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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