It’s looking that way: this week Perry’s latest radio staple inches up to #2 on the chart. Let’s take a closer look at what made “Dirty Diana,” Michael’s fifth Bad smash, tick, and decide if Katy’s has what it takes to repeat the late pop legend’s feat.
First of all, when Jackson’s Bad was released late in the summer of 1987, it hit music buyers with the strength of the singer’s Siedah Garrett duet “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” behind it. The tender love jam soared to #1, and it was followed by a steady flow of equally-successful tunes from the King Of Pop’s seventh studio album: “Bad,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Man In The Mirror” and “Dirty Diana.”
Thus, Michael became the first artist in Hot 100 history to rack up five #1s off one album.
So just what amazing pop elements were mixed together to concoct MJ’s record-setting smash?
Writers: Michael Jackson
Producers: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson
Type of song: Slinky, slow-grinding hard-rock ballad.
Lyrical theme: A wanton groupie wants to pounce on Michael and make him sha-moan! Can he resist her vixen charms? Eeeeeeeeee-HEEEEEEE!!!
Unique elements: Skull-crunching heavy metal guitar solo and recurring licks by Married To Rock star Steve Stevens.
Sample lyric: “She’s saying that’s okay, hey baby do what you want / I’ll be your night-lovin’ thing, I’ll be the freak you can taunt.”
Climate of #1 singles in 1988: The three chart-toppers that preceded “Dirty Diana” were George Michael’s ballad “One More Try,” Rick Astley’s high-octane pop confection “Together Forever” and Debbie Gibson’s somber tearjerker “Foolish Beat.”
Our two cents: Michael was firmly perched up high in his ’80s imperial phase by this point, but we’re not so sure the cheesy chintz of “Dirty Diana” holds up when compared to, say, the surprisingly-lower-charting “Smooth Criminal” (which peaked at #7 on the Hot 100).
Now let’s shift to Katy Perry’s follow-up to her string of four #1s (“California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework” and “E.T.”):
“LAST FRIDAY NIGHT (T.G.I.F.)”
Writers: Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald (aka Dr. Luke), Max Martin, Bonnie McKee
Producers: Dr. Luke, Max Martin
Type of song: No-holds-barred pop with dance and rock elements.
Lyrical theme: Uh-oh! Katy got way toasted at a rager and can’t remember exactly what or who she did — or how many! Someone needs a cold compress and a Bloody Mary ASAP.
Unique elements: Nostalgic sax solo by the Saturday Night Live Band’s Lenny Pickett.
Sample lyric: “Pictures of last night ended up online, I’m screwed, oh well / It’s a blacked-out blur but I’m pretty sure it ruled — DAMN!”
Climate of #1 singles in 2011: The last three #1s on the Hot 100 have been Adele’s juggernaut “Rolling In The Deep,” Pitbull’s lusty “Give Me Everything” and LMFAO’s global dance hit “Party Rock Anthem.”
Our two cents: Next to “Teenage Dream,” this is our fave cut on Perry’s album. The clever, John Hughes-esque video alone makes this a total hit in our eyes!
Now have your say: