Saturday, December 14, 1991

Michael Jackson debuted at #1 with Dangerous

First posted 3/21/2008; updated 12/1/2020.


Michael Jackson

Released: November 26, 1991

Charted: December 14, 1991

Peak: 14 US, 112 RB, 11 UK, 3 CN, 16 AU

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 1.98 UK, 32.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop/R&B


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Jam (7/11/92, 21a US, 13 UK, 3 RB)
  2. Why You Wanna Trip on Me
  3. In the Closet (4/25/92, 5a US, 8 UK, 1 RB, sales: ½ million)
  4. She Drives Me Wild
  5. Remember the Time (1/25/92, 1a US, 3 UK, 1a RB, 15 AC, sales: ½ million)
  6. Can’t Let Her Get Away
  7. Heal the World (12/5/92, 24a US, 2 UK, 62 RB, 9 AC)
  8. Black or White (11/23/91, 1 US, 1 UK, 3 RB, 23 AC, sales: 1 million)
  9. Who Is It? (7/25/92, 14 US, 10 UK, 6 RB)
  10. Give in to Me (2/27/93, 2 UK)
  11. Will You Be There? (7/10/93, 6a US, 9 UK, 53 RB, 5 AC, sales: ½ million)
  12. Keep the Faith
  13. Gone Too Soon (12/18/93, 33 UK)
  14. Dangerous

Total Running Time: 77:10


4.012 out of 5.00 (average of 25 ratings)

Quotable: --

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Despite the success of Bad, it was hard not to view it as a bit of a letdown, since it presented a cleaner, colder, calculated version of Thriller – something that delivered what it should on the surface, but wound up offering less in the long run. So, it was time for a change-up, something even a superstar as huge as Michael Jackson realized, so he left Quincy Jones behind, hired Guy mastermind Teddy Riley as the main producer, and worked with a variety of other producers, arrangers, and writers, most notably Bruce Swedien and Bill Bottrell.” STE

“Michael Jackson was still going for pop hits with 1991’s Dangerous,” RW but “the end result of this is a much sharper, harder, riskier album than Bad, one that has its eyes on the street, even if its heart gets middle-class soft on Heal the World. The shift in direction and change of collaborators has liberated Jackson, and he’s written a set of songs that is considerably stronger than Bad, often approaching the consistency of Off the Wall and Thriller.” STE In fact, the “six straight Teddy Riley-assisted cuts” RW that front-load the album make for a “ half-hour swoop of tense, aggressive, often angular funk [that] was Jackson’s most interesting music since Thriller.” RW

There is the challenge of Jackson’s “suffocating stardom, which results in a set of songs without much real emotional center, either in their substance or performance.” STE “But, there’s a lot to be said for professional craftsmanship at its peak, and Dangerous has plenty of that, not just on such fine singles as In the Closet, Remember the Time, or the blistering Jam, but on album tracks like Why You Wanna Trip on Me.” STE

“The sprightly Black or White is explicitly pro-interracial romance, an angle its video didn’t go near, and the urgent Give in to Me is almost scary…good.” RWGone Too Soon, a non-Jackson composition about teen AIDS casualty Ryan White, is a quiet statement (particularly played next to the choir-laden ‘Heal the World,’ Keep the Faith, and Will You Be There) showing that the star doesn’t always have to get showy.” RW

The album isn’t “perfect – it has a terrible cover, a couple of slow spots, and suffers from CD-era ailments of the early ‘90s, such as its overly long running time and its deadening Q Sound production, which sounds like somebody forgot to take the Surround Sound button off.” STE

“Even so, Dangerous captures Jackson at a near-peak, delivering an album that would have ruled the pop charts surely and smoothly if it had arrived just a year earlier. But it didn’t – it arrived along with grunge, which changed the rules of the game nearly as much as Thriller itself. Consequently, it’s the rare multi-platinum, number one album that qualifies as a nearly forgotten, underappreciated record.” STE

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Thursday, December 5, 1991

Today in Music (1791): Mozart died, leaving his unfinished Requiem surrounded by myth

Requiem Mass in D Minor

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (composer)

Composed: 1791

First performed: ?

Charted: --

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: classical > choral music


  1. Requiem aeternam
  2. Kyrie
  3. Dies irae
  4. Tuba mirum
  5. Rex tremendae
  6. Recordare
  7. Confutatis
  8. Lacrimosa
  9. Domine Deus
  10. Hostias
  11. Sanctus
  12. Benedictus
  13. Aguns Dei
  14. Lux aeterna

Average Duration: 51:33


4.502 out of 5.00 (average of 5 ratings)


“The sublimest achievement that the modern period has contributed to the church.” – E.T.A. Hoffmann WK


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Work:

Mozart’s “deathbed composition…ascended to truly iconic status. It did so despite fundamental mysteries of its composition and even its authenticity.” TD His widow, Constanze, “was responsible for a number of stories…including the claims that Mozart received the commission from a mysterious messenger who did not reveal the commissioner’s identity, and that Mozart came to believe that he was writing the requiem for his own funeral.” WK

“A tangled skein of myths and fairy tales imagine the deathbed genius collapsing upon his manuscript (myths powerfully reinforced by the 1984 film Amadeus), but many facts about the piece are clear.” TD “The Countess von Walsegg passed away in February 1791. The Count commissioned a requiem mass from Mozart via a clerk (the ‘Grey Messenger’ of Requiem-mythology). Mozart accepted the job for his unknown patron, having desired to compose some ‘higher form of church music.’” TD

In October and November of 1791, Mozart worked on the piece, TD “but it was unfinished at his death on 5 December the same year.” WK Constanze “arranged for his friends and pupils to complete the other movements.” TD “A completed version dated 1792 by Franz Xaver Süssmayr was delivered to Count Franz von Walsegg.” WK “It cannot be shown to what extent Süssmayr may have depended on now lost ‘scraps of paper’ for the remainder; he later claimed the Sanctus and Agnus Dei as his own.” WK

“Walsegg probably intended to pass the Requiem off as his own composition, as he is known to have done with other works. This plan was frustrated by a public benefit performance for…Constanze.” WK

“Mozart’s Requiem contains five sections, each capped by a fugue: ‘Requiem/Kyrie,’ ‘Sequence (Dies Irae),’ ‘Offertory,’ ‘Sanctus,’ and ‘Agnus Dei.’ Throughout, choral writing drives Mozart’s music; even the four soloists rarely sing alone. The darkly colored orchestra supports the choir with often vivid motives. This pictorial aspect is most evident in the Sequence: Tuba mirum (solo trombone), Rex tremendae (regal dotted-rhythms), Confutatis (fiery accompaniment), and Lachrymosa (sighing strings). Not only do individual movements display an extraordinary level of motivic unity, Mozart carefully creates motivic relationships across the entire Requiem. The very first melody sung by the basses (Requiem aeternam), for instance, is repeated at the very end and also echoes throughout the work; the opening melody of ‘Dies irae’ translates into major mode to open the Sanctus. Mozart is never afraid, however, of acknowledging his debt to earlier traditions of church music. His fugues deliberately reference Bach, and in the first movement alone he quotes from Michael Haydn’s Requiem, Handel’s funeral anthem for Queen Caroline, Messiah, and the Gregorian chant known as the ‘Pilgrim’s Tone.’” TD

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Last updated 12/4/2023.