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Smooth Criminal

Smooth Criminal

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Encyclopedia
"Smooth Criminal" is the seventh single from Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

's 1987 Bad
Bad (album)
Bad is the seventh studio album by American songwriter and recording artist Michael Jackson. The album was released on August 31, 1987 by Epic/CBS Records, nearly five years after Jackson's previous studio album, Thriller, which went on to become the world's best-selling album...

album. The song contains a fast-paced beat intertwined with Jackson's lyrics about a woman named Annie, who has been attacked in her apartment by a "smooth" assailant. It was released as a single on October 24, 1988 and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

. It was re-released on April 10, 2006 as a part of the Visionary: The Video Singles
Visionary: The Video Singles
-Remix EP:Released February 21, 2006, Visionary Remixes - EP is only available in the UK iTunes store.-CD Promo:# Thriller - 4:09# Don't Stop Till You Get Enough - 3:59...

box-set. The re-released Visionary single charted at No. 19 in the UK. The piece is one of Jackson's signature songs, and has appeared on numerous greatest hits albums, including Number Ones, The Essential Michael Jackson
The Essential Michael Jackson
-U.S. version:-Limited Edition 3.0 bonus disc:-Charts:-Year-end charts:-Certifications:-See also:* List of number-one albums of 2009 * List of number-one albums of 2009 * List of number-one albums from the 2000s...

, Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection
Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection
Disc 2Disc 3Disc 4*The Jackson 5 perform tracks 1-3 and 7 . The Jacksons perform tracks 8, 11-12, 18-19 and track 8 .DVD - Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour # "Intro"# "Jam"...

, King of Pop
King of Pop (album)
-Austria:On July 20, the Austrian version of the double disc compilation was announced; it was released on Jackson's birthday. The pool list fans got to choose from contained 100 tracks...

and This Is It (for the New version of song).

The song also serves as the theme song to Jackson's 1988
1988 in film
-Top grossing films :- Awards :Academy Awards:* Act of Piracy* Action Jackson, starring Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, Vanity, Sharon Stone* The Adventures of Baron Munchausen* Akira* Alice...

 film Moonwalker
Moonwalker
Moonwalker, also known as Michael Jackson: Moonwalker, is an American anthology film released in 1988 by singer Michael Jackson....

.

Song


"Smooth Criminal" almost didn't make it into the Bad album; Jackson had to convince producer Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
Quincy Delightt Jones, Jr. is an American record producer and musician. A conductor, musical arranger, film composer, television producer, and trumpeter. His career spans five decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend...

 that it was worthy of inclusion. Two early versions of the song were written by Jackson in 1985 and the original demo was recorded in 1986. The first song was called "Chicago 1945" the song it evolved into was "Al Capone
Al Capone
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. The Chicago Outfit, which subsequently became known as the "Capones", was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early...

". This version didn't make the album and was re-worked and re-written as "Smooth Criminal".

Music video and live performances


Jackson originally wanted to make the short film in the western
Western (genre)
The Western is a genre of various visual arts, such as film, television, radio, literature, painting and others. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Some Westerns are set as early as the Battle of...

 genre, but later decided to change it to a 1930s nightclub style. Film was shot between mid-February and April of 1987.

The style of both the clip and the clothes as well as mannerisms Jackson portrayed were reused in the arcade
Video arcade
An amusement arcade or video arcade is a venue where people play arcade games such as video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games, merchandisers , or coin-operated billiards or air hockey tables...

, the Sega Master System
Sega Master System
The is a third-generation video game console that was manufactured and released by Sega in 1985 in Japan , 1986 in North America and 1987 in Europe....

, the Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
The Sega Genesis is a fourth-generation video game console developed and produced by Sega. It was originally released in Japan in 1988 as , then in North America in 1989 as Sega Genesis, and in Europe, Australia and other PAL regions in 1990 as Mega Drive. The reason for the two names is that...

 and the Sega Game Gear
Sega Game Gear
The was Sega's first handheld game console. It was the third commercially available color handheld console, after the Atari Lynx and the TurboExpress....

 adaptations
Michael Jackson's Moonwalker
Michael Jackson's Moonwalker is the name for several unrelated video games, all based on the film of the same name created by U.S. Gold and Sega in 1989 and 1990 that incorporate the personage of and were co-developed by Michael Jackson himself...

 of Moonwalker. The song itself serves as the soundtrack
Soundtrack
A soundtrack can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film or TV show; or the physical area of a film that contains the...

 for the Club 30s stage, the nightclub from the movie, in all versions of the game.

The song was performed live during the second leg of Jackson's 1988–89 Bad World Tour
Bad World Tour
The Bad World Tour was the first solo concert tour by American megasuperstar Michael Jackson that visited Japan, Australia, the United States and Europe. Sponsored by Pepsi and spanning 16 months, the tour included 123 concerts to 4.4 million fans across 15 countries...

. The performance featured a dance routine modeled after the scene from Moonwalker. By the time the 1992 Dangerous World Tour
Dangerous World Tour
The Dangerous World Tour was the second worldwide concert tour by American megasuperstar Michael Jackson. The tour, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, included 69 performances to an audience of 3.5 million. All profits were donated to various charities including Jackson's own "Heal the World Foundation". The...

 came around, this performance became a regular on Jackson tours, including his HIStory Tour. A spoken word and synth recording preceded the song on the second leg of the Bad tour and on the subsequent Dangerous World Tour, the same recording having been used as an intro for the song "This Place Hotel
This Place Hotel
"This Place Hotel" was a hit recording by The Jacksons when it was released in 1980.Written and composed by Michael , the song would precede Jackson's own hit, "Billie Jean", in its insecurity-plagued tale of confusion...

" on the first leg of the Bad Tour. By the time of the Dangerous Tour, Jackson had devised a way to perform the patented anti-gravity lean, which was featured in the Moonwalker video, on stage. Much like the robot move from "Dancing Machine
Dancing Machine
"Dancing Machine" is a 1973 song recorded by The Jackson 5, released as a single in 1974. The group's first US Top Ten hit since 1971's "Sugar Daddy", "Dancing Machine" reached number two on the Billboard pop music charts in May 1974, and number one on the R&B charts...

" and the Moonwalk from "Billie Jean
Billie Jean
"Billie Jean" is a dance-pop/R&B song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was written, composed, and co-produced by Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones from the singer's sixth album, Thriller . Originally disliked by Jones, the track was almost removed from the album after he and...

", this showcased Jackson's talent for creating unique moves to enhance stage performances. This performance can be seen on the Bucharest Dangerous Tour
Dangerous World Tour
The Dangerous World Tour was the second worldwide concert tour by American megasuperstar Michael Jackson. The tour, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, included 69 performances to an audience of 3.5 million. All profits were donated to various charities including Jackson's own "Heal the World Foundation". The...

 performance which is included as a DVD in The Ultimate Collection
Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection
Disc 2Disc 3Disc 4*The Jackson 5 perform tracks 1-3 and 7 . The Jacksons perform tracks 8, 11-12, 18-19 and track 8 .DVD - Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour # "Intro"# "Jam"...

boxed set.

Part of the song was also briefly used in the middle of the live version of the song "Dangerous
Dangerous (Michael Jackson song)
"Dangerous" is an R&B-pop song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. The song appeared on Jackson's solo studio album of the same name, released in November 1991. Written and composed by Jackson, Bill Bottrell and Teddy Riley, the song was planned as the tenth single from the album...

" since Jackson's performance at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards
1995 MTV Video Music Awards
The 1995 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 7, 1995, honoring the best music videos from June 16, 1994, to June 15, 1995. The show was hosted by Dennis Miller at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. David Sandlin was commissioned to design the program catalogue.TLC and Weezer were...

. In the HIStory Tour, he used a small snippet of this song during his performance of "Dangerous
Dangerous
Dangerous describes something that encompasses danger. It may also refer to:-Artists:*Dangerous!, an Australian hardcore punk band currently signed to Epitaph Records-Albums:*Dangerous...

". Jackson was also going to use it again in his "Dangerous" performance in his This Is It
This Is It (Michael Jackson concerts)
This Is It was a planned series of fifty concerts by Michael Jackson to be held at The O2 Arena in London. They were scheduled to begin in July 2009 and continue through to March 2010. However, with all concerts sold out, Jackson died less than three weeks before the first concert date...

 concerts, along with the full track, had the concert series not been canceled due to his sudden death.

Film adaptation


The song was adapted into a short film which was the centerpiece of the 1988
1988 in film
-Top grossing films :- Awards :Academy Awards:* Act of Piracy* Action Jackson, starring Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, Vanity, Sharon Stone* The Adventures of Baron Munchausen* Akira* Alice...

 film Moonwalker
Moonwalker
Moonwalker, also known as Michael Jackson: Moonwalker, is an American anthology film released in 1988 by singer Michael Jackson....

starring Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

 and Joe Pesci
Joe Pesci
Joseph Frank "Joe" Pesci is an American actor, comedian, and musician.He is known for playing a variety of different roles, from violent mobsters to comedic leads to quirky sidekicks...

 in the lead roles.

Plot


The film begins with three homeless children (Sean, played by Sean Lennon
Sean Lennon
is an American singer, songwriter, musician, guitarist and actor. He is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. His godfather is Sir Elton John.-Early life and education:...

, Katie and Zeke) sneaking through a big city to see their friend Michael walk out of his store. As Michael stands in front of the door, he gazes at the night sky before he is attacked by mobsters with machine guns. The film then backtracks to show Michael and the children playing in a meadow in happier times. Their dog Skipper runs away, and as Michael and Katie look for him, they uncover the lair of Mr. Big (Joe Pesci
Joe Pesci
Joseph Frank "Joe" Pesci is an American actor, comedian, and musician.He is known for playing a variety of different roles, from violent mobsters to comedic leads to quirky sidekicks...

). Mr. Big – whose real name is Frankie LiDeo, which is an anagram
Anagram
An anagram is a type of word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once; e.g., orchestra = carthorse, A decimal point = I'm a dot in place, Tom Marvolo Riddle = I am Lord Voldemort. Someone who...

 of Frank DiLeo
Frank DiLeo
Frank Michael DiLeo was an American music industry executive and actor, known for his portrayal of gangster Tuddy Cicero in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas. For five years in the late 1980s, and again in 2009, he was Michael Jackson's manager.-Career:Frank DiLeo graduated from Central Catholic High...

 – is a drug-dealing mobster with a disciplined private army at his command. He wants to get the entire population of Earth addicted to drugs, starting with children. He likes to eat nuts and leaves nutshells wherever he goes. He is obsessed with spiders, as displayed by their abundance at the entrance to his lair and his operation named "bugs and drugs". He also of his proposed control of the world via drug dealing. Further, all his henchmen sport a spider crest on their uniforms. Katie screams when she sees a spider, and Mr. Big discovers them spying on his operation.

The story returns to the shooting in front of Michael's store. Unknown to the gangsters, Michael has a lucky star, and using it, he escaped the gunfire. Upon realizing that Michael has escaped again, Mr. Big orders his henchmen to track him down with dogs. Michael is eventually cornered in an alley, where he uses his lucky star again to turn into a sportscar (the 1970 Lancia Stratos
Lancia Stratos
The Lancia Stratos HF, widely and more simply known as Lancia Stratos, is a car made by Italian car manufacturer Lancia. The HF stands for High Fidelity...

 prototype) that mows down several of Mr. Big's henchmen. Michael is pursued through the city streets until he loses the henchmen. Meanwhile, the children scout out Club 30's, where Michael had told them to meet him, and find only an abandoned and haunted nightclub. As Michael arrives, Katie sees a silhouette of him turning back from a car into himself. The door of the club opens with a gust of wind, and Michael walks in to find it filled with zoot suit
Zoot suit
A zoot suit is a suit with high-waisted, wide-legged, tight-cuffed, pegged trousers, and a long coat with wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. This style of clothing was popularized by African Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Italian Americans during the late 1930s and the 1940s...

ers and swing dancers. The children gather outside a window of the club and watch Michael dance to "Smooth Criminal".

The song used in the film is much longer than the album release, with several lyrics that clarify the story. There is also an interlude wherein Jackson joins the other dancers in a modern interpretive dance
Interpretive dance
Interpretive dance is a family of dance styles that seeks to translates particular feelings and emotions, human conditions, situations, or fantasies into movement and dramatic expression combined...

. At the climax of the song, Mr. Big lays siege to the club and kidnaps Katie. Michael follows them back to Big's lair and ends up surrounded by his henchmen. Mr. Big appears and taunts Michael by threatening to inject Katie with highly addictive narcotics. Katie breaks free for a moment, but Mr. Big grabs her again and starts kicking Michael. As Mr. Big stands over Michael and orders his henchmen to kill him and Katie, Michael looks up and sees his lucky star. He transforms into a giant robot and kills all of Mr. Big's soldiers, then turns into a spaceship. Mr. Big gets into a large hillside-mounted energy cannon, firing on the spaceship as it flies into a nearby ravine. The children are his next target, but the spaceship returns from the ravine just in time to fire a beam into the cannon with Mr. Big inside, killing him. The children watch the ship fly into the night sky with shower of light.

The children return to the city, believing that Michael is gone forever. As the boys talk about Michael, Katie walks away crying and clutching a paper star. As she sits in a corner wishing for him to come back, the paper star flies out of her hand and Michael walks out of the night fog. He takes them to Club 30's, where they find that the club has turned into the backstage area of a concert. Michael's stage crew return the children's missing dog and then escort Michael onto the stage where he performs "Come Together".

Reception


The short film received generally positive reviews by critics and fans alike. It is believed to be the best segment out of the entire Moonwalker film.

Personnel

  • Written, composed, clap, vocal arrangement, solo and background vocals by Michael Jackson
  • Produced by Quincy Jones
  • Co-Produced by Michael Jackson
  • Bill Bottrell, John Robinson, Bruce Swedien: Drums
  • David Williams: Guitar
  • Kim Hutchcroft, Larry Williams: Saxophones
  • Gary Grant, Jerry Hey: Trumpets
  • Kevin Maloney: Muted Steinway piano
  • Christopher Currell: Synclavier
    • Certain synclavier effects by Denny Jaeger and Michael Rubini
  • John Barnes, Michael Boddicker: Synthesizers
  • Chief Of Police Announcement by Bruce Swedien
  • Michael Jackson's heartbeat recording by Dr. Eric Chevlen; digitally processed in the Synclavier
  • Rhythm arrangement by Michael Jackson and John Barnes
  • Horn arrangement by Jerry Hey

Chart performance

Chart (1988) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart
ARIA Charts
The ARIA charts are the main Australian music sales charts, issued weekly by the Australian Recording Industry Association. The charts are a record of the highest selling singles and albums in various genres in Australia. ARIA commenced compiling its own charts in-house from the week ending 26 June...

29
Belgian Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 3
Canadian Singles Chart
Canadian Singles Chart
The Canadian Singles Chart is currently compiled by the U.S.-based music sales tracking company, Nielsen SoundScan . The chart is compiled every Wednesday, and is published by Jam! Canoe on Thursdays....

6
Danish Singles Chart
Tracklisten
Tracklisten is a Danish top 40 record chart that is presented every Thursday midnight at .The weekly Danish Singles Chart also known as Track Top-40 combines the 40 best selling tracks from legal music downloads and the sales of music singles on either CD or vinyl...

1
Dutch Singles Chart
Dutch Top 40
The Dutch Top 40 is a weekly music chart, which started as the "Veronica Top 40", because the offshore radio station Radio Veronica was the first to introduce it. It remained "The Veronica Top 40" until 1974, when the station was forced to stop broadcasting...

1
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles
The European Hot 100 Singles has been compiled by Billboard and Music & Media magazine since March, 1984. The chart is based on national singles sales charts in 15 European countries: Austria, Belgium , Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden,...

2
French Singles Chart 4
German Singles Chart
Media Control Charts
The official music charts in Germany are gathered and published by the company Media Control GfK International on behalf of Bundesverband Musikindustrie...

9
Irish Singles Chart
Irish Singles Chart
The Irish Singles Chart is Ireland's music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by the Irish Recorded Music Association and compiled on behalf of the IRMA by Chart-Track. Chart rankings are based on sales, which are compiled through over-the-counter retail data captured...

1
Italian Singles Chart 6
New Zealand Singles Chart 29
Spanish Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart
Swiss Music Charts
The Swiss Music Charts are Switzerland's main music sales charts. The charts are a record of the highest-selling singles and albums in various genres in Switzerland.The Swiss Charts include:* Singles Top 75...

5
United States Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

7
United States Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales Chart 13
United States Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Chart
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States.The chart, initiated in 1942, is used to track the success of popular music songs in urban, or primarily African American, venues. Dominated over the years at various times by jazz, rhythm and blues, doo-wop, soul,...

2
United States Dance Music/Club Play Singles Chart 10
Chart (2009) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 16
Danish Singles Chart 28
European Hot 100 Singles 20
French Singles Chart 61
French Digital Singles Chart 10
New Zealand Singles Chart 37
Swedish Singles Top 60 Chart
Sverigetopplistan
Sverigetopplistan, earlier known as Topplistan and Hitlistan and other names, is since October 2007 the Swedish national record chart, based on sales data from Swedish Recording Industry Association ....

12
Swiss Singles Top 75 Chart 12
United Kingdom Top 40 Singles Chart 13
United Kingdom Top 40 Download Chart 13
United States Billboard Hot Digital Songs
Hot Digital Songs
The Hot Digital Songs chart ranks the best-selling digital singles in the United States, according to Billboard.Beginning in February 2005, digital sales have been incorporated into many of Billboards music single charts. It was decided to do so mainly because of the dramatic rise in popularity of...

12

Track listing



  • 7" Single:
  1. "Smooth Criminal" (Single Mix) - 4:10
  2. "Smooth Criminal" (Instrumental) - 4:10

  • 12" Maxi and CD-Maxi:
  1. "Smooth Criminal" (Extended Dance Mix) - 7:46
  2. "Smooth Criminal" (Extended Dance Mix Radio Edit) - 5:20
  3. "Smooth Criminal" ("Annie" Mix) - 5:35
  4. "Smooth Criminal" (Dance Mix - Dub Version) - 4:45
  5. "Smooth Criminal" (A Cappella) - 4:12

  • Visionary Single:

CD side:
  1. "Smooth Criminal" - 4:10
  2. "Smooth Criminal" (Extended Dance Mix) - 7:45


DVD side:
  1. "Smooth Criminal" (Music Video)
  2. "Smooth Criminal" (Moonwalker
    Moonwalker
    Moonwalker, also known as Michael Jackson: Moonwalker, is an American anthology film released in 1988 by singer Michael Jackson....

     Version, Edit) - 9:36


  • 3" CD-Single:
  1. "Smooth Criminal" (Extended Dance Mix) - 7:46
  2. "Smooth Criminal" ("Annie" Mix) - 5:35
  3. "Smooth Criminal" (Dance Mix - Dub Version) - 4:45

  • CD Promo:
  1. "Smooth Criminal" (Single Mix) - 4:12
  2. "Smooth Criminal" (Extended Dance Mix) - 7:46
  3. "Smooth Criminal" (Extended Dance Mix Radio Edit) - 5:20
  4. "Smooth Criminal" ("Annie" Mix) - 5:35
  5. "Smooth Criminal" (Dance Mix - Dub Version) - 4:45
  6. "Smooth Criminal" (A Cappella) - 4:12


Music video


Jeffrey Daniel
Jeffrey Daniel
Jeffrey Daniel is an American dancer, singer-songwriter and choreographer, most notable for being a member of the R&B vocal group Shalamar. In Nigeria he is best known as an Idol series judge...

 of the soul music group Shalamar
Shalamar
Shalamar was an American music group, primarily of the 1970s and 1980s, that was originally a disco-driven vehicle created by Soul Train booking agent Dick Griffey and show creator Don Cornelius. They went on to be an influential dance trio, masterminded by Soul Train producer Don Cornelius...

 co-choreographed the "Smooth Criminal" video with Vincent Paterson, who had previously danced in "Beat It", "Thriller". It was directed by special effects coordinator Colin Chilvers. The dance sequence of the video in the 1930s style lounge (and Michael's white suit and fedora) pays tribute to the Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute...

 musical comedy film The Band Wagon
The Band Wagon
The Band Wagon is a 1953 musical comedy film that many critics rank, along with Singin' in the Rain, as the finest of the MGM musicals, although it was only a modest box-office success. It tells the story of an aging musical star who hopes a Broadway play will restart his career...

. Currently there are four different versions of the video for "Smooth Criminal," as well as an additional vignette created for the 2009 This Is It
This Is It (Michael Jackson concerts)
This Is It was a planned series of fifty concerts by Michael Jackson to be held at The O2 Arena in London. They were scheduled to begin in July 2009 and continue through to March 2010. However, with all concerts sold out, Jackson died less than three weeks before the first concert date...

 concert series:
  • Original Moonwalker Version - This is the version included in the Moonwalker
    Moonwalker
    Moonwalker, also known as Michael Jackson: Moonwalker, is an American anthology film released in 1988 by singer Michael Jackson....

     film - while technically the whole "Smooth Criminal" segment is about 40 minutes long, the actual "Smooth Criminal" song section is only about ten minutes. It is generally the most complete version of the video and includes the unedited middle section of interpretive dance with the dancers but does not include the last six seconds where a flapper fans herself after the door is shut behind Michael. In comparison to the original song this version has two lines in the second stanza added: "Everytime I try to find him he's leaving no clues left behind him. And they have no way of knowing of the suspect, or what to expect".
  • Moonwalker Edit - This version is included on History on Film, Volume II
    HIStory on Film, Volume II
    HIStory on Film, Volume II is a collection of music videos released by Michael Jackson in 1997 released by Sony Music Video Enterprises.-Side one:# Programme Start# HIStory Teaser Trailer - 3:58# "Billie Jean" - 5:05# "Beat It" - 4:56...

    as well as Michael Jackson's Vision
    Michael Jackson's Vision
    Michael Jackson's Vision is a deluxe DVD box set released on November 22, 2010. It includes three DVDs, featuring 4.5 hours of content of 42 music videos by Michael Jackson, with newly restored color and remastered audio. Michael referred to each of these productions as a "short film" and not a...

    and it is basically an edited version of the ten minute song section from the "Smooth Criminal" segment in the film Moonwalker
    Moonwalker
    Moonwalker, also known as Michael Jackson: Moonwalker, is an American anthology film released in 1988 by singer Michael Jackson....

    . It is essentially the same, however it has some minor changes including: different opening music and no dialogue, the middle section with the dancers chanting has been truncated (some of the chanting has been shortened) and ends similarly to the original where Michael exits the club but with the addition of the lead flapper fanning herself.
  • Album Version - This is the version of the video that is on Michael Jackson's official website, as well as his YouTube channel. It also appears during the end credits for Moonwalker
    Moonwalker
    Moonwalker, also known as Michael Jackson: Moonwalker, is an American anthology film released in 1988 by singer Michael Jackson....

    and Number Ones (video) and was included on the "Visionary" single. It is essentially a lot of clips from the Original Moonwalker Version of the "Smooth Criminal" video, that have either been sped up, or slowed down, with an added blur effect, and some alternate angles. The video is four minutes and seventeen seconds long. Throughout the video, the regular version of the song is played.
  • Single Version - This unreleased version is edited to be in sync with the Single Mix taken from the "Smooth Criminal" single released October 24, 1988. It excludes the added lyric & interlude. This video is four minutes and three seconds long. It is considered an MTV Base video.
  • This Is It
    This Is It (Michael Jackson concerts)
    This Is It was a planned series of fifty concerts by Michael Jackson to be held at The O2 Arena in London. They were scheduled to begin in July 2009 and continue through to March 2010. However, with all concerts sold out, Jackson died less than three weeks before the first concert date...

     Vignette - 2009 video, shot in black and white and intended to be shown during the London O2 concert series. It runs three minutes and forty-two seconds and features Jackson in a reprisal of his Moonwalker character, digitally inserted into the sets of various film noirs, including Gilda
    Gilda
    Gilda is a 1946 American black-and-white film noir directed by Charles Vidor. It stars Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth in her signature role as the ultimate femme fatale. The film was noted for cinematographer Rudolph Mate's lush photography, costume designer Jean Louis' wardrobe for Hayworth , and...

    .


The video won Best Music Video at the 1989 Brit Awards
Brit Awards
The Brit Awards are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British", "Britain" or "Britannia", but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trust...

.

Anti-gravity lean




In the video, Michael Jackson performs an anti-gravity lean without the use of cables, a seemingly impossible feat. To accomplish this maneuver, Jackson patented
United States patent law
United States patent law was established "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;" as provided by the United States Constitution. Congress implemented these...

 a hitching mechanism which was built into the floor of the stage and the performer's shoes. The system consists of pegs that rise from the stage at the appropriate moment, and special shoes with ankle supports and cutouts in the heels which can slide over the pegs and be temporarily attached to the stage. These allow a performer to lean without needing to keep his center of mass directly over his feet.

At a show in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 circa
Circa
Circa , usually abbreviated c. or ca. , means "approximately" in the English language, usually referring to a date...

 1994, one shoe had become unlatched from the stage, causing Jackson to lose his balance. The sole of the shoe was re-designed after that performance. The pair of shoes used during the Moscow show were displayed at the Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe is a chain of theme restaurants founded in 1971 by Americans Peter Morton & Isaac Tigrett. In 1979, the cafe began covering its walls with rock and roll memorabilia, a tradition which expanded to others in the chain. In 2006, Hard Rock was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and...

 in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 for several years; later they were sold at auction for $600,000 after Jackson's death in the summer of 2009.

Alien Ant Farm cover



In 2001, Alien Ant Farm
Alien Ant Farm
Alien Ant Farm is an American alternative rock band that formed in Riverside, California, in 1995. Their name comes from an idea original guitarist Terry Corso had about aliens and the earth: "I was daydreaming at my dull desk job with my feet up, and I thought to myself, 'Wouldn't it be cool if...

 released a cover
Cover version
In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song...

 of "Smooth Criminal" as their debut single from their album Anthology. According to the band members, they would play a few riffs of the Jackson song while warming up before gigs and audience members would request them to play the entire song. This positive feedback encouraged them to record their own rendition of "Smooth Criminal" and include it on Anthology. It became a number one hit on Billboards Modern Rock Tracks
Modern Rock Tracks
Alternative Songs is a music chart in the United States that has appeared in Billboard magazine since September 10, 1988. It lists the 40 most-played songs on modern rock radio stations, most of which are alternative rock songs...

 chart and was also a number one in Australia. The song was also featured in the 2001 film American Pie 2
American Pie 2
American Pie 2 is a 2001 comedy film and sequel to American Pie and is the second film in the American Pie film series. It was written by Adam Herz and David H. Steinberg, and directed by J. B. Rogers. The film picks up the story of the four friends from the first film as they reunite during the...

, during a scene wherein Jason Biggs
Jason Biggs
Jason Matthew Biggs is an American actor who is best known for his role as Jim Levenstein in the American Pie series of teen comedy films.-Personal life:...

' character, Jim, superglues his hand to his crotch.

The album Greatest Hits (1999) includes a hidden track named "Slick Thief
Greatest Hits (Alien Ant Farm album)
Greatest Hits is Alien Ant Farm's first LP album, released independently in 1999 on their own record label. Many of the songs were re-recorded on their later albums.Despite the album title, this is not a compilation album....

", which is in fact an early version of "Smooth Criminal". This version was featured on the video games Karaoke Revolution
Karaoke Revolution
Karaoke Revolution and its many sequels are video games for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, Xbox, and Xbox 360, developed by Harmonix Music Systems and Blitz Games and published by Konami in its Bemani line of music games. The Original Concept for Karaoke Revolution was...

and Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades. It was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band series
Rock Band
Rock Band is a music video game developed by Harmonix Music Systems, published by MTV Games and Electronic Arts. It is the first title in the Rock Band series. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were released in the United States on November 20, 2007, while the PlayStation 2 version was...

 of video games.

Other versions and pop culture

  • In 1989, German comedian Otto Waalkes
    Otto Waalkes
    Otto Gerhard Waalkes is a Frisian comedian and actor. He became famous in the 1970s and 1980s in Germany with his shows, books and movies. His perhaps most famous trademark are the 'Ottifanten' , elephant-like comic characters of his own design...

     parodies the video in his movie Otto - Der Außerfriesische. In a scene he enters a bar, flips a coin into a waitress' cleavage and does a short dance routine, including moonwalking
    Moonwalk (dance)
    The moonwalk or backslide is a dance technique that presents the illusion of the dancer being pulled backwards while attempting to walk forward. A popping move, it became most popular around the world after Michael Jackson executed the dance move during a performance of "Billie Jean" on Motown 25:...

     back and forth, to a beat that closely resembles the song.
  • In 1992, the Alvin and the Chipmunks
    Alvin and the Chipmunks
    Alvin and the Chipmunks is an American animated music group created by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. in 1958. The group consists of three singing animated anthropomorphic chipmunks: Alvin, the mischievous troublemaker, who quickly became the star of the group; Simon, the tall, bespectacled intellectual;...

    video special Rockin' with the Chipmunks
    Rockin' Through the Decades
    Rockin' Through the Decades is a live-action and animated television special based on characters from Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was directed by Steve Karman, produced by Bagdasarian Productions, premiered on NBC in 1990, and released on VHS by Buena Vista Home Video in 1992 as Rockin' with the...

    , part of the music video is shown, but with animation of Alvin inserted.
  • In 2002, the band ApologetiX
    ApologetiX
    ApologetiX is a Christian parody band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The band was founded in 1992, and since then, has played in 44 states, released 17 studio albums, and built up a fan club that includes 45,000 people. The band is currently composed of J...

     has recorded a parody of "Smooth Criminal" called "Smooth Grandmama" for their album Grace Period
    Grace Period
    Grace Period is the 8th album by Christian parody band ApologetiX. 4 songs from the album would later be included on New & Used Hits: The Best of ApologetiX Vol...

    . The song's instrumentation is a parody of the Alien Ant Farm version.
  • In 2008, Violinist David Garrett
    David Garrett (violinist)
    David Garrett is a record breaking German/American classical violinist and recording artist.-Personal life:...

     recorded an classical
    Classical music
    Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

     instrumental cover of "Smooth Criminal". It is released on his album Encore
    Encore (David Garrett album)
    Encore is a 2008 album by violinist David Garrett, released in Europe. Its tracks are as follows:- Track listing :# "Smooth Criminal" # "Who Wants to Live Forever?" # "Clair de Lune"...

    .
  • In 2008, J.Viewz
    J.Viewz
    J.Viewz is the multi-genre electronica project of the Brooklyn-based Producer & Remixer Jonathan Dagan. Jonathan often collaborates with various musicians & vocalists under this alias.-Early Releases:...

    , stage name of Israeli musician Jonathan Dagan and his band, recorded an easy-listening/jazz cover of "Smooth Criminal", which was released on the EP Besides.
  • In 2008, South Korean boy band TVXQ
    TVXQ
    TVXQ, an acronym for Tong Vfang Xien Qi , is a South Korean pop group formed in 2003 under SM Entertainment. In South Korea they are known as Dong Bang Shin Ki , often abbreviated by international fans as DBSK; they were later introduced in Japan as Tohoshinki under the Avex sub-label Rhythm Zone...

    's 3rd Japanese album T
    T (TVXQ album)
    -CD + DVD version:-2 CD + 2 DVD version:-Release history:-Oricon sales charts :-Korea foreign albums & singles chart:-Singles included in album:-External links:* http://toho-jp.net/index.html...

    , has a track called "Trick" that features "Smooth Criminal"'s pre-chorus ("Are you okay, Annie?" is changed to "Are you okay, honey?")
  • In 2009, leaked Wizard rock
    Wizard rock
    Wizard rock is a genre of rock music that developed between 2002 and 2004 in the United States. Wizard rock bands are characterized by their performances and humorous songs about the Harry Potter universe. Wizard rock initially started in Massachusetts with Harry and the Potters, though it has...

     band The 8th Horcrux
    The 8th Horcrux
    The 8th Horcrux is a wizard rock band from Ottawa, Kansas. Formed in 2009, the band is characterized by their satirical song parodies about the Harry Potter universe...

     a parody, entitled "Ginny, Are You OK?", referring Ginny Weasley and the plot of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling. The plot follows Harry's second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which a series of messages on the walls on the school's corridors warn that the "Chamber of...

    . It based also on the Alien Ant Farm version.
  • Lucky Boys Confusion
    Lucky Boys Confusion
    Lucky Boys Confusion is a rock band from the Chicago suburbs in DuPage County. Their music is a mix of rock, punk, ska, and hip hop. The band consists of bassist Jason Schultejann, drummer Ryan Fergus, vocalist Kaustubh Pandav, guitarist/vocalist Adam Krier, and guitarist Joe Sell...

     performed a cover as a staple of their live performances but declined to record it for their major label debut.
  • In 2008, Video game Saints Row 2
    Saints Row 2
    Saints Row 2 is an open world action-adventure video game developed by Volition, Inc. and published by THQ for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 systems. It is the second title in the Saints Row series, after the release of Saints Row in 2006. It is succeeded by Saints Row: The...

    , contains a dance part from "Smooth Criminal" that can be used as a taunt against enemies.
  • In 2009, singer Shakira
    Shakira
    Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll , known professionally as Shakira , is a Colombian singer who emerged in the music scene of Colombia and Latin America in the early 1990s...

     pays homage to Jackson by doing an anti-gravity lean in her "She Wolf
    She Wolf (song)
    She Wolf is a song by Colombian singer–songwriter Shakira taken from her third English-language studio album of the same name. Shakira wrote and produced the track with John Hill, and Sam Endicott...

    " music video.
  • In 2009,South Korean pop groups SHINee
    SHINee
    Shinee is a contemporary R&B South Korean boy band. Formed by SM Entertainment in 2008, they made their debut on May 25, 2008 on SBS's Inkigayo with their promotional single, "Noona Neomu Yeppeo "...

    , Super Junior
    Super Junior
    Super Junior is a South Korean boy band. Formed in 2005 by producer Lee Soo-man of SM Entertainment, the group comprised a total of thirteen members at its peak, and was once claimed to be the world's largest boy band...

     and Girls' Generation
    Girls' Generation
    Girls' Generation is a nine-member South Korean electropop girl group formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2007. The nine members are: Taeyeon , Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun...

     did a performance of Smooth Criminal at the Gayo Festival.
  • BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
    BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
    is a 2-D fighting game developed by Arc System Works. The game is the official sequel to BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. As with the previous game, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift first came to arcades before both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions as the game was currently released for the Taito Type...

    character Hazama dresses in a similar manner to Jackson and is the main antagonist behind the series, leading fans to refer to him affectionately as the "Smooth Criminal".
  • In January 2011, musical duo 2Cellos
    2Cellos
    2Cellos is a cello duo consisting of Croatian cellists Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser. Signed to Sony Masterworks since 12 April 2011, the two were discovered after uploading a music video of their cello-only cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" to YouTube.-Background:Šulić, born in...

     (consisting of Luka Šulić
    Luka Šulić
    Luka Šulić is a Croatian Slovenian cellist.Šulić was born in Maribor, Slovenia. He comes from a Dubrovnik musical family, his father Božo is also a cellist, and many members of his family are associated with music....

     and Stjepan Hauser
    Stjepan Hauser
    - Early life and musical training :Hauser was born in Pula to a musical family, where he began his musical education. He has a sister who is a journalist in Pula. Hauser finished secondary school in Rijeka...

    ) recorded a cover of "Smooth Criminal" played solely on cello, which became a hit on YouTube
    YouTube
    YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

    .
  • Delmos Wade performed a cover of "Smooth Criminal".
  • In 2011, Corey Burton recorded a Death Metal
    Death metal
    Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It typically employs heavily distorted guitars, tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, minor keys or atonality, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes....

     cover (based on Alien Ant Farm's cover).
  • In 2011, the Uzbek Band Abbos performed an instrumental
    Instrumental
    An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics or singing, although it might include some non-articulate vocal input; the music is primarily or exclusively produced by musical instruments....

     version of "Smooth Criminal" with traditional Uzbek musical instruments.

External links