Bad is the seventh album by Michael Jackson. It was released on August 31, 1987 by Epic/CBS Records. The record was released nearly five years after his last studio album Thriller. 20 years after its release, the album has sold over 35 million copies worldwide, and shipped 10 million units in the United States. Bad is the first album ever to feature five Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles.
Jackson began recording demos for the anticipated follow-up to Thriller a few months after his last performance with The Jacksons after their successful Victory Tour. Recording took place between November 1986 and July 9, 1987 (except for "Another Part of Me" which was recorded for Captain EO in 1986). Jackson wrote a reported sixty songs for the new album and recorded thirty, wanting to use them all on a three-disc set. Instead his longtime producer Quincy Jones cut it down to ten tracks and a bonus song making it a single LP. The CD release contained the bonus track, "Leave Me Alone". Jackson wrote nine of the eleven tracks himself while Terry Britten (writer of Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It") and Graham Lyle wrote "Just Good Friends" and Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard wrote "Man in the Mirror". Contributions from other musicians included Stevie Wonder who sung a duet with Jackson on "Just Good Friends" while Steve Stevens contributed a guitar solo for "Dirty Diana". Originally Jones wanted "Bad" to have been a duet between Jackson and Prince; but apparently, Prince told him that the song "would be a hit without (him) on it". Years later, Prince (jokingly) explained his reason for declining was over either artist singing the song's "your butt is mine" lyric. Another song, "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", was also supposed to feature a famous female singer. Reportedly Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston all turned down the duet offer. R&B singer-songwriter Siedah Garrett was picked by Quincy Jones to sing with him on the song. According to Jones, song choices were difficult. For instance: he and Jackson deliberated over two MJ compositions intended for the album. One: "Streetwalker" favoured by the artist, and Jones' choice: "Another Part of Me". Jones said the dilemma was decided by Jackson's portly manager Frank DiLeo "shaking his butt" to "Another Part of Me". Jones joked: Jackson verbally chastised DiLeo, who he nicknamed "Rubba", for it.
By the time Jackson released this album, sales of its predecessor, Thriller, had already reached forty million, raising expectations for Bad. Bad became the first of Jackson's albums to debut at number-one on the Billboard 200 where it remained for the next six consecutive weeks. The RIAA certified Bad for having sold eight million copies in the U.S. alone. In the U.K, the album sold 500,000 copies in just five days and is currently certified 13x platinum, for sales of 3.9 million making it Jackson's biggest-selling album in the UK. Globally, it's Jackson's overall third best-selling recording, behind "Thriller" and "Dangerous", with 30 million copies sold.
Jackson set another record with this album, becoming the first - and currently, only artist to have five songs to hit number-one from one album. In July 2006, it was announced by the The Official UK Charts Company that Bad was the ninth biggest selling album in British history. It turned out to be the last collaborative effort by Jackson and Jones, as Jackson moved on to write and produce more of his own records, particularly with Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Rodney Jerkins.
Rolling Stone stated that "even without a milestone recording like "Billie Jean", Bad is still a better record than Thriller." The magazine further went on to say that the "filler" content in Bad - including songs such as "Speed Demon", "Dirty Diana" and "Liberian Girl" - is written by Jackson himself, making Bad "richer, sexier and better than Thriller's forgettables."
Despite the records success, in a poll of 23,000 US citizens, released by Rolling Stone, Jackson won "worst album" for Bad and "worst single" for "Bad". TIME gave the opinion that the singer was suffering a backlash in certain parts of the US. The publication suggested that the singer's media image was triggering the poll, not the music.
In 2001, a special edition was released with three new songs and a new booklet containing lyrics and never-before-seen photos.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 202 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. .