57. Michael Jackson – ‘Leave Me Alone’ (1987)

“There’s a time when you’re right
And you know you must fight”

Written by Michael Jackson

Produced by Quincy Jones/Michael Jackson

Taken from the album Bad

Also released on The Essential Michael Jackson, Visionary: The Video Singles and King Of Pop

UK #2, AUS #37

I suppose you could call ‘Leave Me Alone’ the highest ranking “bonus track” on this list, as it was only included on CD copies of Bad. Ever since vinyl died out however, it’s been accepted as the final track on the album, and was even a hit single in a number of countries. It is best remembered these days for it’s video, and in addition to that it featured one of Michael’s greatest melodies, one of his most interesting vocal performances and an awesome layered production style.

‘Leave Me Alone’ is another paranoid anthem, but this time it’s directed at a lover, and in a vengeful tone Michael sings “Who’s laughing, baby?” – so perhaps this time he gets the upper hand. The melody is just fantastic, I love the little intro, the bridge, and the eventual explosion of the chorus: “so. just. LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!”, with many, many layers of Michael’s voice on “alone”, creating this wonderful world where you can just drown in his vocals. They’re often harsh and angry on ‘Leave Me Alone’, but that fits the scene perfectly.

The crowning achievement for ‘Leave Me Alone’ was it’s Grammy award winning video, which featured Michael in a fantasy theme-park style world which features a rollercoaster through the many rumours surrounding Michael, including his obsession with Elizabeth Taylor, Bubbles the chimp, and a frankly disturbing scene where Michael dances with the bones of the Elephant Man. It was one of his all-time greatest videos, elevating this former bonus track to gain the recognition it deserved.

Music video:

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