241. Michael Jackson – ‘Dirty Diana’ (1987)

“Diana walked up to me, she said I’m all yours tonight
At that I ran to the phone, sayin’ baby I’m alright
I said but unlock the door
Cause I forget the key
She said he’s not comin’ back
Because he’s sleeping with me”

Taken from the album Bad

US #1, UK #4, AUS #30

‘Dirty Diana’ is very much a continuation of ‘Billie Jean’, similar in theme and tone, but musically, it is a variation on the style of ‘Beat It’. Mixing two of the best songs on Thriller with a distinct voice of it’s own, ‘Dirty Diana’ is a classic Michael Jackson song that saw him using his vocals in interesting, emotional ways, and venturing even further into the world of dirty rock.

That noise that opens the song fills you with dread every time. ‘Dirty Diana’ is a song about women who prey on famous people, and the suffocation Michael conveys with the vocals and the ominous, dark style is very telling. I love the way his vocals get really raw and exaggerated towards the end: “Di-ya, YA, YAHH CHAMONE”. Brilliant. At times Michael sounds furious, at times close to tears, a whole host of emotions running through this song.

The video was fantastic as well, and surprisingly captivating for a straight performance video – but really, this is Michael Jackson we’re talking away. He grinds his crotch and rips open his shirt, going against every pre-conceived notion we may have had about Michael Jackson. The Space-Invaders style sound effects and killer guitar only adds to the suspense and the excitement, and ‘Dirty Diana’ ends up an exhausting listen – exhausting but rewarding on every level.

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