Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"Bad," Michael Jackson (10/17/87)
Can anyone who was cognizant of pop (in its greater sense) in 1987 hear those four ascending notes which open "Bad" and not identify it immediately? If that's not enough, there's its snaky, sleek groove (courtesy of a Q. Jones, whaddaya know). "Bad" succeeds in part because of the severe contrast between Michael's singing (all clenched-teeth, very stiff, at least on the verses) and its masterful studio groove (very wet). Those sweeping stabs heading into the chorus don't hurt, either. No, Bad wasn't Thriller, but if you take it for a spin now (happily, Sony remastered Off the Wall through Dangerous a few years ago, with bonus tracks that actually augment your listening) you'll likely be surprised. And "Bad" is a definite highlight, very professional - he's the epitome of a pro, you know. A-

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