Jam (song)

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Michael Jackson Jam.jpg
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Dangerous
ReleasedJuly 13, 1992 (1992-07-13)
RecordedApril 1991
Length5:40 (album version)
4:10 (7" edit)
  • Michael Jackson
  • Teddy Riley
  • Bruce Swedien
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Someone Put Your Hand Out"
"Who Is It"
Music video
"Jam" on YouTube

"Jam" is a single by American singer-songwriter Michael Jackson. The song is the fourth single from his 1991 album Dangerous, where it is the opening track. It also appears as the second track on his 2009 This Is It compilation album. The single was re-released in 2006 as part of Jackson's Visionary: The Video Singles collection campaign, and it was remixed to the Cirque du Soleil's Immortal World Tour, releasing that remix on the soundtrack album. "Jam" is a new jack swing, pop, funk song whose bridge features a rap verse performed by Heavy D (of the group Heavy D & the Boyz), though no credit to him appears on the album. The music video of the song featured NBA basketball legend Michael Jordan (the other "MJ"). The song was also featured on the Chicago Bulls'—Jordan's team at that time—1992 NBA Championship video "Untouchabulls" and was also used in many promotional ads of the NBA in the said season. Despite this heavy form of promotion, the single only reached number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States . The song re-entered the UK Singles Chart in 2006, reaching number 22.[2]


"Jam" was generally well received by music critics. Adam Gilham of Sputnikmusic in his review for Dangerous described the song as a perfect album opener and rated it "5/5".[3] Allmusic editor Stephen T. E. wrote that there's a lot to be said for professional craftsmanship at its peak and he called this song blistering plus highlight on album.[4] Alan Light praised the song: "Jam," the album's opener, addresses Jackson's uneasy relationship to the world and reveals a canny self-awareness that carries the strongest message on Dangerous. "Jam" features a dense, swirling Riley track, propelled by horn samples and a subtle scratch effect, and includes a fleet rap by Riley favorite Heavy D. Though it initially sounds like a simple, funky dance vehicle, Jackson's voice bites into each phrase with a desperation that urges us to look deeper. He is singing as "false prophets cry of doom" and exhorts us to "live each day like it's the last." The chorus declares that the miseries of the world "ain't too much stuff" to stop us from jamming. To Jackson, who insists that he comes truly alive only onstage, the ability to "Jam" is the sole means to find "peace within myself," and this hope rings more sincere than the childlike wishes found in the ballads."[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Jam" takes place within an abandoned indoor basketball court, where Michael Jackson teaches basketball legend Michael Jordan how to dance, and in return, Jordan teaches Jackson how to play basketball. Special effects have Jackson throwing a basketball through a window and scoring in the hoop in the opposite room, as well as Jackson scoring by tossing the ball behind him and kicking the ball into the hoop with his heel. The extended versions of the video include Jackson teaching Jordan how to do the physically complicated moonwalk dance technique. The rap groups Kris Kross and Naughty by Nature made a cameo appearance, as does Heavy D (who performs a rap during the bridge).

The video was included on Dangerous – The Short Films and Michael Jackson's Vision. The music video was directed by David Kellogg and premiered on FOX on June 19, 1992 at 9:30 p.m. EST.[6]

Live performances[edit]

Jackson performed "Jam" as the opening number throughout his Dangerous World Tour. He also performed it at the Royal Brunei Concert in 1996, which turned out to be the last live performance of the song. A portion of the song was performed during the 1993 Super Bowl halftime show. The song was prepared for the This Is It concert series, with a snippet of "Another Part of Me", however the shows were cancelled due to Jackson's untimely death and it is not known if it were to have made the final setlist.

Track listings and formats[edit]

Jam (UK CD single 6583602)[7]

  1. "Jam" (7" Edit) – 4:10
  2. "Jam" (Roger's Jeep Mix) – 5:54
  3. "Jam" (Atlanta Techno Dub) – 6:06 (Incorrectly listed on insert as "Atlantan Techno Mix")
  4. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (Brothers in Rhythm House Mix) – 7:40

Jam (US CD single 49K74334)[8]

  1. "Jam" (Roger's Jeep Radio Mix) – 3:57
  2. "Jam" (Silky 7" Mix) – 4:17
  3. "Jam" (Roger's Club Mix) – 6:20
  4. "Jam" (Atlanta Techno Mix) – 6:06
  5. "Rock with You" (Masters at Work Remix) – 5:29

Jam (US promo CD single ESK6754)[9]

  1. "Jam" (Roger's Jeep Radio Mix) – 3:57
  2. "Jam" (Teddy's Jam) – 5:48
  3. "Jam" (7" Edit) – 4:10
  4. "Jam" (MJ's Raw Mix) – 4:24
  5. "Jam" (Teddy's 12" Mix) – 5:42
  6. "Jam" (Roger's Jeep Mix) – 5:54
  7. "Jam" (Percapella) – 5:29
  8. "Jam" (Radio Edit Without Rap) – 4:44

Jam (US VHS promo single ESK8880)[9]

  1. "Jam" (music video) – 8:00

Running time: 9 minutes

Jam (2006 DualDisc single ESK4583)[9] CD side

  1. "Jam" (7" Edit) – 4:10
  2. "Jam" (Silky 12" Mix) – 6:28

DVD side

  1. "Jam" (music video) – 8:00



Release history[edit]

Country Date
United States July 13, 1992 (1992-07-13)
Europe September 27, 1992 (1992-09-27)


  1. ^ Adams, Gregory (January 29, 2016). "The Rumours Are Apparently True: Michael Jackson Secretly Wrote Music for 'Sonic the Hedgehog 3'". Exclaim!. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  2. ^ "The official UK singles chart: Gnarls Barkley make it eight weeks at the top, while Christina Milian, Busta Rhymes and Sunblock see strong upsurges following the physical availability of their singles. (Top 75)". Music Week. May 27, 2006.
  3. ^ "Jam", Michael Jackson Dangerous. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  4. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/dangerous-mw0000674875
  5. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/dangerous-19920101
  6. ^ http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1992-06-19/features/1992171254_1_dondre-whitfield-shari-headley-richard-lawson
  7. ^ http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=25278
  8. ^ http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=8562
  9. ^ a b c http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=6837
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  20. ^ "Top 10 Portugal" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
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  23. ^ "Michael Jackson - Jam". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  24. ^ a b c "allmusic (( Dangerous > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". Allmusic.com. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  25. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Jam". Irish Singles Chart.
  26. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Michael Jackson – Jam". Top Digital Download.
  27. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Michael Jackson – Jam" Canciones Top 50.
  28. ^ "Michael Jackson". Official Charts Company.
  29. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.