Stranger in Moscow (5:44)

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“Stranger in Moscow” is the fifth and final single from Michael Jackson’s album HIStory. The song was released worldwide in November 1996 but was not released in the US until August 1997. The track was written by Jackson in 1993 while on tour in Moscow. In the ballad, Jackson sings of a fall from grace that has left him lonely, isolated, paranoid and on the verge of insanity.

The song’s music video depicts the lives of six individuals, including Jackson, who are left isolated and disconnected from the world around them. The imagery in the video has been replicated in television adverts.

When the song was complete, with Jackson happy with the result, he decided to make the second disc of HIStory a full studio album instead of a greatest hits compilation with several new tracks. Upon release, “Stranger in Moscow” was praised by critics, today it remains one of his most critically acclaimed pieces and has been compared favorably alongside the likes of “Billie Jean”. Commercially the single saw mixed results by Jackson’s standards, but the highly successful album had already been on the market nearly 18 months and numerous A-side, B-side and radio only singles had already been released to a positive commercial reception.

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