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Wednesday August 29, 2012 would have been Michael Jackson’s 54th birthday. As we celebrate his life and the incredibly timeless music that he created, we can’t help but reflect during our Organ Issue on one of the great organ performances of modern pop music with Jimmy Smith’s solo in Jackson’s “Bad.” Recorded on January 5, 1987 and released later in ’87, “Bad” was written, composed, and co-produced by Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones. The song was the second single from the album of the same name.

No other instrument has the same effect on the soul. From Sunday morning church to the Friday night clubs and some of your favorite recordings, the organ has tied itself both emotionally and musically with varying genres and styles, and as such has become one of the most unmistakeable sonic elements within music.