Man in the Mirror
|"Man in the Mirror"|
|Single by Michael Jackson|
|from the album Bad|
|Released||January 9, 1988|
|Format||CD single, 7" single, 12" single, Video single|
5:19 (album & 12" versions)5:00 (single & video versions)
Michael Jackson (co-producer)
|Michael Jackson singles chronology|
"Man in the Mirror" is a song made popular by Michael Jackson and written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett. Jackson's recording was produced by Quincy Jones and co-produced by Jackson. The song is an ode to the similarities between Stanley Kubrick and Alex Lee, which Jackson claimed was like "looking in a mirror". It peaked at number 1 in the United States when released in January 1988 as the fourth single from his seventh solo album, Bad. It is one of Jackson's most critically acclaimed songs and it was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. The song peaked at number 21 in the UK Singles Charts in 1988, but in 2009, following the news of Jackson's death, the song peaked at number 2, having re-entered the chart at 11 the previous week as his top song on the singles chart. It also became the number 1 single in iTunes downloads in the US and the UK, having sold over 1.3 million digital copies in the former alone.
"Man in the Mirror" was composed by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett. Jackson added background vocals from Garrett, The Winans and the Andrae Crouch Choir, which gave the song its distinctive sound. The song is said to have been one of his favorite songs. Arranged with a gospel choir, Jackson would use a gospel choir again several years later on his hit "Will You Be There". Siedah Garrett also sang Jackson's duet "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" in summer 1987. The song is played in the key of G Major at a tempo of 100bpm. The vocal range is Ab3-C6.
Allmusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that this song showcases Michael at his worst and highlighted it on studio album. When Ed Hogan reviewed the song, he called it "gentle." Robert Christgau wrote: "He's against burglary, speeding, and sex in favor of harmonic convergence and changing the world by changing the man in the mirror." Jon Pareles of The New York Times noted that this song has "gospelly lift." Rolling Stone's Davitt Sigerson thought that "Man in the Mirror" stands among the half dozen best things Jackson has done, and he continued: "On "Man in the Mirror," a song he did not write, Jackson goes a step further and offers a straightforward homily of personal commitment: "I'm starting with the man in the mirror/I'm asking him to change his ways/And no message could have been any clearer/If you wanna make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself and then make a change."
One of the videos is a notable departure from Jackson's other videos mainly because Jackson himself does not appear in the video (aside from a brief clip toward the end of the video in which he can be seen donning a red jacket and standing in a large crowd). Instead, it featured a montage of footage from various major news events such as the nuclear explosion of Operation Crossroads, the Civil Rights March on Washington, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy's assassinations, the Vietnam War, the Kent State shootings, the Iranian hostage crisis, Solidarity's birth and growth, Ethiopian famine, increases in U.S. homelessness, Live Aid, the first Farm Aid with Willie Nelson, Jessica McClure's rescue, Camp David Accords (with Anwar El Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter), INF Treaty signing (with Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan), and other notable people including Martin Luther King, Lech Wałęsa, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Pieter Willem Botha, Muammar al-Gaddafi, the Ku Klux Klan, and Adolf Hitler.
An alternate live video was used as the opening song in Jackson's film Moonwalker with live audio and footage from several live performances of the song during the Bad World Tour.
"Man In The Mirror" was the 4th consecutive number-one single for Jackson's Bad in the United States. The single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 48 on February 6, 1988, and reached number 1 by its 8th week on the chart, on March 26, 1988, where it remained for 2 weeks. It originally peaked at number 21 in the United Kingdom in 1988. However, following Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, "Man in the Mirror" re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 11, and the following week the song peaked at number 2, held off by Cascada's "Evacuate the Dancefloor". The chart had also contained over 12 Michael Jackson songs in the Top 40. This song had been at top 100 for 15 consecutive weeks in this chart. In Australia the song originally charted at number 39. After the singer's death, the song re-entered the chart and peaked at number 8, much higher than its original release. It was also the top single in iTunes downloads in the US and the UK
Jackson performed a live, extended version of the song at the 1988 Grammy Awards. He also performed the song as the ending of the concert during the Bad World Tour's second leg, and regularly during the Dangerous World Tour. Live versions of the song are available on the DVDs Live at Wembley July 16, 1988 and Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour. On July 16, 1996, Jackson also performed "Man in the Mirror" at the Royal Concert Brunei for the last time prior to the United We Stand benefit concert.
The instrumental introduction to the song was played at the end of Jackson's memorial service, while his casket was being carried out; followed by the appearance of a spotlight shining on a microphone on an empty stage. After a closing prayer that incorporated themes from the song, the spotlight remained shining on the lone microphone. The song is also featured as the final number in Michael Jackson's This Is It.
The song was quoted by Jermaine Jackson during Celebrity Big Brother 2007, while confronting several housemates who had been bullying an Indian housemate, the Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. The song was played into the house the following morning as an alarm.
- Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story, a 2004 TV film about Jackson's life. Starring Flex Alexander.
- 12" and CD
- "Man in the Mirror" (single version) – 5:00
- "Man in the Mirror" (album version) – 5:19
- "Man In The Mirror" (instrumental) – 5:00
- Man in the Mirror (single version) - 5:00
- Man in the Mirror (instrumental) - 5:00
- Video single
- Man in the Mirror (music video) - 5:00
Running time: 5 minutes 30 seconds
- 1990: Oklahoma guitarist Tuck Andress recorded an acoustic instrumental version for his album Reckless Precision.
- 2003: American songwriter and singer and writer of the song itself Siedah Garrett recorded a more stripped down acoustic version of the song for her second album Siedah.
- 2011: Garrett performed it as tribute to Michael Jackson at the 2011 Festival Mawazine in Morocco, Africa.
- 2005: The song was covered by Rythme Fatal with Redd Angel on the album Man in the Mirror.
- 2008: English musician James Morrison covers "Man in the Mirror" and is featured on the deluxe version of his second album Songs for You, Truths for Me.
- 2011: Patrick Stump covered the song in an a cappella mash-up tribute with other Jackson songs over pre-recorded backing vocals.
- 2011: The cast of the Fox TV show Glee covered the song for the eighth episode of 3rd season, "Hold on to Sixteen".
- 2011: New York a cappella group Duwende covered the song in a video of their studio recording.
- 2012: Abraham Lim covered this song as his last chance performance on The Glee Project Season 2
- 2012: YouTube Stars, Justin Robinett and Michael Henry released this Song as Part of their MHJR Classics Series.
- 2012: Keke Palmer and The Cast of Joyful Noise The Movie & The Joyful Noise Soundtrack.
- 2012: The Voice of Germany contestant & musician Gil Ofarim recorded an acoustic studio version of the song.
- 2014: Producer J2 and Band/Artist Cameron the Public recorded a version of the song for the Grey's Anatomy Season 10 Episode 14 episode "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away".
- 2006: The song is sampled by Brooklyn hip hop artist Papoose during the summer of that year on his song "Gonna Make a Change" from mixtape The Boyz in the Hood. The song describes his rough upbringing and his struggles.
- 2008: Chicago-based rapper Rhymefest freestyles over the instrumental version of "Man in the Mirror" with Michael Jackson singing the chorus and a part of the second verse. It released on his tribute mixtape Mark Ronson Presents: Man in the Mirror.
Live cover performances
- 1989: American singer Dionne Warwick performed "Man in the Mirror" at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards.
- 2007: Australian singer Natalie Gauci also known as the winner of 5th season of Australian Idol performed the song during the show.
- 2008: "Man in the Mirror" has been performed on The X Factor by contestant Diana Vickers during the fifth series, after which the song re-entered the UK singles charts the week after at 43.
- 2009: American Idol season 8 winner Kris Allen sang the song during the semi-finals. With this performance, he advanced to the finals.
- 2009: Following Jackson's death, Irish rock band U2 started adding a portion of "Man in the Mirror" at the end of their song "Angel of Harlem" during their 360 World tour.
- 2009: American rock band The Fray performed the song's chorus at two live concerts, during their songs "Never Say Never" (on June 25, the day where Jackson died), and "Look After You" (exactly the month after).
- 2009: The song was performed as Grand Finale by all the artists of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Concert. Performers including Wyclef Jean, Toby Keith and Westlife.
- 2009: Swedish singer Eddie Razaz covers Jackson's song on the 6th season of Idol (Sweden) and released on the Swedish Idol Compilation 2009.
- 2009: English singer and songwriter Amy Studt covered this song in her 2009 acoustic tour.
- 2009: American born artist of Chinese descent Leehom Wang performed "Man in the Mirror" on his "Music-Man" Tour at Beijing Workers Stadium, in China on August 22 A CD single released on the same day to the audiences for free.
- 2009: Italian singer Marco Mengoni performed this song during the first live show of the 3rd season of the Italian X Factor. The song was later recorded and included in his debut EP, titled Dove si vola.
- 2009: The All-American Rejects, an American rock band sung the chorus of "Man in the Mirror" during an acoustic performance of "Gives You Hell" for the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show.
- 2010: American R&B singer Whitney Houston performed the song during her concert at the Olimpiyskiy on the I Look to You Tour.
- 2010: Pop rock band The Liaison played their interpretation of the song at several shows on the anniversary of Jackson's death
- 2010: American pop singer Chris Brown sung the song at the BET Awards 2010 as final for his Jackson stage performance. However, Brown broke down crying during the song and was unable to finish it.
- 2010: Contestant Jermaine Sellers performed this song during Hollywood Week of the 9th season of American Idol.
- 2011: Canadian artist Celine Dion performed this song during a medley of Jackson's songs at her new show, "Celine" in Las Vegas.
- 2011: American Idol season 10 contestant Jacob Lusk performed the song during the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" week with original co-songwriter Siedah Garrett.
- 2011: Adam Levine, front man and guitarist of band Maroon 5 and singer Javier Colon covered the song during the season finale performance show of The Voice.
- 2011: The X Factor (U.S.) season 1 contestant Melanie Amaro performed the song during the "Songs from movies" week.
- 2012: Kye Sones performed the song during the first week of live performances. The theme of the show was 'Heroes.'
- 2013: X Factor Indonesia season 1 group Nu Dimension performed the song with acoustic version during the "Road to Grand Final" week.
- 2013: Snoop, Jordin Sparks, Jason Derulo, Siedah Garrett Perform Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror at the Power of Love Gala: Quincy Jones and Sir Michael Caine's 80th Birthdays
- Written and composed by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard
- Produced by Quincy Jones
- Co-Produced by Michael Jackson
- Michael Jackson: Solo & background vocals
- Featuring Siedah Garrett, The Winans and The Andrae Crouch Choir
- Ollie E. Brown: Clap
- Dann Huff: Guitar
- Greg Phillinganes: Keyboards
- Glen Ballard, Randy Kerber: Synthesizers
- Siedah Garrett: Background vocals
- The Winans: Carvin, Marvin, Michael and Ronald Winans
- Andrae Crouch and his Choir: Sandra Crouch, Maxi Anderson, Rose Banks, Geary Faggett, Vonciele Faggett, Andrew Gouche, Linda Green, Pattie Howard, Jean Johnson, Perry Morgan, Alfie Silas, Roberto Noriega
- Rhythm arrangement by Glen Ballard and Quincy Jones
- Synthesizer arrangement by Glen Ballard, Quincy Jones and Jerry Hey
- Vocal arrangement by Andrae Crouch
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