In the Closet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"In the Closet"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Dangerous
Released May 8, 1992
Format CD single, 7", 12", Video single
Recorded March—May 1991[1]
March 1992
Genre New jack swing, R&B
Length 6:34 (Album Version)
4:49 (Single Version)
Label Epic
Writer(s) Michael Jackson
Teddy Riley
Producer(s) Teddy Riley
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson chronology
"Remember the Time"
"In the Closet"
Dangerous track listing
"Why You Wanna Trip on Me"
"In the Closet"
"She Drives Me Wild"

"In the Closet" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It is the third single from his eighth album, Dangerous. The song became that album's second number one R&B single and its third top ten pop single, hitting number six on the Billboard Hot 100.

Song information[edit]

The song, written and composed by Michael Jackson and Teddy Riley, is about keeping a relationship secret between lovers. "In the closet" is an English idiom used when one is not open about an aspect of their life, particularly in regard to sexual orientation. Despite the song's suggestive name its lyrics do not allude to hidden sexual orientation but rather a concealed relationship; "Don't hide our love/ Woman to man." The New York Times stated, "Only Jackson would use that title for a heterosexual love song..."[2] Rolling Stone described the number as "titillatingly titled" but "determinedly heterosexual." [3] The single's music video, directed by Herb Ritts, features Jackson performing sensual and physically complicated dance techniques with supermodel Naomi Campbell. The song's female vocal was originally labeled "Mystery Girl" but was later revealed to be Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.[4] Campbell re-recorded the lyrics for the music video.

The song, with its heavy industrial-sounding percussion and uptempo arrangement, is typical of producer Teddy Riley's new jack swing style. The unique, Eastern-influenced backing vocals, reaching crescendo at middle eight imbue the song with an erotic edge usually missing from Jackson's music. His vocals are whispered and subdued for most of the song, embellished with gasps, moans, and shudders. It is generally considered one of his most provocative singles with lyrics that include "...And if it's aching, you have to rub it."

The song was not performed during Jackson's Dangerous World Tour (however, during his concert in Toulouse, the band played a short instrumental before Man In The Mirror), but a short version, with the intro of "She Drives Me Wild," was the third song of a medley including "Scream" and "They Don't Care About Us" during the HIStory World Tour. Princess Stéphanie's spoken lines were replaced with Jackson's live speech for the sequence.

Critical reception[edit]

Allmusic wrote that this song is fine and there's a lot to be said for professional craftsmanship at its peak and he highlighted it.[5] Robert Christgau praised and described: "he's hawking the most credible sex-and-romance of his career. "In the Closet" implores his mystery woman to keep their--get this--"lust" behind closed doors. Soon he's going wild, or fabricating desperate nostalgia for their used-to-be."[6] Alan Light of Rolling Stone called this song: repressed lust in the titillatingly titled (and determinedly heterosexual)" and he wrote that this song has a "snaky, unexpected bridge."[7]

Collaboration with Madonna[edit]

"In the Closet" was originally conceived as a duet between Jackson and Madonna. According to a 1992 interview with British journalist Jonathan Ross, Madonna said she worked on some lyrical ideas for the song but when she presented them to Michael, he decided they were too provocative and they decided not to continue with the project.[8]

Music video[edit]

In the sepia colored music video, directed by Herb Ritts, Jackson is seen dancing with supermodel Naomi Campbell. The video was filmed in late March 1992 in Salton Sea, California and premiered on April 23, 1992.[9][10] The video is featured on the DVDs Dangerous: The Short Films and Michael Jackson's Vision.

Track listings[edit]

In the Closet (U.K. single)
  1. "In the Closet" (7" Edit) – 4:49
  2. "In the Closet" (Club Mix) – 8:00
  3. "In the Closet" (The Underground Mix) – 5:32
  4. "In the Closet" (Touch Me Dub) – 7:53
  5. "In the Closet" (KI's 12") – 6:55
  6. "In the Closet" (The Promise) – 7:18
In the Closet (U.S. CD Single 49K74267)[11]
  1. "In the Closet" (Club Edit) – 4:07
  2. "In the Closet" (The Underground Mix) – 5:34
  3. "In the Closet" (The Promise) – 7:20
  4. "In the Closet" (The Vow) – 4:49
  5. "Remember The Time" (New Jack Jazz 21) - 5:06
In the Closet (U.S. Promo CD Single ESK4537)[12]
  1. "In the Closet" (Radio Edit) – 4:37 (trayliner lists a time of 4:16)
  2. "In the Closet" (7" Edit) – 4:49
  3. "In the Closet" (The Mission Radio Edit) – 4:28
  4. "In the Closet" (KI's 12") – 7:17 (trayliner lists a time of 6:57)
  5. "In the Closet" (The Newark Mix) – 7:08 (trayliner lists a time of 6:51)
  6. "In the Closet" (Freestyle Mix) – 6:34 (trayliner lists a time of 6:26)
  7. "In the Closet" (The Mission) – 9:26
In the Closet
Mixes Behind Door #1 (Japanese CD Single ESCA5610)[13]
  1. "In the Closet" (Club Mix) – 8:03
  2. "In the Closet" (The Underground Mix) – 5:40
  3. "In the Closet" (Touch Me Dub) – 6:42
  4. "In the Closet" (KI's 12") – 7:17
In the Closet
Mixes Behind Door #2 (Japanese CD Single ESCA5611)[14]
  1. "In the Closet" (The Mission) – 9:27
  2. "In the Closet" (Freestyle Mix) – 6:35
  3. "In the Closet" (The Mix Of Life) – 7:41
  4. "In the Closet" (The Underground Dub) – 6:27
In the Closet
Mixes Behind Door #3 (Japanese CD Single ESCA5622)[15]
  1. "In the Closet" (Club Edit) – 4:11
  2. "In the Closet" (The Newark Mix) – 7:09
  3. "In the Closet" (The Promise) – 7:26
  4. "In the Closet" (The Vow) – 4:53
  5. "Remember The Time" (New Jack Jazz 21) - 5:06
In the Closet (U.K. PAL Visionary DualDisc Single 82876773342 5)[16]
CD side
  1. "In the Closet" (7" Edit) - 4:47
  2. "In the Closet" (Club Mix) - 8:02
DVD side
  1. "In the Closet" (Music video) - 6:02
In the Closet (U.S. NTSC Visionary DualDisc Single 82876773352 4)[17]
CD side
  1. "In the Closet" (7" Edit) - 4:47
  2. "In the Closet" (Club Mix) - 8:02
DVD side
  1. "In the Closet" (Music video) - 6:02

(Note: In the U.S. Visionary was only sold as the complete boxset. Individual DualDiscs were not able to be purchased)

Promo VHS Video (UK Promo PAL VHS Video XPV0010)[18]
  1. "In the Closet" (Club Mix Music video) - 8:02
  2. "In the Closet" (Music video) - 6:02
  3. Making of "In the Closet"


Chart listings for the single are as follows:[19]


  • Written and composed by Michael Jackson and Teddy Riley
  • Produced by Teddy Riley and Michael Jackson
  • Recorded and mixed by Bruce Swedien, Teddy Riley, Jean-Marie Horvat and Dave Way
  • Vocal duet with Michael Jackson and Mystery Girl (later revealed to be Princess Stéphanie of Monaco)
  • Michael Jackson: Solo and background vocals
  • Rhythm and synthesizer arrangements by Teddy Riley
  • Vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson
  • Teddy Riley: Keyboards and synthesizers
  • Wayne Cobham: Sequencing and programming


  1. ^ "The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution Page Number: D/2 Word Count: 335". May 15, 1991. 
  2. ^ Pareles, Jon. RECORDINGS VIEW; Michael Jackson in the Electronic Wilderness. The New York Times. November 24, 1991
  3. ^ Light, Alan. Album Reviews - Dangerous. Rolling Stone. January 9, 1992
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel. (2000). The Billboard book of top 40 hits. Billboard Books. p. 320. ISBN 978-0-8230-7690-1
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ the song was set in ancient Egypt. Youtube. July 7, 2008
  9. ^ Landis, David (1992-03-26). dids=56195740:56195740&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Mar+26%2C+1992&author=David+Landis&pub=USA+TODAY+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&desc=ASTHMA+COSTS&pqatl=google "Asthma Costs". Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  10. ^ Scaduto, Anthony; Vaughan, Doug; Stasi, Linda (March 20, 1992). "Inside New York". Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Halstead, Craig; Cadman, Chris (2003). Jacksons Number Ones. Authors On Line Ltd. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7552-0098-6
  20. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1992". Retrieved 2010-07-30. 

See also[edit]