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A truly insightful documentary to the most anticipated album of all time
Spike Lee could be a filmmaker with varied performance when it comes to films but here he truly displayed some professionalism covering the recording era of Michael Jackson's "Bad" album.
Not only, he collects interviews from numerous individuals of the music industry but he carefully tries to avoid the myth and gossip traps that surround the name of Michael Jackson. This is a musical documentary at first and not a closer look as to who or what Michael Jackson was.
An argument could be made that Lee decided to focus all his energy to the musical genius that Jackson was and how hard he worked to finish an album such as "Bad" including his any skills. The man was composing, producing, writing the songs, choreographing his videos, singing and dancing live, vocal arranging and beatboxing! It is a shame that the album itself had to endure endless criticism for not reaching the levels of "Thriller" and at that period it was considered a disappointment despite selling more than 30 million copies worldwide and being accompanied by the most successful tour of all time.
After 25 years though, "Bad" is considered one of the best albums out there, a record unparalleled in terms of hits and quality balance. "Bad" is a record richer than "Thriller" with less filler and more meat. Lee's interviews, raw footage and behind the scenes tactics prove just that. Taking a massive 5 year period to be recorded, with hundreds of (finished) demos, lots of artistic input and various musical collaborations, "Bad" now gets the treatment and (much awaited) spotlight it deserves.
Bad 25 celebrates the rich sound that Jackson's third solo record contained along with diverse musical engineering and craftmanship. The album has so many hits on so many levels - the short film of Smooth Criminal, the anti gravity lean, the West Side Story dance number of "Bad", the rock gritty sound of "Dirty Diana" with Steve Stevens' input, the psychedelic vibe in "Leave me alone" and the powerful anthem of "Man in the mirror" are just cases that display, suggest and reveal a creative and hard working genius at the peak of his game.
It is really sad that people still tend to emphasize any negative or controversial aspects that Jackson may had. But the musical one is not one of them. For he remains at the pantheon of the most brilliant musicians and performers ever to walk the earth and perhaps, the greatest. And we cannot take that away from him. Ever
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