine! aside from MJ solo version of The Girl Is Mine... Until (IF) we ever heard a solo version of JGF!
 

innuendo141

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Messages
3,407
Points
63
It's a weak track for the caliber of such artists and it's the song which has aged the most of the Bad album. Get It has aged as well but it's superior to JGF. analogue among others give a lot of criticism to TGISM for example but I prefer those 3 songs Michael recorded with Paul by a landslide than JGF

The 7" single version of Get It is sensational- the album version lacks something, but it's Just Good Friends all the way for me
 

analogue

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
7,993
Points
113
I personally enjoy Just Good Friends over The Girl Is Mine! aside from MJ solo version of The Girl Is Mine... Until (IF) we ever heard a solo version of JGF!

A solo demo of JGF? I really hope it exists
 

innuendo141

Proud Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Messages
3,407
Points
63
For me, it's very fascinating and lovely song. Especially, first verse of Michael's vocal...
Here:

Just realised they got the date wrong here, it says 23rd September 1988, nearly a year after Bad was released
 

Tony R

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
2,604
Points
0
Location
UK
OP gets full marks for the overuse of the word hate

This is ****ING MICHAEL JACKSON AND ****ING STEVIE WONDER, it should be the best frigging song ever

And why didn't they write one themselves? It's like Rembrandt and Van Gogh getting someone to paint a picture for them
 

thewayumakemefeel

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
9
Points
0
Location
Australia
I love this song! It has such a good beat and has FUNK. And don't even get me started on the ad libs! Definitely doesn't deserve the amount of hate it gets.
 

barbee0715

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2012
Messages
6,940
Points
63
Location
Texas, USA
I think they did themselves a disservice by not taking that studio footage and turn it into a proper video. Mix it with footage of them as Motown kids.
This would have been a humongous hit bc the 2 of them are delightful together.

(OT: and Human Nature from Moonwalker should have been a full length video too).
 

SmoothCriminal1995

Proud Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
2,183
Points
113
I don't hate the song, I just feel its a bit underwhelming. I mean this is Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, two of the most prolific genius's in the history of music. Any duet between them should be huge, and I feel a little let down by it.
Vocally it's flawless, they both sound incredible (them adlibs!!)

The song was never meant to be a duet, it was written for just Michael (he says that in his book) and I think it shows a bit. Look at other great duets MJ did in his career, Say Say Say, IJCSLY, Scream, there's a great ebb and flow to those songs which I don't see in this song.
No hate for Jermaine here, but I always wish Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming was a duet between Mike and Stevie, it would have been incredible.

If you listen to the Bad album, every song fits together well sonically, look at some of the songs on that album, LB, DD, SC, they all have a soundscape that when you hear it paints a picture in the listeners mind and Just Good Friends doesn't do that for me personally.

I don't hate the song (it always makes me smile) it's just not one of my favourites. But listen we all have different opinions and that's why this forum is great and there's always something to talk about.
Sorry for the log post :cheeky:
 

Themidwestcowboy

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
6,084
Points
113
Currently I'm not the best at explaining specifically how and why a song does or doesn't work for me but I'll do my best anyway?

I think Just Good Friends is an alright song at best, but it's an alright song that is surrounded by 10 other incredible songs, so it stands out like a sore thumb by contrast whenever I look at the track listing. Then the fact it's a song by MJ and Stevie just made me have higher expectations... especially once I heard Get It, which I definitely prefer of the two songs they sung together.

It's just very... very average on the whole, especially so if you ignore who's singing it. I wasn't entirely surprised when I found out MJ and Stevie didn't write it, given the averageness of the lyrics as well. I think we would've had a much better outcome had Michael and Stevie written something together, rather than utilising third party writers. In fact... why didn't they write something together? Always wondered that.

I mean, I still like the song; it's fun and if it comes on I'll sing along and what not! And as indecisive as this sounds, I'm fine with it's inclusion on the album but if given the choice, I would replace it with Get It, Streetwalker or perhaps another song. I'm flexible ok :p

But yeah, it was just a very, very average song sung on a legendary album filled with incredible songs. They could've done much better and they have. Bad is my second favourite MJ album btw (after Dangerous) and I'd give it 5/5 either way :)

I absolutely agree with your assessment!
 

Dudex

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
1,783
Points
48
when i was little i tought MJ was singing duet with unknown woman, and i never liked notes they both taking. 20 years after - i still don't like this song. I was very happy when i found out that there is second collobration exists. "Get It" was like a gift. Much more funky and catchy sounding. Great vocals and notes. That is just my opinion.
 

HIStoric

Proud Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
3,456
Points
48
If memory serves correctly, doesn't the actual write-up in Bad 25 booklet slag off this song, calling it the albums only weak point, or something along those lines? I've never particularly rated the song, but I was surprised to read this on an official MJ release.

Nope it doesn't. I went to the JGF page and it only displays (then) new photos alongside credits for the song. I did a skim and the write up at the beginning doesn't mention the song, whereas the write-up at the end focuses on the new material. You might be thinking of Rolling Stone's review, who called it "the only mediocrity" on Bad.

Interestingly, the booklet did claim it was the first time Michael co-produced an "entire album" with Quincy Jones (emphasis my own), not sure what they mean by that given he co-produced OTW and Thriller... unless he didn't co-produce the ENTIRETY of those two? Or maybe it's just a mistake.
 
Top