I grew up almost solely on this album and I’m sure many 80s children can relate to that. A little too young when Thriller was at it’s peak it was the relative pop perfection of “Bad” that appealed to this young child and a few million other new inductees. This is not to say it doesn’t stand up to repeated listening by the more critical adult ears though… it very much does.
The title track kicks things off in boastful style, with MJ assuring he’s “Bad”. This big hit was initially hoped to be a duet with 80s rival Prince however the line “Your butt is mine…” meant the MPLS Genius was less than enthused.
“The Way You Make Me Feel” is a catchy pop effort, recently re-immortalised in his excellent single “Rock My World” (Both concept wise and video scenario).
“Speed Demon” is amongst the more experimental music on “Bad” with it’s clunking chain sample and unusual tempo. It all works well however as Producer Quincy Jones doesn’t allow duds onto any MJ material.
“Liberian Girl” is an exotic sounding ballad with a celebrity packed video. “Just Good Friends” is a duet with the legendary Stevie Wonder, a brave move as you just know you can’t out-do that man! MJ holds his own however in this funky pop tune. “Another Part Of Me” continues this tempo in good style.
“Man In The Mirror” is a very inspiring tune which builds to the familiar gospel finale we expect from MJ’s big numbers. “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” is a beautiful love duet with Siedah Garret.
The album ends in very strong style with the final three tracks. “Dirty Diana” is a superb atmospheric song which makes use of great guitar work and crowd samples. It seemed quite spooky when I was younger and remains dark to this day.
My album highlight is “Smooth Criminal” (Like “The Way You Make Me Feel” it’s excellent video was also recycled in the recent “Rock My World”) it’s got a superb bassline and addictive melody. It’s a real shame that to many it’s more associated with Alien Ant Farm now after their parody cover version.
“Leave Me Alone” begins MJ’s disillusionment with the attention he gets (Leading to “Scream” etc) and is a fitting end to the CD album.
Though not even approaching the commercial success of Thriller’s sales it still easily slots in alongside it, “Off The Wall” and the underrated “Dangerous” in terms of quality. This is a great compliment in such legendary company.
The re-mastering and bonus tracks only add to the appeal on this re-issue.
Just grab of copy of Bad25 now! You won’t be disappointed!