Just Good Friends (song)

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"Just Good Friends"
Song by Michael Jackson featuring Stevie Wonder from the album Bad
Released August 31, 1987
Format
Recorded 1987
Genre Synthpop, R&B, Pop, funk
Length 4:06
Label Epic
Writer Terry Britten
Graham Lyle
Producer Quincy Jones
Michael Jackson (co-producer)
Bad track listing
"Liberian Girl"
(4)
"Just Good Friends"
(5)
"Another Part of Me"
(6)

"Just Good Friends" is a song from Michael Jackson's 1987 album Bad. The song is one of two duets on the album, the other being "I Just Can't Stop Loving You". The song features Jackson and Stevie Wonder quarrelling over a girl in a light, cheerful manner. "Just Good Friends" is the fifth track on Bad with a duration of 4:08. It and "Speed Demon" are the only two tracks from the album never to be released as singles.

"Just Good Friends" is one of only two songs on Bad which were not written by Jackson himself, the other being "Man in the Mirror". The song was written and composed by the 80's song writing-partnership of Terry Britten and Graham Lyle.

Performance[edit]

"Just Good Friends" was performed only once, on November 20, 1987, during a Bad World Tour concert.[1] During the Australian leg of the tour, there was a surprise performance of the song during a concert at Sydney's Parramatta Stadium.[1] The concert had a sell-out crowd of 45,000 people, and fans were shocked when Stevie Wonder made a surprise appearance during the show.[1] He and Jackson then proceeded to perform "Just Good Friends" for the first and last time.[1]

Reception[edit]

Sputnikmusic praised "Just Good Friends", calling it a "severely underrated song which could have been a single."[2] The website called the song extremely upbeat, and very much an 80's song.[2] Furthermore, the site praised the pairing of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, and how their voices worked together.[2] The site went so far as to say that these two singers are perhaps the "greatest, most distinctive pop vocalists of all time."[2] The organ solo by Wonder was also praised by Sputnikmusic.[2] The only minor criticism the site had with "Just Good Friends" was that its replay value is slightly less than that of songs such as "Man in the Mirror", and Bad's other stronger singles.[2]

Rolling Stone criticized "Just Good Friends" as being "the only mediocrity" on Bad.[3] The reviewer attributed this to the fact that "Just Good Friends" is one of only two songs not actually written by Jackson on the album.[3] Rolling Stone commented that the Stevie Wonder-duet starts well, but "devolves into a chin-bobbing cheerfulness that is unforced but also, sadly, unearned."[3]

Credits[edit]

  • Written and composed by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle
  • Vocal duet with Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder
  • Synthesizer solo: Stevie Wonder
  • Drums: Ollie E. Brown, Humberto Gatica and Bruce Swedien
  • Drum programming: Cornelius Mims
  • Guitar: Michael Landau
  • Saxophones: Kim Hutchcroft and Larry Williams
  • Trumpets: Gary Grant and Jerry Hey
  • Percussion: Paulinho Da Costa
  • Synclavier: Christopher Currell
  • Synthesizers: Michael Boddicker, Rhett Lawrence, Greg Phillinganes and Larry Williams
  • Rhythm, synthesizer and vocal arrangements by Terry Britten, Graham Lyle and Quincy Jones
  • Horn arrangement by Jerry Hey

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Bad Tour". www.michaeljacksonforsale.com. 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Michael Jackson Bad". Sputnikmusic. 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  3. ^ a b c "Album Reviews: Bad". Rolling Stone. 2001. Retrieved 2007-07-02.