Dirty Diana: Wikis


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"Dirty Diana"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Bad
Released April 18, 1988 (1988-04-18)
Format CD single
Recorded 1987
Genre Hard rock
Length 4:52 (original version)
4:40 (single version)
Label Epic Records
Writer(s) Michael Jackson
Producer Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Man in the Mirror"
"Dirty Diana"
"Another Part of Me"
Bad track listing
"I Just Can't Stop Loving You"
"Dirty Diana"
"Smooth Criminal"

"Dirty Diana" is a song by American songwriter and recording artist Michael Jackson that is featured on Jackson's seventh studio album, Bad. The song was released by Epic Records on April 18, 1988 as the fifth single from Bad. The song presented a harder rock sound similar to that of "Beat It" from the album Thriller. "Dirty Diana" was written by Jackson and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. The songs lyrics pertain to groupies, and has a moderate tempo.

"Dirty Diana" was generally well received by contemporary music critics. The song was also a commercial success worldwide in 1988, charting at number one on the United States Billboard Hot 100, The song also charted within the top ten in multiple territories internationally, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy and New Zealand. "Dirty Diana" was the fifth and final number-one single on the Hot 100 from Bad. In 2009, after Jackson's death in June, the song re-entered charts, mainly due to digital download sales. A music video for "Dirty Diana" was filmed in front of a live audience and was released in 1988.


Background and composition

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"Dirty Diana" was written by Jackson and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones and appeared on Jackson's 1987 studio album, Bad. The song was released as the albums fifth single. After "Beat It", "Dirty Diana" was the second hard rock song of his solo career and it is specifically a hard rock ballad with lyrics that are about a persistent groupie.[1] Jackson hired Billy Idol's former guitarist Steve Stevens to back him on the track. Initial reports at the time suggested the song was inspired by an alleged affair between Jackson and his close friend Diana Ross, however this was later denied.[2] In an interview from the special edition of Bad, Jones later confirmed that the songs lyrics were about groupies.[3] Jackson also confirmed this during an interview with Barbara Walters and he stated that it is not about Princess Diana, though he was told personally by Princess Diana that it was her favorite song by Jackson.[4]

In his Bad review, Los Angeles Times' writer Richard Cromelin describes "Dirty Diana" as "trying to be this year's 'Beat It'--a hard-rock song about a tenacious groupie that's sent into orbit by a Steve Stevens guitar solo".[1] All Music Guide's Stephen Thomas Erlewine also considers "Dirty Diana" as a hard rock song, observing on the album that, "This meant that he moved deeper into hard rock, deeper into schmaltzy adult contemporary, deeper into hard dance -- essentially taking each portion of Thriller to an extreme" and qualifying the track as the, "misogynistic 'Dirty Diana'".[5]

Jon Pareles, a writer for The New York Times viewed "Dirty Diana" as a song about a "groupie who latches onto the narrator, mixes the sexual fears of 'Billie Jean' with the hard-rock lead guitar of 'Beat It'".[6] "Dirty Diana" is written in common time and moves at a moderate tempo of 104 beats per minute.[7] Jackson's vocals are sung on a range of Bb3 to G5.[7] The instrumentation consists of guitar and piano, and is played in the a key of Bb Major.[7]

Critical and commercial reception

"Dirty Diana" received mixed reviews by contemporary music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, a writer for Allmusic, felt that "Dirty Diana" and "Man In The Mirror" were "showcasing Jackson at his worst" on Bad.[8] Music critic Robert Christgau viewed "Dirty Diana" as a "misogynistic as any piece of metal suck-my-cock".[9] Jon Pareles described "Dirty Diana" as 'reducing" Jackson to a "terrified whimper".[6] Davitt Sigerson of Rolling Stone gave the song a more positive review, describing "Dirty Diana" as being Bad's "filler", commenting that the song, along with "Speed Demon" is what makes Bad "richer, sexier, better than Thriller's forgettables".[10] Sigerson noted that "Dirty Diana" was a "substantial recording" because of its "insubstantial melody."[10] Jennifer Clay of Yahoo! Music commented that while Jackson's more edgier image was a "little hard to swallow", the image, musically, worked on the songs "Bad", "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana", but was not "to the degree of Thriller".[11]

"Dirty Diana", similar to Bad's previous singles, charted within the top twenty and top ten worldwide. "Dirty Diana" peaked at number one on the United States Billboard Hot 100 on July 2, 1988, after nine weeks on the chart.[12][13] "Dirty Diana" was the album's third consecutive single to peak at number one on the Hot 100. Internationally, "Dirty Diana" charted within the top thirty in all of its major territories.[14] The song peaked at number one on the Spanish charts, having topped the chart for one week.[14] The song also charted within the top five in Denmark, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, peaking at number two, three and five.[14] The song entered the United Kingdom charts on July 16, 1988 at number fourteen, and the following the song charted at number four, where it peaked for two weeks.[15]

"Dirty Diana" peaked at number six in Italy, number seven in Austria, and charted at number nine in France.[14] The song charted at number seventeen in Norwegian, as well as charting within the top thirty, peaking at number twenty nine and thirty, in Sweden and Australia, respectively.[14] Following Jackson's death in June 2009, his music experienced a surge in popularity.[16] In July 2009, "Dirty Diana" saw a strong chart increase, mainly due to digital download sales. The song charted at number eighteen on the French Digital Singles Chart on July 4, 2009.[17] On July 12, the song peaked at number thirteen on the Swiss Singles Chart.[18] "Dirty Diana" re-entered the United Kingdom charts on July 4, 2009 at number fifty, and the following week peaked at number twenty-six; the song began falling off the charts in the following weeks.[15]

Music video

The accompanying music video was filmed in early 1988 in front of a live audience during Jackson's Bad World Tour. The seven minute long music video was directed by Joe Pytka.[19] The video starts with the screen saying "Pepsi Presents Michael Jackson Tour 1988" in front of a white background for forty seconds; "Pepsi" is written in its logo. After showing a black screen, the video starts to show Jackson, who is shown from a distance, performing in front of an audience with the only source of light being blue lights. During Jackson's performance he is dressed in a white coat, black pants and has metal rims on his pants while singing and dancing. In between Jackson's performance from a distance, there are clips of him performing up-close while singing into a microphone, as well as clips of his female guitarist performing behind him. Jackson then begins dancing and singing to the female before walking down a cat-walk and dancing near a male guitarist. Jackson's performance is then shown from distance again and the video ends with Jackson finishing his performance and the lights turning blue. The music video won the "Number One Video In The World" at the 2nd World Music Awards held on April 14, 1989.[20]

Live performances

"Dirty Diana" was performed during Jackson's Bad World Tour concert series from 1987 to 1989, but only in the second leg, as the 10th song in the setlist. According to Jackson in an interview with Barbara Walters, "Dirty Diana" was scheduled for a live 1988 performance at Wembley Stadium during the Bad World Tour; however, Jackson felt the song would be an insult to Princess Diana, who was in attendance, so he had it removed.[21] After Diana informed him the song was actually one of her personal favorites, Jackson stated that he re-added the song to the set list.[21]

According to This Is It concert series choreographer, Kenny Ortega, stated in an interview, "Dirty Diana" was going to be performed by Jackson for the concerts from 2009 to 2010.[22] Ortega said that Jackson had rehearsed the song before he died, but he would be working on the end of the performance on the day he died. The song was apparently going to be performed before Beat It. The set up for the song would include an expert pole dancer who would lure Jackson onto a giant steel bed which she performed acrobatic feats on, then after chaining him to the bedposts they would be engulfed by curtains ready to perform the next song.[22][23]

Track listing

7" Single, 12" Maxi[24]
  1. "Dirty Diana" - 4:42
  2. "Dirty Diana (Instrumental)" - 4:42
3" CD-Single[24]
  1. "Dirty Diana (Single Edit)" - 4:42
  2. "Dirty Diana (Instrumental)" -4:42
  3. "Dirty Diana (Album Version)" - 4:52
CD side[24]
  1. "Dirty Diana" – 4:40
  2. "Dirty Diana" (Instrumental)" – 4:40
DVD side[24]
  1. "Dirty Diana (Music video)" – 5:08

Credits and personnel

  • Written, arranged, and composed by Michael Jackson
  • Produced by Michael Jackson & Quincy Jones
  • Lead and backing vocals by Michael Jackson
  • Rhythm arrangements by Michael Jackson, John Barnes and Jerry Hey
  • Synthesizer arrangements by Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones and John Barnes
  • String arrangement by John Barnes
  • Vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson
  • Clave clapstick by Michael Jackson
  • Guitar by Steve Stevens

Chart performance

Chart (1988/2006/2009) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 30[14]
Austrian Singles Chart 7[14]
Dutch Singles Chart 3[14]
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 1[14]
French Singles Chart 9[14]
Italian Singles Chart 6[14]
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 5[14]
Swiss Singles Chart 3[14]
UK Singles Chart 4[25]
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1[13]
U.S. Hot R&B Singles 8[13]
Preceded by
"Foolish Beat" by Debbie Gibson
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
July 2, 1988
Succeeded by
"The Flame" by Cheap Trick

See also


  1. ^ a b Cromelin, Richard (August 31, 1987). "Michael Jackson has a i think it was made for her". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/music/la-archive-bad-review-aug31,0,7286392.story. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  2. ^ Levine, Nick (July 7, 2009). Michael Jackson's Top 20 Singles: Part Two. Digital Spy.
  3. ^ "Remembering The King Of Pop: Top 10 Hits. As Voted By Teens". The Jamaica Observer. 2009-06-30. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magazines/TeenAge/html/20090629T220000-0500_154443_OBS_REMEMBERING_THE_KING_OF_POP__TOP____HITS__AS_VOTED_BY_TEENS.asp. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  4. ^ Jones, Jel D. Lewis (2005). Michael Jackson, the king of pop: the big picture : the music! the man! the legend! the interviews : an anthology. Amber Books Publishing. p. 226. ISBN 097497790X. http://books.google.com/books?id=LuEPnk7irOMC&q=lady+diana#v=snippet&q=lady%20diana&f=false. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson Bad Review". Starpulse. http://www.starpulse.com/Music/Jackson,_Michael/Discography/album/P4576/R10093/. Retrieved October 9, 2009. "This meant that he moved deeper into hard rock..." 
  6. ^ a b John Pareles (1987-08-31). "Pop Review: Michael Jackson's 'Bad', A Follow Uo To A Blockbuster". NYTimes.com. The New York Times Company. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/08/31/arts/pop-michael-jackson-s-bad-follow-up-to-a-blockbuster.html. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  7. ^ a b c "Dirty Diana - Michael Jackson Digital Sheet Music (Digital Download)". MusicNotes.com. Alfred Publishing Co. Inc. http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0037338. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  8. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "allmusic ((( Bad > Overview )))". Allmusic.com. Rovi Corporation. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Aoe6cmpe39ffo. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  9. ^ Robert Christgau. "Michael Jackson: Consumer Guild Reviews". RobertChristagu.com. Robert Christgau. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?id=932. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  10. ^ a b Davitt Sigerson (2001). "Album Reviews: "Bad"". RollinStone.com. Wenner Media LLC. http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/michaeljackson/albums/album/259584/review/6067877/bad. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  11. ^ "Michael Jackson: Reviews". Ca.Music.Yahoo.com. Yahoo! Inc. 1987-01-01. http://ca.music.yahoo.com/read/review/12040814. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  12. ^ "July 2, 1988". Billboard.com. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100#/charts/hot-100?chartDate=1988-07-02. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  13. ^ a b c "allmusic ((( Michael Jackson > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles > )))". Allmusic.com. Rovi Corporation. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:kifuxqe5ldae~T51. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Michael Jackson - Dirty Diana (chanson)". LesCharts.com. Hung Medien. http://www.lescharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Michael+Jackson&titel=Dirty+Diana&cat=s. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  15. ^ a b "Michael Jackson - Dirty Diana". ChartStats.com. The Official Charts Company. http://www.chartstats.com/songinfo.php?id=1257. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  16. ^ Ed Christman, Antony Bruno, (2009-07-02). "Michael Jackson Music Sales Surge Could Last For Months". Billboard.com. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. http://www.billboard.com/#/news/michael-jackson-music-sales-surge-could-1003990445.story?page=1. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  17. ^ "Download French Single Top 50". France. lescharts. http://lescharts.com/weekchart.asp?cat=si&year=2009&date=20090704. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  18. ^ "Swiss Singles Chart Archives - July 12, 2009". HitParade.ch. Hung Medien. http://hitparade.ch/weekchart.asp?cat=s&year=2009&date=20090712. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  19. ^ Halstead, p. 85
  20. ^ Halstead, Craig; Cadman, Chris (2003). Michael Jackson the Solo Years. Authors On Line. p. 76. ISBN 0755200918. http://books.google.com/books?id=yb_ghov9uEMC&q=%22Number+One+Video+In+The+World%22#v=snippet&q=%22Number%20One%20Video%20In%20The%20World%22&f=false. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  21. ^ a b Jel D. Lewis Jones. "Michael Jackson, the king of pop: the big picture: the music! the man! the legend! the interviews, an anthology [Pgae 226"]. Books.Google.com. Google Inc. http://books.google.com/books?id=LuEPnk7irOMC&q=lady+diana#v=snippet&q=lady%20diana&f=false. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  22. ^ a b Chris Jones (2009-10-19). "Director of Michael Jackson’s ‘This is It’ says singer was ready to triumph in London". Archieves.ChicgoTribune.com. Chicago Tribune. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2009/oct/19/entertainment/chi-tc-bonus-michael-jackson-1019-10oct19. Retrieved 2010-02--17. 
  23. ^ Michael Jackson's This Is It DVD Sony Music (2010).
  24. ^ a b c d "Michael Jackson - Dirty Diana (chanson)". LesCharts.com. Hung Medien. http://www.lescharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Michael+Jackson&titel=Dirty+Diana&cat=s. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  25. ^ "Dirty Diana". ChartStats.com. The Official Charts Company. http://www.chartstats.com/songinfo.php?id=1257. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 

Further reading

  • Halstead, Craig (2007). Michael Jackson: For the Record. Authors OnLine. ISBN 9780755202676. 

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