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Michael Jackson - BAD 25 - Al Capone

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Published on Sep 12, 2012

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"Al Capone"
sounds about as much like "Smooth Criminal" as "Streetwalker" sounds like "Dangerous" (i.e. not very much at all). In both cases, however, Jackson took elements he liked and transformed them into something completely new. It is a testament to Jackson's instincts, patience, and work ethic. While this earlier version has great potential (and likely would have been released by many of Jackson's contemporaries as is), he kept at it and came up with the timeless classic that is "Smooth Criminal." The demo also demonstrates Jackson's remarkable knack for choruses that stick. One listen and those falsetto harmonies are on repeat in the brain.

Matt Forger: "This is an example of a song where a part of it inspires the next version of the song. There have been many cases where Michael has done that, where he would dwell on a song and refine concepts, or lyrics or melodies. The bass line in 'Al Capone'—you can see how it evolved into 'Smooth Criminal.' And the whole gangster theme carried over—though as it evolved it became less about a particular historical figure and more about a situation and a story. You can also hear Michael experimenting with this staccato-type of vocal, this rapid wordplay that he would later use."

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