Am Dienstag 26. November 2019 feierte Michaels achte Studioalbum „Dangerous“ seinen 28. Geburtstag.
Die erste Single des Albums war „Black or White“, die am 14 November 1991 mit einem elf minütigen Video weltweit ausgestrahlt wurde. 500 Millionen Zuschauer schalteten damals ein, um den von John Landis produzierten Kurzfilm zu sehen. Die ungekürzte Fassung des Kurzfilms zeigt am Schluss den sogenannten „Panther Dance“, bei dem Michael Jackson das Studio in Form eines schwarzen Panthers verlässt. Auf der Strasse nimmt er wieder seine menschliche Gestalt an. Ohne Hintergrundmusik führt Michael seine Tanzschritte auf, zerschlägt Fensterscheiben und ein Auto und lässt ein Leuchtschild eines Hotels explodieren, um sich dann wieder in einen Panther zurückzuverwandeln. Diese Schlusssequenz löste, aufgrund der Zerstörungsszenen und weil sich Michael beim Aufführen seiner Tanzschritte mehrmals in den Schritt fasst, starke Kontroversen aus. Folglich wurde die ungekürzte Version in den USA nur Nachts ausgestrahlt.
Brad Sundberg, Michaels „technischer Direktor“, der beim „Dangerous“ Album aktiv mitarbeitete, berichtete in einem Facebook-Beitrag über die Entstehung des Albums sowie über die Wichtigkeit aller Mitwirkenden, darunter Bruce Swedien, Teddy Riley, Bill Bottrell und Brad Buxer.
Folgend, der Beitrag in voller Länge:
Happy Birthday Dangerous!
There will be no party, cake or balloons… just a lot memories and music.
Dangerous was of course originally called „Decade“, which was supposed to be a „Best-of“ album, with maybe three new songs. But three songs became four, then seven, then 16… and it was just getting started.
Soon there were no less than three studios working long hours and coming up with some amazing music.
Bruce Swedien was doing his amazing detail-driven artistry on songs like „Heal The World“, „Jam“, and of course „Will You Be There“. The Andre Crouch choir was singing like there was no tomorrow on the thunderous „Keep The Faith“.
Meanwhile Teddy Riley was a few blocks away at Larrabee bringing his sound to songs like „Remember The Time“, „Why You Wanna Trip“ and „In The Closet“. He and his team were like a well-oiled machine just punching out music.
Then Bill Bottrell was creating his sonic monsters like „Give In To Me“, „Black Or White“ and „Who Is It?“. Bill kept things sleek and simple, often working alone or with just a couple people. Capturing a moment – keeping things simple.
Three very different music styles.
Three very unique production techniques.
Three very strong and talented producers.
With Michael floating from room to room – giving direction, but also letting creative people be creative.
Brad Buxer joined the team early into the Dangerous project, starting with a song called „Heal The World“. He and Michael became very close friends and stayed together for the next two decades.
The Dangerous album is like no other project I have ever been a part of. We were pushing equipment and the crew to the absolute limits.
I spend a lot of time discussing Dangerous in my seminars and events simply because I love both the final product and the process of creating it so much.
Each day started at 12 noon (the „crack of noon“ as Bruce would say), and the tape machines would be loaded and work would begin.
Here’s the funny thing – there was no chart describing what each producer was supposed to be doing – it was up to them. Sink or swim. Create some great music or Michael will find someone who can. Each of the three guys – Bruce, Bill and Teddy – just seemed to know what to do. They knew what Michael liked, even though each of their sounds and styles were so different. It was competitive. There was a lot of pressure, yet is was crazy-fun!
These three incredible talents – in my opinion – pushed each other through simple competition to do better music than they had ever done before. They were working for the greatest artist on the planet. They were working together, yet also against each other. It was brilliant.
Nancy Reagan came by for a visit after a thorough inspection by the Secret Service.
Princess Stephanie spent and afternoon and evening with us, after doing vocals on „In The Closet“.
Do you know what song Bruce almost always played when special guests stopped by? „Keep The Faith“. The performance that Andre’s choir gives is unbelievable, and Bruce made sure every guest got to hear it. At 115db spl. For non-studio folks the sheer volume of that song was like getting the air pushed out their lungs, but it was so much fun to watch!
It feels like just a few weeks ago sometimes.
There is something difficult to describe about being around that much creativity and musicianship day after day. A project like that takes on a life of it’s own.
It was an album of old friends – on a first (or nick) name basis:
There was food – lovingly prepared by the Slam Dunk Sisters Catherine and Laura.
It was a moment in time.
It was exhausting.
It was invigorating.
I thought – mistakenly – that maybe all albums were made like this. It was only the third (OK, maybe forth) big-budget project I had been a part of, after Bad, Back On The Block, and a Streisand album that we don’t talk about.
It was Michael foot to floor full speed ahead with an amazing team around him. It was like no other album before or since.
It was Dangerous – and I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of it.
Happy 28th Dangerous – you sound as good as ever! Maybe I’ll have a slice of cake and blow up a balloon after all…
Brad Sundberg wird mit seinem Seminar „In The Studio With MJ“ am 13. und 14. Dezember in Berlin gastieren. Tickets sind hier erhältlich.
Geniesst hier nochmals die ungekürzte Fassung des Musikvideos „Black or White“, sowie die Perfomance von „Will You Be There“ beim „MTV’s 10th Anniversary Special“ 1991:
Happy 28th Birthday Dangerous !!