Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror

In keeping with the lyrical message of “Man in the Mirror,” which was strongly identified with Michael Jackson and reflective of his own philosophies, the short film features powerful images of events and leaders whose work embodies the song’s message to”make that change.” Rolling Stone praised the short film in 2014 as “a powerful statement to deliver to personality-driven MTV.”

Written by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard
Produced by Quincy Jones for Quincy Jones Productions
Co-Produced by Michael Jackson for MJJ Productions, Inc.
From the album Bad, released August 31, 1987
Released as a single January 16, 1988

THE SHORT FILM
Director: Don Wilson

Michael Jackson’s short film for “Man in the Mirror” was the third of nine short films produced for recordings from Bad, one of the best selling albums of all time. The “Man in the Mirror” single hit No. 1 in four countries in 1988, topping the charts in the United States, Italy, Belgium and Poland and reaching Top 5 in Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. In the U.S., “Man in the Mirror” was the fourth of five consecutive No. 1 singles from one album on the Billboard Hot 100-making Michael the first artist to achieve this milestone.

“Man in the Mirror,” written by Siedah Garrett (Michael’s duet partner on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”) and Glen Ballard, is one of only two songs on Bad not written by Michael Jackson and, even though it wasn’t a song he wrote himself, it was a message that was strongly identified with him and reflective of his own philosophies, as demonstrated through his actions and expressed in some of his own lyrics. “‘Man in the Mirror’ has a great message,” he wrote in his 1988 memoir Moonwalk. “I love that song. ..Start with yourself. Don’t be looking at all the other things. Start with you. That’s the truth.” A review of Bad in Rolling Stone in 1987 called the song “among the half dozen best things Jackson has done.”

In contrast to Michael’s other short films of the Bad era, “Man of the Mirror”tells a story not through performance, but through powerful images of oppression, homelessness, hunger, police brutality and other ills of the world, as well as events and leaders of the 20th century whose work is reflective of the song’s message to “make that change.”

Lyrics:

I’m gonna make a change
For once in my life
It’s gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right

As I, turn up the collar on
My favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets
With not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard, a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya’ know
‘Cause they got nowhere to go
That’s why I want you to know

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It’s time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they’re not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart
And a washed-out dream
They follow the pattern of the wind ya’ see
‘Cause they got no place to be
That’s why I’m starting with me

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that
Change!

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Oh yeah!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make the change)
You gotta get it right, while you got the time
You can’t close your, your mind!

(Then you close your, mind!)
That man, that man, that man, that man
With the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror, oh yeah!)
That man, that man, that man
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make the change

Oh no, no no

I’m gonna make a change
It’s gonna feel real good!
Chime on!
(Change)
Just lift yourself
You know
You’ve got to stop it
Yourself!
(Yeah! Make that change!)
I’ve got to make that change, today!
Hoo!
(Man in the mirror)
You got to
You got to not let yourself
Brother
Hoo!
(Yeah! Make that change!)
You know, I’ve got to get
That man, that man
(Man in the mirror)
You’ve got to move! Chime on!
Chime on!
You got to
Stand up! Stand up! Stand up!
(Yeah! Make that change)
Stand up and lift yourself, now!
(Man in the mirror)
You know it!
You know it!
You know it!
You know it
(Change)
Make that change

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