Closing out the month of June, as well as my series of Michael Jackson posts is one of his most iconic songs and videos. And, he says the word Annie forty-two times (according to my unofficial lyric count). Also, the lean in this video is the stuff of legend.
Today, you’re all getting hit and struck by a “Smooth Criminal.” It’s the Morning Groove for today.
“Smooth Criminal” was the seventh single released from Bad, which came almost five years after Thriller was released. The album fared almost as well as its predecessor, with six top ten pop hits, and “Another Part Of Me” stalled at #11. Of those six, five of them (“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Bad,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Man In The Mirror” and “Dirty Diana”) all hit #1. The album’s singles did well on the R&B charts as well, as every single landed in the R&B top 5.
Despite all of that, it wasn’t quite as huge a success as Thriller had been. For any other artist, Bad would be considered a huge success. For Michael Jackson, it might have been considered a disappointment. This album would be the swan song for the Quincy Jones-Michael Jackson pairing. Whether that was because of the relative disappointment of the album’s performance or a creative parting of the ways, we may never know. When Michael released Dangerous in 1991, Teddy Riley was in charge for most of the album, with Michael producing himself on other tracks. More hits followed, through HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 and Invincible, but the returns were not quite Thriller-esque. That isn’t to say he wasn’t successful; they just didn’t measure up to what has turned out to be the greatest pop album of all time.
Enjoy “Smooth Criminal,” and the end of the series of Michael Jackson posts. I hope I did the icon some justice. I didn’t really have a plan to write so many posts about Michael; I had only planned to write Seven Years Ago; the post on the anniversary of his death. It then turned into a mini-review of his career, along with some of the great songs he has given us (some along with his brothers) over the course of his long career.
Leave any impressions you have about today’s song, or any of the posts in the series, in the comments. As always, thanks so much for reading and listening.