Liberian Girl

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"Liberian Girl"
Liberian-Girl.jpg
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Bad
B-side "Girlfriend", "Get on The Floor", "The Lady in My Life"
Released July 4, 1989
Format
Recorded 1987
Genre R&B
Length 3:53 (album version)
3:40 (single version)
5:05 (acetate mix)
Label
Songwriter(s) Michael Jackson
Producer(s)
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"2300 Jackson Street"
(1989)
"Liberian Girl"
(1989)
"Do the Bartman"
(1990)

"2300 Jackson Street"
(1989)
"Liberian Girl"
(1989)
"Do the Bartman"
(1990)
Music video
"Liberian Girl" on YouTube

"Liberian Girl" was the ninth single released from American recording artist Michael Jackson's 1987 album Bad. The song was written as early as 1983 and was among those considered for The Jacksons' Victory album. It was reworked and rewritten for Bad with a Jungle theme, until later going to the Theme used in the final track. The song was released as a single in Europe and Australia.

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times editor Jon Pareles wrote that a melody line from "Billie Jean" reappears in this song.[1] Rolling Stone's Davitt Sigerson praised the song: "'Liberian Girl' — is Michael's filler, which makes it richer, sexier, better than Thriller's forgettables" and he also described that it "glistens with gratitude for the existence of a loved one."[2] In 2003, Q Magazine ranked the song at number 1,001 in their list of the "1001 Best Songs Ever".[3]

Reaction in Liberia[edit]

The song received a positive reception in Liberia,[4] with women from the country viewing the song as empowering.[4] Liberian woman Margaret Carson said in an interview with the Washington Times "When that music came out … the Liberian girls were so astonished to hear a great musician like Michael Jackson thinking about a little country in Africa. It gave us hope, especially when things went bad … . It make us to feel that we are still part of the world."[4]

Music video[edit]

Directed by Jim Yukich, the video for the song featured many of Jackson's celebrity friends who gather on a soundstage to film the music video for "Liberian Girl", only to discover that Jackson was filming them all along. As named in the closing titles, the following people are listed in order of appearance:

There was also a mummy with three arms that was shown during the video. In the ending credits the mummy was credited with a question mark.

The music video of the song was included on the video albums: HIStory on Film, Volume II, Vision and the Target version DVD of Bad 25.

Track listing[edit]

7"

  1. "Liberian Girl" (edit) – 3:40
  2. "Girlfriend" – 3:05

12"

  1. "Liberian Girl" (edit) – 3:40
  2. "Get on the Floor" – 4:44
  3. "Girlfriend" – 3:05

CD single

  1. "Liberian Girl" (edit) – 3:40
  2. "Girlfriend" – 3:05
  3. "The Lady in My Life" – 5:00
  4. "Get on the Floor" – 4:44

Personnel[edit]

  • Written and composed by Michael Jackson
  • Produced by Quincy Jones
  • Co-produced by Michael Jackson
  • Michael Jackson - solo and background vocals
  • John Robinson - drums
  • Douglas Getschal - drum programming
  • Paulinho Da Costa - percussion
  • Christopher Currell - Synclavier
  • John Barnes, Michael Boddicker, David Paich, Larry Williams - synthesizers
  • Steve Porcaro - synthesizer programming
  • Letta Mbulu - Swahili chant
  • Rhythm arrangement by Michael Jackson, John Barnes and Quincy Jones
  • Synthesizer arrangement by Jerry Hey, John Barnes and Quincy Jones
  • Vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson and John Barnes
  • Swahili chant arrangement by Caiphus Semenya

Charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[5] 50
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 12
France (SNEP)[7] 15
Germany (Official German Charts)[8] 23
Ireland (IRMA)[9] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[10] 15
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 14
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 31
Poland (LP3)[13] 4
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 12
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 13
Chart (2009) Peak
position
French Digital Singles Chart (SNEP)[16] 34
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 36
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[18] 86

Covers and sampling[edit]

"Liberian Girl" has been sampled and covered by various musicians:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pareles, Jon (31 August 1987). "Pop: Michael Jackson's 'Bad,' Follow-Up To A Blockbuster". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Davitt Sigerson (22 October 1987). "Michael Jackson Bad Album Review". Rolling Stone. 
  3. ^ "Q - 1001 best songs ever (2003)". 
  4. ^ a b c "Memory of Michael Jackson uplifts Liberia". The Washingtion Times. 
  5. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Michael Jackson – Liberian Girl". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Michael Jackson – Liberian Girl" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Lescharts.com – Michael Jackson – Liberian Girl" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Michael Jackson – {{{song}}}". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Liberian Girl". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 30, 1989" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Michael Jackson – Liberian Girl" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Charts.nz – Michael Jackson – Liberian Girl". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  13. ^ |work= Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. |url= http://lp3.polskieradio.pl/notowania/?numer=306 |publisher= LP3.polskieradio.pl |accessdate= July 18, 2018}}
  14. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Michael Jackson – Liberian Girl". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Download French Single Top 50". France. lescharts. Archived from the original on 2011-08-16. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  17. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Michael Jackson – Liberian Girl". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  19. ^ AllMusic https://www.allmusic.com/album/r166068
  20. ^ WhoSampled http://www.whosampled.com/sample/view/791/MC%20Lyte%20feat.%20Xscape-Keep%20On,%20Keepin%27%20On_Michael%20Jackson-Liberian%20Girl/
  21. ^ WhoSampled http://www.whosampled.com/sample/view/9394/Jennifer%20Lopez-If%20You%20Had%20My%20Love%20%28Darkchild%20Master%20Mix%29_Michael%20Jackson-Liberian%20Girl/
  22. ^ WhoSampled http://www.whosampled.com/sample/view/731/2Pac-Letter%202%20My%20Unborn_Michael%20Jackson-Liberian%20Girl/
  23. ^ About.com http://rap.about.com/od/songs/tp/RapSongsSampledMichaelJackson.htm
  24. ^ WhoSampled http://www.whosampled.com/sample/view/14310/Roi%20Heenok-La%20Coka%20Coka_Michael%20Jackson-Liberian%20Girl/
  25. ^ http://www.last.fm/music/Michael+Jackson/_/Liberian+Girl

External links[edit]