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HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I
A image of a silver statue wearing a military-like outfit with its hair clipped behind its head. To the left of the statue the words "MICHAEL JACKSON" are written in white letters and underneath them is "HISTORY PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE BOOK I" written in smaller white print. Behind the statue, a sky with black and red clouds can be seen.
Studio album and greatest hits album by
ReleasedJune 20, 1995 (1995-06-20)[1]
Recorded1979–91 (disc 1)
1988–95 (disc 2)
  • Epic
  • MJJ Productions
Michael Jackson chronology
HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I
Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix
Michael Jackson studio album chronology
HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I
Singles from HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I
  1. "Scream/Childhood"
    Released: May 31, 1995
  2. "You Are Not Alone"
    Released: August 15, 1995
  3. "Earth Song"
    Released: November 27, 1995
  4. "This Time Around"
    Released: December 26, 1995
  5. "They Don't Care About Us"
    Released: March 31, 1996
  6. "Stranger in Moscow"
    Released: November 4, 1996

HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I is the ninth studio album by American singer Michael Jackson, released on June 20, 1995. It was the fifth Jackson album released through Epic Records, and the first on his label MJJ Productions. It comprises two discs: HIStory Begins, a greatest hits compilation, and HIStory Continues, comprising new material written and produced by Jackson and collaborators. The themes include environmental awareness, isolation, greed, suicide, injustice, and Jackson's conflicts with the media.

Six singles were released: "Scream/Childhood", "You Are Not Alone", "Earth Song", "This Time Around", "They Don't Care About Us", and "Stranger in Moscow". "Smile" was intended to be the seventh single, but was cancelled last minute. "Scream/Childhood" peaked at number five, and became the first song to debut in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100. "You Are Not Alone" was the first song to debut at number one.[2]

HIStory was nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning for Best Music Video – Short Form for "Scream". Though it received generally positive reviews, the lyrics of "They Don't Care About Us" drew accusations of antisemitism; Jackson said the lines had been misinterpreted and replaced them on later pressings.

HIStory debuted at number one in the US and the UK, among other countries. By 1997, it had been certified six times platinum in Europe, making it the year's best-selling album in the combined European market.[3] It had sold more than 20 million copies worldwide by 2010, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, and the best-selling multi-disc album.[4][5] In 2001, the greatest hits disc was reissued as Greatest Hits: HIStory, Volume I, and had sold four million copies worldwide by 2010.[6]


Starting in the late 1980s, Jackson and the tabloid press had a difficult relationship. In 1986, tabloids claimed that Jackson slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber and had offered to buy the bones of Joseph Merrick (the "Elephant Man"), both of which Jackson denied.[7][8] These stories inspired the derogatory nickname "Wacko Jacko", which Jackson despised. He stopped leaking untruths to the press,[9] and the media began creating their own stories.[9] In 1989, Jackson released "Leave Me Alone", a song about the victimization he felt by the press.[10]

In 1993, the relationship between Jackson and the press collapsed when he was accused of child sexual abuse. Although he was not charged, Jackson was subject to intense media scrutiny while the criminal investigation took place. Complaints[who?] about the coverage and media included misleading and sensational headlines;[11] paying for stories of Jackson's alleged criminal activity[12] and confidential material from the police investigation;[13] using unflattering pictures of Jackson;[14] and using headlines that strongly implied Jackson's guilt.[14] In 1994, Jackson said of the media coverage: "I am particularly upset by the handling of the matter by the incredible, terrible mass media. At every opportunity, the media has dissected and manipulated these allegations to reach their own conclusions."[15]

Jackson began taking painkillers, Valium, Xanax and Ativan to deal with the stress of the allegations.[16] A few months after the allegations became news, Jackson stopped eating.[17] Soon after, Jackson's health deteriorated to the extent that he cancelled the remainder of his tour and went into rehabilitation.[18][19] Jackson booked the whole fourth floor of a clinic and was put on Valium IV to wean him from painkillers.[18][19] The media showed Jackson little sympathy. In 1993, the Daily Mirror held a "Spot the Jacko" contest, offering readers a trip to Disney World if they could correctly predict where Jackson would appear next.[18] The same year, a Daily Express headline read "Drug Treatment Star Faces Life on the Run", while a News of the World headline accused Jackson of being a fugitive; these tabloids also falsely alleged that Jackson had travelled to Europe to have cosmetic surgery that would make him unrecognisable on his return.[18] In early November 1993, talk show host Geraldo Rivera set up a mock trial with a jury of audience members, though Jackson had not been charged with a crime.[20]


HIStory was Jackson's first studio album since his 1991 album Dangerous nearly four years prior, and his first new material to be released since being accused of child sexual abuse in 1993.[21] The album is a two-disc album: Disc one (HIStory Begins) contains previously released material from Jackson's four previous post-Motown studio albums, Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987) and Dangerous (1991), and the second disc (HIStory Continues) comprises new material recorded from September 1994 to March 1995.[22] Jackson co-wrote and co-produced a majority of the new songs; other writers include Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Dallas Austin, the Notorious B.I.G., Bruce Swedien, R. Kelly and René Moore, and other producers include David Foster and Bill Bottrell.[22] Its genres include R&B, pop, rock, dance, urban, new jack swing, funk, and hip-hop.[23]

Composition and lyrics

Similarly to Jackson's previous studio albums Thriller and Bad, HIStory contains lyrics that deal with paranoia. The majority of the new songs were written by Jackson. Several of the album's 15 new songs pertain to the child sexual abuse allegations made against him in 1993[24] and Jackson's perceived mistreatment by the media, mainly the tabloids.[25] Because of this, the album has been described as being Jackson's most "personal".[26] Two of the album's new tracks are covers.[24] The genres of the songs on the album span R&B, pop, hard rock and ballads.[24][26][27] The lyrics pertain to isolation, greed, environmental concerns, injustice. "Scream" is a duet with Jackson's sister Janet; with "spitting"[24] lyrics about injustice.[26]

The lyrics for the R&B ballad "You Are Not Alone", written by R. Kelly, pertain to isolation.[26] 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 had been plagiarized from the Van Passel brothers, and it was banned from radio play in Belgium.[28][29] "D.S.", a hard rock song, has lyrics about a "cold man" named "Dom S. Sheldon". Critics interpreted it as an attack on Thomas Sneddon, who had led the prosecution in Jackson's trial.[24][27][30][31]

"Money" was interpreted as being directed at Evan Chandler, the father of the boy who accused Jackson of child sexual abuse.[24] The lyrics of "Childhood" pertain to Jackson's childhood.[32] Similar to "Scream", the lyrics to "They Don't Care About Us" pertain to injustice, as well as racism. In "This Time Around", Jackson asserts himself as having been "falsely accused".[24] The song features the Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls) two years before his death in 1997. Jackson used Biggie again in 2001 on his album Invincible on the song "Unbreakable"; this made him the only rapper to appear on multiple Jackson LPs.[33] "Earth Song" was described as a "slow blues-operatic",[26] and its lyrics pertain to environmental concerns. On HIStory, Jackson covered Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" and The Beatles' "Come Together".[26] "2 Bad" is a track heavily influenced by hip-hop, featuring a sample of Run–D.M.C.'s King of Rock and another guest rap verse by Shaquille O'Neal. The similarity in lyrics and name have led to some seeing it as a spiritual successor to Jackson's 1987 track, Bad.[34] "Stranger in Moscow" is a pop ballad that is interspersed with sounds of rain,[24] in which Jackson references a "swift and sudden fall from grace".[26] "Tabloid Junkie" is a hard funk song[35] with lyrics instructing listeners to not believe everything they read in the media and tabloids.[26][27] The album's title track, "HIStory" contained multiple samples, including Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.[36] "HIStory" was not released as a single from HIStory, but its remix was from Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix in 1997.

As an introduction for "Little Susie", Michael used his own variation of Pie Jesu from Maurice Duruflé's Requiem. Some speculate, the inspiration behind the song likely came from an artist called Gottfried Helnwein. Little Susie was based on a true story, written about a girl called Susie Condry who was murdered in 1972. Michael wrote and composed the song for her, dedicating it to her. Susie was abused and had a struggling life with no one loving her, no matter what she did. The full story can be found online. Michael admired the artist's work and he had purchased some of his paintings. One of them, "Beautiful Victim", inspired the song. The song Helnwein is considered quite provocative as he paints about the human condition depicting wounded children, among others. Helnwein later painted a portrait of Michael.[37] There appears to be a similarity between the "Beautiful Victim" painting and the artwork included for the song in HIStory.[37]

Accusations of antisemitism

On June 15, 1995, The New York Times claimed that "They Don't Care About Us" contained antisemitic slurs in the lines "Jew me, sue me, everybody do me / Kick me, kike me, don't you black or white me".[38] In a statement, Jackson responded:

Jackson's manager and record label said the lyrics opposed prejudice and had been taken out of context.[38] The following day, David A. Lehrer and Rabbi Marvin Hier, leaders of two Jewish organizations, stated that Jackson's attempt to make a song critical of discrimination had backfired. They felt the lyrics might be ambiguous and were unsuitable for young audiences because they might not understand the song's context. They acknowledged that Jackson meant well and suggested that he write an explanation in the album booklet.[39] In his review of HIStory, Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that the song "gives the lie to his entire catalogue of brotherhood anthems with a burst of anti-Semitism".[40]

On June 17, Jackson promised that future copies of the album would include an apology, and concluded: "I just want you all to know how strongly I am committed to tolerance, peace and love, and I apologize to anyone who might have been hurt."[41] On June 23, Jackson announced that "Jew me" and "kike me" would be substituted with "do me" and "strike me" on future copies of the album.[42] He reiterated his acceptance that the song was offensive to some.[42][43] Spike Lee, who would direct the music videos for "They Don't Care About Us", said that he felt there was a double standard in the music industry, and that the word "nigger" in music does not cause controversy.[44] Rapper Notorious B.I.G. used the word "nigga" on another song on the album, "This Time Around", but it did not attract media attention.[44]

Music videos

HIStory's music videos displayed different themes and elements, while some of them encouraged awareness of poverty and had a positive effect on their shooting locations. The promo for "They Don't Care About Us" was directed by Spike Lee; Jackson said that Lee chose to direct the video because the song "has an edge, and Spike Lee had approached me. It's a public awareness song and that's what he is all about. It's a protest kind of song... and I think he was perfect for it."[45] Jackson also collaborated with 200 members of the cultural group Olodum, who played music in the video.[46] The resulting media interest exposed Olodum to 140 countries, bringing them worldwide fame and increasing their status in Brazil.[47] Lúcia Nagib, of The New Brazilian Cinema, said of the music video:

In 2009, Billboard described the area as "now a model for social development" and stated that Jackson's influence was partially responsible for this improvement.[49] For the first time in Jackson's career, he made a second music video for a single.[50] This second version was filmed in a prison with cell mates; the video shows Jackson handcuffed and contains real footage of police attacking African Americans, the Ku Klux Klan, genocide, execution, and other human rights abuses.[50] Jackson's music video for "Earth Song" received praise for its environmental recognition. In 1995, the video received a Genesis Award for Doris Day Music Award, given each year for animal sensitivity.[51] In 2008, a writer for the Nigeria Exchange said that "'Earth Song' drew the world's attention to the degradation and bastardization of the earth as a fall out of various human activities".[52]

Two other music videos from HIStory have been influential. Jackson's "Stranger In Moscow" music video influenced the advertising campaign for International Cricket Council Champions Trophy 2004, which featured "a series of smart outdoor ads and a classy TV spot".[53] The television commercial was inspired by "Stranger In Moscow"s video where "the maiden in black splash about in the rain, with kids playing cricket for company".[53] "Scream" was a creative influence on other music videos such as "No Scrubs" (1999) by TLC.[54] This influence was also present on the 2008 release of "Shawty Get Loose" by Lil Mama and Chris Brown.[55] Reacting to the comparisons made between the videos, Mama explained, "I feel honored, because that was one of the initial goals, and I feel that it was executed well", she added that the emulation was intentional and that Brown was the only logical choice to step into Michael Jackson's role.[55]

Promotion and tour

A image of a person with pale skin dangling by their hands from a crane. The person is wearing a white shirt and black pants and footwear. A black background can be seen behind the person.
Jackson performing "Earth Song" on June 20, 1997, in Lausanne during the HIStory World Tour. During the performance Jackson was dangled from the edge of a crane.

Sony Music spent $30 million to promote the album.[56] Prior to the album's release, the music press were anticipating how well it would sell. One analyst for SoundScan expressed the opinion that the press were out of touch with the public when it came to Jackson; the public liked him, while the press did not.[57] He believed that "naysayers" in the media would be left surprised with the commercial reception to the HIStory campaign.[57] "Smile", "This Time Around" and "D.S." were released as promotional singles in 1995 and December 1997. Due to lack of radio airplay, "Smile" and "D.S." did not chart on any music charts worldwide. "This Time Around", was released as radio-only single in the United States in December 1995. The song peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart and at number 18 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart solely off radio airplay.[58]

One of several 30-foot statues placed around Europe to promote the HIStory tour
One of several 30-foot statues placed around Europe to promote the HIStory tour

To promote the album, Jackson embarked on the commercially successful world concert tour, titled HIStory World Tour. The HIStory World Tour was Jackson's third, and last, concert tour as a solo artist. The HIStory World Tour, beginning in Prague, Czech Republic on September 7, 1996, attracted more than 4.5 million fans from 58 cities in 35 countries around the world. The average concert attendance was 54,878 and the tour lasted 82 tour dates. Jackson did not perform any concerts in the United States, besides two concerts in January 1997 in Hawaii.[59] VIP seats cost, on average, $200 per person.[59] Each concert lasted an estimated two hours and ten minutes.[59] The HIStory World Tour concluded in Durban, South Africa on October 15, 1997.[60][61]

The album cover depicts a 10-foot sculpture of Jackson in a "warrior-like" pose, created in 1994 by Diana Walczak.[62] To promote the tour, Epic placed ten 30-foot replicas of the statue in locations around the world.[63] The statues were built over three months by a team of 30, made from steel and fiberglass, and weighed around 20,000 pounds each.[63] They were placed in locations such including the River Thames in London, Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and the pedestal of the destroyed Stalin Monument in Prague.[64] Another statue, built from wood and plaster, was placed at the Los Angeles Tower Records store.[65] In 2016, the original statue was installed at the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas.[62]


Six singles were released from HIStory. "Scream"/"Childhood" was the first single released in May 1995. "Scream" was sung and performed by Jackson and his sister Janet Jackson. The single had the best ever debut at number five - where it peaked, on the Billboard Hot 100.[66] The song received a Grammy nomination for "Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals".[66][67] The music video for "Scream" is one of Jackson's most critically acclaimed songs and music videos, receiving numerous awards. With a US$9 million music video production budget, "Scream" is the most expensive music video ever made as of 2015.[68]

"You Are Not Alone" was the second single released from HIStory. Having debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 2, 1995,[2] it became the first song to debut at number one on the chart, succeeding the record previously held from Jackson's "Scream" single.[66] "You Are Not Alone" was released in August 1995, and it topped the charts in various international markets, including the United Kingdom,[33] France, and Spain.[69] The song was seen as a major artistic and commercial success.[67]

"Earth Song" was the third single released in November 1995. "Earth Song" did not chart on Billboard 100. Internationally, the song topped four countries' charts, as well as charting within the top-ten in nine other nations.[70] 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 United Kingdom single, surpassing the success of his single "Billie Jean".[67]

"This Time Around" was released as the album's fourth single on December 26, 1995, and features the rapper The Notorious B.I.G.. It was the album's first promotional single, and was released in the United States only. Tag lines for a December 1995 HBO special were heavily marketed on the copies of this single, but the special was cancelled after Jackson had fallen ill.

"They Don't Care About Us" was the fifth single. "They Don't Care About Us" peaked at number thirty on the Billboard 100, and it charted within the top-ten of Billboard's Hot Dance Music and Hot R&B Singles Charts.[58] The song charted better in other countries, compared to the United States, managing to chart within the top-ten in fourteen countries. "They Don't Care About Us" topped the German Singles chart for three weeks,[71] while peaking at number two in Spain, number three in Austria, Sweden, and Switzerland, as well as charting at number four in France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.[72]

"Stranger in Moscow" was released as the sixth and final single in November 1996. The song was well received by critics. In the United States, the song peaked at number ninety one on the Billboard Hot 100.[73] Outside of the United States, the song was a success, topping in Spain and Italy, while peaking within the top-ten in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and New Zealand, among others.[74][75]

"Smile" was originally intended to be the album's seventh and final single, and was to be released in CD and 12" format on January 20, 1998. However, the release was cancelled due to unknown reasons, and most of the copies were subsequently destroyed. Only a few copies were sent out for airplay.

Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[23]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(2-star Honorable Mention)(2-star Honorable Mention)[76]
Entertainment WeeklyB[27]
Q3/5 stars[77]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[78]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[26]

HIStory received generally positive reviews. Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote 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."[79] 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."[77] 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".[80]

James Hunter of Rolling Stone gave HIStory four-out-of-five stars and noted that it "unfolds in Jackson's outraged response to everything he has encountered in the last year or so. It makes for an odd, charmless second chapter to a first that includes miraculous recordings like 'Billie Jean,' 'The Way You Make Me Feel,' 'Black or White' and 'Beat It.'[26] In relation to "This Time Around", Hunter described it as a "dynamite jam" that's "ripe for remixes" and described "Scream" and "Tabloid Junkie," as being "adventurous" while noting that "Earth Song" as a "noble sentiments" that sounds "primarily like a showpiece".[26] Jim Farber of the New York Daily News gave the album a generally mixed review and commented that he would give the album's first disc three stars if it was released on its own.[25] Jon Pareles of The New York Times believed that Jackson "muttered" lyrics such as "They thought they really had control of me".[79] 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".[81]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave HIStory three-out-of-five stars, but commented that it was a "monumental achievement" of Jackson's ego.[23] Erlewine remarked that on the HIStory Begins CD, it contains "some of the greatest music in pop history" but that it leaves some hits out, citing "Say Say Say" and "Dirty Diana" — commenting that "yet it's filled with enough prime material to be thoroughly intoxicating".[23] Erlewine noted that HIStory Continues is "easily the most personal album Jackson has recorded" and that its songs' lyrics referencing the molestation accusations create a "thick atmosphere of paranoia".[23] He cited "You Are Not Alone" and "Scream" as being "well-crafted pop that ranks with his best material", but concludes that "nevertheless, HIStory Continues stands as his weakest album since the mid-'70s."[23] David Browne of Entertainment Weekly, gave "HIStory Begins" an "A-" grade but the album's new material a "C-", which "winds up a B" for the entire album.[27] Browne commented that the music "rarely seems to transport him (and thereby us) to a higher plane."[27] Controversy with the album came with Jackson having to rerecord some lyrics in "They Don't Care About Us" after he was accused of antisemitism, and contributor R. Kelly was accused of having plagiarized one of the album's songs, "You Are Not Alone", leading to its banning on Belgian radio. HIStory was nominated for five Grammy Awards at the 1996 and 1997 ceremonies respectively, winning one award. "You Are Not Alone" was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male, "Scream" was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and "Scream" won Best Music Video - Short Form and "Earth Song" was nominated for the same award the following year. The album itself was nominated for Album of the Year. At the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, "Scream" received ten nominations, winning in three categories.[82]

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.[83][84] The album was certified eight times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on August 23, 2018 in the United States. Because HIStory is double disc album, its CDs are therefore counted separately for certification purposes, meaning the album achieved platinum status in the United States after 500,000 copies were shipped, not one million. In Europe, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry certified HIStory six times platinum, denoting six million shipments within the continent, including 1.5 million in Germany and 1.2 million shipments in the United Kingdom.[85] As of 2010, HIStory has sold more than 20 million copies[86] worldwide and is the best selling multiple-disc release, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.[87] HIStory is also the biggest selling double album ever released. The greatest hits disc was reissued as a single disc on November 13, 2001, under the title Greatest Hits: HIStory, Volume I and had sold four million copies worldwide by 2010.[6] The second disc was released separately in some European countries in 2011.

Track listing

Disc one: HIStory Begins/Greatest Hits: HIStory, Volume I
1."Billie Jean" (from Thriller, 1982)Michael Jackson
2."The Way You Make Me Feel" (from Bad, 1987)M. Jackson
  • Jones
  • M. Jackson[a]
3."Black or White" (from Dangerous, 1991)
  • M. Jackson
  • Bottrell
4."Rock with You" (from Off the Wall, 1979)Rod TempertonJones3:40
5."She's Out of My Life" (from Off the Wall)Tom BahlerJones3:38
6."Bad" (from Bad)M. Jackson
  • Jones
  • M. Jackson[a]
7."I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (featuring Siedah Garrett) (from Bad)M. Jackson
  • Jones
  • M. Jackson[a]
8."Man in the Mirror" (from Bad)
  • Jones
  • M. Jackson[a]
9."Thriller" (from Thriller)TempertonJones5:58
10."Beat It" (from Thriller)M. Jackson
  • Jones
  • M. Jackson[a]
11."The Girl Is Mine" (duet with Paul McCartney) (from Thriller)M. Jackson
  • Jones
  • M. Jackson[a]
12."Remember the Time" (from Dangerous)
  • M. Jackson
  • Riley
13."Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" (from Off the Wall)M. Jackson
  • Jones
  • M. Jackson[a]
14."Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (from Thriller)M. Jackson
  • Jones
  • M. Jackson[a]
15."Heal the World" (from Dangerous)M. Jackson
Disc two: HIStory Continues
1."Scream" (featuring Janet Jackson)
2."They Don't Care About Us"M. JacksonM. Jackson4:44
3."Stranger In Moscow"M. JacksonM. Jackson5:44
4."This Time Around" (featuring The Notorious B.I.G.)
  • Austin
  • Jackson
  • Swedien[a]
  • Rene[a]
5."Earth Song" (recorded in June 1989, August 1991 & September 1994 – March 1995, during the "Dangerous" & "HIStory" sessions)M. Jackson
6."D.S." (featuring Slash)M. JacksonM. Jackson4:49
7."Money"M. JacksonM. Jackson4:42
8."Come Together" (recorded in 1988)
  • M. Jackson
  • Bottrell
9."You Are Not Alone"R. Kelly
  • Kelly
  • M. Jackson
10."Childhood"M. Jackson
  • M. Jackson
  • Foster
11."Tabloid Junkie"
  • M. Jackson
  • Harris III
  • Lewis
  • Michael Jackson
  • Jimmy Jam
  • Lewis
12."2 Bad" (featuring Shaquille O'Neal)
  • Jackson
  • Swedien
  • Rene
  • Austin
  • M. Jackson
  • Jimmy Jam
  • Lewis
  • Swedien
  • Rene
  • M. Jackson
  • Harris III
  • Lewis
  • M. Jackson
  • Jimmy Jam
  • Lewis
14."Little Susie"M. JacksonM. Jackson6:15
  • Foster
  • M. Jackson


Adapted from the album's liner notes and AllMusic.[22][88]

  • Gary Adante – keyboards, synthesizer
  • Yannick Allain – staff
  • Trini Alvarez Jr. - assistant engineer
  • Maxi Anderson – choir conductor
  • Rob Arbitter – keyboards, synthesizer
  • Ryan Arnold – assistant engineer
  • Gloria Augustus – background vocals
  • Dallas Austin – arranger, keyboards, producer, synthesizer
  • John Bahler – vocal arrangement, background vocals
  • John Bahler Singers – background vocals
  • Tom Bahler – synclavier
  • Bettye Bailey – staff
  • Glen Ballard – keyboards, rhythm arrangements, synthesizer, synthesizer arrangements
  • Brian Banks – keyboards, synthesizer, synthesizer programming
  • John Barnes – keyboards, piano, synthesizer, vocal arrangement
  • Elmer Bernstein – conductor, orchestral arrangements
  • Emily Bernstein – orchestration
  • Tony Duino Black – assistant engineer
  • Michael Boddicker – choir conductor, keyboards, programming, sound design, synthesizer, synthesizer programming
  • Bill Bottrell – drums, engineer, guitar, keyboards, mixing, percussion, producer, synthesizer
  • Jeff Bova – programming, synthesizer programming
  • Crystal Bowers – executive assistant
  • Boyz II Men – guest artist, background vocals
  • Miko Brando – staff
  • Bobby Brooks – drums, engineer, percussion, programming, sound design, synthesizer programming
  • Ollie E. Brown – percussion
  • Chauna Bryant – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Rodger Bumpass – background vocals, voiceover
  • Brad Buxer – arranger, keyboards, orchestration, percussion, piano, programming, sequencing arranger, sound effects, soundscape, synthesizer, synthesizer programming
  • Caleena Campbell – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Bruce Cannon – effects, special effects
  • Larry Carlton – guitar
  • Reeve Carney – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Reagans Carter – artwork, photography
  • Lafayette Carthon – keyboards, synthesizer
  • Jim Champagne – assistant engineer
  • Leon "Ndugu" Chancler – drums
  • Charlie Chaplin – tributee
  • Rosemary Chavira – staff
  • Wayne Cobham – synthesizer programming
  • Lester Cohen – artwork, photography
  • David Coleman – art direction
  • Jesse Corti – background vocals, voiceover
  • Richard Cottrell – engineer
  • Andraé Crouch – vocal arrangement, background vocals
  • The Andraé Crouch Singers – background vocals
  • Sandra Crouch – background vocals
  • Christopher Currell – guitar, percussion, rhythm arrangements, synclavier
  • Paulinho Da Costa – percussion
  • Rick Dasher – assistant engineer
  • Eddie DeLena – engineer, mixing
  • Jeff DeMorris – assistant engineer
  • Carol Dennis – background vocals
  • Carolyn Dennis – background vocals
  • Nancy Donald – art direction
  • Nathan East – bass
  • Bill Easystone – assistant engineer
  • Felipe Elgueta – engineer
  • Sam Emerson – artwork, photography
  • Jonathan Exley – artwork, photography
  • Ashley Farrell – voiceover
  • Steve Ferrone – drums, percussion
  • Angela Fisher – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Matt Forger – engineer, sound effects, soundscape, technical director
  • David Foster – keyboards, orchestral arrangements, piano, producer, synthesizer, synthesizer arrangements
  • Jania Foxworth – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Simon Franglen – drums, keyboards, percussion, programming, synclavier programming, synthesizer, synthesizer programming
  • Leah Frazier – soloist
  • Harrison Funk – artwork, photography
  • Eric Gale – guitar
  • Gus Garces – assistant engineer
  • Siedah Garrett – duet, guest artist, performer, primary artist, vocal harmony
  • Humberto Gatica – engineer
  • Peter Germansen – assistant engineer
  • Douglas Getschall – drum programming, programming
  • Kevin Gilbert – engineer, synthesizer programming
  • Jim Gilstrap – background vocals
  • Nate Giorgio – artwork, photography
  • Carl Glanville – assistant engineer
  • Greg Gorman – artwork, photography
  • Jackie Gouché – background vocals
  • Geoff Grace – orchestration
  • Crystal Grant – children's chorus
  • Gary Grant – flugelhorn, horn, trumpet
  • Nikisha Grier – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Doug Grigsby – bass
  • Bernie Grundman – mastering
  • Stephanie Gylden – assistant engineer
  • Omar Hakim – drums, percussion
  • Natalia Harris – children's chorus
  • Amy Hartman – staff
  • Gary Hearne – staff
  • Richard Heath – percussion
  • Gorrfried Helnwein – artwork, photography
  • Marlo Henderson – guitar
  • Jerry Hey – conductor, flugelhorn, horn, horn arrangements, string arrangements, synthesizer arrangements, trumpet
  • Steve Hodge – engineer, mixing
  • Rob Hoffman – assistant engineer, engineer, guitar, programming, synthesizer programming
  • Jean-marie horvat – Engineer
  • Rhonda Hoskins – children's chorus
  • How Now Brown Cow – percussion
  • Dann Huff – guitar
  • Bunny Hull – background vocals
  • Kim Hutchcroft – flute, horn, saxophone
  • James Ingram – background vocals
  • Crystal Jackson – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Janet Jackson – duet vocals, producer, vocal arrangement, background vocals
  • Michael Jackson – arranger, director, drums, executive producer, guitar, horn arrangements, keyboard arrangements, keyboards, liner notes, percussion, primary artist, producer, rhythm arrangements, sequencing arranger, string arrangements, synthesizer, synthesizer arrangements, vocal arrangement, vocals, background vocals
  • Paul Jackson, Jr. - guitar
  • Randy Jackson – percussion
  • Terry Jackson – bass
  • Jimmy Jam – arranger, drum programming, drums, keyboards, percussion, producer, programming, synthesizer, synthesizer bass, synthesizer programming, vocal arrangement
  • Mortonette Jenkins – background vocals
  • Augie Johnson – background vocals
  • Craig Johnson – assistant technical director, engineer, technical director
  • Kandy Johnson – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Kimberly Johnson – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Louis Johnson – bass
  • Marcus Johnson – staff
  • Brian Jones – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Caryn Jones – children's chorus
  • Quincy Jones – producer, rhythm arrangements, synthesizer arrangements, vocal arrangement
  • Nathan Kaproff – orchestral coordinator
  • Suzie Katayama – conductor
  • R. Kelly – arranger, keyboards, producer, synthesizer, background vocals
  • Jacqueline Kennedy – liner notes
  • Randy Kerber – keyboards, synthesizer
  • Donn Landee – engineer
  • Christa Larson – background vocals
  • Julie Last – assistant engineer
  • Annie Leibovitz – artwork, photography
  • Jen Leigh – guitar
  • Jesse Levy – orchestral coordinator
  • Terry Lewis – arranger, drum programming, drums, keyboards, percussion, producer, programming, synthesizer, synthesizer bass, synthesizer programming, vocal arrangement
  • Becky Lopez – background vocals
  • Bryan Loren – drums, percussion, synthesizer bass, background vocals
  • Ron Lowe – assistant engineer
  • L.T.B. - rap, voiceover
  • Jeremy Lubbock – arranger, conductor
  • Steve Lukather – bass, guitar
  • Jonathan Mackey – piano
  • Brian Malouf – engineer
  • Johnny Mandel – arranger, string arrangements
  • Gregg Mangiafico – programming, synthesizer programming
  • Maurice La Marche – voiceover
  • Glen Marchese – assistant engineer
  • Anthony Marinelli – synthesizer programming
  • Gregory Martin – background vocals, voiceover
  • Jasun Martz – keyboards, synthesizer
  • Harry Maslin – engineer
  • Anna Mathias – background vocals, voiceover
  • Coi Mattison – children's chorus
  • Paul McCartney – duet vocals, vocal harmony
  • Michael McCary – background vocals
  • Linda McCrary – background vocals
  • Andres McKenzie – voiceover
  • Dawn McMillan – voiceover
  • Paulette McWilliams – background vocals
  • Daniel Medvedev – narrator
  • Jason Miles – programming, synthesizer programming
  • Jeff Mirinov – guitar
  • Peter Mokran – drum programming, engineer, programming, synthesizer programming
  • Nathan Morris – background vocals
  • Wanya Morris – background vocals
  • Wayne Nagin – staff
  • Carl Nappa – assistant engineer
  • David Nordahl – artwork, photography
  • The Notorious B.I.G. – guest artist, rap
  • David Nottingham – assistant engineer
  • Shaquille O'Neal – guest artist, rap
  • Gary Olazabal – engineer
  • Claudio Ordenes – engineer
  • David Paich – bass, keyboards, piano, rhythm arrangements, synthesizer, synthesizer arrangements
  • Marty Paich – conductor, orchestral arrangements
  • Chris Palmaro – synthesizer programming
  • Dean Parks – guitar
  • Paul Peabody – soloist, violin
  • Wayne Pedzwater – bass
  • Greg Phillinganes – fender rhodes, keyboards, rhythm arrangements, synthesizer, synthesizer bass
  • Tim Pierce – guitar
  • Scott Pittinsky – sound design, synthesizer programming
  • Jeff Porcaro – drums
  • Steve Porcaro – keyboards, orchestral realizations, programming, synthesizer, synthesizer programming
  • Crystal Pounds – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Guy Pratt – bass
  • Markita Prescott – soloist
  • Vincent Price – rap
  • Phil Proctor – background vocals
  • Phillip G. Proctor – voiceover
  • Trevor Rabin – guitar
  • Ronald Reagan – quotation author
  • William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr. - horn, trombone
  • Rene – drums, keyboards, percussion, producer, synthesizer
  • Seth Riggs – vocal consultant
  • Teddy Riley – engineer, keyboards, mixing, producer, rhythm arrangements, synthesizer, synthesizer arrangements
  • Chris Roberts – assistant engineer
  • John Robinson – drums
  • John "J.R." Robinson – drums
  • Nile Rodgers – guitar
  • Matthew Rolston – artwork, photography
  • Bill Ross – conductor, orchestral arrangements
  • Darryl Ross – sound design, synthesizer programming
  • William Ross – conductor
  • Keith Rouster – bass
  • Thom Russo – technical director
  • Grace Rwaramba – staff
  • Annette Sanders – choir conductor
  • Andrew Scheps – drum programming, engineer, programming, sound effects, soundscape, synclavier programming, synthesizer programming
  • Arnie Schulze – programming, synthesizer programming
  • Seawind Horns – horn
  • Jamie Seyberth – assistant engineer
  • Scott "House" Shaffer – staff
  • Joshua Shapera – assistant engineer
  • Alan Shearman – background vocals, voiceover
  • Rick Sheppard – programming, synthesizer programming
  • Susan Silo – voiceover
  • Slash – guest artist, guitar
  • Greg Smith – keyboards, synthesizer
  • Jimmy Smith – hammond b3, organ (hammond), soloist
  • Rachel Smith – production coordination
  • Steven Spielberg – liner notes
  • Tracy Spindler – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Brandi Stewart – children's chorus, choir/chorus
  • Shawn Stockman – background vocals
  • Brad Sundberg – engineer, mixing, technical director
  • Gabriel Sutter – assistant engineer
  • Bruce Swedien – arranger, drums, effects, engineer, liner notes, mixing, percussion, producer, sound effects, soundscape, special effects
  • Roberta Swedien – sound design, synthesizer programming
  • Evvy Tavasci – assistant, executive administrator
  • Elizabeth Taylor – liner notes, quotation author
  • Jeff Taylor – assistant engineer
  • Rod Temperton – keyboards, rhythm arrangements, synthesizer, synthesizer arrangements, vocal arrangement
  • Chris Theis – assistant engineer
  • Michael Thompson – guitar
  • Jonathon Ungar – children's chorus
  • Eddie Van Halen – guest artist, guitar
  • John VanNest – engineer
  • Llyswen Vaughan – sample clearance
  • Suzy Vaughan – sample clearance
  • Stephan Vaughn – artwork, photography
  • Tata Vega – background vocals
  • Brian Vibberts – assistant engineer
  • Gerald Vinci – concert master
  • Diana Walczak – sculpture
  • Randy Waldman – keyboards, synthesizer
  • Stephen Walker – art direction
  • Ben Wallach – assistant engineer
  • Dan Wallin – engineer
  • Julia Waters – background vocals
  • Maxine Waters – background vocals
  • Oren Waters – background vocals
  • Bobby Watson – bass
  • Dave Way – engineer, mixing
  • Steven Paul Whitsitt – artwork, photography
  • Ed Wiesnieski – narrator
  • Chuck Wild – drums, keyboards, percussion, programming, sound design, sound effects, soundscape, synthesizer, synthesizer programming
  • Maxine Willard Waters – background vocals
  • Buddy Williams – drums, percussion
  • David Williams – guitar
  • Larry Williams – flute, horn, saxophone, synthesizer programming
  • Zedric Williams – background vocals
  • The Winans – background vocals
  • Hattie Winston – background vocals, voiceover
  • Colin Wolfe – bass
  • Bill Wolfer – keyboards, synthesizer, synthesizer programming
  • David "Hawk" Wolinski – fender rhodes
  • Ben Wright – string arrangements
  • James "Big Jim" Wright – organ, piano
  • Jimmy Wright – organ, piano
  • Charity Young – children's chorus, choir/chorus


Certifications and sales

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[148] Platinum 60,000^
Australia (ARIA)[149] 8× Platinum 560,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[150] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Belgium (BEA)[151] 5× Platinum 250,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[152] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[153] 5× Platinum 500,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[154] 5× Platinum 250,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[155] Platinum 61,352[155]
France (SNEP)[156] Diamond 1,000,000*
Germany (BVMI)[157] 3× Platinum 1,500,000^
Italy (FIMI)[158] Gold 50,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[159] 2× Platinum 400,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[160] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[161] 3× Platinum 300,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[162] Platinum 15,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[163] Platinum 50,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[164] Platinum 100,000*
South Korea 300,000[165][166]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[167] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Sweden (GLF)[168] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[169] 3× Platinum 150,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[170] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[171]
Greatest Hits: History Volume 1
Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[172] 8× Platinum 4,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[173]
Greatest Hits: History Volume 1
Platinum 1,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[174] 6× Platinum 6,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also


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  171. ^ "British album  certifications – Michael Jackson – Greatest Hits - History Vol 1". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2014-10-26. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Greatest Hits - History Vol 1 in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
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