A little over 30 Years ago, Siedah Garrett personally drove the demo of a song she co-wrote with Glen Ballard to famed producer Quincy Jones’s house. The song would later be released on Michael Jackson’s chart topping Bad album, and would be one of two tracks on the entire album he didnt write. The song, “Man In The Mirror” would be released in January of 1988.
30 years later Siedah has joined up with BoA, a veteran kpop star, to cover the single for it’s 30 year anniversary.
The original “Man In The Mirror,” after its release, topped the Hot 100 charts for 2 weeks. And, was Grammy nominated for record of the year. Also, it was the last song played at Michael Jackson’s tribute after his untimely passing in 2009. Upon which it re-entered the Hot 100 and peaked at #2.
The first time Michael Jackson heard the demo for “Man In The Mirror,” he complimented Siedah Garrett saying he loved her voice. He would later feature her vocals on the original release.
Keeping in line with the lyrics, the original music video was a selfless act by Michael Jackson, because it never featured a single shot or scene with Michael Jackson in it. Instead the video was a montage of the ills of the world that needed attention.
There is an old song that says “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” Written by Jill and Sy Miller in 1955, that song is exactly what Siedah and Glen were trying to communicate in the “Man In The Mirror.”
And, that was Michael Jackson’s message with the video. Which is a bit of a paradox, because in order for the man in thr mirror to change his ways, he must first look inwards, but he/she cannot stay there.
Instead he must turn outwards to effect that change. “Man In The Mirror” was least about the man in the mirror. But, about the world the man in the mirror inhabits. And, thats what Michael Jackson did with the music video, in which he chose not to show his face.
Iconically, Man In The Mirror was released on January 16, a day that is coincident with Martin Luther King Jr Day. A federally observed holiday in the US that was signed into law in 1983 and first observed in 1986. Given the message of the song, and MLK’s prominent role in the video, it can hardly be considered a coincidence the day Michael Jackson chosen to release the song.
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