Every Diana-lover’s favourite MJ song “Dirty Diana” comes from this 1987 album, along with other record-breaking hits like “Smooth Criminal”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, and the eponymous “Bad”! Take a look back on the King of Pop’s illustrious career in analogue photos on the 25th year of this legendary record.
If Michael Jackson can’t make you put on a leather jacket (or a pair of white socks) and moonwalk with a resounding “Hee-hee!”, then nothing will.
Born on August 29, 1958, the King of Pop started his music career at the age of 11, forming a band with his brothers known as the Jackson 5. After the success of their group efforts, Michael later pursued a solo career which resulted in some Epic records.
His sixth studio album Thriller went on to become the best selling album of all time. Released in 1982, it contained the chart-toppers “Billie Jean”, “Human Nature”, “P.Y.T.” and more, with millions of copies sold all over the world. He later won seven Grammy Awards and eight American Music Awards to add to his already brimming trophy room.
After countless sold-out tours and five years back in the studio, he released his seventh album Bad, released two days after his birthday in 1987. Like Thriller, it was commercially successful, spawning hits like “Man in the Mirror”, “Bad”, and every Lomographer’s favourite Diana pun, “Dirty Diana”.
Above is a photo from the making of the music video for “Bad”, directed by Martin Scorsese and inspired by the West Side Story. It’s been listed as #202 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of all time” list and is the fifth best-selling album of all time, just four spots below its predecessor, Thriller. This year, Bad celebrates its 25th anniversary and special commemorative memorabilia will be released to honor the late pop superstar.
“The era of BAD represented Michael’s creative ‘coming of age’ as a solo artist in charge of every aspect of his career – from recording to touring to endorsements to merchandising. This was the first album on which nearly all of the songs were written by Michael. It was also was the first album in history to produce five consecutive #1 singles and it took 2 ½ decades for another artist to match that success. It was also the first time Michael would tour as a solo artist – his vision, his decisions on what the show would be. The enormous success of the BAD album and tour was a pivotal moment in Michael’s growth as a composer, performer and producer cementing his role as the King of Pop. We are thrilled to celebrate such an historic era in Michael’s career with this release”, stated John Branca and John McClain, Co-Executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson." —MichaelJackson.com
The longevity of his musical career spanned decades and generations of fans, despite media scrutiny and several controversies. In 2009, during preparations for his major and final concert series entitled This Is It, he suffered from cardiac arrest. His death came as a shock and was met with grief all over the globe.
And yet the legacy of Michael Jackson’s melodies and choreography live on today, with posthumous awards and tributes bestowed upon him for his cultural contributions. One can never look at a red jacket or sparkly glove without thinking of the King of Pop and his killer grooves and moves. Like the monstrous zombies from his Thriller video, his songs are merely lingering in the airwaves, waiting to jump at you when you least expect it. Who’s bad?!
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