In the Closet

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For other uses, see In the closet.
"In the Closet"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Dangerous
Released April 9, 1992[1]
Format
Recorded March—May 1991[2]
Genre New jack swing[3]
Length 6:31 (Album Version)
4:49 (Single Version)
Label Epic
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Teddy Riley
  • Michael Jackson
Certification Gold (RIAA)[4]
Michael Jackson chronology
"Remember the Time"
(1992)
"In the Closet"
(1992)
"Jam"
(1992)
Dangerous track listing
"Why You Wanna Trip on Me"
(2)
"In the Closet"
(3)
"She Drives Me Wild"
(4)

"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 the album's third consecutive top ten pop single, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became its second number one R&B single.

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..."[5] Rolling Stone described the number as "titillatingly titled" but "determinedly heterosexual."[6] 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.[7] 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 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. With mostly whispered and subdued vocals, embellished with gasps, moans, and shudders, along with lyrics that include "...And if it's aching, you have to rub it," it is generally considered one of Jackson's most provocative songs.

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.[8] 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."[9] 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."[6]

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.[10]

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.[11] The video is featured on the DVDs Dangerous: The Short Films and Michael Jackson's Vision. Clips from the music video were used in Jackson's posthumous music video for his song "A Place with No Name", which was released as the second single from his posthumous compilation album Xscape in 2014.

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)[12]
  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)[13]
  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)[14]
  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)[15]
  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)[16]
  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)[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
In the Closet (U.S. NTSC Visionary DualDisc Single 82876773352 4)[18]
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)[19]
  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 performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Preceded by
"Closer" by Mr. Fingers
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
June 13, 1992 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Club Lonely" by Lil Louis & the World
Preceded by
"Honey Love" by R. Kelly and Public Announcement
US Billboard R&B Singles number-one single
June 27, 1992 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Do It to Me" by Lionel Richie

Personnel[edit]

  • 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "In the Closet – Single". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Celebrity Buzz Fight against Trump condos". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. May 15, 1991. p. D/2. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum Searchable Database – In the Closet". RIAA. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  5. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 24, 1991). "RECORDINGS VIEW; Michael Jackson in the Electronic Wilderness". The New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Light, Alan (January 1, 1992). "Michael Jackson – Dangerous". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2000). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books. p. 320. ISBN 978-0-8230-7690-1. 
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson – Dangerous". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Michael Jackson: Dangerous". Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Madonna speak working with MJ". YouTube. July 7, 2008. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet USA CD single (CD5 / 5")". Eil.com. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet – Green USA Promo CD single (CD5 / 5")". Eil.com. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet – Mixes Behind Door #1 Japan CD single (CD5 / 5")". Eil.com. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet – Mixes Behind Door #2 Japan CD single (CD5 / 5")". Eil.com. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet – Mixes Behind Door 3 Japan CD single (CD5 / 5")". Eil.com. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet UK Dual Disc". Eil.com. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Visionary: The Video Singles [Box Set, Dual Disc]". Amazon.com. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet UK Promo video (VHS or PAL or NTSC)". Eil.com. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  21. ^ "Michael Jackson – In The Closet – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Michael Jackson – In The Closet" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  23. ^ (Dutch) "In The Closet – MICHAEL JACKSON". Top 30. Retrieved June 14, 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 13" 
  24. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 55, No. 22, May 30, 1992". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Dance/Urban – Volume 55, No. 24, June 13, 1992". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
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  28. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 104 (32): 43. August 8, 1992. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  30. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Michael Jackson - In The Closet search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  31. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl – Michael Jackson – In The Closet" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  32. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  33. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". VG-lista. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  34. ^ (Polish) "IN THE CLOSET – Michael Jackson". LP3. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  35. ^ Halstead, Craig; Cadman, Chris (2003). Jacksons Number Ones. Authors On Line Ltd. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7552-0098-6. 
  36. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". Singles Top 60. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  37. ^ "Michael Jackson – In The Closet – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  38. ^ "Archive Chart: 1992-05-02" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  39. ^ a b c d "Dangerous – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  40. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Pop Singles – Week ending JUNE 13, 1992 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 8, 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  41. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989, part 2". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  42. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". Top Digital Download. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  43. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Michael Jackson – In The Closet" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  44. ^ "Archive Chart: 2006-05-20" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
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  46. ^ (Italian) "I singoli più venduti del 1992". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
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See also[edit]