Song Of The Week - Liberian Girl

Tony R

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Love Liberian Girl. Love how Speed Demon segues into it. And much like SD, on paper the song is nothing, but it's just magical by the time you get the finished version.

It's simple but beautiful. Like most MJ songs it builds wonderfully throughout so by the end you have the adlibs, 'All the time...' etc....

Only gripe with it is the beginning of the short film when the model gets the "Naku Penda Piya-Naku Taka Piya-Mpenziwe" the wrong way around and says "Naku Taka Piya-Naku Penda Piya-Mpenziwe". Why didn't they re-shoot it?!?!? This has kept me up at night for 25 years.
 

aazzaabb

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^^I never even noticed that in the music video! Good spot!

Amazing track! I actually think it would have worked well live on the Dangerous tour in place of Human Nature but that was never going to happen obviously, but it's got that same mystical exotic quality to it. The way it sounds is mind blowing and the whole idea is very unique in that way that makes it completely MJ.
 

Tony R

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One of the 'strange' things about the Bad album, is that there are some massive MJ, classic songs that changed the world & everyone knows:

Bad,
TWYMMF
MITM
Dirty Diana
Smooth Crminal

Other singles that most people know
IJCSLY
Leave Me Alone

But the other tracks, which for a lesser artists would be filler are just as great (or better), yet like I put above, on paper these are nothing

Speed Demon
Liberian Girl
Another Part Of Me

These are not the mind-blowing, differently structured songs that Mike was known for making. They are just usual verse, chorus, verse, chorus, repeat to fade. But they somehow have that magic on them that elevates them

APOM especially rises to the top, but SD & LG also I've never tired of in 25+ years.
 

aazzaabb

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One of the 'strange' things about the Bad album, is that there are some massive MJ, classic songs that changed the world & everyone knows:

Bad,
TWYMMF
MITM
Dirty Diana
Smooth Crminal

Other singles that most people know
IJCSLY
Leave Me Alone

But the other tracks, which for a lesser artists would be filler are just as great (or better), yet like I put above, on paper these are nothing

Speed Demon
Liberian Girl
Another Part Of Me

These are not the mind-blowing, differently structured songs that Mike was known for making. They are just usual verse, chorus, verse, chorus, repeat to fade. But they somehow have that magic on them that elevates them

APOM especially rises to the top, but SD & LG also I've never tired of in 25+ years.
I actually think that's part of what made Bad work so well; those album tracks that would have been filler for anyone else. They're quite unusual on the one hand, yet so basic and simple on the other. On paper -as you say- they look like nothing, heck they don't even look like full songs, more like half an idea, but bring in the melody, the instrumtation, the add-libs and you've got something unique. It's almost like they come into their own towards the end also -the bits that look like nothing on paper; just carrying the melody with the addlibs or going up a key lifting the whole thing.
 

Tony R

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I actually think that's part of what made Bad work so well; those album tracks that would have been filler for anyone else. They're quite unusual on the one hand, yet so basic and simple on the other. On paper -as you say- they look like nothing, heck they don't even look like full songs, more like half an idea, but bring in the melody, the instrumtation, the add-libs and you've got something unique. It's almost like they come into their own towards the end also -the bits that look like nothing on paper; just carrying the melody with the addlibs or going up a key lifting the whole thing.

I like to imagine that he 'sold' these somgs to Q by bringing in half finshed demos of him beat boxing all the instruments. I bet they sounded spectacular.
 

AliCat

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Jim Yukich directed this for Michael Jackson, which was released on July 4, 1989.

Jim Yukich had also directed a video for Jeff Beck called "Ambitious," on September 18, 1985.

Both video's are time capsules of the 1980's, which is probably the reason Michael hired Jim Yukich to direct "Liberian Girl."




Michael also incorporates guitar solo's in his work, which is genius. Michael has definitely worked with some of the great's!
 

aazzaabb

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I like to imagine that he 'sold' these somgs to Q by bringing in half finshed demos of him beat boxing all the instruments. I bet they sounded spectacular.
You'll have to wait for Bad50 for those demos. Seriously though, if such demos exist it would be incredible to hear them one day.
 

Rhilo

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Liberian Girl is favorite of mine going way back to my childhood, and I never understood the criticism leveled at it.
 

barbee0715

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I'm sure I can't be the only fan who wondered why he was singing about a librarian. The exotic undertones of the song were completely lost on me, as I imagined him fantasising about a stern looking woman with glasses who told people off for talking too loud.

Best song on the first half of Bad, for me.
Who was it in BAD 25 who also thought he was singing about a librarian? The meek little woman behind the counter who suddenly takes off her glasses and shakes her hair down out of the bun-Ceelo? I remember Miko Brando laughing about it. Made me laugh hard too.
 

dewey

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My, such ongoing, negative stereotypes of librarians. I'm a librarian. I don't think I'm stern and I certainly don't shush people. But, I do wear glasses. Not a meek person either. Anyway, I actually squealed with delight at that part in Bad 25. :laugh:
 

barbee0715

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My, such ongoing, negative stereotypes of librarians. I'm a librarian. I don't think I'm stern and I certainly don't shush people. But, I do wear glasses. Not a meek person either. Anyway, I actually squealed with delight at that part in Bad 25. :laugh:
haha-Almost started to tag you on this convo, @dewey. My dream was always to be a librarian.

Think that came from all the old movies where the shy, sweet librarian in glasses shook her hair and turned out to be ravishingly beautiful before the big dance number. Lol.I can see Michael falling for someone like that. :)
 

SmoothCriminal1995

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3 minutes and 53 seconds of perfection

What a song, every level is just divine. This is one of my favourite songs of all time. The vocals, the layers, the lyrics, the soundscape.
I feel like I write a comment about my love for this song at least once a week, but it just engages me with every listen.
 

JanetJackson

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FANTASTIC song. The harmonies in the chorus always give me chills. A truly underrated track, and one I think only MJ could've written.
 

SmoothCriminal1995

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FANTASTIC song. The harmonies in the chorus always give me chills. A truly underrated track, and one I think only MJ could've written.

Totally agree with this. The harmonies in Michael's music are underrated in general but in Liberian Girl especially. The songwriting is nothing short of genius on this track, I adore the way MJ goes between 1st and 3rd person. It really paint all sides of the picture
 

Tony R

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What does the girl say in the beguining? I always say sth stupic cause I really don't know :lol:

From memory I think it translates as 'I love you too, I need you too - my love'

I may have got it the wrong way round though!
 

HIStoric

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My, such ongoing, negative stereotypes of librarians. I'm a librarian. I don't think I'm stern and I certainly don't shush people. But, I do wear glasses. Not a meek person either. Anyway, I actually squealed with delight at that part in Bad 25. :laugh:

Your username makes a lot of sense now :D
 

HIStoric

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One of the 'strange' things about the Bad album, is that there are some massive MJ, classic songs that changed the world & everyone knows:

Bad,
TWYMMF
MITM
Dirty Diana
Smooth Crminal

Other singles that most people know
IJCSLY
Leave Me Alone

But the other tracks, which for a lesser artists would be filler are just as great (or better), yet like I put above, on paper these are nothing

Speed Demon
Liberian Girl
Another Part Of Me

These are not the mind-blowing, differently structured songs that Mike was known for making. They are just usual verse, chorus, verse, chorus, repeat to fade. But they somehow have that magic on them that elevates them

APOM especially rises to the top, but SD & LG also I've never tired of in 25+ years.

You forgot a song :p
 

dewey

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From memory I think it translates as 'I love you too, I need you too - my love'

I may have got it the wrong way round though!

I think that's right. I asked a co-worker of mine who speaks Swahili (she's from Kenya) and she said mpenziwe means 'my darling'
 

SarahJ

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One of my favourites of his love songs, next to Lady In My Life.
 

Antwort

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Four words: smooth as silk vocals. LG probably is my favorite tune on Bad, quickly followed by them just tunes, one of which Mr. Tony strangely forgot to mention.

Dewey, I know you still are a librarian and a trained one, as well. I think I already told ya, but around the time of Bad 25 (for a couple of years before & after it) I was also a librarian, of the amateur kind though. Didn't wear glasses either, but I could burst into a dance number or two :cheeky: Not at the library though, at least not when others were around :fear:
 

Hess

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Liberian Girl is one of those songs only MJ could make.

Such a mysterius and unique song. Great.
 

Ms. BlueGangsta

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haha-Almost started to tag you on this convo, @dewey. My dream was always to be a librarian.

Think that came from all the old movies where the shy, sweet librarian in glasses shook her hair and turned out to be ravishingly beautiful before the big dance number. Lol.I can see Michael falling for someone like that. :)

Hol up, you can tag people on MJJC?
 
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