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DISCOGRAPHY : Dangerous Album (1991)

Dangerous is the eighth album by Michael Jackson, released on November 26, 1991. It became his second to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, where it spent the next four consecutive weeks. In the space of 17 years, media sources state the record has sold as much as 32 million copies worldwide, with 7 million certified shipments in the United States alone, making it a faster selling album than his previous record Bad. The album won one Grammy for Best Engineered Album – Non Classical won by Bruce Swedien & Teddy Riley[2] and is the most successful New Jack Swing album of all time

Music videos

As was becoming the standard for Jackson, the album’s music videos were among the most costly and innovative of their time. Several of the music videos taken from the Dangerous album had complex storylines and dance sequences, and featured cameo appearances by celebrities. The video for “Jam”, directed by David Kellogg, showed Jackson and Michael Jordan playing basketball and dancing together, while “Remember the Time” was set in an Ancient Egyptian palace, and starred Eddie Murphy, Magic Johnson and Iman as the pharaoh and his queen. “In the Closet” featured Jackson and supermodel Naomi Campbell as lovers. The director of the video was photographer Herb Ritts, who also photographed Jackson in a series of promotional shots for the release of the Dangerous album. A “Dangerous” video was filmed in 1992 by avant-garde director David Lynch, and considered a rarity among collectors. The video clip for “Who Is It” is notable as it was directed by David Fincher who later went on direct a number of films including Se7en, Fight Club and Zodiac.

Black or White” was originally over ten minutes long, premiering simultaneously on November 14, 1991 on MTV, VH1, BET, and FOX. The video featured one of the earliest examples of computer-generated morphing. The last four minutes of the video also induced much controversy, as it depicted Jackson smashing store windows and destroying a car with a crowbar. However, this destructive behaviour was intended to imply a message of anti-racism and racist graffiti was added in later versions to make the violence more understandable. The music video was also controversial because of Jackson’s sexually suggestive dance, which included the crotch grab as well as zipping up his pants. MTV and the other music video networks decided to excise the last four minutes of the “Black or White” video for all subsequent airings, and Jackson issued a statement apologizing to anyone who had been offended, and explaining that he tried to interpret the animal instinct of panthers into a dance. The video featured Macaulay Culkin and an appearance during the morphing scene by young Tyra Banks and was directed by John Landis, also the director of the “Thriller” short film.

Special editions

Alternative editions of the albums became very rare, products almost exclusive for record collectors. The most notable was an edition released in 1992 that folded out to become a diorama.

An international re-release of the album (entitled Dangerous – Special Edition) took place on October 16, 2001, just two weeks before the release of Jackson’s studio album Invincible. Simultaneously, Special Editions of Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad were also released. For the occasion, Dangerous was digitally remastered and included a slipcase and a brand new 24-page colorful booklet with revised artwork and previously-unseen photos. The new edition managed to reach #108 in the UK charts (the only one of those four re-releases that didn’t enter the Top 75 there). Because of the constraints of Dangerous’ running time, previously unreleased songs were not included, however many of them were eventually leaked onto the internet along with various demos of other tracks that appeared on the album. In 2004, some of these leaked tracks were officially released on Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection (namely the “Dangerous” demo and “Monkey Business”).

Music awards

American Music Awards:

  • Best Pop/Rock Album, “Dangerous”
  • Best Soul/R&B Single, “Remember The Time”
  • Special International Artist Award for record sales and humanitarian efforts around the world

BMI Awards:

  • Two of the Most Performed Songs of the Year, “Black or White” and “Remember The Time”

Grammy Awards: Living Legend Award Guinness Book Of World Records:

  • 25th Silver Anniversary Entertainer of the Year Award
  • Outstanding Music Video, “Black or White”

Soul Train Awards:

  • Best R&B Single, “Remember The Time”
  • Best R&B Album, “Dangerous”

World Music Awards:

  • Best Selling American Artist
  • World’s Best Selling Pop Artist

Track listing

# Title Writer(s) Length
1. Jam”   René Moore, Bruce Swedien, Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley 5:39
2. “Why You Wanna Trip on Me”   Riley, Bernard Belle 5:24
3. In the Closet”   Jackson, Riley, rap lyrics by Vashawn 6:31
4. “She Drives Me Wild”   Jackson, Riley, rap lyrics by Aquil Davidson 3:41
5. Remember the Time”   Riley, Jackson, Belle 4:00
6. “Can’t Let Her Get Away”   Jackson, Riley 4:58
7. Heal the World”   Jackson 6:24
8. Black or White” (feat. Slash on guitar) Jackson, rap lyrics by Bill Bottrell 4:15
9. Who Is It”   Jackson 6:34
10. Give In to Me” (feat. Slash on guitar) Jackson, Bottrell 5:29
11. Will You Be There”   Jackson 7:40
12. “Keep the Faith”   Glen Ballard, Siedah Garrett, Jackson 5:57
13. Gone Too Soon”   Larry Grossman, Buz Kohan 3:26
14. Dangerous”   Jackson, Bottrell, Riley 6:59


  1. October 1991 – “Black or White” U.S. #1 / UK #1
  2. January 1992 – “Remember the Time” U.S. #3 / UK #3
  3. April 1992 – “In the Closet” U.S. #6 / UK #8
  4. July 1992 (U.S.); September 1992 (UK) – “Jam” U.S. #26 / UK #12
  5. August 1992 (Europe); February 1993 (U.S.) – “Who Is It” U.S. #14 / UK #10
  6. October 1992 – “Heal the World” U.S. #27 / UK #2
  7. February 1993 – “Give In to Me” UK #2 (Europe only single)
  8. May 1993 – “Will You Be There” U.S. #7 / UK #8
  9. November 1993 – “Gone Too Soon” UK #33 (UK only single)


Country Certification Sales
Australia 9x Platinum 630,000 [11]
Brazil Gold 100,000 [12]
Canada 6x Platinum 600,000 [13]
Germany 4x Platinum 2,000,000 [14]
Netherlands 3x Platinum 240,000[15]
New Zealand 6x Platinum[16] 90,000[17]
Sweden 3x Platinum [18]  
Switzerland 5x Platinum 250,000 [19]
U.S. 7x Platinum 7,000,000 [20]

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1991 Billboard 200 1
Norwegian Albums Chart
Australian ARIA Albums Chart
1992 Billboard 200
Norwegian Albums Chart
Australian ARIA Albums Chart
1993 New Zealand Albums Chart



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