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"In the Closet"
Michael Jackson - In the Closet.png
Original album artwork by Mark Ryden
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Dangerous
Released April 9, 1992[1]
Recorded March–May 1991[2]
Genre New jack swing[3][4]
  • 6:31 (album version)
  • 4:49 (single version)
Label Epic
  • Michael Jackson
  • Teddy Riley
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Remember the Time"
"In the Closet"
"Someone Put Your Hand Out"

"Remember the Time"
"In the Closet"
"Someone Put Your Hand Out"
Music video
"In the Closet" on YouTube

"In the Closet" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was released on April 9, 1992 as the third single from his eighth album, Dangerous (1991). The song was written and produced by Jackson and Teddy Riley. It became the album's third consecutive top ten pop single, reaching number six on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also became its second number one R&B single. The song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 20 in 2006.[5]

Song information

The song, written and composed by Michael Jackson and Teddy Riley, is about keeping a relationship secret between lovers. "In the closet" is an English idiom used when one is not open about an aspect of their life, particularly in regard to sexual orientation. Despite the song's suggestive name its lyrics do not allude to hidden sexual orientation but rather a concealed relationship; "Don't hide our love / Woman to man." The New York Times stated, "Only Jackson would use that title for a heterosexual love song..."[6] The song's female vocal was originally labeled "Mystery Girl" but was later revealed to be Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.[7]

The song, with its heavy industrial-sounding percussion and uptempo arrangement, is typical of producer Teddy Riley's style. The unique, Eastern-influenced backing vocals, reaching crescendo at middle eight imbue the song with an erotic edge usually missing from Jackson's music. With mostly whispered and subdued vocals, embellished with gasps, moans, and shudders, along with lyrics that include "...And if it's aching, you have to rub it," it is generally considered one of Jackson's most provocative songs.[original research?]

The song was not performed during Jackson's Dangerous World Tour (however, during his concert in Toulouse, the band played a short instrumental before "Man in the Mirror"), but a short version, with the intro of "She Drives Me Wild," was the third song of a medley including "Scream" and "They Don't Care About Us" during the HIStory World Tour. Princess Stéphanie's spoken lines were replaced with Jackson's live speech for the sequence.[citation needed]

Critical reception

AllMusic wrote that this song is fine and there's a lot to be said for professional craftsmanship at its peak and he highlighted it.[8] Robert Christgau praised and described: "he's hawking the most credible sex-and-romance of his career. "In the Closet" implores his mystery woman to keep their—get this--"lust" behind closed doors. Soon he's going wild, or fabricating desperate nostalgia for their used-to-be."[9] Alan Light of Rolling Stone called this song: repressed lust in the titillatingly titled (and determinedly heterosexual)" and he wrote that this song has a "snaky, unexpected bridge."[10]

Collaboration with Madonna

"In the Closet" was originally conceived as a duet between Jackson and Madonna. According to a 1992 interview with British journalist Jonathan Ross, Madonna said she worked on some lyrical ideas for the song but when she presented them to Michael, he decided they were too provocative and they decided not to continue with the project.[11]

Music video

The sepia colored music video was directed by Herb Ritts and features Jackson performing sensual dance routines with supermodel Naomi Campbell. The spoken vocals by Princess Stéphanie of Monaco were re-recorded by Campbell for the video. The clip was filmed in late March 1992 in Salton Sea, California and premiered on April 23, 1992.[12][13] It was Jackson's most sexually provocative piece and was even banned in South Africa because of its imagery.[14] The video is featured on the DVDs Dangerous: The Short Films and Michael Jackson's Vision. Clips from the music video were used in Jackson's posthumous music video for his song "A Place with No Name", which was released as the second single from his posthumous compilation album Xscape in 2014.

Formats and track listings

Chart performance


  • Written and composed by Michael Jackson and Teddy Riley
  • Produced by Michael Jackson and Teddy Riley
  • Recorded and mixed by Bruce Swedien, Teddy Riley, Jean-Marie Horvat and Dave Way
  • Vocal duet with Michael Jackson and Mystery Girl (later revealed to be Princess Stéphanie of Monaco)
  • Michael Jackson: Solo and background vocals
  • Rhythm and synthesizer arrangements by Teddy Riley
  • Vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson
  • Teddy Riley: Keyboards and synthesizers
  • Wayne Cobham: Sequencing and programming

See also


  1. ^ "In the Closet – Single". Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Celebrity Buzz Fight against Trump condos". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. May 15, 1991. p. D/2. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  3. ^ Byron, Tim (November 29, 2012). "Music Dump: Rihanna's Pitbull Stopped Frank Ocean's New Jack Swing". The Vine. Archived from the original on October 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ Powers, Ann (March 10, 2009). "'American Idol' needs to open the closet door". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 14, 2014. A tight, New Jack Swing track co-produced by Teddy Riley, the song expresses bald lust in the face of a lover's wish to retreat. 
  5. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  6. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 24, 1991). "RECORDINGS VIEW; Michael Jackson in the Electronic Wilderness". The New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2000). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books. p. 320. ISBN 978-0-8230-7690-1. 
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Michael Jackson – Dangerous". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Michael Jackson: Dangerous". Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  10. ^ Light, Alan (January 1, 1992). "Michael Jackson – Dangerous". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Madonna speak working with MJ". YouTube. July 7, 2008. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ Landis, David (March 26, 1992). "Asthma Costs". USA Today. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  13. ^ Scaduto, Anthony; Vaughan, Doug; Stasi, Linda (March 20, 1992). "Inside New York". Newsday. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  14. ^ George, Nelson (2004). Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection (booklet). Sony BMG. pp. 45–6. 
  15. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet USA CD single (CD5 / 5")". Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet – Green USA Promo CD single (CD5 / 5")". Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet – Mixes Behind Door #1 Japan CD single (CD5 / 5")". Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet – Mixes Behind Door #2 Japan CD single (CD5 / 5")". Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet – Mixes Behind Door 3 Japan CD single (CD5 / 5")". Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Michael Jackson In The Closet UK Dual Disc". Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Visionary: The Video Singles [Box Set, Dual Disc]". Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  22. ^ " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  23. ^ " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  24. ^ " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  25. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2144." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  26. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 2153." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  27. ^ a b " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  28. ^ " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  29. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9 no. 25. June 20, 1992. p. 16. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  30. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – In the Closet". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  31. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 32. August 8, 1992. p. 43. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  32. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 21, 1992" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  33. ^ a b " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  34. ^ " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  35. ^ " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". VG-lista. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  36. ^ Halstead, Craig; Cadman, Chris (2003). Jacksons Number Ones. Authors On Line Ltd. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7552-0098-6. 
  37. ^ " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". Singles Top 100. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  38. ^ " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  39. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  40. ^ "Hot 100 Singles". Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 22. May 30, 1992. p. 72. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  41. ^ "Hot Dance Music". Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 24. June 13, 1992. p. 24. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  42. ^ "Hot R&B Singles". Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 26. June 27, 1992. p. 24. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  43. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Pop Singles – Week ending JUNE 13, 1992". Cash Box. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. 
  44. ^ " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet". Top Digital Download. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  45. ^ " – Michael Jackson – In The Closet" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  46. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  47. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1992" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  48. ^ "Jahrescharts – 1992". (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. 
  49. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1992" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1992". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  51. ^ "American single  certifications – Michael Jackson – In the Closet". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
This page was last edited on 20 July 2018, at 04:08
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