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HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (usually shortened to HIStory) is a double album by Michael Jackson, released on June 20, 1995, and is Jackson’s ninth album. The first disc, named “HIStory Begins” consists of a selection of Jackson’s greatest hits from the singer’s past fifteen years, while the second, named “HIStory Continues” features new songs, with the exception of “Come Together“, which was recorded in 1987.

HIStory is the best-selling multiple disc album ever, with worldwide sales of 20 million (40 million in terms of units).[2] The album won one Grammy for Best Music Video — Short Form for “Scream.” The first disc of greatest hits was reissued in 2001 as a single disc under the name Greatest Hits: HIStory, Vol. 1.


Recording started in September 1994 and would carry through the early spring of 1995. Jackson wrote the majority of the songs attacking the press for “scandalizing” him and gave messages to fans to not “feed into the tabloids”. One of the songs was “Scream“, a duet between Michael and sister Janet, who had agreed to do a duet with her brother after she felt that she “had made it to the top” and she didn’t fear that she’d “had to ride Michael’s coattails”. Other songs that attacked the tabloids included “Tabloid Junkie” and “This Time Around”. The Michael and Janet duet was the first of several tunes Jackson produced with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (“2 Bad”, “HIStory”, “Tabloid Junkie”) but not without additional help from the likes of Dallas Austin (“This Time Around”), R. Kelly (the lone ballad, “You Are Not Alone“), Charles Chaplin (“Smile”) and Jackson himself (“They Don’t Care About Us“, “Earth Song“, “Stranger in Moscow“, “D.S.”, “Money”, “Little Susie” with Jackson-arranged variation of Maurice Duruflé‘s Requiem as prelude). Jackson, in fact, dominated the production of the album though not fully incorporating serious issues into his music including racism, the ecology and his own personal travails (“D.S.”, in particular, was an attack on the district attorney of Jackson’s case, Thomas Sneddon, in which he is heard singing in the chorus despite the lyrics reading “Dom Sheldon”, possibly used to escape a lawsuit). Like on previous albums, Jackson wanted to feature guest stars. Other than his sister Janet, rapper The Notorious B.I.G. put down a rap verse in “This Time Around”, soul group Boyz II Men sung background vocals on “HIStory” and basketball star and sometime rapper Shaquille O’Neal put down a verse on “2 Bad”. While fourteen of the songs were new recordings, Jackson included an older recording of his cover of The Beatles‘ “Come Together“, which he had recorded during the Bad era. The version included on the album is an early fade of the original version.

HIStory was originally to be called “Decade”, which would include several previous Jackson hits and several new songs from the later part of his career. This was shelved and HIStory was eventually expanded into a two-disc set.



HIStory remains Jackson’s most controversial album as seen by a number of events.

  • The music video for “You Are Not Alone” was controversial in that it featured an almost nude Jackson and his then-wife Lisa Marie Presley. Additionally, two Belgian songwriters, brothers Eddy and Danny Van Passel, claimed to have written the melody in 1993. In September 2007 a Belgian judge ruled the song was plagiarized from the Van Passel brothers and the song was subsequently banned from airwaves in Belgium.
  • Controversy arose when a verse in “They Don’t Care About Us” (“Jew me/sue me/everybody do me/kick me, kike me/don’t you black or white me”) raised suspicion that the singer was anti-Semitic, charges Jackson denied. To make up for it, he edited the verse on later issues of the album.
  • The original music video for “They Don’t Care About Us” showed Jackson singing the song in a prison.MTV took the video off its playlist because it showed scenes of violence. Jackson and video director Spike Lee released another version of the video set in Dona Marta, a shanty town in Brazil, which was actually shot before the “prison version”. However, because of the filming location, one Brazilian politician accused Jackson of exploiting poverty to make money. The politician also alleged that Jackson needed and was given permission by drug traffickers to shoot the video.
  • At the BRIT Awards in 1996, Jackson was given a special “Artist of a Generation” award. At the ceremony he performed “Earth Song” with a grandiose stage show, with Jackson portrayed as an allegedy “Christ-like” figure surrounded by adoring children. Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker mounted the stage in protest at the act. Cocker ran across the stage, lifting his shirt and pointing his (clothed) bottom in Jackson’s direction. Cocker was subsequently questioned by the police on suspicion of causing injury towards three of the children in Jackson’s performance, although no criminal proceedings followed. The performance saw the song and album rise back up the charts.

Critical response

The album received 5 Grammy Award nominations and won one, these were:

HIStory, arguably Jackson’s most conflicting album, revealed a “furious” pop icon worn by years of superstardom,with Jon Pareles of the The New York Times writing that “It has been a long time since Michael Jackson was simply a performer. He’s the main asset of his own corporation, which is a profitable subsidiary of Sony”. Some reviewers commented on the unusual format of a new studio album being accompanied by a “greatest hits” collection, with Q magazine saying “from the new songs’ point of view, it’s like taking your dad with you into a fight.”[11]

In relation to “This Time Around”, James Hunter of Rolling Stone described it as a “dynamite jam…done with Atlanta R&B hotshot Dallas Austin that’s ripe for remixes”.Jon Pareles of The New York Times believed that Jackson “muttered” lyrics such as “They thought they really had control of Chris Willman of the Los Angeles Times said of “This Time Around”, “a tough, rhythm-guitar-driven track co-written and co-produced by hit-maker Dallas Austin that sports one of the album’s better grooves”.[13] Fred Shuster of the Daily News of Los Angeles described “This Time Around”, “Money” and “D.S.” as “superb slices of organic funk that will fuel many of the summer’s busiest dance floors”.[14]


Sales of HIStory were down from his previous albums Dangerous and Bad (although unit sales were higher). This has been attributed to the high purchase cost of HIStory and critics believe that the public purchased the singles over the album. The single sales of HIStory were collectively 10.45 million units, which was higher than those of Dangerous at 8.36 million units and Bad at 10.03 million units, even though the latter albums had more singles released from their track lists (eight and nine releases respectively, against the five from HIStory). Only the singles from the Thriller at 19.55 million units sold better than those released from HIStory.

  • Scream/Childhood” – Released as a double A-side the first single released from HIStory was “Scream”, sung and performed with his sister Janet Jackson. The single had the best ever debut at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and had a Grammy nomination for “Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals”. The music video for “Scream” is one of his most critically acclaimed winning three MTV awards in 1995 and a Grammy in 1996.”Scream” is currently the most expensive music video ever made. It sold 2 million copies worldwide.
  • You Are Not Alone” – was the second single released from HIStory and would become the first song ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, (beating his previous single “Scream”). It reached #1 in various international markets, including Britain. It was seen as a major artistic and commercial success and received a Grammy nomination for “Best Pop Vocal Performance”. It sold 3 million copies worldwide.
  • Earth Song” – was the third single released from HIStory, and was accompanied by a well received expensive music video that was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1996 but lost to his earlier video “Scream”. The song topped the UK Singles Chart for six weeks over Christmas in 1995 and sold one million copies there, making it his most successful UK single, surpassing the success of “Billie Jean”. It sold 3.15 million copies worldwide.
  • “This Time Around”, a U.S. only radio release, peak at #23 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart and #18 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart purely off radio airplay

Chart performance

“HIStory” debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts selling over 391,000 copies in its first week.[23][24] The album was certified seven times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 22, 1999 in recognition of 3.5 million shipments in the United States.[25] Multi-disc albums are counted once for each disc within the album if it is over 100 minutes in length, in this case “HIStory” is 148:50 minutes long. It is counted twice meaning each album was certified platinum after 500,000 copies were shipped. The Canadian Recording Industry Association certified it 5× platinum after shipping in excess of 500,000 units.

In Europe, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry certified “HIStory” six times platinum, denoting six million shipments within the continent. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number-one on the official albums chart and was certified four times platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for shipments of 1.2 million copies. In France, “HIStory” became Jackson’s fourth diamond-seller album after Dangerous (1991), Bad (1987) and Thriller (1982), denoting sales of over one million units. In addition, Germany was the European country where the double-disc set sold the most, over 1.5 million copies, being certified three times platinum by the IFPI.

“HIStory” has sold over twenty million copies worldwide  and, according to MSNBC, is the best-selling multiple-disc album of all-time.

Charts and certifications

Charts ↓ Peak
Position  ↓
Certification  ↓ Sales/Shipments  ↓
Argentina   Platinum[32] 200,000[32]
Australia 1 8× platinum[33] 560,000[34]
Austria 2 2× platinum[35] 80,000[36]
Belgium 1    
Canada   5× platinum[26] 500,000[37]
Europe   6× platinum[38] 6,000,000[39]
Finland 3 Platinum[40] 61,352[40]
France 1 Diamond[28] 1,000,000[28]
Germany[41] 1 3× platinum[29] 1,500,000[42]
Netherlands 1 3× platinum[43] 240,000[36]
New Zealand 1[44] 9× platinum[45] 135,000[46]
Norway 1 Platinum[47] 40,000[36]
Sweden 3 Platinum[48] 60,000[36]
Switzerland 1 3× platinum[49] 150,000[49]
United Kingdom[50] 1 4× platinum[27] 1,200,000
United States[23] 1 7× platinum[25] 7,000,000

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Michael Jackson, except where noted. 

HIStory Begins (Disc 1)
# Title Writer(s) Featured artist Length
1. Billie Jean”       4:54
2. The Way You Make Me Feel”       4:57
3. Black or White”   Jackson; Bill Bottrell   4:15
4. Rock with You”   Rod Temperton   3:40
5. She’s out of My Life”   Tom Bahler   3:38
6. Bad”       4:07
7. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”     Siedah Garrett 4:12
8. Man in the Mirror”   Glen Ballard; Siedah Garrett   5:19
9. Thriller”   Temperton   5:57
10. Beat It”       4:18
11. The Girl is Mine”     Paul McCartney 3:41
12. Remember the Time”   Teddy Riley; Jackson; Bernard Belle   4:00
13. Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough”       6:02
14. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”       6:02
15. Heal the World”       6:24
HIStory Continues (Disc 2)
# Title Writer(s) Featured artist Length
1. Scream”   Harris; Lewis; Jackson; Jackson; Giancarlo Dittamo duet with Janet Jackson 4:38
2. They Don’t Care About Us”       4:44
3. Stranger in Moscow”       5:44
4. “This Time Around”   René Moore; Dallas Austin; Bruce Swedien; Jackson; Wallace The Notorious B.I.G. 4:20
5. Earth Song”       6:46
6. D.S.”     Slash 4:49
7. “Money”       4:41
8. Come Together”   Lennon/McCartney   4:02
9. You Are Not Alone”   R. Kelly   5:45
10. Childhood (Theme from “Free Willy 2”)”       4:28
11. Tabloid Junkie”   Harris; Lewis; Jackson   4:32
12. “2 Bad”   Harris; Lewis; Jackson; O’Neal Shaquille O’Neal 4:49
13. HIStory”   Harris; Lewis; Jackson   6:37
14. “Little Susie”       6:13
15. Smile”   Chaplin   4:56


Production credits

  • “Scream” produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
  • “They Don’t Care About Us”, “Stranger in Moscow”, “D.S.”, “Money” and “Little Susie” produced by Michael Jackson
  • “This Time Around” produced by Dallas Austin and Michael Jackson, co-produced by Bruce Swedien and Rene
  • “Earth Song” produced by Michael Jackson and David Foster, co-produced by Bill Bottrell
  • “Come Together” produced by Michael Jackson and Bill Bottrell
  • “You Are Not Alone” produced by R. Kelly and Michael Jackson
  • “Childhood” and “Smile” produced by Michael Jackson and David Foster
  • “Tabloid Junkie” and “History” produced by Michael Jackson and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
  • “2 Bad” produced by Michael Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Bruce Swedien and Rene

Album credits

  • Lead and Background Vocals: Michael Jackson
  • Background Vocals: Zedric Williams, James Ingram, Siedah Garrett, Andrae and Sandra Crouch and the Andrae Crouch Singers; Carol Dennis, Jackie Gouche, Gloria Estefan, and Linda McCrary
  • Child soloists:
    • “HIStory”: Leah Frazier
    • “Little Susie”: Markita Prescott
  • Rap performances by R. Kelly, Boyz II Men: Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Michael McCary; The Notorious B.I.G. and Shaquille O’Neal
  • Arrangements by Michael Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Dallas Austin, Bruce Swedien, R. Kelly, Rene, Jeremy Lubbock, Brad Buxer and Johnny Mandel
  • Vocal arrangements by Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
  • Orchestral arrangements by David Foster, Elmer Bernstein and Bill Ross
  • String arrangements by Michael Jackson
  • Keyboard arrangements by Michael Jackson
  • Orchestras conducted by Jeremy Lubbock
  • Horn arrangement by Michael Jackson and Jerry Hey
  • Pianos: David Paich and John Barnes
  • Keyboards and synthesizers: Randy Kerber, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, David Foster, Steve “Yada” Porcaro, David Paich, Bill Bottrell, Dallas Austin, Glen Ballard, Rene, Brad Buxer, Simon Franglen, Greg Phillinganes, Lafayette Carthon, Michael Boddicker, Chuck Wild, Rob Arbitter, Gary Adante, John Barnes and Randy Waldman
  • Synthesizer programming: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Simon Franglen, Steve Porcaro, Brad Buxer, Peter Mokran, Michael Boddicker, Chuck Wild, Andrew Scheps, Rick Sheppard, Rob Hoffman, Bobby Brooks, Jeff Bova, Chris Palmero, Jason Miles, Arnie Schulze and Gregg Mangiafico
  • Drum programming: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Peter Mokran and Andrew Scheps
  • Synclavier programming: Andrew Scheps and Simon Franglen
  • Guitars: Eddie Van Halen, Slash, David Williams, Larry Clayton, Dean Parks, Eric Gale, Tim Pierce, Dann Huff, Paul Jackson Jr., Steve Lukather, Bill Bottrell, Jeff Mirinow, Rob Hoffman, Jen Leigh, and Trevor Rabin
  • Drums: Ndugu Chancler, Jeff Porcaro, John Robinson and Bryan Loren
  • Percussion: Michael Jackson, Ollie E. Brown, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Bill Bottrell, Buddy Williams, Bruce Swedien, Simon Franglen, Rene, Chuck Wild, Paulinho Da Costa, Nannette Fortier and Bobby Brooks
  • Bass: Steve Lukather, Colin Wolfe, Louis Johnson, Nathan East, Terry Jackson, Doug Grigsby and Guy Pratt
  • Synth bass: Bryan Loren
  • Horns: Larry Williams, Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, William Reichenbach and Kim Hutchcroft

 Technical credits

  • Executive producer: Michael Jackson
  • Recorded and mixed by Bruce Swedien
  • Additional Recording and mixing by Eddie De Lena, Steve Hodge and W.J.R.
  • Technical directors: Matt Forger and Brad Sundberg
  • Production coordination: Rachel Smith
  • Mastered by Bernie Grundman
  • Computer programming and technical direction assistance by Craig Johnson
  • Additional synthesizer programming and sound design by Michael Boddicker, Chuck Wild, Scott Pittinsky, Bobby Brooks, Roberta Swedien and Darry Ross



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JL Taman Bendungan Asahan 5 Jakarta Indonesia 102010

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 Editor in Chief :


email : audiyudhasmara@yahoo.com 



Copyright © 2009, Michael Jackson Mania  Information Network. All rights reserved.

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