Dirty Diana

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"Dirty Diana"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Bad
Released April 18, 1988 (1988-04-18)
Format CD single, 7", 12", DVD
Recorded 1987
Genre Pop rock, hard rock, heavy metal
Length 4:52 (original version)
4:40 (single version)
5:02 (video version)
Label Epic
Writer(s) Michael Jackson
Producer(s) Quincy Jones
Michael Jackson (co-producer)
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Man in the Mirror"
(1988)
"Dirty Diana"
(1988)
"Another Part of Me"
(1988)
Bad track listing
"I Just Can't Stop Loving You"
(8)
"Dirty Diana"
(9)
"Smooth Criminal"
(10)

"Dirty Diana" is a song by American songwriter and recording artist Michael Jackson featuring guitarist Steve Stevens. It is the ninth track from Jackson's seventh studio album, Bad. The song was released by Epic Records on April 18, 1988 as the fifth single from the album. The song presented a harder rock sound similar to that of "Beat It" from the album Thriller. "Dirty Diana" was written and co-produced by Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones. The songs lyrics pertain to groupies. "Dirty Diana" has a moderate tempo and is played in the key of Bb major.

"Dirty Diana" was generally well received by contemporary music critics. The song was also a commercial success worldwide in 1988, charting at number one on the United States Billboard Hot 100. The song also charted within the top ten in multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy and New Zealand. "Dirty Diana" was the fifth and final Hot 100 number-one single from Bad. In 2009, after Jackson's death in June, the song re-entered charts, mainly due to digital download sales. A music video for "Dirty Diana" was filmed in front of a live audience and was released in 1988.

Background[edit]

"Dirty Diana" was written and co-produced by Michael Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones. It appeared on Jackson's seventh studio album, Bad. The song was released by Epic Records on April 18, 1988 as the fifth single from Bad. After "Beat It", "Dirty Diana" was the second hard rock song of his solo career, with lyrics about a persistent groupie.[1] Jackson hired Billy Idol's guitarist Steve Stevens to back him on the track.[2] Initial reports at the time suggested the song was a poke at his close friend Diana Ross, however this was later denied.[3] In fact, Ross started using the song as an overture at her concerts shortly before she appears on stage. In an interview from the special edition of Bad, Jones later confirmed that the song's lyrics were about groupies. Jackson also confirmed this during an interview with Barbara Walters, adding that it was not about Diana, Princess of Wales, though he was told personally by the Princess that it was her favorite among his songs.[4]

Composition[edit]

The lyrics to "Dirty Diana" pertain to a persistent groupie.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Musically, "Dirty Diana" is a pop rock,[5][6] hard rock[1][7] and heavy metal[8][9] song similar to "Beat It".[5] TriniTrent from The Lava Lizard, when talking about Michael and Janet Jackson's "Scream", evokes "Dirty Diana" along with Jackson's "pop/rock musical direction" he has previously experimented with.[6] John Tatlock from The Quietus regards the song as an attempt to recreate "the pop-rock alchemy of 'Beat It'"[5] In his Bad review, Los Angeles Times' Richard Cromelin describes "Dirty Diana" as a hard rock song, he says about it, "'Dirty Diana' is trying to be this year's 'Beat It' − a hard-rock song about a tenacious groupie that's sent into orbit by a Steve Stevens guitar solo".[1] Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine also considers "Dirty Diana" as a hard rock song, observing on the album that "this meant that he moved deeper into hard rock, deeper into schmaltzy adult contemporary, deeper into hard dance – essentially taking each portion of Thriller to an extreme" and qualifying the track as the "misogynistic 'Dirty Diana'".[7]

Jon Pareles, a writer for The New York Times, viewed "Dirty Diana" as a song about a "groupie who latches onto the narrator, mixes the sexual fears of 'Billie Jean' with the hard-rock lead guitar of 'Beat It'".[10] In his Bad review, Thom Duffy, music critic for the Orlando Sentinel, described "Dirty Diana" as a heavy metal ballad, saying that "Dirty Diana, a tale of a maliciously seductive fan, finds Jackson doing credible heavy-metal rock wailing", which, the critic said, was "accompanied by a solo from Steve Stevens, the guitarist from Billy Idol's band".[8] The Philadelphia Inquirer also described "Dirty Diana" as a heavy metal ballad. The newspaper said, "Plus, to tap the rock crowd (in the style of the 'Thriller' crossover smash 'Beat It' with Eddie Van Halen), Michael cut a heavy metal-tinged 'Dirty Diana' featuring Billy Idol's guitar sizzler Stevie Stevens".[9] "Dirty Diana" is written in common time and moves at a moderate tempo of 104 beats per minute.[11] Jackson's vocals are sung on a range of Bb3 to G5.[11] The instrumentation consists of guitar and piano and is played in the key of Bb major.[11]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

"Dirty Diana" received mixed reviews by contemporary music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine felt that "Dirty Diana" and "Man in the Mirror" were "showcasing Jackson at his worst" on Bad.[7] Music critic Robert Christgau viewed "Dirty Diana" as "misogynistic as any piece of metal suck-my-cock".[12] Jon Pareles described "Dirty Diana" as 'reducing' Jackson to a "terrified whimper"[10] while John Tatlock considered "Dirty Diana" as a "confused lumbering slog of a song", thinking that "Jackson was never convincing in this kind of role, a boy-child trying to write a song about the kind of woman he never meets in the kind of places he's certainly never been to."[5] Davitt Sigerson of Rolling Stone gave the song a more positive review, though calling it a "filler", she still commented that the song, along with "Speed Demon" is what makes Bad "richer, sexier, better than Thriller's forgettables".[13] Sigerson noted that "Dirty Diana" was a "substantial recording" because of its "insubstantial melody."[13] Jennifer Clay of Yahoo! Music commented that while Jackson's edgier image was a "little hard to swallow", the image, musically, worked on the songs "Bad", "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana", but was not "to the degree of Thriller".[14]

Chart performance[edit]

"Dirty Diana", similar to Bad's previous singles, charted within the top twenty and top ten worldwide. It peaked at number one on the United States Billboard Hot 100 on July 2, 1988, after nine weeks on the chart.[15][16] "Dirty Diana" was the album's fifth consecutive single to peak at number one on the Hot 100. Internationally, "Dirty Diana" charted within the top thirty positions on several music charts.[17] The song also charted within the top five in the Netherlands, Germany and New Zealand, peaking at number two, three and five respectively.[17] The song entered the United Kingdom charts on July 16, 1988 at number fourteen, and the following week the song went to number four,[18] where it stayed for two weeks.

"Dirty Diana" peaked at three in Ireland,[19] number seven in Austria,[20] and charted at number nine in France.[21] The song also charted within the top thirty, peaking at number thirty in Australia.[22] Following Jackson's death in June 2009, his music experienced a surge in popularity.[23] In July 2009, "Dirty Diana" saw a strong chart surge, mainly due to digital download sales. The song charted at number eighteen on the French Digital Singles Chart on July 4, 2009.[24] On July 12, the song peaked at number thirteen on the Swiss Singles Chart.[25] "Dirty Diana" re-entered the United Kingdom charts on July 4, 2009 at number fifty, and the following week peaked at number twenty-six;[26] the song began falling off the charts in the following weeks.

Music video[edit]

Jackson in the music video for "Dirty Diana".

The five-minute music video for the song was directed by Joe Pytka.[27] This music video won the "Number One Video In The World" at the 2nd World Music Awards held on April 14, 1989.[28] It is featured on the DVD albums Number Ones, Michael Jackson's Vision and the Target version DVD of Bad 25.

The woman who appears in the video is model Lisa Dean, chosen over hundreds just for the "legs" part. She also passed away in 2009, due to cancer.

Live performance video[edit]

A second seven-minute long accompanying video of a live performance (which should not be confused with the actual music video) was filmed in early 1988 in front of a live audience during Jackson's show in Madison Square Garden (Steve Stevens playing guitar). The video starts with the screen saying "Pepsi Presents Michael Jackson Tour 1988" in front of a white background for forty seconds. After showing a black screen, Jackson can be seen from a distance performing in front of an audience with the only source of light being blue lights. During Jackson's performance he is dressed in a white button down shirt, black pants and has metal and leather belts on his pants while singing and dancing. In between Jackson's performance from a distance, there are clips of him performing up-close while singing into a microphone, as well as clips of his guitarist Jennifer Batten performing behind him. Jackson then begins dancing and singing to the woman before walking down a cat-walk and dancing near guitarist Steve Stevens. Jackson's performance is then shown from a distance again and the video ends with Jackson finishing his performance and the lights turning blue.

Live performances[edit]

"Dirty Diana" was performed during Jackson's Bad World Tour concert series from 1987 to 1989, but only in the second leg, as the 10th song in the setlist. According to Jackson in an interview with Barbara Walters, "Dirty Diana" was scheduled for a live 1988 performance at Wembley Stadium during the Bad World Tour; however, Jackson felt the song would be an insult to Diana, Princess of Wales, who was in attendance, so he had it removed.[4] After Diana informed him the song was actually one of her personal favorites, Jackson re-added the song to the set list.[4] This performance can be seen on the DVD Michael Jackson: Live at Wembley July 16, 1988. This Is It concert series choreographer, Kenny Ortega, stated in an interview that "Dirty Diana" was going to be performed by Jackson for the concerts from 2009 to 2010.[29] Ortega said that Jackson had planned to rehearse the song before he died. The set up for the song would include an expert pole dancer who would lure Jackson onto a giant steel bed on which she performed acrobatic feats.[29][30]

Track listing[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1988) Position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[53] 9
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[54] 9
France (SNEP)[55] 52
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[56] 33
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[57] 31
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[58] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[59] 61
US Cash Box[60] 18
Order of precedence
Preceded by
"Theme from S-Express" by S-Express
Belgian Ultratop 50 Flanders number-one single
July 9, 1988 – July 16, 1988 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman
Preceded by
"Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You"
by Glenn Medeiros
Belgian VRT Top 30 Flanders number-one single
July 9, 1988 – July 23, 1988 (3 weeks)
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
July 16, 1988 – July 30, 1988 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Im Nin' Alu" by Ofra Haza
Preceded by
"Fragile" by Sting
Polish number-one single
June 25, 1988 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Zostawcie Titanica" by Lady Pank
Preceded by
"Foolish Beat" by Debbie Gibson
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
July 2, 1988 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"The Flame" by Cheap Trick
US Cash Box number-one single
July 2, 1988 (1 week)
Preceded by
"The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson
Spanish number-one single
April 16, 2006 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cromelin, Richard (August 31, 1987). "Michael Jackson has a good thing in 'Bad'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 9, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Bad: Special Edition liner notes. Epic Records (2001).
  3. ^ Levine, Nick (July 7, 2009). "Michael Jackson's Top 20 Singles: Part Two". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Jones, Jel D. Lewis (2005). Michael Jackson, the king of pop: the big picture : the music! the man! the legend! the interviews : an anthology. Amber Books Publishing. p. 226. ISBN 978-0-9749779-0-4. 
  5. ^ a b c d Tatlock, John (October 14, 2008). "Michael Jackson". The Quietus. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Dynamic Duos: 10 Greatest Pop Music Duets". The Lava Lizard. Retrieved June 30, 2013. "the Pop/Rock musical direction with which they both previously experimented (Michael’s “Dirty Diana”, Janet’s “Black Cat”)." 
  7. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson – Bad". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved October 9, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Duffy, Thom (September 1, 1987). "Jackson Re-emerges, Still Thrills With 'Bad'". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "SO, Was It Worth The Wait? Some Hits, But The "Thriller" Is Gone For Most Tracks". The Philadelphia Inquirer. September 1, 1987. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Pareles, Jon (August 31, 1987). "Pop: Michael Jackson's 'Bad,' Follow-Up To A Blockbuster". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c "Dirty Diana By Michael Jackson - Digital Sheet Music". MusicNotes.com. Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Album – Michael Jackson: Bad". Retrieved February 19, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Sigerson, Davitt (2001). Album Reviews: Michael Jackson – Bad at the Wayback Machine (archived February 5, 2007). Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  14. ^ Album Reviews: Michael Jackson – Bad at the Wayback Machine (archived August 6, 2009). Yahoo! Music. January 1, 1987. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  15. ^ "July 2, 1988 – The Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 19, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c d e "Bad – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g "Ultratop.be – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  19. ^ a b c "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Lescharts.com – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  22. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  23. ^ Christman, Ed; Bruno, Antony (July 2, 2009). "Michael Jackson Music Sales Surge Could Last For Months". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 19, 2010. 
  24. ^ a b "lescharts.com – Les charts français" (in French). Les classement de telechargement single. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  25. ^ a b c "Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  26. ^ a b "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  27. ^ Halstead, Craig; Cadman, Chris (2007). Michael Jackson: For the Record. Authors On Line. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-7552-0267-6. 
  28. ^ Halstead, Craig; Cadman, Chris (2003). Michael Jackson the Solo Years. Authors On Line. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-7552-0091-7. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  29. ^ a b Jones, Chris (October 19, 2009). "Director of Michael Jackson's 'This is It' says singer was ready to triumph in London". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  30. ^ Michael Jackson's This Is It DVD Sony Music (2010).
  31. ^ "Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana (CD)". Discogs. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  32. ^ (Dutch) "Dirty Diana – MICHAEL JACKSON". Top 30. Retrieved January 31, 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1" 
  33. ^ "RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  34. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  35. ^ "Song artist 18 – Michael Jackson". TsorT. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  37. ^ (Italian) "Indice per Interprete: J". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Michael Jackson - Dirty Diana search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  39. ^ a b c "Dutchcharts.nl – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  40. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  41. ^ (Polish) "DIRTY DIANA – Michael Jackson". LP3. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  42. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending JULY 2, 1988 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 7, 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  43. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Lescharts.com – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  45. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana". Top Digital Download. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  46. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  47. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  48. ^ "Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  49. ^ "50 Back Catalogue Singles – 04/07/2009". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana". Tracklisten. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  51. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana". VG-lista. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  52. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana". Singles Top 60. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  53. ^ (German) "Jahreshitparade 1988". Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  54. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten 1988". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  55. ^ (French) "TOP – 1988". Top-france.fr. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  56. ^ (Dutch) "Single Top 100 over 1988" (PDF). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  57. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1988". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  58. ^ (German) "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1988". Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  59. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1988". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  60. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1988 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 7, 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved October 7, 2012.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Halstead, Craig; Cadman, Chris (2007). Michael Jackson: For the Record. Authors OnLine. ISBN 978-0-7552-0267-6. 
  • Halstead, Craig; Cadman, Chris (2003). Michael Jackson the Solo Years. Authors OnLine. ISBN 978-0-7552-0091-7. 
  • Jones, Jel (2005). Michael Jackson, the king of pop: the big picture : the music! the man! the legend! the interviews : an anthology. Amber Books Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9749779-0-4.