Smooth Criminal

Album: Bad (1987)
Charted: 8 7
Play Video
  • In 1993, Jackson patented the mechanism used to create the gangster lean in his "Smooth Criminal" performances.

    Converted to lawyer-speak, the patent reads: "A system for allowing a shoe wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity by virtue of wearing a specially designed pair of shoes which will engage with a hitch member movably projectable through a stage surface. The shoes have a specially designed heel slot which can be detachably engaged with the the hitch member by simply sliding the shoe wearer's foot forward, thereby engaging with the hitch member.

Comments: 36

  • Noel from Post TxMicheal was the best singer when he died loved him and his songs
  • Martine from NetherlandsSong is about the Nightstalker, RichardRamirez. Michael never wanted to say that but it is the book of Jermaine Jackson
  • Mj FanOne thing to note is that in the album song, Michael sings "You've been HIT by, you've been HIT by" on the FIRST half, then it's "You've been HIT by, you've been STRUCK by" in the SECOND half. In the short film, I remember having watched a version on YouTube a couple years ago where the "STRUCK by" was present on the scene where Michael was on the raised platform, so I always expect to hear it there when I watch it, but in most versions of the short film uploaded to YouTube, even in my Blu Ray of Moonwalker, the "STRUCK by" is replaced by another "HIT by" in that SAME scene. It has always bothered me. It's underwhelming hearing another repeat of the "HIT by" when it's not supposed to be there. I don't know why it's like that? Did the audio get changed during remastering of the short film or what? Anyone else has noticed this?
  • JoshYou can hear the instrumentals for this song in Sonic 3’s Ice Cap Zone
  • Salieri from MontenegroCan anybody please tell me, is that gun which MJ uses at the end of song dp-28?!?! Thanks very much!
  • Michael_jackson4ever from AustraliaIn moonwalker (spoilers) Annie is a little girl, I'd say around 10. Anyway, I'm guessing she's around 35-45 in 2020. So, is Annie okay? Is Annie Alive? Will we ever know, will Sony release the truth? *CONSPIRACY*
  • Vaibhav from DelhiBest song ever
  • Purefear from England You’re missing out one of the forgotten lines... after “ So they came in to the outway, It was Sunday, what a black day” it says “ Every time I tried to find him, There were no clues, they’re behind him, And they end up never knowing who’s the suspect or what to expect”. i don’t know why but this only appears on the moonwalker film and he official video on youtube...
  • Poeddog from UsaThe CPR theory was confirmed by MJs sound engineer on a recent Dr Phil episode concerning a woman who is suing for copyright of the song because she claims to be "Annie".
  • Marc from -, MdFirst-ever interview with the girl in this video, including what she's doing now and never-published pics: http://noblemania.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-girl-in-video-smooth-criminal-1988.html
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaSimon Stewart, Dundee, United Kingdom: it's a long-known magician's trick to have the peg in the floor & special shoes.
  • Simon Stewart from Dundee, United KingdomDoes it not occur to anyone that it is a combination of magnets and the entire stage moving that allows the lean?
  • Jim from Ventura, CaActually, this video was a tribute to Fred Astaire. In the movie, "Band Wagon," there is an elaborate bar scene with Fred and Cyd Charisse which Smooth Criminal borrows heavily from. You can see MJ is dressed identically (albeit updated) and even the lead in is remarkably identical. You can find mashups on Youtube
  • Joe from Fort Lauderdale, FlThe commenters who think that Jackson is using the CPR term are right as rain. Not only does the training teach one the phrase, "Annie are you OK?" but the words are taught to be said over and over, three or four times in a row, exactly the way they are in the lyrics. One can imagine a neighbor discovering the body, or a MDT arriving at the apartment using those exact words to revive her.
  • Kaz from C, Ohum the leaning effect were not with ropes, MJ holds a patent on something that goes in the shoes to help you lean forward, the song is about rape, and MJ did Swear in "Scream" - "Stop messing with me, just stop messing iwth me...just stop F---in' with me, make me want to scream." -its right before the break before janet says "o my god i can't believe what i saw as I turned on the tv this evening" (it needs to be the unedited one because the edited one puts a noise over it.)
  • Jas from Clifton, TxI saw an interview on VH1 about 2 minutes ago where Michael Jackson said this song was really just about random stuff he was reading in the LA Times, random crime, etc. It wasn't any single incident, he just liked the way the song sounded. He had an odd personal life, but he was a genius when it came to knowing a good song when he heard it. It's a shame that people are so hung up on events in his life, which you should note he was found innocent every single time, instead of focusing on just how intelligent he really was.
  • Spongebob from Bikini Bottom, KyIsnt it obvious, it is simply about a murder.nothing else. just that
  • Pe from Bilzen, Belgium@KAren, i thought that also, and my husband thought it was annie are you walking, hi hiiiiii funny RIP M.J.
  • Annie from Ashland, PaAnnie Oakley was not a gunfighter, she was an exhibition shooter. In other words she was a sharpshooter. Great song, R.I.P.- MJ
  • Eddie from Long Island, NyI Heard this was a video about a gangster that breaks into Annie's house, kills her parents (bloodstains on the carpet) and s Annie whoever that is
  • Matt from Seminole, Ok"dad gone it" means something along the lines of "dammit". But Michael Jackson would never swear. haha
  • Joel from San Diego, CaI think the smooth criminal was a guy who sweet talked Annie out of her virginity then left. And now Annie is all upset cause her little heart is broken.
  • Kiarra from St. Charles, MoI instantly thought about those dummies that you perform CPR in First Aid class or one of those villains from 1040's movies. One of my friends told me that she thinks it's about domestic violence.
  • Jimmy from Knox, TnI was not a big fan of Michael Jackson but this song is great and Alien Ant Farm did a good remake.R.I.P.Michael Jackson
  • Mary from Phoenix, AzWell, I think Hillary from Chicago is right on for the meaning of the chorus "Annie are you okay". Look at one of the verses in the song: "So They Came Into The Outway
    It Was Sunday - What A Black Day
    Mouth To Mouth Resus - Citation
    Sounding Heartbeats - Intimidations

    Makes sense to me. Thank you Hillary!
  • Brenda from Idaho Falls, IdThe pregnant pause in the middle of the song adds to the dramtic effect. You sit there in anticipation waiting for him to break out with more. Very effective.
  • Hillary from Chicago, IlFor CPR classes they use a training doll/dummy called CPR Annie, and the first thing you're taught is to gently shake it and ask "Annie are you okay"
  • Kelsey from Bat Country, VaI love this song. it's my favorite and favorite video! RIP MJ!! We're all with you man!!
  • Nabila from Santa Rosa, Argentinaanyone knows what "dad gone it" means?
    the lyrics say that supposedly.
  • Alan from London, United KingdomThe music was also used in the Sega Genesis game "Moonwalker"
  • Karen from Manchester, NhI read recently about the shoes; there are pegs in the floor that fit into the heels of the shoes to hold the dancers' feet in place for those leans. (For the record, I went for years thinking it was, "Eddie, are you OK?" Shows what I know.)
  • Matthew from Milford, MaI figured that Annie was a woman that Michael Jackson was particularly close to (note the past tense...)
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxThis is just a great song no matter who sings it!
  • Emily from Newcastle, Australiajason, dublin, Ireland.

    he does it with special shoes, my brother really wants the same type of shoes.

    and there are NO! strings, EVER!
  • Jamie from Lancaster, EnglandOne of THE best music videos ever made. An instant classic.
  • Jason from Dublin, Irelandgreat song and an equally great video. how exactly does he do that lean thing in the s.c. video and live performance?
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