In honor of Michael Jackson’s 54th birthday, we’ve got your update on Spike Lee’s Bad25 documentary plus we’re taking a look at your favorite videos from the album that is still iconic a quarter-century later.
To start, if you don’t want to watch football this Thanksgiving you can check out the Michael Jackson documentary instead. Airing November 22 on ABC, Bad25 celebrates the 25th Anniversary of The King of Pop’s seventh studio album and tour. Lee teamed up with Michael’s estate to get his hands on rare and previously unreleased footage that focuses on the making of the album.
The documentary also features interviews with Jackson’s friends and collaborators such as Martin Scorsese, who directed the music video for “Bad.”
On September 18, Bad officially celebrates 25 years with the release of a special anniversary edition of the album that features unreleased demos, remixes and a DVD of his July 16, 1988 show at Wembley Stadium.
Now let’s celebrate Michael with a roundup of our favorite videos from Bad, along with a few fun facts for all those fans out there. Happy Birthday MJ!
Directed by Scorsese, the original video was an 18-minute short film inspired by West Side Story. It was shot in a Brooklyn, NY subway station. After Michael’s death a councilwoman from the borough tried to get the city to rename the station after him. Unfortunately, they said no.
“Man in the Mirror”
The video for this inspirational song barely features the King of Pop, but it does highlight footage from major news events like the Ethiopian famine, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the march for civil rights on Washington along with famous faces like Martin Luther King, John Lennon and Rosa Parks. The song though, wasn’t written by Michael, but by Siedah Garrett. She told CNN that when she heard Michael sing her words she was driving in her car and got goosebumps from just hearing his voice.
“I pulled my car over to the side of the road… and I turned up the radio as high as it could go,” she said. “And I just sat there with tears streaming down my face because it was such a moving, emotional moment.”
Michael originally wanted to make this video as a western, but soon changed the location to a nightclub where he could really show off his moves. Most notable is his forward leaning move, which made everyone ask, ‘how did he do that?’ Well, turns out it was all in the shoes, as it was reported later.
A patent from 1992 shows how Michael and his dancers could lean 45-degrees thanks to their loafers which had a hole in them to fit a peg-like piece that protruded from the dance floor. This allowed the dancers to anchor themselves as they moved back and forth horizontally. Pretty cool.
“The Way You Make Me Feel”
The choreographer of the video, Vince Paterson, told Spike in his documentary that the moment in the clip where Michael sings for the first time, ending on the falsetto, everything got quiet.
“We had to stop filming,” he said. “People just froze. They actually just froze on the stage.”
– Shannon Carlin, CBS Local