Remember The Time

Album: Dangerous (1991)
Charted: 3 3

Songfacts®:

  • This was the second single released from Jackson's highly anticipated album Dangerous, the follow-up to Bad four years earlier. The song was written and composed by Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson and Bernard Belle. It was an attempt at connecting Riley's smooth New Jack Swing sound with Jackson's more earthy R&B. It's a pretty anodyne breakup song, with Jackson asking an ex-lover (over and over) to remember the special times they had together.
  • This won the 1993 Soul Train Award for Best Male R&B Single. Jackson, who was laid up with a severely twisted ankle, gave a memorable performance of the song at the award show in a chair.
  • The lavish video, set in ancient Egypt, was directed by John Singleton and starred Eddie Murphy, Magic Johnson, and the Somali fashion model Iman, who married David Bowie in 1992.

    In the video, Iman plays the object of desire, and while Jackson had leading ladies in previous videos, including "Thriller" and "The Way You Make Me Feel," this was the first time he shared a kiss on screen. Jackson always seemed a bit reluctant to kiss in public; at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards he tried to placate fans by very publicly kissing his new bride, Lisa Marie Presley.

    Magic Johnson's private struggles had just become public. Director Singleton remembered to Rolling Stone: "Magic Johnson was going through his thing where he'd just revealed he had HIV. Michael said, 'We have to put Magic in this video.' I'll always remember that."
  • An extended, 9-minute version of the video was made where the storyline of Jackson causing all kinds of monkeyshines at the Egyptian palace plays out. Advanced special effects were used to turn him to sand just as he is about to be captured.
  • Teddy Riley and Michael Jackson produced this track. Riley recalled to Music Radar that Jackson's vocal deliverance on this song "really blew me away." He added: "I came to the project with this track. That was the sound I was thinking of for this album. Basically it was the sound I wanted on Dangerous and he loved it – loved it from the beginning. I'd describe that sound as, really, like the New Jack Swing sound. The elements on this song that give it that New Jack Swing sound are the ones that I used when I recorded with Guy and Bobby Brown to pioneer it. Sort of like the twisted samples I brought in. There were no samples of other people on that; what I did was make the sounds myself – I was sampling myself. I'd just jam with a riff and think, 'That's a cool bit there…' Yeah, it kinda really brought a lot to the production side. It worked."
  • Despite the video, there is no indication that the song has anything to do with Egypt. The only place mentioned in the lyric is Spain ("Remember the times, you and me in Spain").
  • One of the dancers in the video, Jossie Harris, wore braids that inspired Janet Jackson's iconic hairstyle in the 1993 movie Poetic Justice, which like the video, was directed by John Singleton.
  • 2009 American Idol winner Kris Allen brought this song back to the forefront when he performed it on the show's Michael Jackson week, earning solid reviews from the judges.

Comments: 6

  • A.j. Jones from Springfield MoI want to see the original uncut version of the love scene, the kiss
  • Medy from Manchester, United KingdomThere's another fact that wasn't put in. Some of the dancers in the video were also Janet Jackson dancers and most of them have danced with Michael before, several times.
  • Laura from El Paso, TxI love the way this song starts off soft and reflective then builds to an almost screaming crescendo. Great Song!
  • Myla from San Diego, CaThose "Egyptian moves" made the video. One of my favorite MJ songs!
  • AnonymousI love this music video.I also love it when he sang Remember the Time live.His ankle was broken then.That is a song you can dance to.Michael Jackson knew he could sing and dance.
  • Nicole from Alexandria, VaWow I can't believe I'm the first comment! Anyway, this is my favorite Michael Jackson song, the vocal is beautiful and flawless and smooth as velvet, typical MJ! The video is fabulous, I love Iman! Overall, it is awesome song! It is a love song but it isn't sappy at all and you can dance to it! RIP Michael Jackson! Sing to the angels!
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