Bad is the seventh studio album by American singer Michael Jackson. It was released on August 31, 1987, by Epic Records, nearly five years after Jackson's previous album, Thriller (1982). It was also written and recorded in nearly a year, and was the third and final collaboration between Jackson and producer Quincy Jones. Jackson co-produced it and composed all but two tracks. Vocally, Jackson moved away from his trademark groove sound and high-pitched vocals. Instead, Bad's edgier sound incorporates pop, rock, funk, R&B, dance, soul and hard rock. Jackson experimented with modern technology, including digital synthesizers and drum machines, resulting in a sleeker and more aggressive sound on the album. Lyrical themes include media bias, paranoia, racial profiling, romance, self-improvement, and world peace. The album features appearances from Siedah Garrett and Stevie Wonder.
Among the most anticipated albums in popular music, Bad debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, selling over 2 million copies in its first week in the US. The album also reached number one in 24 other countries, including the UK, where it sold 500,000 copies in its first five days and became the country's best-selling album of 1987. Nine songs were released as official singles, and one as a promotional single. Seven charted in the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, including a record-breaking five number ones: "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana". The album was the best-selling worldwide in 1987 and 1988. By 1991, the album was the second-bestselling album of all time at the time, behind Thriller, having sold 25 million copies worldwide.
The album was promoted with the film, Moonwalker (1988), which included the music videos of songs from the album, including "Speed Demon", "Leave Me Alone", "Man in the Mirror" and "Smooth Criminal". The film became the best-selling home video of all time. The Bad tour, which was Jackson's first solo world tour, grossed $125 million (equivalent to more than $291 million in 2021) making it the highest-grossing solo concert tour of the 1980s. Jackson performed 123 concerts in 15 countries to an audience of 4.4 million including a record seven sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium. It was also Jackson's last tour where he performed in the United States.
Bad was released on August 31, 1987. Described as "the most anticipated album in history" by the Miami Herald, it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and remained there for six consecutive weeks. Bad sold at least 2 million copies in its first week of sales in the US and was eventually certified diamond for shipping 10 million copies in the US alone, however, it failed to match the sales of Thriller in the US, causing some in the media to label the album a disappointment. Michael Goldberg and David Handelman had predicted that "If Bad sells 'only' 10 million copies, that will be more than virtually any other record but could be viewed as a failure for Michael Jackson".
In the UK, Bad debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 500,000 copies in its first five days. It was the country's best-selling album of 1987. The album peaked at number one in 25 countries in total including Austria, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. It also charted at No. 13 in Mexico and at No. 22 in Portugal. Bad sold 7 million copies worldwide in its first week and 18 million copies in its first year. It was the best-selling worldwide in 1987 and 1988. By 1991, it was the second-best-selling album of all time, behind Thriller, having sold 25 million copies worldwide.
In the UK, Bad certified 13 times platinum with sales of 3.9 million, making it Jackson's second best-selling album there. It was certified seven times platinum for the shipment of over 700,000 copies in Canada by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. In Europe, the 2001 reissue was certified platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for the sales of one million units. The album was also certified platinum by the IFPI for the shipment of over 20,000 copies in Hong Kong. Globally, Bad is Jackson's second best-selling album behind Thriller, with sales of 35 million copies.
Michael Jackson - Bad
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