1985-1989 : Bad era

All the studio recordings (songs, demos and alternate versions) recorded by MJ during the Bad era (1985-1989). Songs and poems written but never recorded, live performances, covers and remixes by other artists are not included.

Sources : My personal research, Wikipedia, Michael Jackson: For The Record by Chris Cadman & Craig Halstead, Twitter account of Damien Shields and the amazing archives of the MJCast.

Al Capone (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Early version of Smooth Criminal. Released posthumously on September 18, 2012 (Bad 25).

Another Part Of Me (Captain Eo version) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Used in Captain Eo in 1986. Different version released in 1987 (Bad) but Captain Eo version remains unreleased.

Another Part Of Me : Recorded in 1985-1987. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

Bad : Recorded in 1986. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

Bad (Pepsi version) : Recorded in 1986 & used in Pepsi commercials in 1987. Remains unreleased. A longer version leaked in 2020 but remains unreleased.

Bad (short film soundtrack version) : Mix done in 1986 for the “Bad” short film. Remains unreleased.

Be Me 4 A Day : Song registered with Broadcast Music Incorporated. Written and recorded in 1987 during the Bad sessions. Failed to make the Bad album. Reworked in 2000. Also known as “Be Me For a Day”, “Just For One Day Be Michael”, “Just For a Day”, “Me 4 a Day” and “Be Michael”. Remains unreleased.

Changes (demo) : Written by Michael JacksonRecorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Described as “an upbeat piano-driven demo with rolling drum programming” and “incredibly catchy”. Features a “really rough” scratch vocal with MJ mumbling and humming a melody over the music. Remains unreleased. 

Cheater (demo) : Recorded in 1985-1986 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Released on November 16, 2004 (The Ultimate Collection Box Set).

Come Together : Recorded in 1985-1987, used in the movie Moonwalker in 1988. It was scheduled to appear on Michael’s canceled greatest hits compilation DECADE 1980-1990. Released on January 14, 1992 (B-side of Remember The Time single in the UK).

Crack Kills (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Planned to have been recorded with rappers Run-D.M.C. for Jackson’s Bad album, but the collaboration never came into fruition. The song was recorded with a full vocal in November 1986 and revisited in early 1987 during the Bad sessions. Remains unreleased.

Deep In The Night (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Song listed by MJ on a handwritten note during the Dangerous album sessions in 1989-1991. Snippet leaked online.The full demo remains unreleased.

Dirty Diana (demo) : The song was written in 1983. Demo recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. The song was re recorded in 1987 during the Westlake sessions but original demo remains unreleased.

Dirty Diana : Recorded in 1987. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

Doing Dirty : Written with Marlon circa 1982. Recorded around 1988–1990 for a shelved greatest hits album. Remains unreleased.

Don’t Be Messin’ Around (1st demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Released in 2012 (Bad 25).

Don’t Be Messin’ Around (2nd demo/alternate vocal take) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Leaked in 2020 but remains unreleased.

Do You Know Where Your Children Are : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Leaked in 2010. The 2010 leak remains unreleased. Original demo + new remix released posthumously on May 9, 2014 (Xscape).

Eaten Alive (demo) : Original version of the song written by the Gibb brothers, but was reworked by Jackson who was granted co-writer credits A demo version was recorded by Jackson but remains unreleased.

Eaten Alive : Recorded in July1985 song recorded by Diana Ross. The song was released as the first single on September 1, 1985, taken from her Eaten Alive album. The song was written by Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Michael Jackson the latter also co-producing with Barry and his team. Jackson and Barry Gibb can be heard singing in the background of the song with Jackson at times co-singing lead with Ross. In the song’s original copyright registration from 11 March 1985 it was credited to Barry Gibb and Maurice Gibb. It was not until Michael Jackson heard the demo of it that he suggested the chorus could be improved. Michael’s solo demo remains unreleased.

Fly Away (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Released as a duet with Rebbie Jackson in 1998 (Yours Faithfully) and as a solo demo in 2001 (Bad Special Edition).

Free (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Released posthumously on September 18, 2012 (Bad 25).

Get It : Duet with Stevie Wonder recorded in September 1987. Released on November 6, 1987 (Characters).

Get In To The Groove : Written and recorded in 1986. Failed to make from the Bad album. Inspired “Black or White”. Remains unreleased.

Groove Of Midnight (demo) : Written by Rod Temperton. Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. A snippet leaked in 2003. Full demo remains unreleased.

Hot Fever (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. The song was re recorded in 1987 during the Westlake sessions with the title The Way you Make Me Feel and released on the “Bad” album  but original demo remains unreleased.

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You : Duet with Siedah Garrett recorded in 1987. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (Uncut Session) : with unreleased ad-libs. Leaked in 2019 but remains unreleased.

I’m So Blue (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Released in 2012 (Bad 25).

Je Ne Veux Pas La Fin De Nous (French version of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”) : Recorded in 1987 and leaked in 2007. Released posthumously on September 18, 2012 (Bad 25).

Just Good Friends : Duet recorded with Stevie Wonder in 1987. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

Leave Me Alone : Recorded in 1987. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

Liberian Girl : Recorded in 1987. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

Loving You (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Original demo + new remix by Timbaland released on May 9, 2014 (Xscape).

Make Or Break (demo) : Written by Michael Jackson and John Barnes. Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Described by Matt Forger as having a “very driving, terrific hook, but never got finished”. Remains unreleased.

Man In The Mirror : Recorded in 1987. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

Price Of Fame (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Released on September 18, 2012 (Bad 25).

Price Of Fame (Pepsi version) : Recorded in 1986. Leaked in 2017. Remains unreleased.

Scared Of The Moon (demo) : Recorded in 1985. Released on November 16, 2004 (The Ultimate Collection Box Set). One of the songs listed by MJ on a handwritten note of songs he wanted to finish in June 2009.

Smooth Criminal (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. The song was re recorded in 1987 during the Westlake sessions and released on the “Bad” album but original demo remains unreleased.

Smooth Criminal : Recorded in 1987. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

Someone Put Your Hand Out (demo) Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. A 37 seconds snippet leaked in 2008. Full demo leaked in 2020 but remains unreleased.

Song Groove/Abortion Papers (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Released posthumously on September 18, 2012 (Bad 25).

Speed Demon (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. A snipped leaked in 2018. Full demo (low quality) leaked on June 18, 2020 but remains unreleased.

Speed Demon : Recorded in 1987. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

Splash! We Can Get Wet Babe : Recorded in 1988. Remains unreleased.

Streetwalker (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Leaked in 2020 but remains unreleased.

Streetwalker : Recorded in 1987 & released on October 16, 2001 (Bad Special Edition).

The Way You Make Me Feel : Recorded in 1987. Released on August 31, 1987 (Bad).

The Way You Make Me Feel (short film soundtrack version) : Mixed done in 1987 for the short film. Remains unreleased.

Throwin’ Your Life Away (demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Damien Shields: “these are the copyright registration papers, filed on September 26, 1988 by Karen Langford. Attached to this registration was a black TDK cassette tape of the song with “Dolby B 09/08/88 Michael Jackson 1) “Throwin’ Your Life Away” Ruff Mix of MJ 424” written in blue marker. Neff-U used a digital copy of this version when he did the 2010 remix. Like I said, he didn’t have access to the multi-track, but he tried to work with what he had. The results were underwhelming and the song ultimately wasn’t in contention for the Michael album”. One of the songs listed by MJ on a handwritten note of songs he wanted to finish in June 2009. A snippet leaked in 2018. The full demo (low quality) leaked in June 2020. but remains unreleased.

Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu (Spanish version of I Just Can’t Stop Loving You) : Recorded & released in 1987.

Tomboy : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Contains a melody identical to the “I bet you remember” line in Remember the Time. Features Roger Troutman as guest musician. Damien Shields: “Tomboy, I don’t know. I heard a version at the US Copyright Office, but the version I heard was instrumental. It had a VERY “Captain EO” vibe to it, and a melody line in the music strikingly similar to (basically the same as) the “I bet you remember” line in Remember The Time”.  Remains unreleased.

Turning Me Off : Written and recorded in January 1986. Worked with Bill Bottrell and John Barnes. Described as “one of Michael’s edgier experiments” and “very groove-oriented” by Matt Forger. Remains unreleased.

We Are Here To Change The World : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt Forger. Used in Captain Eo in 1986. A shorter version was released on November 16, 2004 (The Ultimate Collection Box Set) but Captain Eo version remains unreleased.

We Are The World (demo) : Recorded in January 1985 with John Barnes. Released on November 16, 2004 (The Ultimate Collection Box Set).

We Are The World : Recorded in January 1985. Released on March 7, 1985 (We Are The World).

What You Do To Me (1985 demo) : Recorded in 1985 during the Hayvenhurst sessions with John Barnes, Bill Bottrell & Matt ForgerDamien Shields : “You Do To Me has lyrics/vocals. It’s a mid-tempo love song. Similar breezy vibe to Free and I’m So Blue. Chorus lyrics: “You just don’t know, you just don’t know, what you do to me, do to me, do to me, do-do-do, do to me.” Remains unreleased.

2300 Jackson Street : Recorded in 1989. Released on May 28, 1989 (2300 Jackson Street). It is the only song on the album featuring Michael and Marlon Jackson, as they had left the group before further recording sessions. The song also features Rebbie and Janet.

You Were There : November 13 : Michael sings “You Were There” during the taping of the Sammy Davis Jr 60th Anniversary TV Special at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. One of the songs listed by MJ on a handwritten note of songs he wanted to finish in June 2009. Studio version remains unreleased.

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