Dangerous is the eighth studio album by American singer Michael Jackson. It was released by Epic Records on November 26, 1991. Co-produced by Jackson, Bill Bottrell, Teddy Riley, and Bruce Swedien, the album was Jackson’s first since Forever, Michael (1975) to not be produced by longtime collaborator Quincy Jones. Featured appearances include Heavy D, Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, Slash and Wreckx-n-Effect. The album incorporates R&B, pop and new jack swing, a new genre in vogue at the time. Elements of industrial, funk, hip hop, electronic, gospel, classical and rock are also featured. Twelve of the album’s fourteen songs were written or co-written by Jackson, discoursing topics like racism, poverty, romance, self-improvement, and the welfare of children and the world.
An experimental work, Dangerous is considered an artistic change for Jackson, with his music focusing to more socially conscious material, and a broader range of sounds and styles. It features catchy pop hooks and choruses while also introducing underground sounds to a mainstream audience. Critics note the album’s tone as gritty and urban, with sounds including synthetic basslines, scratching, and drum machine percussion, as well as unconventional sounds like honking vehicle horns, sliding chains, swinging gates, breaking glass, and clanking metal. Throughout the album Jackson also implements beatboxing, scat singing, and finger snapping.
Dangerous debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 Top Albums chart and in thirteen other countries, selling 5 million copies worldwide in its first week and was the best-selling album worldwide of 1992. Nine singles premiered between November 1991 and December 1993, including two exclusively released outside the United States. The album produced four singles that reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100: “Remember the Time”, “In the Closet”, “Will You Be There” and the number-one single “Black or White”. The Dangerous World Tour grossed $100 million (equivalent to $177 million in 2019), making it one of the highest-grossing tours of the 1990s.
Dangerous is one of the best-selling albums of all time having sold over 32 million copies worldwide and was certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in August 2018. An influence on contemporary pop and R&B artists, it has been included in several publications’ lists of the greatest albums of all time. At the 1993 Grammy Awards, it received four Grammy Award nominations, winning Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, while Jackson was awarded the Grammy Legend Award. Jackson won three American Music Awards at the 1993 American Music Awards, including the inaugural International Artist Award. Jackson also received Billboard Music Awards for Best Worldwide Album and Best Worldwide Single for “Black or White”.