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Who’s Bad? Epic, Legacy Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Michael Jackson Milestone (UPDATED WITH TRACK LIST)

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Following the colossal success of Thriller, Michael Jackson waited roughly five years before releasing another album.  Rumors swirled around the album that became known as Bad, which would turn out to be the third and final collaboration between Jackson and producer Quincy Jones.  Bad marked the end of an era, too, as Jackson’s final album designed to the constraints of standard LP length; future projects would become more sprawling.  Bad, however, was tightly packed with wall-to-wall hits and has sold over 30 million copies. It yielded five Billboard Hot 100 number ones, the first album to do so.  A sixth single hit the Top 10 and a seventh made the Top 20.  Out of six Grammy nominations, the album picked up two.  Although some critics were quick to dismiss the chart-topping Bad for failing to live up to the impact of Thriller, such a task might have been too formidable even for a King of Pop at the height of his powers.

Viewed 25 years later, Bad has emerged from the shadow of its predecrssor, and remains one of the most potent statements made by one of history’s most influential artists.  On September 18, Sony’s Legacy Recordings will celebrate the original August 31, 1987 release of Bad with BAD 25.  Though the centerpiece of the BAD 25 celebration is a 3-CD/1-DVD box set, the reissue program will encompass a variety of formats.  The box set will include three CDs, two collectible booklets, and the first authorized DVD release of a concert from Jackson’s triumphant Bad tour.

Hit the jump for the full details on the BAD 25 reissue campaign!

In addition to the remastered album, the BAD 25 box houses two discs of unreleased bonus material.  One disc will feature songs recorded at Jackson’s home studio including early demo versions of songs from the album as well as demos for songs that didn’t make the final cut.  Most excitingly, it has been confirmed that “all of this material is being released as it was recorded during the Bad sessions. Nothing has been added.” The six unreleased demos include such sought-after fan favorites as “Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round” (previously heard on the Walmart-exclusive “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” CD single released in June), “Al Capone” (which would lay the foundation for killer dance single “Smooth Criminal”) and “The Price of Fame,” reported 25 years ago in Rolling Stone as the key song for Jackson’s upcoming Pepsi advertising campaign but ultimately scrapped in favor of “Bad” itself.

In addition, the three bonus cuts that graced a 2001 expansion of Bad – the funky “Streetwalker,” the slick “Fly Away” and a promo single version of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” featuring Jackson and Siedah Garrett singing in Spanish(!) reappear on the expanded set, along with a previously-unreleased second version of the duet in French. Perhaps as a concession for contemporary audiences, this CD will also include three new remixes from producers/remixers Afrojack and Nero.  The third CD marks the first-ever Michael Jackson live CD to be commercially released.  Drawn from the mobile sound truck recordings of Jackson’s performance at London’s Wembley Stadium on July 16, 1988, it’s the only concert from the Bad World Tour known to exist on multi-tracks.

What’s even more exciting than a live Michael Jackson concert CD?  How about a DVD from the same evening?  The DVD is not a compilation of performances, but rather one complete show as Jackson performed it in front of an audience including Prince Charles and Princess Diana.  This DVD has been restored from Michael Jackson’s personal VHS copy of the performance as shown on the JumboTrons during the concert.  The groundbreaking Bad World Tour was attended by over 4.4 million fans over 123 concerts in a sixteen-month period! As an added treat, two bonus songs – one from the previous night’s show and one from an earlier tour date in Yokohama, Japan in the fall of 1987 – will be included.

This 3-CD/1-DVD box set will also include two booklets with previously unseen photos from the recording sessions as well as the record-breaking tour.  A 2-CD edition will feature the remastered original album plus the CD of demos and new remixes.  A stand-alone edition of the concert DVD and a vinyl picture disc of the original album will also arrive from Legacy.

The BAD 25 program kicks off on June 5 when Epic and Legacy reissue the first single from Bad, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” as a CD Single with a previously unreleased bonus track from the Bad sessions, “Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round (demo).”  This will be a Wal-Mart exclusive CD single in the U.S. and will not be available digitally.  Three weeks later, on June 26, a replica edition of the original 7″ vinyl of this single with its original B-side “Baby Be Mine” will be made available to the world.   The 7″ single edit of the song has only been available on that original 7″ vinyl until now.

The BAD 25 titles can be ordered now from Sony’s MyPlay Direct (including a special collector’s set encased in a textured box recreating Jackson’s iconic Bad leather jacket) and Amazon at the links below!  A special BAD 25 site has also been launched!  Enjoy the track list and sound off in the comments!

Michael Jackson, Bad 25 (Epic/Legacy 88691 99970-2, 2012)

Disc 1: Original LP (released as Epic QE 40600, 1987 – also available on picture vinyl)

  1. Bad
  2. The Way You Make Me Feel
  3. Speed Demon
  4. Liberian Girl
  5. Just Good Friends (Duet with Stevie Wonder)
  6. Another Part of Me
  7. Man in the Mirror
  8. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (Duet with Siedah Garrett)
  9. Dirty Diana
  10. Smooth Criminal
  11. Leave Me Alone (original CD bonus track – Epic EK 40600)

Disc 2: Bonus material

  1. Don’t Be Messin’ Round (Demo)
  2. I’m So Blue (Demo)
  3. Song Groove a.k.a. Abortion Papers (Demo)
  4. Free (Demo)
  5. Price of Fame (Demo)
  6. Al Capone (Demo)
  7. Streetwalker
  8. Fly Away
  9. Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu (con Siedah Garrett)
  10. Je Ne Veux Pas la Fin de Nous (avec Siedah Garrett)
  11. Bad (Afrojack Remix feat. Pitbull – DJ Buddha Edit)
  12. Speed Demon (Nero Remix)
  13. Bad (Afrojack Club Remix)

Disc 2, Track 1 previously released on Epic/Legacy CD single 88725 46492-2, 2012. Disc 2, Tracks 7-9 previously released on Epic CD EK 66072, 2001. All other tracks previously unreleased.

Disc 3: Live at Wembley Stadium, London – 7/16/1988 (available in deluxe box (Epic/Legacy 88725 40095-2) or CD/DVD (Epic/Legacy 88725 40106-9))

  1. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
  2. This Place Hotel
  3. Another Part of Me
  4. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (Duet with Sheryl Crow)
  5. She’s Out of My Life
  6. I Want You Back/The Love You Save/I’ll Be There
  7. Rock with You
  8. Human Nature
  9. Smooth Criminal
  10. Dirty Diana
  11. Thriller
  12. Working Day and Night
  13. Beat It
  14. Billie Jean
  15. Bad
  16. Man in the Mirror

Disc 4: Live at Wembley Stadium, London – 7/16/1988 (DVD) (available in deluxe box (Epic/Legacy 88725 40095-2) or CD/DVD (Epic/Legacy 88725 40106-9))

  1. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
  2. This Place Hotel
  3. Another Part of Me
  4. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (Duet with Sheryl Crow)
  5. She’s Out of My Life
  6. I Want You Back/The Love You Save/I’ll Be There
  7. Rock with You
  8. Human Nature
  9. Smooth Criminal
  10. Dirty Diana
  11. Thriller
  12. Bad Groove (Band Jam Interlude)
  13. Working Day and Night
  14. Beat It
  15. Billie Jean
  16. Bad
  17. Man in the Mirror
  18. The Way You Make Me Feel (Live at Wembley Stadium, London – 7/15/1988)
  19. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You/Bad (Live at Yokohama Stadium, Japan – September 1987)

Written by Joe Marchese

August 7, 2012 at 15:24

13 Responses

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  1. I’m very excited about this. Finally the estate and Epic are releasing it the way it should be done when it comes to an anniversary editon, and to leave the unreleased songs untouched just the way Michael left them behind with no hiphop/rap overdubs to make it sound like it was made in the 21st century. (perhaps Sony finally learned that’s not what Michael fans want too hear) This is my favorite album ever since I was 2 years old (I was born in ’87). Personally I hope they will release the 1987 early version of “Someone put your hand out”, which was recorded during these session, before it was re-worked in 1992. For me , the countdown has started.


    May 21, 2012 at 16:48

    • Right on, Sven! As a die-hard MJ fan, I am really, really happy with how this set looks from the get-go. “Bad” was one of the first pop albums I ever owned, so it’s got a really special place in my heart.

      There are certainly still questions I have about the set: what songs will be heard as demos? Will the original LP mixes be included? (I doubt it, but it is what it is at that point.) I also see no mention of the “Bad”-era short films on the DVD; my curiosity about that comes more from a place of completeness than anything. (It’s not like you can’t get the videos elsewhere.) Spike Lee has also tweeted about doing a documentary of some sort for the anniversary of the album; I wonder where that’ll end up on the timeline.

      Really, the only “omission” I wish wasn’t the case would be the release of “Moonwalker” in its entirety. The major complain I’ve had about the “Vision” DVD box was it had half the movie included anyway, partially cannibalizing its worth on its own. But overall, I had good chills when the news arrived at Second Disc HQ – September can’t get here fast enough.

      Mike Duquette

      May 21, 2012 at 19:22

      • the “moonwalker’ movie is available in its entirety on DVD/Blu-ray (at least in europe, don’t know about the US). They mentioned that they will release the ‘original’ album, so I think that includes the original LP Mixes (spoken intro on IJCSLY, the ‘heavy breathing’ intro on SC). Demos excist of “Bad”(calles Who’s Bad”/recorded in 1986), “Hot Fever”(which turned out to be TWYMMF/recorded in 1985),”Pyramid Girl (retitled “Liberian Girl” from 1984), Another Part of Me (early version recorded for the “”Captain EO” film from 1985 which has a completly different mix), and “Al Capone” and “Chicago 1945” both recorded between 1984 and 1986) which later became Smooth Criminal. Just wait and see what they come up with 🙂


        May 22, 2012 at 15:21

  2. One correction, Joe: The edit of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” is the common version. At the time it was a radio-only single, which omitted the spoken and deleted a chorus from the original album and commercial single version. This rather corny spoken intro version was replaced with the radio edit on the “Bad” CD within a year or so in America, but not in many or most foreign countries. (Michael is famous for replacing songs with different mixes on his albums.)

    So, actually, the rare version of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” is that original full-length LP/commercial single version with the spoken intro, which has been out of print on CD in America since about 1988, but is fairly easy to find on the pre-“Special Edition” imports of the Bad album. However, neither version was exclusively available on vinyl. There is nothing from the “Bad” album that was only issued on vinyl.

    The bigger question: Will this new edition of “Bad” contain the original album version, because other versions were replaced as well, including the shorter and punchier single mix of “Dirty Diana.” At some point, for some reason, the heavy breathing was omitted from the intro of “Smooth Criminal,” perhaps because it was credited in the liner notes to Frank Dileo, his fired manager. In addition, ALL the domestic 7-inch singles from the “Bad” album were slight remixes, with the exception of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Another Part of Me,” and “Smooth Criminal” were also slightly but noticeably sped up for the singles, as they were edits of the extended dance remixes, all done by the albums original mixer Bruce Swedien. But even “Bad” and “Man in the Mirror” were ever-so-slightly remixed for the 7″ singles. Fortunately, all mixes were released on CD, either as promos or imports, at the time. (The rarest Michael Jackson 7″ mix is “Human Nature,” which has only been released on CD once, anywhere in the world.)

    See my Michael Jackson discography for mix details on his whole Top 40 catalogue:


    May 22, 2012 at 01:41

    • To clarify, my second line really should say, “At the time it was a radio-only edit.”


      May 22, 2012 at 01:42

      • Thanks for your insights. Just FYI, the information relating to the 7″ single mix comes directly from the BAD 25 site (which we’ve linked to, above). It’s described as follows:

        “On June 26 a replica edition of the original 7” vinyl of this single with the original B-side “Baby Be Mine” will be made available to the world. The first single for BAD, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” was originally released on 7″ vinyl in 1987. The 7″ single edit of the song has only been available on that original 7″ vinyl until now.”

        Joe Marchese

        May 22, 2012 at 09:55

  3. Thanks, Joe. Well, I wouldn’t expect Sony to know their heads from their asses, because a few years back they used completely bogus, newly-created edits on “The Essential Michael Jackson” and tried to pass them off as the original single edits. (First tipoff: they edited the album versions when the actual singles were remixes.) Most of the people working there were probably still in school when the “Bad” album was released.


    May 22, 2012 at 10:11

  4. Stoked for this. Was tempted to go for the fancy packaging until I saw that it was $199. For that kind of money, Bubbles had better hand deliver that shit.

    I’m pleased that there are only three remixes. I could complain that those still come at the cost of three more demos, but beggars can’t be choosers.

    And I’m sure that Moonwalker will get a deluxe domestic issue soon enough. I too questioned the inclusion of so much of on the Vision set. (I’m fairly certain that “Speed Demon” was never actually issued as a video for MTV rotation.) We’ll get there. And Captain EO. And a Victory show. And the J5 cartoon. And the variety show. I have no doubt that the Jackson estate is going to capitalize on MJ’s legacy as much as possible. I just hope they make more decisions like Bad 25 and fewer like Michael.

    zs (@Gonzeux)

    August 7, 2012 at 17:25

  5. Wow, superbu – just skimming that link, you’ve opened a pandora’s box of sorts. Great stuff.

    I’m still flabergasted that the video mix of Smooth Criminal (to my knowledge) never saw official release. Maybe you know more on this than I do.

    zs (@Gonzeux)

    August 7, 2012 at 18:58

    • You’re right, zs,, the long video mix has never been released on CD, not even on a promo.


      August 7, 2012 at 20:57

  6. I try to be excited about this – but I’m actually more excited about the CD/DVD release of the live duet with Sheryl Crow – this has got to be the earliest “named” recording of her career…. (early Don Henley/Foreigner/Kenny Loggins/Vinx vocals not withstanding…!)

    Todd R.

    August 8, 2012 at 00:05

  7. Meh…live and remixes do nothing for me. And there are still released demos and tracks missing.


    August 8, 2012 at 09:16

  8. Yeah I remember interviews with Quincy Jones stating there were 30+ songs written for the album. Even if some of those demos are not in great condition, I know fans would love to hear them nonetheless.


    August 8, 2012 at 13:07

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