Remember the Time

This article is about the Michael Jackson song. For the Grey's Anatomy episode, see Remember the Time (Grey's Anatomy).
"Remember the Time"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Dangerous
B-side "Come Together"
Released January 14, 1992
  • CD single
  • Cassette single
  • 7" single
  • 12" single
Recorded March 1991
Length 4:00
Label Epic
Writer(s) Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson, Bernard Belle
Producer(s) Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Black or White"
"Remember the Time"
"In the Closet"
Music video
"Remember The Time" on YouTube

"Remember the Time" is a single by American singer and songwriter Michael Jackson recorded at Record One Studios. The song was released by Epic Records on January 14, 1992, as the second single from Jackson's eighth studio album, Dangerous. Written and composed by Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson and Bernard Belle, the song was produced by Riley and Jackson. "Remember the Time" was a successful attempt by Jackson to create a dance-oriented, new jack swing-flavored jam with the accompaniment of co-producer Riley. The lyrics are about remembering being in love with someone.

"Remember the Time" was generally well received by contemporary critics. The song was commercially successful, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number one on Billboard's R&B singles chart. Internationally, the song was a top ten hit in nine countries, peaking at number one in New Zealand, at two in Spain and three in the United Kingdom. The song reached the top twenty in all major territories. A nine-minute music video directed by John Singleton, marketed as a "short film", was released for the song. The video is set in ancient Egypt and features appearances by Eddie Murphy, Iman, Tommy "Tiny" Lister and Magic Johnson.

Background and composition

"Remember the Time" was released as the second single from Michael Jackson's eighth studio album, Dangerous on January 14, 1992. The song was written by Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson and Bernard Belle, and was produced by Riley and Jackson. "Remember the Time" is three minutes fifty nine seconds long. The song's music was compared to Jackson's 1979 single, "Rock with You" from his Off the Wall album.[1] The song was rumored to be about Jackson's relationship with Debbie Rowe in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Co-writer Teddy Riley, who was quoted to have said so in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1996,[2] denied the song being about Rowe in 2011 in reply to a fan on Twitter.[3]

However, it should also be mentioned that when the single was originally released in 1992, Jackson dedicated the song with love to Diana Ross.[4][5] Jermaine Jackson also confirmed this in his book, "You Are Not Alone: Michael: Through a Brother's Eyes." On page 194 Jermaine writes, "...that song was, as Michael told me, written with Diana Ross in mind; the one great love that, as far as he was concerned, escaped him."[6]

"Remember the Time" is a new jack swing song.[7] The lyrics recall a youthful love affair: "Do you remember when we fell in love/We were young and innocent then".[8] The song is set in the key of an original F Minor with Jackson's voice range from Eb3 to C5.[9] The song's tempo is moderate at 116 beats per minute.[9]

"Remember the Time" did not feature on the setlist for the Dangerous World Tour, but it was rehearsed. At the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards, the song won the award for Best R&B/Soul Single - Male. Jackson appeared with an injured foot and on crutches, but was able to perform the song seated in a chair, surrounded by dancers.


Critical reception

"Remember the Time" was generally well received by contemporary music critics. Martin Short, a writer for Allmusic, commented that the album Dangerous had "plenty" of "professional craftsmanship at its peak" because of "such fine singles" like "In the Closet" and "Remember the Time".[10] Erlewine listed "Remember the Time" as being a highlight from Dangerous.[10] Alan Light, a writer for Rolling Stone, stated that he felt "Remember the Time" was the "most lighthearted musical track on the album" and described the song's lyrics as telling of a "blissful romance only to ask, 'So why did it end?'"[11] Jon Parales of The New York Times commented that "titles like 'Remember the Time', 'She Drives Me Wild' and 'Give in to Me'" tell the lyrics' "whole story - though they don't suggest the wretched tone he has when he sings them."[12] Richard Harrington, a writer for The Washington Post, described "Remember the Time" as being "wistful," commenting that he felt that the song featured Jackson's "least affected vocal performance" but that it "builds an engaging, radio-friendly momentum".[13]

Chart performance

"Remember the Time" peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 7, 1992, five weeks after the single release.[14] The song saw similar success on other Billboard charts; topping the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs on March 7, and peaking at number two in Dance/Club Play Songs on April 4, 1992, and number 15 in Adult Contemporary on March 21 in the same year.[14] The song peaked at number two on Billboards Hot Dance Music/Maxi Singles Sales.[15] It was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for the shipment of over 500,000 units in the United States in March 1992.[16] The song saw similar commercial success internationally, charting in the top 20 in all major territories at the time of its release. In the United Kingdom, "Remember the Time" first entered the chart on February 15, 1992, placing at number six.[17] The following week, on February 22, the song charted at number three, where it peaked; the song remained on the charts for a total of eight weeks.[17]

"Remember the Time" topped the New Zealand charts for two consecutive weeks, having first entered the chart at number three on February 23.[18] It peaked at number four in the Netherlands and Switzerland.[19] The song also charted within the top ten on the French, Australian, Swedish, Italian, and Norwegian charts; peaking at number five, six, eight and ten.[19] It charted in the top 20, peaking at number 16, in Austria.[19] Having been re-issued for Jackson's Visionary campaign in 2006, "Remember the Time" peaked at number two in Spain on the charts issue date on May 14, 2006.[20] After Jackson's death in June 2009, his music saw a surge in popularity.[21] In the United Kingdom, on the chart of July 11, the song re-entered at number 81.[17]

Music video

As part of promotion for "Remember the Time", a music video, which was filmed in mid-January 1992, was released.[22] Prior to the release of the video, Jackson's record label promoted it by releasing clips, as well as releasing behind the scenes clips of making the video.[1] The nine-minute video was promoted as a "short film".[1] It premiered on MTV, Fox and Black Entertainment Television on February 2, 1992.[23] After the video premiered on MTV, the channel aired a "rockumentary" called "More Dangerous Than Ever" which included glimpses of the making of the video.[1] Jackson's record label would not release the video's budget figures.[1] Directed by John Singleton and choreographed by Fatima Robinson, the video was an elaborate production and became one of Jackson's longest videos at over nine minutes. It was set in ancient Egypt and featured groundbreaking visual effects and appearances by Eddie Murphy, Iman, The Pharcyde, Magic Johnson, Tom "Tiny" Lister, Jr. and Wylie Draper,[1] who portrayed Jackson as an adult in the made-for-TV movie The Jacksons: An American Dream and died shortly after appearing in this video. The video also featured Michael's first on screen kiss.

Jackson appears in the video as a hooded wizard who enters an Egyptian palace and attempts to entertain the Pharaoh's bored Queen. Two other entertainers have failed, and she has sent them to be executed. The Queen sees that this wizard is different — instead of juggling or eating fire, he walks up the steps to her throne and sings to her, asking her if she "remembers the time" they were together. The Pharaoh (played by Murphy) hardly appreciates this move and summons his guards. Jackson runs away to another room and begins elaborate, Egyptian-style choreography with the Pharaoh's servants. When the guards find him, the servants disappear as does Jackson, in a swirl and a cloud of golden dust. In the video, Jackson was dressed in a costume made of gold satin. He wore golden chain mail, a white skirt with a phallic dangling sash, black pants and black boots.[1] This video features a physically complicated dance routine that became the centerpiece of other videos from the Dangerous album.

The music video was generally well received by music critics. Ira Robbins of Entertainment Weekly described "Remember the Time" as being a "gorgeous ancient Egyptian extravaganza" video.[24] The music video appeared on the video albums: Dangerous – The Short Films,[25] Video Greatest Hits – HIStory[24] and Michael Jackson's Vision. The music video, along with other videos from Dangerous, was frequently shown on MTV.[25]

Official remixes

Charts and certifications


Chart (1992) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[26] 6
Austrian Singles Chart[19] 16
Belgium Singles Chart[27] 2
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary[28] 5
Canadian RPM 10 Dance[29] 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles[30] 2
French Singles Chart[19] 5
German Singles Chart[31] 8
Irish Singles Chart[32] 3
Italy (FIMI)[33] 8
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[34] 3
Netherlands (GfK Dutch Chart)[35] 4
New Zealand Singles Chart[18] 1
Norway Singles Chart[19] 10
Swedish Singles Chart[19] 8
Swiss Singles Chart[36] 4
UK Singles Chart[17] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary[37] 15
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[37] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs[37] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[38] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[37] 1

Chart (2006) Peak
French Singles Chart[19] 63
Italian Singles Chart[19] 10
Netherlands (GfK Dutch Chart)[35] 44
Spanish Singles Chart[20] 2
UK (Official Charts Company)[39] 22
Chart (2009) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[26] 40
Netherlands (GfK Dutch Chart)[35] 68
Swiss Singles Chart[36] 58
UK Singles Chart[17] 81
U.S. Billboard Hot Digital Songs[38] 35

End of year charts

End of year chart (1992) Position
Australia (ARIA)[40] 80
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[41] 19


Country Provider Certification Sales/shipments
United States RIAA Platinum[16] 1,000,000+
Australia ARIA Platinum[42] 70,000[42]
New Zealand RIANZ Platinum[43] 15,000[43][44]


See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Jon Parales (1992-02-04). "Review/Video; Michael Jackson's Costly New Promotional Clip". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  2. Cheo Hodari Coker (1996-11-24). "Mr. New Jack Swings Back". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  3. Riley, Teddy (2011-08-18). "Hell to da nooooooo...not Debbie.". Twitter. Retrieved 21 April 2014. Hell to da nooooooo...not Debbie.
  4. "Remember the Time dedicated with love to Diana Ross".
  5. "Michael Jackson "Remember the Time" dedicated with love to Diana Ross CD Cover".
  6. You Are Not Alone: Michael: Through a Brother's Eyes by Jermanie Jackson
  7. Josephs, Brian (July 20, 2012). "The 25 Best New Jack Swing Songs". Complex. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  8. David Browne (1994-01-14). "Sound Effects". Time Warner Inc. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  9. 1 2 "Remember the Time - Michael Jackson Digital Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Alfred Publishing Co. Inc. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  10. 1 2 Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "allmusic (( Dangerous > Overview ))". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  11. Alan Light (1992-01-09). "Dangerous : Michael Jackson : Review". Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  12. Pareles, Jon (1991-11-24). "Recordings View; Michael Jackson in the Electronic Wilderness". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  13. Richard Harrington (1991-11-24). "Article: Jackson's `Dangerous' Departures; Stylistic Shifts Mar His First Album in 4 Years". The Gale Group, Inc. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  14. 1 2 "Click to PlayClick to Play VideoRemember the Time - Michael Jackson". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  15. "allmusic ((( Michael Jackson > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  16. 1 2 "Gold and Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 "The Official Charts Company - Remember The Time by Michael Jackson Search". The Official Charts Company. 11 July 2013.
  18. 1 2 "Michael Jackson - Remember the Time (song)". Hung medien. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Michael Jackson - Remember the Time (chanson)". Humg Medien. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  20. 1 2 "Michael Jackson - Remember the Time (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  21. Ed Christman, Antony Bruno, (2009-07-02). "Michael Jackson Music Sales Surge Could Last For Months". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  22. "NEW MICHAEL JACKSON VIDEO DUE FEB. 2". hiladelphia Inquirer. 1992-01-21. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  23. The Philadelphia Inquirer (1992-01-21). "New Michael Jackson Video Dub Feb. 2". News Library. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  24. 1 2 Ira Robbins (1993-12-17). "Michael Jackson Video Greatest Hits -- HIStory". Time Warner, Inc. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  25. 1 2 Lisa Schwarzbaum (1993-12-17). "Dangerous: The Short Films". Time Warner, Inc. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  26. 1 2 Hung Medien. "Remember the time in Australian Chart". Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  27. "Remember the time in Belgian Chart". Ultratop and Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  28. "Remember the time in Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  29. "Remember the time in Canadian Top 10 Dance Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  30. "Remember the time in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  31. "Remember the time in German Chart". Media control. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  33. "Indice per Interprete: J". HitParadeItalia (it). Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  34. "Remember the time in Dutch Top 40". Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  35. 1 2 3 "Remember the time in GfK Dutch Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  36. 1 2 "Swiss Singles Chart Archives". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  37. 1 2 3 4
  38. 1 2 "Dangerous awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  39. "Michael Jackson". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  40. Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  41. "Billboard Top 100 - 1992". Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  42. 1 2 "Aria 50 Top Singles Charts". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). July 6, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2009.
  43. 1 2 "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). July 6, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2009.
  44. "The Official New Zealand Music Chart: Charts Facts". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). July 6, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2009.

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