Harman Patil (Editor)

Liberian Girl

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Covid-19
Released  July 4, 1989
Recorded  1987
Format  CD single, 12", 7"
Genre  R&B
B-side  "Girlfriend" , Get on The Floor, The Lady in My Life
Length  3:53 (album version) 3:40 (edit)

"Liberian Girl" was the ninth single released from American recording artist Michael Jackson's 1987 album Bad. The song was written as early as 1983 and was among those considered for The Jacksons' Victory album. It was reworked and rewritten for Bad. The song was released as a single in Europe and Australia.

Contents

Critical reception

The New York Times editor Jon Pareles wrote that a melody line from Billie Jean reappears in this song. Rolling Stone's Davitt Sigerson praised the song: "'Liberian Girl' — is Michael's filler, which makes it richer, sexier, better than Thriller's forgettables" and he also described that it "glistens with gratitude for the existence of a loved one." In 2003, Q Magazine ranked the song at number 1,001 in their list of the "1001 Best Songs Ever".

Reaction in Liberia

The song received a positive reception in Liberia, with women from the country viewing the song as empowering. Liberian woman Margaret Carson said in an interview with the Washington Times "When that music came out … the Liberian girls were so astonished to hear a great musician like Michael Jackson thinking about a little country in Africa. It gave us hope, especially when things went bad … . It make us to feel that we are still part of the world."

Music video

Directed by Jim Yukich, the video for the song featured many of Jackson's celebrity friends who gather on a soundstage to film the music video for "Liberian Girl", only to discover that Jackson was filming them all along. As named in the closing titles, the following people are listed in order of appearance:

  • Beverly Johnson
  • Malcolm-Jamal Warner
  • Sherman Hemsley
  • Brigitte Nielsen
  • Paula Abdul
  • Carl Weathers
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Quincy Jones
  • Jackie Collins
  • Amy Irving
  • Jasmine Guy
  • Rosanna Arquette
  • Lou Diamond Phillips
  • Olivia Newton-John
  • John Travolta
  • Diahann Carroll
  • Vic Damone
  • Corey Feldman
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Debbie Gibson
  • Rick Schroder
  • Blair Underwood
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic
  • Bubbles
  • Suzanne Somers
  • Lou Ferrigno
  • Don King and "Son"
  • Mayim Bialik
  • Virginia Madsen
  • David Copperfield
  • Billy Dee Williams
  • Richard and Emily Dreyfuss
  • Danny Glover
  • Olivia Hussey
  • Dan Aykroyd
  • Steve Guttenberg
  • There was also a mummy with three arms that was shown during the video. In the ending credits the mummy was credited with a question mark.

    The music video of the song was included on the video albums: HIStory on Film, Volume II, Vision and the Target version DVD of Bad 25.

    Track listing

  • 7"
    1. "Liberian Girl" (edit) – 3:40
    2. "Girlfriend" – 3:05
  • 12"
    1. "Liberian Girl" (edit) – 3:40
    2. "Get on the Floor" – 4:44
    3. "Girlfriend" – 3:05
  • CD single
    1. "Liberian Girl" (edit) – 3:40
    2. "Girlfriend" – 3:05
    3. "The Lady in My Life" – 5:00
    4. "Get on the Floor" – 4:44

    Covers and sampling

    "Liberian Girl" has been sampled and covered by various musicians:

  • In 1990, Chicago-based jazz musician Chico Freeman recorded an instrumental jazz version for his album You'll Know When You Get There.
  • In 1996, hip-hop artist MC Lyte sampled the song on "Keep On, Keepin' On" featuring R&B group Xscape. The song released first on the soundtrack for Sunset Park and later on MC Lyte's fifth album Bad As I Wanna B.
  • In 1999, American singer Jennifer Lopez's song "If You Had My Love" contains a sample from "Liberian Girl" only on a remix called 'Dark Child Master Mix'.
  • In 2001, the song was sampled on the late American rapper 2Pac's songs "Letter 2 My Unborn", on his fourth posthumous album Until the End of Time and "The Thug in Me" (original version).
  • In 2007, Canadian rapper Roi Heenok sampled the song on his track "La Coka Coka", in French and released on his album Cocaïno Rap Musique: Volume 1.
  • In 2009, Mac Dre sampled Jackson's song on "Black Buck Rogers".
  • Personnel

  • Written and composed by Michael Jackson
  • Produced by Quincy Jones
  • Co-produced by Michael Jackson
  • Michael Jackson: solo and background vocals
  • John Robinson: drums
  • Douglas Getschal: drum programming
  • Paulinho Da Costa: percussion
  • Christopher Currell: Synclavier
  • John Barnes, Michael Boddicker, David Paich, Larry Williams: synthesizers
  • Steve Porcaro: synthesizer programming
  • Letta Mbulu: Swahili chant
  • Rhythm arrangement by Michael Jackson, John Barnes and Quincy Jones
  • Synthesizer arrangement by Jerry Hey, John Barnes and Quincy Jones
  • Vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson and John Barnes
  • Swahili chant arrangement by Caiphus Semenya
  • References

    Liberian Girl Wikipedia


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