#ThrowbackThursday – We go back to 1988 when Michael Jackson became the 1st artist to have five Nº1 singles from one album. The album was Bad, Jackson’s 7th solo studio album, and the singles were: Dirty Diana, I just Can’t Stop Loving You, The Way You Make Me Feel and Man in the Mirror. Man in the Mirror is one of Jackson’s most critically acclaimed songs and it never loses it’s relevance.
Nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards it stayed at Nº1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. In the UK it peaked at Nº21 until Jackson’s death in 2009 when it went straight to Nº2. It was the Nº1 single on iTunes in both the US and the UK and sold over 1.3 million digital copies in the UK alone.
The song wasn’t written by Jackson but by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett and the track was produced by Quincy Jones. The music video, directed by Donald Wilson, is notable because the King of Pop doesn’t appear in it (except for a brief moment towards the end in which he can be seen donning a red jacket and standing in a large crowd). The visual uses a montage of major news events - nuclear explosions, the Civil Rights March on Washington, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy's assassinations, the Vietnam War, the Iranian hostage crisis, Ethiopian famine and many more.
Wilson told Rolling Stone: “I went to all these places that have archival news footage and say, 'Give me all your worst stuff.' And by the end of the day, I'd looked at dead bodies and massacres and famine. After a while, I would go to a bar – immediately. It was brutal. I probably had 200 hours of footage.”
The single sleeve was dedicated to Yoshiaki Ogiwara, a five-year-old boy from Takasaki, Gunma, Japan who was kidnapped and subsequently murdered in September 1987. Jackson was touring in Japan at the time of the killing and also dedicated his concerts Osaka and Yokohama to the boy's memory.
Watch the video above, or tap here to play in C5.