Remember the Time
|"Remember the Time"|
|Single by Michael Jackson|
|from the album Dangerous|
|Released||January 14, 1992|
|Format||CD, digital download|
|Genre||New jack swing|
|Michael Jackson singles chronology|
"Remember the Time" is a single by American singer-songwriter Michael Jackson recorded at Record One Studios. The song was released by Epic Records on January 14, 1992, as the second single from Jackson's eighth studio album, Dangerous. Written and composed by Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson and Bernard Belle, the song was produced by Riley and Jackson. "Remember the Time" was a successful attempt by Jackson to create a new jack swing-flavored jam with the accompaniment of co-producer Riley. Musically, the song is dance-oriented, prominently featuring piano and guitar. The lyrics are about remembering being in love with someone.
"Remember the Time" was generally well received by contemporary critics. The song was commercially successful, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number one on Billboard's R&B singles chart. Internationally, the song was a top ten hit in nine countries, peaking at number one in New Zealand, as well at number two in Spain and three in the United Kingdom. The song reached the top twenty in all major territories. A nine-minute music video directed by John Singleton, marketed as a "short film", was released for the song. The video is set in ancient Egypt and features appearances by Eddie Murphy, Iman, Tommy "Deebo" Lister and Magic Johnson.
Background and composition
A twenty four second sample from Jackson's "Remember the Time".
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"Remember the Time" was released as the second single from Michael Jackson's eighth studio album, Dangerous on January 14, 1992. The song was written by Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson and Bernard Belle, and was produced by Riley and Jackson. "Remember the Time" is three minutes fifty nine seconds long. The song's music was compared to Jackson's 1979 single, "Rock with You" from his Off the Wall album. There were rumors about the song being about Jackson falling in love with Debbie Rowe in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Co-writer Teddy Riley, who was quoted to have said so in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1996, denied the song being about Rowe in 2011 in reply to a fan on Twitter.
However, it should also be mentioned that when the single was originally released in 1992, Jackson dedicated the song with love to Diana Ross. Jermaine Jackson also confirmed this in his book, "You Are Not Alone: Michael: Through a Brother's Eyes." On page 194 Jermaine writes, "...that song was, as Michael told me, written with Diana Ross in mind; the one great love that, as far as he was concerned, escaped him."
"Remember the Time" is a new jack swing song. The lyrics recall a youthful love affair: "Do you remember when we fell in love/We were young and innocent then". Instruments for "Remember the Time" include a piano and guitar. The song is set in the key of an original F Minor with Jackson's voice range from Eb3 to C5. The song's tempo is moderate at 116 beats per minute.
"Remember the Time" did not feature on the setlist for the Dangerous World Tour, but it was rehearsed. At the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards, the song won the award for Best R&B/Soul Single - Male. Jackson appeared with an injured foot and on crutches, but was able to perform the song seated in a chair, surrounded by dancers.
"Remember the Time" was generally well received by contemporary music critics. Martin Short, a writer for Allmusic, commented that the album Dangerous had "plenty" of "professional craftsmanship at its peak" because of "such fine singles" like "In the Closet" and "Remember the Time". Erlewine listed "Remember the Time" as being a highlight from Dangerous. Alan Light, a writer for Rolling Stone, stated that he felt "Remember the Time" was the "most lighthearted musical track on the album" and described the song's lyrics as telling of a "blissful romance only to ask, 'So why did it end?'" Jon Parales of The New York Times commented that "titles like 'Remember the Time', 'She Drives Me Wild' and 'Give in to Me'" tell the lyrics' "whole story - though they don't suggest the wretched tone he has when he sings them." Richard Harrington, a writer for The Washington Post, described "Remember the Time" as being "wistful," commenting that he felt that the song featured Jackson's "least affected vocal performance" but that it "builds an engaging, radio-friendly momentum".
"Remember the Time" peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 7, 1992, five weeks after the single release. The song saw similar success on other Billboard charts; topping the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs on March 7, and peaking at number two in Dance/Club Play Songs on April 4, 1992, and number 15 in Adult Contemporary on March 21 in the same year. The song peaked at number two on Billboards Hot Dance Music/Maxi Singles Sales. It was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for the shipment of over 500,000 units in the United States in March 1992. The song saw similar commercial success internationally, charting in the top 20 in all major territories at the time of its release. In the United Kingdom, "Remember the Time" first entered the chart on February 15, 1992, placing at number six. The following week, on February 22, the song charted at number three, where it peaked; the song remained on the charts for a total of eight weeks.
"Remember the Time" topped the New Zealand charts for two consecutive weeks, having first entered the chart at number three on February 23. It peaked at number four in the Netherlands and Switzerland. The song also charted within the top ten on the French, Australian, Swedish, Italian, and Norwegian charts; peaking at number five, six, eight and ten. It charted in the top 20, peaking at number 16, in Austria. Having been re-issued for Jackson's Visionary campaign in 2006, "Remember the Time" peaked at number two in Spain on the charts issue date on May 14, 2006. After Jackson's death in June 2009, his music saw a surge in popularity. In the United Kingdom, on the chart of July 11, the song re-entered at number 81.
As part of promotion for "Remember the Time", a music video, which was filmed in mid-January 1992, was released. Prior to the release of the video, Jackson's record label promoted it by releasing clips, as well as releasing behind the scenes clips of making the video. The nine-minute video was promoted as a "short film". It premiered on MTV, Fox and Black Entertainment Television on February 2, 1992. After the video premiered on MTV, the channel aired a "rockumentary" called "More Dangerous Than Ever" which included glimpses of the making of the video. Jackson's record label would not release the video's budget figures. Directed by John Singleton and choreographed by Fatima Robinson, the video was an elaborate production and became one of Jackson's longest videos at over nine minutes. It was set in ancient Egypt and featured groundbreaking visual effects and appearances by Eddie Murphy, Iman, The Pharcyde, Magic Johnson, Tom "Tiny" Lister, Jr. and Wylie Draper, who portrayed Jackson as an adult in the made for TV movie The Jacksons: An American Dream and died shortly after appearing in this video.
Jackson appears in the video as a hooded wizard who enters and attempts to entertain a Pharaoh's bored partner. Two other entertainers have failed, and she has sent them to be executed. The Queen sees that this wizard is different — instead of juggling or eating fire, he walks up the steps to her throne and sings to her, asking her if she "remembers the time" they were together. The Pharaoh (played by Murphy) hardly appreciates this move and summons his guards. Jackson runs away to another room and begins elaborate, Egyptian-style choreography with the Pharaoh's servants. When the guards find him, the servants disappear as does Jackson, in a swirl and a cloud of golden dust. In the video, Jackson was dressed in a costume made of gold satin. He wore golden chain mail, a white skirt with a phallic dangling sash, black pants and black boots. This video features a physically complicated dance routine that became the centerpiece of other videos from the Dangerous album.
The music video was generally well received by music critics. Ira Robbins of Entertainment Weekly described "Remember the Time" as being a "gorgeous ancient Egyptian extravaganza" video. The music video appeared on the video albums: Dangerous – The Short Films, Video Greatest Hits – HIStory and Michael Jackson's Vision. The music video, along with other videos from Dangerous, was frequently shown on MTV.
- Album version – 3:59
- A cappella – 3:35
- New Jack Mix – 6:48
- New Jack Main Mix – 6:50
- New Jack Radio Mix – 4:00
- New Jack Jazz (21) – 5:06
- 12" Main Mix – 4:47
- 7" Main Mix – 3:59
- Bonus Beats 3 – 4:46
- Silky Soul 12" Mix – 7:05
- Silky Soul 7" Mix – 4:18
- Silky Dub – 6:17
- E-Smoove's Late Nite Mix – 7:20
- E-Smoove's Late Nite Dub – 5:35
- Maurice's Underground Mix – 7:29
- Mo-Mo's Instrumental – 5:20
Charts and certifications
End of year charts
|End of year chart (1992)||Position|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||19|
- Written and composed by Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson and Bernard Belle
- Produced by Teddy Riley and Michael Jackson
- Recorded and mixed by Bruce Swedien, Teddy Riley and Dave Way
- Solo and background vocals, vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson
- Keyboards, synthesizers, rhythm and synthesizer arrangements by Teddy Riley
- Sequencing and programming by Wayne Cobham
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