Bad is an unreleased cover version of the track by Michael Jackson, released as a single in 1987, and included on Jackson's album of the same name.
Prince's version was recorded sometime in late 1986. After Jackson sent it to him proposing they would record it as a duet together. Prince was invited to Jackson's house to talk about the collaboration. In a 1997 interview with Chris Rock Prince commented on it: “You run that video in your mind. The first line in that song is, “your butt is mine” so I was saying, ‘Who gonna sing that to whom? Because you sure ain’t singing it to me, and I sure ain’t singing it to you.’ So right there we got a problem.”
Susannah Melvoin recalls how Prince was actually sent the track – and he reworked it. “Michael wanted Prince to sing it with him. Prince couldn't believe Michael had the nerve to call it 'I'm Bad.' He was like, ‘There's nothing badass about him.’ He could not let Michael get away with it. Not only was he not going to sing it with him, he went into the studio and re-recorded it to what he thought it should be and sent it back to Michael. Like ‘No. And by the way, this is what it should be.’ That was the end of that. But that's how Prince was.”
Quincy Jones later claimed that Prince (politely) commented “You don’t need me to be on this, It’ll be a hit without me.'”
Prince's version of the track remains unreleased.