Bad is the seventh studio album by American singer Michael Jackson. It was released on August 31, 1987, in the United States by Epic Records and internationally by CBS Records, nearly five years after Jackson's previous album, Thriller. Bad was written and recorded over more than three and a half years, and was the final collaboration between Jackson and producer Quincy Jones. Jackson co-produced the album and composed all but two tracks. Incorporating pop, dance, funk, soul, rock and hard rock, Jackson experimented with innovative new sounds revolving around extensive use of new digital synthesizer technology, including FM synthesis and the Fairlight CMI and Synclavier PSMT synthesizers. The lyrical themes of Bad include media bias, paranoia, racial profiling, romance, self-improvement and world peace.
|Studio album by|
|Released||August 31, 1987|
|Recorded||January 1985 – July 1987|
|Studio||Westlake Recording Studios, Los Angeles|
|Michael Jackson chronology|
|Michael Jackson studio album chronology|
|Singles from Bad|
Described as "the most anticipated album in history", Bad debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and also reached number one in 24 other countries. It sold over two million copies in its first week in the US, and 500,000 in its first five days in the UK. Nine songs were released as official singles, and one as promotional single. Seven charted in the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, including a record-breaking five number ones: "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana". The album was promoted with the film, Moonwalker (1988), which included the music videos of songs from Bad, including "Speed Demon", "Leave Me Alone", "Man in the Mirror" and "Smooth Criminal". The film became the best-selling home video of all time. Bad remained in the top five on the Billboard 200 for 38 weeks, setting a record for the longest run in the top five by an album from a male solo artist. By 1989, Bad had become the world's second-best-selling album, behind Thriller, having sold 22 million copies worldwide.
The Bad tour, which was Jackson's first solo world tour, grossed $125 million (equivalent to $254 million in 2019) making it one of the highest-grossing concert tours of the 1980s. Jackson performed seven sold out shows at Wembley Stadium, beating the previous record held by Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Genesis. The third concert on July 16, 1988 was attended by Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles. Jackson was entered into the Guinness World Records three times from the tour alone. He performed 132 concerts in 15 countries to an audience of 4.4 million.
Bad is one of the best-selling albums of all time, with 45 million copies sold worldwide. It is certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album was nominated for six Grammy Awards, winning Best Engineered Recording – Non Classical and Best Music Video (for "Leave Me Alone"). For being the first artist in history to have five number ones singles from one album on the Billboard Hot 100, Jackson received the first Billboard Spotlight Award. Following the appraisal of the music videos of the singles from Bad, along with his previous music videos throughout the 1980s, Jackson was awarded the MTV Video Vanguard Artist of the Decade Award. Bad has been named by several publications as one of the greatest albums of all time.
Jackson's sixth solo album, Thriller, was released in 1982 and by 1987 was certified 20x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Jackson aimed to sell 100 million copies with his next album.
The four years following Thriller were marred by Jackson's rifts with his family and the Jehovah's Witnesses, broken friendships with celebrities, and the pressure of celebrity. Reports spread of his changing physical appearance and eccentric behavior. Rather than embark on a solo Thriller tour, Jackson agreed to rejoin his brothers as the Jacksons on the Victory Tour. In 1987, Spin wrote that "in record time, [Jackson] has gone from being one of the most admired of celebrities to one of the most absurd. And the pressure to restore himself in the public eye is paralyzing him." According to some associates, Jackson was nervous about completing his next album: "He's reminded that everyone is waiting for this record and he goes into a shell. He is frightened."
After Jackson had written a handful of the tracks on Off the Wall and Thriller, producer Quincy Jones encouraged him to write more for Bad. Jones recalled: "All the turmoil [in Jackson's life] was starting to mount up, so I said I thought it was time for him to do a very honest album."
Bad was Jackson's final collaboration with co-producer Quincy Jones, who had produced Off the Wall and Thriller. Jackson began recording demos for the anticipated follow-up to Thriller in November 1983 while recording Victory with the Jacksons. Work was disrupted in July 1984, when Jackson embarked on the Victory Tour with his brothers. Work resumed after the tour ended and after recording We Are the World, and recording officially began in January 1985. In early 1985, work was disrupted again so Jackson could prepare for Disney's 4D film experience Captain EO, which featured an early pre-album extended cut of "Another Part of Me." Work in the studio resumed in August of that year and continued until November 1986, when Jackson filmed the "Bad" music video. Recording resumed in January 1987 and the album was completed in July.
Jackson spent much of 1985 to 1987 out of the public eye, writing and recording at his home studio in Encino, Los Angeles, with a group of musicians and engineers including Bill Bottrell known as the "B team". The demos were brought to Westlake Studio to be finished by the "A team", with Jones and engineer Bruce Swedien. Jones said the team would stay up for days on end when they "were on a roll": "They were carrying second engineers out on stretchers. I was smoking 180 cigarettes a day."
Jackson was eager to find innovative new sounds and was interested in new musical technology. The team made extensive use of new digital synthesizer technology, including FM synthesis and the Fairlight CMI and Synclavier PSMT synthesizers. They sometimes combined synthesizers to create new sounds. Jackson hired Synclavier expert and sound designer Denny Jaeger to create sounds used on "Dirty Diana" and "Smooth Criminal".
Jackson wrote a reported 60 songs, and recorded 30, wanting to use them all on a 3-disc set. Jones suggested that the album be cut down to a ten-track single LP. When the album was released on CD, an 11th track, "Leave Me Alone", was included. It was later released as a single. Later reissues of the LP also include this song. Jackson is credited for writing all but three songs on the album. Other writing credits included Terry Britten and Graham Lyle for "Just Good Friends" and Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard for "Man in the Mirror".
Composition and lyricsEdit
The album's song lyrics relate to romance and paranoia, the latter being a recurring theme in Jackson's albums. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic noted that Bad moved Jackson "deeper into hard rock, deeper into schmaltzy adult contemporary, deeper into hard dance – essentially taking each portion of Thriller to an extreme, while increasing the quotient of immaculate studiocraft."
"Bad" was originally intended as a duet between Jackson and Prince. Jackson also planned duets with Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand. The song was viewed as a revived "Hit the Road Jack" progression with lyrics that pertain to boasting. "Dirty Diana" was viewed by AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine as misogynistic and its lyrics, describing a sexual predator, do not aim for the "darkness" of "Billie Jean", instead sounding equally intrigued by and apprehensive of a sexual challenge, while having the opportunity to accept or resist it. "Leave Me Alone" was described as being a "paranoid anthem". "Man in the Mirror" was seen as Jackson going "a step further" and offering "a straightforward homily of personal commitment", which can be seen in the lyrics, "I'm starting with the man in the mirror / I'm asking him to change his ways / And no message could have been any clearer / If you wanna make the world a better place / Take a look at yourself and then make a change."
"Liberian Girl"'s lyrics were viewed as "glistening" with "gratitude" for the "existence of a loved one". "Smooth Criminal"'s recalled "the popcorn-chomping manner" of "Thriller". The track was thought of as an example of "Jackson's free-form language" that keeps people "aware that we are on the edge of several realities: the film, the dream it inspires, the waking world it illuminates". The music in "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", a duet with Siedah Garrett, consisted mainly of finger snaps and timpani. "Just Good Friends", a duet with Stevie Wonder, was viewed by critics as sounding good at the beginning of the song, ending with a "chin-bobbing cheerfulness". However, Jones said later: "I made a mistake with ['Just Good Friends']. That didn't work."
"The Way You Make Me Feel" consists of blues harmonies. The lyrics of "Another Part of Me" deal with being united, as "we". Critics Richard Cromelin (from the Los Angeles Times) and Richard Harrington (from The Washington Post) associated the song's lyrics with the Harmonic Convergence phenomenon that occurred around the time of the album's release, with Harrington highlighting the verse: "The planets are lining up / We're bringing brighter days / They're all in line / Waiting for you / Can't you see? / You're just another part of me".
Bad was described as "the most anticipated album in history". Regarding the album, Michael Goldberg and David Handelman wrote for Rolling Stone that the release of the album was a "major event" and that "If Bad sells “only” 10 million copies, that will be more than virtually any other record but could be viewed as a failure for Michael Jackson."
Bad was released on August 31, 1987. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and remained there for six consecutive weeks. It remained in the top five on the Billboard 200 for 38 weeks, setting a record for the longest run in the top five by an album from a male solo artist. It was certified Diamond for shipping ten million copies in the US alone. Though Jackson furthered his stance as a global pop superstar, in the US, Bad failed to match the sales of Thriller, causing some in the media to label the album a "disappointment".
In the UK, Bad debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 500,000 copies in its first five days. Bad peaked at number one in 25 countries including Austria, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. It also charted at No. 13 in Mexico and at No. 22 in Portugal. Bad has received various certifications worldwide. In the UK, the album is certified 13 times platinum with sales of 3.9 million, making it Jackson's second best-selling album there. Bad was certified seven times platinum for the shipment of over 700,000 copies in Canada by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. In Europe, the 2001 reissue was certified platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for the sales of one million units. The album was also certified platinum by the IFPI for the shipment of over 20,000 copies in Hong Kong.
Bad sold 7 million copies worldwide in its first week. After a year, it had increased to 18 million copies. By 1989, it had become the world's second-best-selling album, behind Thriller, having sold 22 million copies worldwide. Globally, Bad is Jackson's second best-selling album behind Thriller, with sales of 45 million copies.
The marketing strategy for Bad was modelled on that for Thriller. Similarly to the first Thriller single, "The Girl Is Mine", the first Bad single, "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", was a ballad duet, followed by two "more obvious modern pop knockouts" backed by music videos.
A commemorative special on Jackson's life, The Magic Returns, aired on CBS during prime time on the day of the release of Bad. At the end of the documentary, the channel debuted the short film for "Bad", directed by Martin Scorsese and featuring Wesley Snipes. The marketing strategy, mastered by Frank DiLeo among others, also included Jackson producing another mini-movie around the time of the Bad world tour. That film, Moonwalker (1988), included performances of songs from Bad, including "Speed Demon", "Leave Me Alone", "Man in the Mirror" and "Smooth Criminal", the latter two released as sole videos at the end of the film. The film also included the music video for "Come Together", with the song featuring seven years later on HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. It became the best-selling home video of all time.
Sponsored by Pepsi, the Bad tour began in Japan, marking Jackson's first performances there since 1972 with the Jackson 5. Attendance figures for the first 14 dates in Japan totalled a record-breaking 450,000. Jackson performed seven sold out shows at Wembley Stadium, beating the previous record held by Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Genesis. The third concert on July 16, 1988 was attended by Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles. Jackson was entered into the Guinness World Records three times from the tour alone. The Bad tour was a major financial success, grossing $125 million. He performed 132 concerts in 15 countries to an audience of 4.4 million.
"I Just Can't Stop Loving You", a duet with Siedah Garrett, was the lead single. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also reached number one in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK and Zimbabwe.
"Bad" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained there for two weeks, becoming the album's second number one single, and Jackson's eighth number one entry on the chart. It also peaked at number one on the Hot R&B Singles, Hot Dance Club Play and Rhythmic chart. Internationally, the song was also commercially successful, charting at the top of the charts in seven other countries including Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands. The song was noted for introducing Jackson's edgy image.
"The Way You Make Me Feel" was the third consecutive Billboard Hot 100 number one hit and also hit number one in Ireland and Spain. Jackson performed the song at the 1988 Grammy Awards. The last performance of the song was at the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special in at Madison Square Garden on September 7 and September 10, 2001, where he performed the song with Britney Spears.
"Man in the Mirror" charted at number one on Billboard's Hot 100. It hit number one in Canada and Italy too. Jackson also performed the song at the 1988 Grammy Awards. It was nominated for Record of the Year at the next year's Grammy Awards.
"Dirty Diana" was the record-breaking fifth Billboard Hot 100 number-one single from Bad. Before the start of the Wembley Stadium show during the Bad tour in 1988, Diana, Princess of Wales, who was in attendance, informed Jackson that it was one of her personal favorite songs
"Another Part of Me" achieved less success, reaching number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, but topped the R&B Singles Chart. Like Jackson's earlier songs in his career such as "Can You Feel It" and "We Are the World", the lyrics of the song emphasize global unity, love and outreach.
"Smooth Criminal" became the sixth top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number seven. The song reached number one in Belgium, Iceland, the Netherlands and Spain. Though it was not one of the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, in retrospective reviews it has been regarded as one of the best songs on Bad and one of Jackson's signature songs.
Released outside the United States and Canada, "Leave Me Alone" topped the Irish charts and reached the top ten in five other countries. "Leave Me Alone" was Jackson's response to negative and exaggerated rumors about Jackson that frequently appeared in the tabloids post-1985 after the success of Thriller. The music video was the recipient of Best Music Video at the 1990 Grammy Awards.
The album's final single, "Liberian Girl", did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100, but reached the top 20 in various countries and reached number one in Ireland. The song has been sampled and covered by various artists including Chico Freeman, 2Pac and MC Lyte.
Bad became the first album to have five consecutive singles peak at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2010, the record was tied by American singer Katy Perry's Teenage Dream. In the UK, seven of the Bad singles reached the UK top ten which was a record for any studio album for over 20 years.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The Philadelphia Inquirer|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Village Voice||B+|
In a contemporary review for The New York Times, Jon Pareles called Bad "a well-made, catchy dance record by an enigmatic pop star". He said while nothing on the record compared to "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", the music's "concocted synthesizer-driven arrangements" were "clear" and carried "a solid kick". In USA Today, Edna Gundersen called it Jackson's "most polished effort to date," that is "calculated but not sterile." Davitt Sigerson from Rolling Stone wrote that "even without a milestone recording like 'Billie Jean', Bad is still a better record than Thriller." He believed the filler, such as "Speed Demon", "Dirty Diana" and "Liberian Girl", made Bad "richer, sexier and better than Thriller's forgettables."
Richard Harrington of The Washington Post felt that while the album could not live up to post-Thriller expectations, it would be "considerably fairer to compare" Bad with Off the Wall. His overall opinion on Bad was that it was "a very good record" that is "immaculately produced and with some scintillating vocal performances from Jackson". Richard Cromelin of the Los Angeles Times called Bad "a fair-to-strong array of soul and rock blends", commenting that the record was "not bad" and was more "reminiscent of Off the Wall's uniform strength than Thriller's peaks and valleys". Cromelin felt that it would be "disappointing" if this album's "creative level" is where Jackson wants to stay.
Robert Christgau was more critical in The Village Voice. He said its "studio mastery", along with Jackson's "rhythmic and vocal power", had made for "the strongest and most consistent black pop album in years", but lamented its lack of "genius" in the vein of "Beat It" or "Billie Jean" and panned the underlying themes in Jackson's lyrics. "He's against burglary, speeding, and sex ('Dirty Diana' is as misogynistic as any piece of metal suck-my-cock), in favor of harmonic convergence and changing the world by changing the man in the mirror. His ideal African comes from Liberia. And he claims moonwalking makes him a righteous brother. Like shit."
In 1988, Bad was nominated for Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male, Best R&B Vocal Performance – Male, and won for Best Engineered Recording – Non Classical. The following year, it was nominated for Record of the Year for "Man in the Mirror", and in 1990 won for Best Music Video – Short Form (for "Leave Me Alone"). At the 1988 Soul Train Music Awards, the album won Best R&B/Soul Album – Male and "Bad" won Best R&B/Soul Single – Male. The following year, "Man in the Mirror" also won Best R&B/Soul Single – Male. At the 1989 Brit Awards, "Smooth Criminal" won British Video of the Year. Following the appraisal of the music videos of the singles from Bad, along with his previous music videos throughout the 1980s, Jackson was awarded the MTV Video Vanguard Artist of the Decade Award.
According to Jayson Rodriguez of MTV, "following the twin cannons that were Off the Wall and Thriller wouldn't be an easy task for most, but Jackson's follow-up, 1987's Bad, was formidable by all accounts." He felt that Bad was "wrongfully dismissed by critics because it wasn't the sales blockbuster that Thriller was" and that during the Bad era, Jackson's vocal hiccups and stammered "shamone" would become staples in his music that were "heightening and highlighting the emotion of his lyrics." Rolling Stone commented that "the best way to view" Bad was not as "the sequel to Thriller. In 2009, VH1 said of the album:
Understandably, the expectations for the album were ridiculously high, and grew even higher after Jackson planned duets with the likes of Prince (on the title track) and Whitney Houston (and Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand). None of those collaborations ended up happening, but they only increased the hype for the album. Bad was a deeply personal project for Jackson – he wrote nine of the 11 songs – one that saw him gain further independence and debut a harder-edged look and sound.
In 2009, Jim Farber of the Daily News wrote that Bad "streamlined the quirks" of Jackson's two previous albums to "create his most smooth work of pop to date." A writer for The Daily Telegraph commented that while Bad was another worldwide commercial success, the album "inevitably failed to match the success of Thriller despite Jackson's massive and grueling world tour". In 2009, a writer for the Miami Herald reflected back on the anticipation for Bad, describing the album's release as being the "most hotly anticipated album in history". That same year, Stephen M. Silverman, a writer for People magazine, viewed Bad as being "when some slippage" in Jackson's "popularity began to show".
In July 2016, it was announced by the Official Charts Company that Bad was the ninth-bestselling album in British history with sales of 4 million units, charting behind Thriller. Bad, along with other studio albums released by Jackson, is among the best-selling albums of all-time.
In 2003, Bad was ranked number 202 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and 203 in a 2012 revised list. It was also included in the book titled 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2009, VH1 listed Bad at number 43 on their list of "100 Greatest Albums of All Time of the MTV Generation". In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at number 48 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s". Bad was ranked as the 138th on the Billboard Top 200 Albums of All Time.
In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine stated that Jackson "approached" Bad much the same way he approached Thriller, which was to "take the basic formula of the predecessor, expand it slightly, and move it outward." While the album "rebounds with songs that prove mechanical can be tolerable if delivered with hooks and panache," it still made Bad feel like an "artifact of its time instead a piece of music that transcends it", according to Erlewine.
In the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Colin Larkin wrote, "In musical terms, Bad certainly broke no fresh ground; appealing though its soft funk confections were, they lacked substance, and represented only a cosmetic advance over his two earlier albums with [Quincy Jones]." Joseph Vogel was more enthusiastic about the record. "On Bad, Jackson's music is largely about creating moods, visceral emotions, and fantastical scenarios....[with] each song work[ing] as a dream capsule, inviting the listener into a vivid new sound, story, space." He called Bad "a compelling, phantasmagorical album, which a handful of critics recognized from the beginning."
The album's songs have been covered and parodied by multiple recording artists since its release in the late 1980s. Notable cover versions include Alien Ant Farm's cover of "Smooth Criminal" and Shakaya's cover of "The Way You Make Me Feel". Notable parody versions include "Weird Al" Yankovic, who previously recorded a parody of Jackson's song "Beat It". In 1988, "Fat", Yankovic's parody of "Bad", won a Grammy Award for Best Concept Music Video.
|Grammy Awards||United States||Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical (Bad)||1988|||
|Grammy Awards||United States||Best Music Video – Short Form ("Leave Me Alone")||1990|||
|Quintessence Editions Ltd.||United Kingdom||1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (No rank)||2003|||
|Rolling Stone||United States||500 Greatest Albums of All Time (Ranked #203)||2012|||
|VH1||United States||100 Greatest Albums of All Time of the MTV Generation (Ranked #43)||2009|||
It was announced on May 3, 2012, that the Estate of Michael Jackson and Epic Records would be releasing a 25th anniversary album of Bad. The album was named Bad 25 and was released on September 18, 2012. Since the release of Bad 25, there has been a discontinuation of the 2001 special edition.
|2.||"The Way You Make Me Feel"||4:59|
|5.||"Just Good Friends" (with Stevie Wonder; writers: Terry Britten, Graham Lyle)||4:09|
|6.||"Another Part of Me"||3:55|
|7.||"Man in the Mirror" (writers: Siedah Garrett, Glen Ballard)||5:21|
|8.||"I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (with Garrett)||4:27|
|11.||"Leave Me Alone"||4:41|
|2001 special edition bonus tracks|
|12.||"Quincy Jones Interview #1"||4:04|
|14.||"Quincy Jones Interview #2"||2:54|
|15.||"Todo Mi Amor Eres Tú" (with Garrett; writers: Jackson, Rubén Blades)||4:05|
|16.||"Quincy Jones Interview #3"||2:31|
|17.||"Spoken Intro to Fly Away"||0:09|
Re-issues of Bad feature a number of changes when compared to the original 1987 release:
- "Bad" – The original mix was replaced with the 7" single mix. The most notable difference is the lack of horns in all the choruses except for the last two. Horns are also missing from the second and third pre-choruses. The rhythm guitar during the choruses is also turned up along with the hi-hats.
- "The Way You Make Me Feel" – The full-length remix used for the single with louder vocals and ad libs added to the end replaced the original album mix.
- "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" omits Michael Jackson's spoken intro.
- "Dirty Diana" is replaced with the single edit of the song.
- "Smooth Criminal" went through two changes on the album. It was remixed to make the kick drum heavier and the bass synth fatter. The quick-sequenced synclavier behind the bass has been rendered mono as well. The first version of this mix left the breathing intact, but was later removed after some time.
- "Leave Me Alone" was not included on the original vinyl nor cassette releases but was included on the CD release and now is included in all releases.
- Lead and backing vocals: Michael Jackson
- Background vocals: Siedah Garrett (tracks 7–8), The Winans (7), and The Andraé Crouch Choir (7)
- Bass guitar: Nathan East (track 8)
- Hammond organ: Jimmy Smith (track 1)
- Drums: John Robinson (tracks 1–4, 9–10), Miko Brando (3), Ollie E. Brown (3, 5), Leon "Ndugu" Chancler (8), Bill Bottrell (10), Bruce Swedien (5, 10), Humberto Gatica (5)
- Programming: Douglas Getschal (tracks 1–4, 9), Cornelius Mims (5), Larry Williams (11)
- Guitar: David Williams (tracks 1–3, 6, 9–10), Bill Bottrell (3), Eric Gale (2), Danny Hull, Steve Stevens (solo, 9), Dann Huff (7–8), Michael Landau (5), Paul Jackson Jr. (6, 9, 11)
- Trumpet: Gary Grant, Jerry Hey (tracks 1–3, 5–6, 10)
- Sounds engineered: Ken Caillat, and Tom Jones
- Percussion: Paulinho da Costa (tracks 1–5, 8), Ollie E. Brown (2, 7)
- Keyboards: Stefan Stefanovic, Greg Phillinganes (track 7)
- Saxophone: Kim Hutchcroft (tracks 1–3, 5–6, 10), Larry Williams (1–2, 5–6, 10)
- Synclavier (tracks 1–6, 8–10), digital guitar (1), finger snaps (2), sound effects (3): Christopher Currell
- Synthesizer: John Barnes (tracks 1–4, 6, 9–10), Michael Boddicker (1–5, 9–10), Greg Phillinganes (1–3, 5, 8, 11, solo–1), Rhett Lawrence (5–6), David Paich (4, 8), Larry Williams (4–5, 11), Glen Ballard (7), Randy Kerber (7), Randy Waldman (9)
- Piano: John Barnes (track 8), Kevin Maloney (10)
- Rhythm arrangement: Michael Jackson (tracks 1–4, 6, 9–11), Quincy Jones (1, 3–5, 7–8), Christopher Currell (1), John Barnes (4, 6, 9–10), Graham Lyle (5), Terry Britten (5), Glen Ballard (7), Jerry Hey (9)
- Horn arrangement: Jerry Hey (tracks 1–3, 5–6, 10)
- Programming: Larry Williams (tracks 2), Eric Persing (3), Steve Porcaro (4, 8), Casey Young (11)
- Midi saxophone: Larry Williams (track 3)
|Australia (ARIA)||6× Platinum||420,000^|
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||4× Platinum||200,000*|
|Canada (Music Canada)||7× Platinum||700,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||100,000|
|Germany (BVMI)||4× Platinum||2,000,000^|
|Latvia (LaMPA)||14× Platinum||126,000*|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||9× Platinum||135,000^|
|Spain (PROMUSICAE)||3× Platinum||300,000^|
|Sweden (GLF)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||13× Platinum||4,140,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Diamond||10,000,000^|
For sales in 2009
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Smallcombe 2016, pp. 220–296.
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