Man in the Mirror
"Man in the Mirror" is a song recorded by Michael Jackson, with lyrics and music by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett, and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. It peaked at number 1 in the United States when released in January 1988 as the fourth single from his seventh solo album, Bad (1987). It was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards.
|"Man in the Mirror"|
|Single by Michael Jackson|
|from the album Bad|
|Released||January 16, 1988|
|Length||5:19 (album and 12" versions)|
5:00 (single and video versions)
|Songwriter(s)||Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett|
|Michael Jackson singles chronology|
|"Man In The Mirror" Video on YouTube|
The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, becoming his tenth number-one single on that chart. The song peaked at number 21 in the UK Singles Charts in 1988, but in 2009, following the news of Jackson's death, the song peaked at number 2, having re-entered the chart at 11 the previous week as his top song on the singles chart. It also became the number 1 single in iTunes downloads in the US and the UK, having sold over 3 million digital copies in the former alone. The song was remixed for the soundtrack of Jackson's tribute tour Immortal.
"Man in the Mirror" was composed by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett. Jackson added background vocals from Garrett, The Winans and the Andraé Crouch Choir. The song is said to have been one of Jackson's favorite songs. Arranged with a gospel choir, Jackson would use a gospel choir again several years later on his hit "Will You Be There". Siedah Garrett also sang Jackson's duet "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" in mid-1987. The song is played in the keys of G major and A♭ major at a tempo of 100 bpm. The vocal range is A♭3–C6.
The single sleeve for "Man in the Mirror" contains a dedication to Yoshiaki Ogiwara, a five-year-old boy from Takasaki, Gunma, Japan who was kidnapped and murdered in September 1987. Jackson was touring Japan at the time and dedicated concerts in Osaka and Yokohama to Yoshiaki's memory.
When Ed Hogan reviewed the song, he called it "gentle." Jon Pareles of The New York Times noted that this song has "gospelly lift." Rolling Stone's Davitt Sigerson thought that "Man in the Mirror" stands among the half dozen best things Jackson has done, and he continued: "On "Man in the Mirror," a song he did not write, Jackson goes a step further and offers a straightforward homily of personal commitment: "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."" In 2017, ShortList's Dave Fawbert listed the song as containing "one of the greatest key changes in music history".
One of the videos is a notable departure from Jackson's other videos mainly because Jackson himself does not appear in the video (aside from a brief clip toward the end of the video in which he can be seen donning a red jacket and standing in a large crowd). Instead, it featured a montage of footage of various major news events and famous people.
The "Man in the Mirror" music video was directed, produced and edited by Don Wilson. Don and Michael Jackson developed the idea for the video. Larry Stessel who was Video Commissioner at Epic Records at the time was the Executive Producer.
An alternate live video was used as the opening song in Jackson's film Moonwalker with live audio and footage from several live performances of the song during the Bad World Tour. The first segment of Moonwalker is a live performance of "Man in the Mirror" during his Bad Tour in Europe. Clips from Wembley Stadium among others can be seen. It also features a montage of clips of children in Africa, Adolf Hitler, the Ku Klux Klan, Martin Luther King Jr., the Kent State shootings, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Lech Wałęsa, kids in Graduation, and other historical figures.
Jackson performed a live, extended version of the song at the 1988 Grammy Awards. He also performed the song as the ending of the concert during the Bad World Tour's second leg, and regularly during the Dangerous World Tour. Live versions of the song are available on the DVDs Live at Wembley July 16, 1988 and Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour. On July 16, 1996, Jackson also performed "Man in the Mirror" at the Royal Concert Brunei for the last time prior to the United We Stand benefit concert. Last time song was performed in October 2001 on United We Stand concert that was held in Washington D. C. as a tribute to the victims of September 11 attacks.
The instrumental introduction to the song was played at the end of Jackson's memorial service, while his casket was being carried out; followed by the appearance of a spotlight shining on a microphone on an empty stage. After a closing prayer that incorporated themes from the song, the spotlight remained shining on the lone microphone. The song is also featured as the final number in Michael Jackson's This Is It.
- 12" and CD
- "Man in the Mirror" (single version) – 5:00
- "Man in the Mirror" (album version) – 5:19
- "Man in the Mirror" (instrumental) – 5:00
- Man in the Mirror (single version) - 5:00
- Video single
- Man in the Mirror (music video) - 5:00
Running time: 5 minutes 30 seconds
"Man in the Mirror" was the 4th consecutive number-one single for Jackson's Bad in the United States. The single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 48 on February 6, 1988, and reached number 1 by its 8th week on the chart, on March 26, 1988, where it remained for 2 weeks.
The song originally peaked at number 21 in the United Kingdom in 1988. However, following Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, "Man in the Mirror" re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 11, and the following week the song peaked at number 2, held off by Cascada's "Evacuate the Dancefloor". The chart had also contained over 12 Michael Jackson songs in the Top 40. This song had been at top 100 for 15 consecutive weeks in this chart. In Australia the song originally charted at number 39. After the singer's death, the song re-entered the chart and peaked at number 8, much higher than its original release. It was also the top single in iTunes downloads in the US and the UK. It has sold 567,280 copies in the UK as of January 2016.
- Written and composed by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard
- Produced by Quincy Jones
- Co-Produced by Michael Jackson
- Michael Jackson: Solo & background vocals
- Featuring Siedah Garrett, The Winans and The Andraé Crouch Choir
- Ollie E. Brown: Clap
- Dann Huff: Guitar
- Greg Phillinganes: Keyboards
- Glen Ballard, Randy Kerber: Synthesizers
- Siedah Garrett: Background vocals
- The Winans: Carvin, Marvin, Michael and Ronald Winans
- Rhythm arrangement by Glen Ballard and Quincy Jones
- Synthesizer arrangement by Glen Ballard, Quincy Jones and Jerry Hey
- Vocal arrangement by Andrae Crouch
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||Gold||4,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||600,000|
|United States (RIAA)||3× Platinum||3,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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- "American single certifications – Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.