Man In The Mirror

“Man In The Mirror” reached #1 on the Billboard charts upon its release as the fourth single from the ‘Bad’ album on January 9th, 1988. Penned by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett, it is one of two songs on the album which were not written by Michael Jackson.

Time Magazine called the song “Man In The Mirror” “one of the most powerful vocals and accessible social statements, not to mention the best-ever use of a gospel choir in a pop song.” (Source: Man In The Music, p. 122).

Michael Jackson: “It is my philosophy too. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change....I’m never totally satisfied. I always wish the world could be a better place....hopefully that’s what I do with my music - bring happiness to people. And to bring joy and peace into their lives.” (Source: Ebony/Jet Interview, 11/13/87).

Michael Jackson: “‘Man In The Mirror’ is a great message. I love that song. If John Lennon was alive, he could really relate to that song because it says that if you want to make the world a better place, you have to work on yourself and change first....start with the man in the mirror. Start with yourself. Don’t be looking at all the other things. Start with you. That’s the truth. That’s what Martin Luther King meant and Gandhi too. That’s what I believe.” (Source: Moonwalk, p. 203).

Siedah Garrett: “I was signed to Quincy’s publishing company, and he wanted a song to finish out the ‘Bad’ album. I wanted to write a song that made [Michael] feel like he had something important to say to the world, and he let me know that I did exactly that. I remember the first time I heard the song on the radio. I got goose bumps as I pulled to the side of the road, on the freeway, and I turned up the radio as loud as it would go, and I just sat there with tears streaming down my face, because it was such a moving, emotional moment.” (Source: CNN Interview, 6/29/09).

Songwriter Glen Ballard: “Michael Jackson was a remarkable songwriter who absolutely felt his songs’ lyrics. I don’t think there’s any question that that was just falling out of his creative, unpremeditated self....he tapped into his ‘whatever’ and he was using it like an artist should and sort of creating these characters - maybe they’re him, maybe they’re not. You get distance from it. [The lyrics] just really have this kind of compelling, mysterious, very cool air about them, in addition to being really hot at the center with these grooves." (Source: AP Article “Michael Jackson’s lyrics tell a hard story.” 6/29/09).

Engineer Bruce Swedien: “As far as I’m concerned, the song ‘Man In The Mirror’ is the centerpiece, musically speaking, of the Michael Jackson album ‘Bad’”. (Source: In The Studio With Michael Jackson, p. 46).

Engineer Matt Forger: “‘Man In The Mirror’ to me totally represents that place that Michael started directing his energy to. You start to really see where Michael’s heart is, where his soul is, what his intent was for, what he would like to accomplish with his music, and that’s a thing that in much later material is clearly evident, and this is the time when you see that coming to the forefront I think, so strongly.” (Source: Time Magazine, 8/29/2012).

“Man In The Mirror” was released as a CD single on January 9th, 1988 on Epic Records. The CD single includes the "Single Mix" (4:55) the "Album Mix" (5:17), and the "Instrumental Version" (4:55).

“Man In The Mirror” was released as a 7” single on January 9th, 1988 on Epic Records. The 7" single includes the "Single Mix" (4:55) on the 'A'-side, and the "Instrumental Version" (4:55) on the 'B'-side.

“Man In The Mirror” was released as a 7" promo single on January 9th, 1988 on Epic Records. The promo single includes "Man In The Mirror" (4:55) on the 'A'-side, and "Man In The Mirror - Instrumental" (4:55) on the 'B'-side.

“Man In The Mirror” was released as a 12" single on January 9th, 1988 on Epic Records. The 12" single includes the "Single Mix" (4:55) on the 'A'-side, and the "Album Mix" (5:17) on the 'B'-side


Written and composed by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard

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 blowin’ my mind

I see the kids in the street, with not enough to eat

Who am I, to be blind? Pretending not to see their needs

A summer’s disregard, a broken bottle top

And a one man’s 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 wanna make the world a better place

(If you wanna make the world a better place)

Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)


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

(Washed-out dream)

They follow the pattern on the wind, ya’ see

’Cause they got no place to be

That’s why I’m starting with me

(Starting with me!)


I’m starting with the man in the mirror

(Ooh!)

I’m asking him to change his ways

(Ooh!)

And no message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place

(If you wanna make the world a better place)

Take a look at yourself and then make a change

(Take a look at yourself and then make a change)


I’m starting with the man in the mirror

(Ooh!)

I’m asking him to change his ways

(Change his ways - ooh!)

And no message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place

(If you wanna make the world a better place)

Take a look at yourself and then make that...

(Take a look at yourself and then make that...)

Change!


I’m starting with the man in the mirror

(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 wanna 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)

(’Cause when you close your heart)

You can’t close your...your mind!

(Then you close your...mind!)

That man, that man, that man, that man

With that 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!)

You know...that man

No message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place

(If you wanna make the world a better place)

Take a look at yourself and then make a change

(Take a look at yourself and then make a change)

Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!

Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah

(Oh yeah!)

Gonna feel real good now!

Yeah yeah! Yeah yeah! Yeah yeah!

Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah

(Ooooh...)

Oh no, no no...

I’m gonna make a change

It’s gonna feel real good! Come on!

(Change...)

Just lift yourself

You know

You’ve gotta 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

You’ve got to move! Come on! Come on!

You got to...

Stand up! Stand up! Stand up!

(Yeah! - Make that change)

Stand up and lift yourself, now!

(Man in the mirror)

Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!

Aaow!

(Yeah! - Make that change)

Gonna make that change...come on!

You know it!

You know it!

You know it!

You know...

(Change...)

Make that change.


© 1987 WB Music Corp. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

CREDITS:

“Man In The Mirror” - written and composed by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard.

Michael Jackson: Solo and background vocals.

Featuring Siedah Garrett, The Winans and The Andrae Crouch Choir.

Ollie E. Brown: Clap.

Dann Huff: Guitar.

Greg Phillinganes: Keyboards.

Glen Ballard, Randy Kerber: Synthesizers.

Background vocals: Siedah Garrett.

The Winans: Carvin, Marvin, Michael and Ronald Winans.

Andrae Crouch and The Andrae Crouch Choir: Sandra Crouch, Maxi Anderson, Rose Banks, Geary Faggett, Vonciele Faggett, Andrew Gouché, Linda Green, Francine Howard, Jean Johnson, Perry Morgan, Alfie Silas.

Rhythm arrangement by Glen Ballard and Quincy Jones.

Synthesizer arrangement by Glen Ballard, Quincy Jones and Jerry Hey.

Vocal arrangement by Andrae Crouch.

©1987 WB Music Corp.