♫ Thriller * Tribute Two ♫ | The Official Michael Jackson Site

♫ Thriller * Tribute Two ♫

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♫ ♪ Thriller ♫ ♪ Michael Jackson ♫ ♪ Tribute Number Two ♪ ♫

♫ ♪ A Tribute to showcase Michael’s Second Solo Career Album. ♪ ♫

Thriller was released December 1st, 1982, and becomes the first album in the history of recorded music to start a year at No. 1 and end the same year at No. 1. It sold one million copies worldwide per week at its peak.
Nothing could have prepared anyone for what was about to happen to Michael’s career, because no one could have anticipated the amazing events that would catapult Thriller to where no album had ever gone before - or has been since. It’s the biggest selling album in the history of recorded music!
Thriller becomes the most successful album of ALL TIME, selling over 140 million copies worldwide. Seven of the albums’ nine songs were released as singles, including four of Michael’s songs, and all reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album received a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards and eight American Music Awards.
Thriller cemented Michael’s status as one of the preeminent pop stars of the late 20th century, and enabled him to break down racial barriers via his appearances on MTV, and meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House.
Thriller remains the biggest-selling album to this day.
Nothing will EVER top this album! It’s truly a Masterpiece!

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♥ ♥ In Honor of Michael Joseph Jackson ~ The King Of Pop ♥ ♥ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪
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USA December 1982

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ ♫ Baby Be Mine ♫ The Girl Is Mine ♫ Thriller ♫ Beat It ♫ Billie Jean ♫ Human Nature ♫ P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) ♫ The Lady In My Life ♫

Produced by Quincy Jones; three songs co-produced by Michael, which he also wrote: Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, Beat It and Billie Jean.

There are nine songs on Thriller and Michael wrote four: The Girl Is Mine (with Paul McCartney), Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, Beat It, and of course, the incomparable Billie Jean. Rod Temperton wrote three: Baby Be Mine, the title song Thriller, and The Lady in My Life. Human Nature was written by Steve Poracaro and John Bettis, and P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) was written by James Ingram and Quincy Jones.

Michael had intended to create an album where “Every song was a killer” , and so he worked long and hard on this project.

Thriller mixed pop, rock, soft rock, quietly stormy R&B, and more. Seven of the nine songs hit the top of the charts.

Thriller’s album cover, photographed by Dick Zimmerman, portrays Michael lying on his side, staring seductively into the camera, sporting a pristine white suit and curly hair with a perfect curl dangling down from his forehead.

With Thriller, Michael became an overnight sex symbol. His trademark look became a single jewel-encrusted white glove alongside black pants with gleaming white socks.
Michael said, “The glove was just - I thought one was cooler than two. I love to accent movement. The eye goes to where the white is - you know, the glove. And the feet, if you’re dancing, you can put an exclamation point on your movement if it has a bit of light on it. So I wore the white socks.”
Michael also began wearing embroidered military jackets and epaulets.

Armed with a $750,000 recording budget, they began the three-month recording process for Michael’s second Epic solo album, Thriller, at Westlake Studios.

‘When we started Thriller, the first day at Westlake Studio,’ said Engineer Bruce Swedien, ‘we were all there and Quincy walked in followed by me and Michael and Rod Temperton and some other people. Quincy turned to us and he said, “OK, guys - we’re here to save the recording industry.” Now that’s a pretty big responsibility - but he meant it. And that’s why those albums, and especially Thriller, sound so incredible.’

When we first thought we had finished mixing Thriller, the album, we had much too much playing time on the sides of the LP. I know it was over 25 minutes per side. Of course, on LP’s, if you have too much time on a side, it minimizes the volume level, and low frequency response, that you can put on the record during mastering. In those days, 18 minutes per side on an LP was just right for good sound. We were way over! I kept telling the guys ( Quincy and Rod) that the sides are too long for good sound! They didn’t listen to me!
I took the tapes to Bernie Grundman Mastering to master them, and returned to Westlake Studios to play the mastered album. Quincy had scheduled a meeting with Michael, himself, Rod Temperton, Freddy De Mann (Michael’s manager, at the time), myself and all the big moguls from Epic Records. The Epic folks had two big bottles of champagne on ice to toast Thriller. Needless to say, Epic Records were very anxious to get their hands on Thriller!
I played the reference LP’s in the control room. We listened, and the sound on the LP was dog doo . It was horrible. Quincy remembers that we had 28 minutes on each side. I felt like shouting “I told you so!” The Epic dudes were popping corks, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw Michael sneak out of the control room and go to the other studio, across the hall. Quincy saw him too and followed him. I was next. Then Rod and Freddy. I remember that Michael was crying; he was heartbroken. Again, I felt like shouting “I told you so!” And so, Quincy, Freddy De Mann, Rod, myself, all of us, and Michael just sat there.
Quincy said, “Let‘s take two days off, come back in, and finish one song a day.” We had nine songs on the album. The Girl Is Mine was already out, so we needed eight more days. To quote Quincy Jones: “And we put those babies, put ‘em in the pocket, man. That was it. It was over, over!” We edited down the songs, we remixed and overdubbed. In eight days I was back at Bernie Grundman Mastering. Now the sound on the LP was screamin‘!…the rest is history…
I think that Thriller was such a phenomenal success because the music that was on it reached everyone! Great songs! Killer songs! Thriller went everywhere; it appeals to people from eight to 80. Just think: a young black kid, being the idol of so many millions of kids all over the world. That never happened before.’

Remixing of the album was concluded on November 8, 1982 - the last thing to be recorded for the original album sessions were the overdubs for Beat It.

Spent 37 weeks at No.1 on both Billboard’s R&B and Pop albums charts, and eight weeks at No.1 in the UK.

No. 1 best selling album of 1983 in both the UK and the USA; No. 4 best selling album of 1984 in the States and No. 6 best selling album of 1984 in the UK.

Reported in The Guinness Book Of World Records to have gained 67 Gold and 58 Platinum awards in 28 countries on six continents.

Hit Singles: ♫ ♪
The Girl Is Mine ♫ Billie Jean ♫ Beat It ♫ Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’♫ Human Nature ♫ P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) ♫ Thriller ♫

First album to generate seven Top 10 hits in the States; and to generate six hits - five of them Top 10 - in the UK.

American Music Awards: ♫ ♪
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist ♫ Favorite Pop Album ♫ Favorite Pop Single: Billie Jean ♫ Favorite Pop Video: Beat It ♫ Favorite Soul Male Vocalist ♫ Favorite Soul Album ♫ Favorite Soul Video: Beat It ♫
Award Of Merit: Michael was the youngest ever recipient of the special Award Of Merit.

Grammy Awards: ♫ ♪
Album Of The Year ♫ Record Of The Year: Beat It ♫ Best New R&B Song: Billie Jean ♫ Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male: Thriller ♫ Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male: Beat It ♫ Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male: Billie Jean ♫ Producer Of The Year (with Quincy Jones) ♫ Best Children’s Recording: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (with narration by Michael).
Michael was the third youngest recipient of the prestigious Album Of The Year award. He dedicated the award to one of his idols, Jackie Wilson, who had just passed away.

The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools - the videos for Thriller, Billie Jean and Beat It all received regular rotation on MTV.
Michael transformed the medium of music video into an art form and promotional tool through the use of complex story lines, dance routines, special effects and cameo appearances by well known personalities.
When the 14-minute long Thriller video aired, MTV ran it twice an hour to meet demand. The short film raised the standard for music videos and has been named the best music video ever. It’s considered to be the most successful and influential music video of all time. The popularity of the video sent the album back to No. 1 in the album chart.

Dec. 1st ’82 ~ Michael razes and rebuilds the Encino family home as a gift for his dear mother, Katherine.

Dec. 11th ’82 ~ Thriller (LP) released on Dec. 6th in Britain, enters the Top 100 albums chart and peaks at No. 1 . It dominates the No. 1 spot for eight weeks in four different periods and remains on the charts for a total of 168 weeks. On it’s release, some record shops give away “The Girl Is Mine” picture disc with early copies of the LP.

Dec. 25th ’82 ~ Thriller (LP) hits the No. 1 spot on both the Pop and Black albums charts and holds it’s position on the Pop charts for a massive 37 weeks during a 122 week residency.

January 31st ’83 ~ Thriller (LP) is certified Gold and Platinum.

February 7th ’83 ~ Thriller was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records, recognized as the world’s best-selling album.

March 5th ’83 ~ Thriller (LP) hits No. 1 on the Top 100 albums chart in Britain, which marks the first time in music history that an artist has simultaneously held the No. 1 spot on the albums chart in both Britain and America.

April 16th ’83 ~ Michael becomes the first artist of the Eighties to hold two chart positions in Billboard’s Top Five with Beat It and Billie Jean.

May 16th ‘83 ~ Just as it seems that sales of Thriller are about to slow down, over 47 million Americans watch Michael ‘moonwalk’ across the stage during his first solo performance of Billie Jean at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium when NBC broadcast the two-hour TV special, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.
Starting with a nonchalant fling of his fedora to the floor, Michael shows off many of the moves that would become his trademarks: he kicks and pushes his leg into the air, he spins around like a top and lands stopped, on his toes. He wears a sequined shirt and socks and a black jacket and fedora. His performance of Billie Jean is entertainment at it’s most powerful and showcases his first ever public performance of the ‘moonwalk’, a seemingly magical backward two-footed glide , which becomes his signature dance move.
Michael’s electrifying performance remains in the minds of fans and non-fans alike as sales of the album soar again the very next day.
The enormity of Michael’s talent and originality become apparent when he discloses that on the evening prior to the show, he had no idea what he was going to do. He relates how he went to the kitchen and played the song loudly. Michael says, “I pretty much stood there and let the song tell me what to do. I kind of let the dance create itself. I really let it talk to me.”
Michael also acknowledges that three kids taught him the basics of the now legendary ‘moonwalk’, to which he added other steps before performing it on the Motown 25 show.

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Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever ~ Billie Jean Performance

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Thriller initiated many changes within the music industry: it raised the importance of albums, it challenged ideas about how many prospective hits an album could contain, it restored a sense of confidence in releasing high-quality artistry, it helped bring MTV into its own, and it paved the way for other African-American performers.
It also had a major influence on black pride and self-esteem.

Thriller did not have an official tour to promote it, but the Jackson’s 1984 Victory Tour showcased Michael’s new solo material to more than two million Americans. Michael donated his pay from the Victory Tour, approximately $5 million, to charity.

Thriller spends all 52 weeks of 1983 in the Top Ten of the Pop albums chart, 37 weeks of which are spent at No. 1.

Nov. 11th ‘83 ~ A $5 million endorsement contract is signed between Michael, The Jacksons and Pepsi Cola, involving sponsorship of the Victory Tour and two commercials.

Dec. 2nd ‘83 ~ A year and a day following the release of the Thriller album, MTV debuts the Thriller video, a 14 min. short film of the LP’s title track . Eighteen dancers, who have had years of professional training are recruited for the video, but according to choreographer Michael Peters, Michael is better than any of them.
The reaction to the video is instantaneous and unparalleled. In the three months following its release, aided by the unprecedented music awards it wins in the following two months, The Thriller LP sells an additional 7.5 million copies in America alone.

Dec. 14th ‘83 ~ The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the video cassette, is released selling over 500,000 copies in its first month.
The video showcases the Thriller video itself along with a behind-the-scenes look at the special effects used in the film, dance rehearsals, and the impressive make-up artistry used to turn Michael into a werewolf.

Jan. 16th ‘84 ~ Michael wins an unprecedented eight awards at the 11th American Music Awards, broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium in LA, which he attends in the company of Brooke Shields. At the age of 25, Michael is the youngest recipient of the special Award of Merit. Michael also wins: Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist, Favorite Pop Album, Favorite Pop Single Billie Jean, Favorite Pop Video Beat It, Favorite Soul Male Artist, Favorite Soul Album, Favorite Soul Video Beat It.
The show is viewed by over 60 million people, and in the week following Michael’s swoop in capturing 39% of the evenings awards, Thriller sells another 1 million copies in America.

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11th American Music Awards 1984
( there may be a quick commercial at the start)




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Michael’s Pepsi Generation Commercial

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Jan. 24th ‘84 ~ Shooting of the first Pepsi commercial begins with Alfonso Ribeiro , the 12 yr. old star of the Broadway show The Tap Dance Kid, starring along side Michael who, together with Pepsi, reworks the lyrics of Billie Jean.

Jan. 27th ‘84 ~ During the filming of a second Pepsi commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in LA, Michael suffered second and third degree burns to his scalp after pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire. This happened in front of a full house of fans during a simulated concert. He was rushed to Cedar Sinai Medical Center, where his arrival causes a media frenzy and elicited an outpouring of sympathy. He is later moved to Brotman Memorial Hospital for treatment - the Burn Center to which he had paid a courtesy call only two weeks earlier.
But Michael turned this potential tragedy into a triumph of the spirit: when PepsiCo gave him a $1.5 million settlement, he created the “Michael Jackson Burn Center”, which helps people with serious burns.

Jan. 28th ’84 ~ Michael is released from the hospital but before leaving, visits other burn patients, some of whom he had visited earlier in the month. Following Michael’s injury, 700,000 extra copies of Thriller are sold in America.

Feb. 1st ’84 ~ Michael receives an official letter from President Reagan wishing him a speedy recovery from his burn injury.
Dear Michael,
I was pleased to learn you were not seriously hurt in your recent accident. I know from experience that these things can happen on the set - no matter how much caution is exercised. All over America, millions of people look up to you as an example. Your deep faith in God and adherence to traditional values are an inspiration to all of us, especially young people searching for something real to believe in.
You’ve gained quite a number of fans along the road since I Want You Back, and Nancy and I are among them. Keep up the good work, Michael, We’re very happy for you.
Sincerely, Ronald Reagan February 1, 1984

Feb. 7th ‘84 ~ Michael, along with 15,000 invited guests, attends the New York Metropolitan Museum of Natural History to receive awards from CBS and the Guinness Book of World Records. Michael is presented with the first edition of the 1984 paperback version of The Guinness Book of World Records, which he receives from Norris McWhirter.
For the first time ever, Bantam Books halt the presses between January 20 and 23 so that two new entries can be added to the book at the last minute announcing Thriller as the largest-selling album of all time and the album with the most Top Ten singles.
Allen Davis, President of CBS Records International says: “Tonight Michael…your milestones for the album Thriller are a total of 67 Gold and 58 Platinum awards in 28 countries on six continents. And the singles, with 9 million sales have earned 15 more awards, bringing the total to 140 Gold and Platinum awards.”

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Michael receives 1984 The Guinness Book of World Records
(begins in another language only at the start)

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Feb. 28th ‘84 ~ In the company of Brooke Shields and Emmanuel Lewis, Michael attends the 26th annual Grammy Awards ceremonies broadcast from the Shrine Auditorium in LA. Michael wins a record-breaking 8 Grammys in 10 categories: Album of the Year Thriller, Best Pop Male Vocal Thriller, Record of the Year Beat It, Best Rock Male Vocal Beat It, Best R&B Male Vocal Billie Jean, Best New Song of the Year Billie Jean, Producer of the Year (with Quincy Jones), and Best Children’s Recording E.T. (with narration by Michael).
The Jackson’s Pepsi commercials are aired during the telecast and are amongst the most successful and most popular ads ever, and the first and only set of ads ever to be included in the weekly TV Guide listings.

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26th Annual Grammy Awards 1984

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Mar. 30th ‘84 ~ The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller , the video cassette, is released in Britain. The video sells 100,000 copies in only three days and becomes the biggest-selling video ever for several years to come.

May 14th ’84 ~ President Reagan presents a special Achievement Award to Michael in a garden ceremony at the white house in recognition of his contribution to the nation’s advertising campaign aimed at discouraging young people from drinking and driving. Michael’s song Beat It was used by the Transportation Department in the campaign.
The inscription on the plaque reads: “To Michael Jackson with appreciation for the outstanding example you have set forth for the youth of America and the world. Your historic record-breaking achievements and your preeminence in popular music are a tribute to your creativity, dedication, and great ability. The generous contribution of your time and talent to the National Campaign Against Teenage Drunk Driving will help millions of young Americans learn that drinking and driving can kill a friendship.”

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President Reagan presents special Achievement Award to Michael

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2001 ~ Thriller was reissued as a Special Edition. The original tracks were re-mastered, and the album included a new booklet and bonus material, including the songs Someone In The Dark, Carousel, and Michael’s original Billie Jean demo, as well as audio interviews with Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton.

2003 ~ Thriller was ranked at No. 20 on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time List. It was also ranked by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers at No. 3 of the Definitive 200 Albums of All Time.

2006 ~ At the World Music Awards, a Guinness World Records representative presented Michael with a certificate for Thriller for achieving worldwide sales of 104 million.

2006 ~ Guinness World Records listed Thriller as the “most successful music video”, selling over 9 million units.

2008 ~ Among 25 recordings added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry which preserves recorded works that are considered culturally or historically important.

2008 ~ Thriller inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

2008 ~ Thriller 25 released with seven bonus tracks, a new song called For All Time, a snippet of Vincent Price’s voice-over, and five remixes featuring American artists Fergie, will.i.am, Kanye West and Akon. Also included a DVD featuring three music videos, the Motown 25 Billie Jean performance, and a booklet with a message from Michael.

2009 ~ Thriller set additional records. It sold more than 100,000 copies, placing it at No. 2 on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. Songs from Thriller also helped Michael become the first artist to sell more than one million song downloads in a week.

2009 ~ Thriller was certified 29 x Multi-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of at least 29 million copies in the US.
The album topped the charts in many countries, sold 3.7 million copies in the UK, 2.5 million in Japan and went 15 x Platinum in Australia.

2009 ~ The video Thriller was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. It was the first music video to ever receive this honor, for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant and will be preserved for all time. The Registry titled Thriller as “the most famous music video of all time”.

Thriller still retains important influence over the music industry, artists and culture even today.

~ 1st Song ~
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♫ Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ ♫

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Written by Michael, and recorded for his Thriller album, ‘(It’s a song) which I had written when we were doing Off The Wall,’ he said, ‘but had never given to Quincy for that album.’ Cited by Michael as a song that disappointed him: ‘Song-writing is a very frustrating art form,’ he said. ‘You have to get on tape exactly what’s playing in your head. When I hear it up here (his head), it’s wonderful - I have to transcribe that on to tape.’

This song is a euphoric funk-jam about being used and preyed upon. He sings about becoming a vegetable and a buffet where “they eat of you” before the song climaxes into a heavenly chant.
Believed by some fans to be a hidden criticism of the media pressure Michael faced at this time, and would continue to face long into the future.

Fourth single released from the album - peaked at No. 5 on both American charts and No. 8 in the UK.

Official Versions: ♫ Album Version ♫ Single Version ♫ Single Instrumental ♫ 12” Extended Mix ♫ Brothers in Rhythm Mix ♫ Tommy D’s Main Mix. ♫

Song chosen to open the Jackson’s Victory Tour and Michael’s Bad World Tour concerts.

Live performance by Michael, at his Dangerous Tour concert in Bucharest, Romania, on Oct. 1st 1992, featured on the DVD released as part of his box-set, The Ultimate Collection issued in Nov. 2004.

Featured in 1990, along with The Way You Make Me Feel, in commercials for L/A. Gear - Michael was paid $10 million for his sponsorship of the brand.

Performed by Usher, Mya and Whitney Houston during the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years Concerts, staged at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Sept. 7th and 10th 2001.

2008 ~ Reworked version, recorded in Nov. 2007 with Akon - for Thriller 25, with lead vocals by Akon and new vocals by Michael. First, and most successful, single lifted from the album in many countries, including the USA where it did well to register at No. 81 on the Hot 100. Also peaked at No. 3 in Sweden, No. 4 in New Zealand, No. 8 in Australia and No. 69 in the UK.

~ 2nd Song ~
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♫ Baby Be Mine ♫

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Written by Rod Temperton, and recorded by Michael for his solo album Thriller.

B-side of Human Nature in the States (not issued in the UK), and of I Just Can’t Stop Loving You in both the USA and UK.

Demo version leaked on the internet with Starlight, in 2008 - no official release.

~ 3rd Song ~
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♫ The Girl Is Mine ♫

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Written by Michael and recorded as a duet with Paul McCartney, for Michael’s album Thriller. McCartney spent three days at Westlake Studios, LA, working on the song with Michael from April 14th - 16th 1982 - the year after the pair worked on Say Say Say and The Man, although it was the first Jackson/McCartney duet to gain a release.

“It started with Quincy Jones asking me to write a song about two guys quarreling over the same girl, and I thought about it and I came up with The Girl Is Mine.’ ‘I woke up from my sleep and I had this song,’ said Michael, explaining his inspiration for writing the song, ‘and I went over to the tape recorder and I sang exactly what I heard in my head, starting with the melody and the keyboard and the strings and everything. So I just orally put it on tape.”

Michael is on record as saying the duet is one of his most enjoyable recording moments: “One of my favorite songs to record, of all my recordings as a solo artist, is probably The Girl Is Mine, because working with Paul McCartney was pretty exciting and we just literally had fun…it was like lots of kibitzing and playing and throwing stuff at each other and making jokes…and we actually recorded the track and the vocals pretty much live at the same time, and we do have footage of it, but it’s never been shown - maybe one day we’ll give you a sneak preview of it.”

Several demo versions are known to exist, including a solo version by Michael, and others of him working on different keys for the melody of the song. Released in some countries, including the UK, on The Girl Is Mine 2008 CD single.

Lead single from Thriller, hitting No. 1 on the R&B singles chart and No. 2 on the Hot 100 in the States, and No. 8 in the UK. Cover Photograph of Michael and Paul by the latter’s late wife, Linda.

RIAA Gold Record (USA million seller).

From Bruce Swedien , Michael’s Recording Engineer ~ When I finished mixing The Girl Is Mine - we were at Westlake Audio in Studio D - it was 8:00 in the evening, I was busy making safety copies of the ½ -inch mix master in the control room. I turned around and there was the entire group Fleetwood Mac: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham. Christine smiled and said to me, “We hear you’re making a hit record over here. May we hear it?” At that very moment I noticed that the studio and the control room were almost entirely full of people. It looked like about 100 people had quietly come in while I was busy making safety copies of the master tapes. And they were all the most famous music people that you could imagine, beginning with Michael and Paul, Ringo Starr, and so on.
All the heavy-duty music recording artists that were in Hollywood at that moment were there in our studio! I played the master mix album for them for the next three hours. They were having a great time, dancing, acting ignorant and all. Michael hid with me in the control room, but he had a huge smile on his face, because everyone was having a great time!

~ 4th Song ~
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♫ Thriller ♫
(there may be a quick commercial at the start)

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Title track of the album that would go on to become the No. 1 Best Selling Record ever released, Thriller.
Written by Rod Temperton; an inspiration was the Jacksons’ hit, Heartbreak Hotel. Early titles include Starlight, Starlight Sun and Give Me Some Starlight - the title was changed after Michael told Temperton he wanted something that would appeal to kids.

From Bruce Swedien: For me, the centerpiece of the album is the song Thriller. I love Thriller the most because there’s more of my imagination in the sound field of it than any other song I have ever recorded. Thriller is a definite study in contrasts and layers. Yet there is a great deal of clarity in this recording. I used an entire 24-track reel just to build the spooky intro.
Thriller Intro ~ I had a large dog whose name was Max. He was a Great Dane. Very large - close to 200 lbs! I tried for several days to get Max to do the wolf howls that we wanted for the intro on Thriller. I really wanted to have Max’s voice in the intro. However, Max didn’t want to be the “wolf” on the intro to Thriller. We bribed Max with hamburgers, we put him out by the barn to listen to the coyotes at night, but Max wasn’t interested in being part of Thriller. In the end, we had to have Michael do the wolf howls.
In the second intro section (after the scary intro), I tried to create a low-end-of-the spectrum illusion, by starting the kick drum (that appears only in that part of the intro) with very minimal low frequency response to it. The ear quickly adjusts to that spectral response. Then, when the bass and the real kick drum come in, with ass-kicking low end, the impact is startling! Listen to Thriller sometime with these thoughts in mind.

The Vincent Price Rap on Thriller, by Bruce Swedien: Quincy’s wife, Peggy Lipton, knew Vincent Price. So Quincy and Peggy got it together and called him. Vincent said he’d love to do it. I remember Rod’s idea, at first, was that Vincent would just talk some horror talk - the type of lines he would deliver in some of his famous roles. Well, the night before the session with Vincent Price, I remember Quincy and Rod on the phone, talking excitedly about something to do with Vincent’s part in Thriller. I was getting the track ready for Vincent to overdub on, so I only overheard bits and pieces of their conversation.
The next day at about 12:00 noon, Quincy showed up at the studio, looking like the cat that swallowed the canary! Q looked at me and said, “Vincent Price is going to be here at 2:00 p.m.! Rod is writing Vincent’s rap in the taxicab on the way here to the studio!”
The next thing I knew, Rod came roaring into the control room with several sheets of paper in one hand. Out of breath, Rod said to me, “Bruce, quick - he’s here! I saw a car pull up, and it was Vincent Price! He’s on his way in!” He thrust the papers into my hand and said, “Give these to the secretary - have her photocopy these quick!” This was done, we put the Thriller Rap lyrics on the music stand. Vincent walked in, sat down on his chair, off he went, and it was all done in about two hours.
I used the same mic setup as I used on Michael: my favorite Shure SM-7. Vincent Price had never used earphones in his work before. He jumped up from his stool with a very startled look on his face. I know he had never heard anything like that before. He asked Rod Temperton to come out in the studio with him and help him by cueing him where to come in and speak his verses. Rod actually wrote three verses for Vincent to do for Thriller. We recorded all three but only used two.

Vincent experienced a huge resurgence in his career with the incredible success of Thriller. About six months after the release of Thriller, Vincent appeared on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show. He talked about being in Paris, walking down the street and having a group of young people recognize him and chase him down the street to get his autograph. Vincent revealed as payment he was given a choice, between taking a percentage of the album sales or $20,000 - and took the cash, missing out on millions in royalties.

Thriller debuted on the Hot 100 in the States at No. 20 - the highest new entry for over 20 years. Rose to No. 4, to give Michael his seventh Top 10 hit from Thriller - a new record from one album.

Official Versions: ♫ Album Version ♫ Remixed Short Version ♫ Edit ♫ Instrumental ♫ Voice Over Session ♫ Video Soundtrack Version (13:30)

Thriller The Video: A 14 minute short film, directed by John Landis who also co-wrote the screenplay with Michael, was a masterpiece of choreography, special effects and costume design. Cost in excess of $1 million, the most expensive video of its time. Michael contacted John after seeing the film An American Werewolf In London, which John had directed. ‘He contacted me and asked me if I would make a video with him,’ said John. ‘And I said no, actually…but he persisted and said, “No, no, no - I really wanna make it.” So when I returned to LA I called Rick Baker, who had done the make-up effects for American Werewolf and said, “Rick, Michael Jackson wants to become a monster!” John’s intention was to make a 14 minute theatrical short film and, with his producer/editor, George Folsey, Jr., he worked on a budget - and costed the project at almost half a million dollars. But, given Thriller had already been the year’s best selling album and was still selling respectively well, Michael’s record company refused to provide the necessary funds.
‘George’s idea,’ said John, ‘was: why don’t we film us filming it, and then we can make a 45 minute documentary called ‘The Making of Thriller’, then in total that’s an hour. And then sell that to get the money to make Thriller.’ Bidding war between cable companies ensued, with MTV and Showtime each putting up $250,000, toward the cost of making the short film.
Final footage only 26 minutes long - prompting John to visit Michael’s Encino home, to search for any footage he could make use of. ‘And I found a box of home movies,’ he said, ‘and now everyone’s seen it, that amazing 8mm footage of Michael dancing at five years old. I found that in a closet so I said, OK, we own this, too…we called it ‘The Making Of Filler’.

Premiere staged because Michael wanted a premiere. ‘It was incredible,’ said John. ‘There was everyone from Diana Ross and Warren Beatty to Prince. It was nuts! Amazing…got a standing ovation and all that stuff and they’re shouting, “Encore! Encore!”…then Eddie Murphy got up and shouted, “Show the goddamn thing again!” So they sat and watched Thriller again. Why not? It was just amazing…’

Premiered on MTV in the States on Dec. 2, 1983, and carried the following disclaimer: “Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult“.
Wearing the, now classic, angular red leather jacket, trimmed in black, and red pants, Michael plays a ‘nice guy’ on a romantic date. He asks her (Ola Ray) to go steady and gives her a ring, but he warns her, “ I’m not like other guys,” as the full moon peeks out from behind the clouds. Michael begins convulsing in agony then morphs into a werewolf and goes on a destructive rampage - until we realize Michael and his date are simply watching a movie. Outside the movie theater, Michael suddenly transforms into a zombie and performs an elaborate song and dance number with other zombies, followed by the main chorus of Thriller.
Michael’s sister Janet reportedly appeared in the Thriller short film as a zombie.

History was made when the video made its debut. Often referred to as the greatest music video ever. Thriller proved to have a profound effect on popular culture, and was named “a watershed moment for the music industry for its unprecedented merging of filmmaking and music.”

Cited by Michael as the ‘most fun short film or video’ he’s ever made. ‘I just loooooved becoming a monster, because it gave me a chance to pretty much become someone else,’ he said. ‘It was just fun, hiding behind this mask and just really letting this part of you, your body, or your feelings out…it was just thrilling for me to do that. And the dance, and all the morphing, and all the fun things we did - it’s so memorable!’

Released in tandem with the video was an hour-long documentary providing candid glimpses behind the scenes of the production, called Making Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It opened with the full length Thriller short film. Following this, there was a rare and fascinating behind the scenes peek at a genius at work. Metamorphosis, focusing on his amazing transformation into a werewolf, showed just how far Michael is prepared to go, in his quest to break new ground - to be the best. ‘I actually tried to talk him out of it,’ monster maker Rick Baker confesses on camera. ‘I told him how horrible an experience it’s going to be, and that he’s going to have to do this every day.’ But changing into a werewolf was an essential ingredient, one that excited Michael, and he refused to allow thoughts of personal discomfort to dissuade him from going ahead.
It , too, was shown heavily on MTV for a time and was the top-selling home-video release of all time at one point, with over 9 million copies sold.

Grammy Awards: Best Pop Vocal performance, Male and Best Video Album (for the home video, Making Michael Jackson’s Thriller).
MTV Video Awards: Best Overall Performance, Viewer’s Choice Award and Best Choreography.
American Music Video Awards: Best Home Video and Best Long Form Video (for Making Michael Jackson’s Thriller).
Rolling Stone magazine: Video of the Decade (1980’s).
MTV & TV Guide: Best Music Video of the Millennium.
Inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame in 1991, and recognized by the 2006 edition of Guinness World Records as the ‘Most Successful Music Video’.

Live performance by Michael, at his Dangerous Tour Concert in Bucharest, Romania, on Oct. 1, 1992, featured on the DVD released as part of his box-set, The Ultimate Collection, issued in Nov. 2004.

~ 5th Song ~
♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

♫ Beat It ♫

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

Track written and co-produced, with Quincy Jones, by Michael.

Beat It is a driving anti-violent anthem featuring a soaring rock guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen, who was invited to guest on the track by Quincy. Van Halen initially believed he was receiving crank calls, before establishing proper communication with Quincy - and recorded his contribution completely free of any charge, so keen was he to be involved.
‘I did it as a favor,’ said Van Halen. ‘I was a complete fool, according to the rest of the band, our manager and everyone else. I was not used. I knew what I was doing - I don’t do something unless I want to do it.’
A technician, unaware Van Halen was beginning a take, knocked on the studio door and entered, quickly closing the door when he realized his mistake. Afterwards, it was agreed to leave this in, and the knock on the door can be heard on the final version of the song.

RIAA Platinum Record Award (USA million seller).

Beat It the video was directed by Bob Giraldi, financed to the tune of $150,000 by Michael himself after CBS got cold feet. This video had Michael playing peacemaker to two warring gangs and was inspired by West Side Story. Cast included 18 professional dancers and four break dancers, choreographed by Michael Peters, and 50 real life members of two rival LA street gangs, to give the video an authentic look.

Michael saw a McDonald’s commercial that had a look and feel he wanted to approximate for the video. He hunted down the director of the commercial, Bob Giraldi, and they came up with a West Side Story concept about rival street gangs who find unity in dance. With invigorating choreography by Michael Peters, Michael sported a red leather jacket covered in zippers that would become one of his fashion trademarks.

The video was filmed in one of the most dangerous areas of downtown LA, on Skid Row, east of Hollywood. Almost all of the extras were actual gang members from South and East LA - there must have been about 80 of them. As a result, the LAPD sent a huge number of officers to make sure that the peace was not disturbed on the set or anywhere nearby. Although some of the gangs had long-standing rivalries, they all honored the neutrality of the shoot and cooperated with Michael and director Bob Giraldi.

Billboard Video Awards: Best Overall Video Clip, Best Performance by a Male Artist, Best Use of Video to Enhance a Song, Best Use of Video to Enhance an Artist’s Image, Best Choreography.
American Music Awards: Favorite Pop/Rock Video, Favorite Soul Video.
Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male.
Rolling Stone: No. 1 Video in both the Critics Poll and Reader’s Poll.
Black Gold Awards: Best Video Performance.
Inducted into the Music Video Producer’s Hall of Fame.

Official Versions: ♫ Album Version ♫ Edit ♫ Moby’s Sub Mix ♫

Featured in the National Highway Safety Commission’s anti-drunk driving campaign in the States, with the slogan, ‘Drinking and Driving can Kill a Friendship’, and included on the accompanying NHSC promo album. Michael collected a special award from President Ronald Reagan at the White House, for his support of the campaign.

Eddie Van Halen joined Michael and his brothers on stage, to perform Beat It with them during the Jacksons’ Victory Tour, on July 4, 1984.

Live performance by Michael, at his Dangerous Tour concert in Bucharest, Romania, on Oct. 1, 1992, featured on the DVD released as part of his box-set, The Ultimate Collection issued in Nov. 2004.

Performed by Michael and Slash during Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years concerts, staged at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Sept. 7 and 10, 2001.

Performed by the Chipmunks in a 1983 episode of Alvin & The Chipmunks, where the Chipmunks and Chipettes faced-off against bullies at an ice skating rink.

Sampled on the Refugee Camp Mix of Michael’s own 2 Bad, from his 1997 remix album, Blood On The Dance Floor.

Featured in several films, including: Back To The Future II (1989), Zoolander (2001) and Undercover Brother (2002).

Performed by Metallica at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

Beat It 2008 ♫
Re-working of the above song for the album, Thriller 25, released in Feb. 2008.
Mixed Michael’s original album vocals with new vocals by Fergie, effectively turning the song into a duet.

~ 6th Song ~
♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

♫ Billie Jean ♫

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

Track written and co-produced, with Quincy Jones, by Michael.

Billie Jean is a catchy, foreboding tale of an obsessed fan waging a paternity suit.
Originally titled Not My Lover (to avoid any confusion with the tennis player, Billie Jean King).

Mixed by Bruce Swedien, who usually did just one mix of a song - but he did 91 of Billie Jean, before the second mix was eventually chosen.

From Bruce Swedien: Billie Jean may be the most personal song that Michael has ever written: a guilt-inspired paternity drama influenced by Michael’s run-ins with delusional female fans. Michael told us: “It’s about a girl that climbed over the wall at my house, and was lounging out there, by the swimming pool. She was laying out there, near the pool, lounging - hangin’ out - with shades on, in her bathing suit.” One morning she just showed up! Kind of like a stalker, almost. She had accused Michael of being the father of one of her twins. Is that possible? I don’t think so.

Billie Jean was released in Jan. 1983. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. It held the No. 1 spot on the R&B chart for nine weeks, it remained on the charts for 23 weeks, and sold more than a million singles. Billie Jean destroyed MTV’s color line. Billie Jean also saw a former kid singing star coming of age. This was the moment when he blossomed into the late 20th century’s dominant pop icon, Michael Jackson. It’s a song that, to this day, remains one of the most sonically arresting songs ever on Top 40 radio. In 1983 no one had ever heard anything quite like it. It’s such a superb song!

“When we recorded Billie Jean, Quincy told me, Bruce, this piece of music has to have the most incredible drum sound that anybody has ever done, but it also has to have one element that’s different, and that’s a unique sonic personality.”
I had Michael sing some of his vocal overdubs through a five-foot-long cardboard tube. Quincy brought in jazz saxophonist Tom Scott to play a very unusual instrument, the Lyricon, a wind-controlled analog synthesizer whose unique, trumpet-like lines are subtly woven through the track. Bassist Louis Johnson played a Yamaha bass with an ideal sound for Billie Jean.
I recorded the drums (played by my pal N’Dugu) with as tight and powerful a drum sound as I could. Of course I put N’Dugu’s drum set on my plywood drum platform. Also at this time, I had a special kick drum cover made that covers the entire front of the kick drum. There’s a slot in the cover with a zipper, where the mic fits through. When the kick drum mic is in place, in the slot in my drum cover, I zip the opening tight around the mic. I brought in my good friend George Massenburg’s spectacular sounding, portable, 12-channel mixing console, and used it to record the rhythm section. With it I recorded the bass, drums, and guitars on my analog 16-track, with no noise reduction equipment in the way of that fantastic sound!

I think it was Michael’s dancing, as much as his singing, that propelled the Billie Jean phenomenon. On May 16, 1983, when Michael debuted his famous moonwalk in a mesmerizing performance on the Motown 25 TV Special and then there was the Billie Jean video, in which Michael dances through a fantasy cityscape, with a sidewalk that lights up like a disco floor underfoot.
MTV almost never aired videos by black performers, and when they refused to show Billie Jean, CBS Records president Walter Yetnikoff went ballistic. He said to MTV, “I’m pulling everything we have off the air, all our product. I’m not going to give you any more videos. And I’m going to go public and f**king tell them about the fact you don’t want to play music by a black guy!” Billie Jean was immediately put in heavy rotation on MTV.
In my estimation, Billie Jean is a perfect example of what I call “sonic personality.” I don’t think there are many recordings where all you need to hear is the first few drum beats, and you instantly know what song it is.

Spelling on original vinyl acetate of the Thriller album: Billy Jean.

Second single from Michael’s 1982 solo album, Thriller.

Conquered the R&B singles chart in just three weeks - the fastest rising No. 1 since 1970, when the Jackson 5 scored a hat-trick of equally quick chart toppers with ABC, The Love You Save and I’ll Be There.

Also No. 1 on the Hot 100 in the States for seven weeks, and No. 1 in the UK for a single week. Billie Jean and Thriller topped the singles charts and the albums charts on both sides of the Atlantic in the same week - a feat very few acts have ever achieved.

Short film directed by Steve Barron - premiered on MTV on March 2, 1983, becoming the first music video screened that told a story, and resulted in Michael becoming one of the first black artists to be added to the MTV play list.
On the video, Michael sports a funky black tuxedo with a pink shirt and red bow tie, while dancing down a sidewalk that magically lights up as it receives Michaels footfall. Like magic, Michael appears to vanish when a roving paparazzo tries to snap his photo.
It confirmed what we already knew: that there was magic in those twinkling feet!
The video for Billie Jean became the first video by a Black American artist to air on MTV and is credited as the video that brought MTV, which up to that point had been an obscure rock music channel, to mainstream attention.

RIAA Platinum Record Award (USA million seller).
American Music Award: Favorite Pop/Rock Single.
Grammy Awards: Best New R&B Song, Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male.
Cashbox Awards: Top Pop Single, Top Black Single.
Billboard Video Awards: Best Overall Video, Best Dance/Disco 12: (joint with Beat It).
NARM Awards: Best Selling Single.
Black Gold Awards: Best Single of the Year.
Canadian Black Music Awards: Top International Single.
Michael’s third best selling single in the UK, after Earth Song and One Day In Your Life.
Inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame in 1992.

Official Versions: ♫ Album Version ♫ Instrumental Version ♫ 12” Extended Remix ♫ Original Demo Recording ♫ Four On The Floor Radio Mix ♫ Pepsi Version ♫

Performed by Michael - to massive critical and popular acclaim - at Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, staged in the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on May 16, 1983. He ‘moonwalked’ in public for the first time, and went on to earn an Emmy nomination, for Best Individual Performance on a Variety or Music Program.

Live performance by Michael at his Dangerous Tour concert in Bucharest, Romania, on Oct. 1, 1992, featured on the DVD released as part of his box-set, The Ultimate Collection, issued in Nov. 2004.

Cited by Michael as his favorite song to perform live: ‘but only when I don’t have to do it the same way,’ he said. ‘The audience wants a certain thing - I have to do the moonwalk in that spot. I’d like to do a different version.’

Featured in the film, Charlie’s Angels (2000), and in the video game, Grand Auto Theft: Vice City.

Performed by Michael and Slash during the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years concerts, staged at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Sept. 7 & 10, 2001. Also performed by Destiny’s Child, wearing fedora hats and white gloves, as a medley with their own hit, Bootylicious, Beyonce Knowles, of Destiny’s Child, said, ‘When I wrote and produced that song, I totally had Michael Jackson in mind. I was just feeling Michael - he taught us so much.’

Michael’s passing inspired LL Cool J to re-envision the song as Billie Jean Dream. ‘After hearing the tragic news of Michael Jackson’s death,’ said LL Cool J, ‘the lyrics for the Billie Jean remix came to me in a dream. Michael was one of my childhood idols and has always been a great inspiration to me.’

Michael look-a-like danced to Billie Jean & Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, as a tribute to Michael, at Madonna’s concert at the O2 Arena, London, on July 4, 2009. Madonna told the audience Michael was ‘one of the greatest artists the world has ever known, Michael Jackson - long live the King!’

Billie Jean ♫ 2008
Re-working of the above song with Kanye West, recorded for Thriller 25, released in Feb. 2008.
This version used the original album version of the song, with the vocals time-stretched and slowed down.

~ 7th Song ~
♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

♫ Human Nature ♫

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

Written by Steve Porcaro and John Bettis.

Human Nature is a soft rock confection with a Michael vocal so shimmering and fluttery it seems to evaporate as you listen to it.
Porcaro recorded a rough demo on a cassette, which fellow Toto band David Paitch put three songs on for Quincy to listen to, as possibles for Thriller. Quincy didn’t like Paitch’s songs, but he did like the rough demo of Human Nature at the end of the tape, and asked if he could use it. ‘I had written the song for my daughter Heather,’ said Porcaro. ‘Something had happened at school and it just inspired me. I wrote the song while we (Toto) were mixing Africa, and I was just tinkering with it on the piano. I had written the lyrics, which were the same verse, I was singing over and over again - I had the “why, why” chorus, with the slap echo.’

Last song selected for Thriller - it ousted Carousel from the final track listing.

Released as a single in most countries, but not the UK, where it was the B-side of Leave Me Alone. Charted at No. 7 on the Hot 100 and No. 27 on the R&B singles chart in the States.

Official Versions: ♫ Album Version ♫ Single Edit #1 ♫ Alternate Version ♫ Single Edit #2 ♫

Live performance by Michael at his Dangerous Tour concert in Bucharest, Romania, on Oct. 1, 1992, featured on the DVD released as part of his box-set, The Ultimate Collection, issued in Nov. 2004.

Performed by John Mayer at the ‘A Celebration of the Life of Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009’ memorial concert at the Staples Center on July 7, 2009.

~ 8th Song ~
♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

♫ P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) ♫

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

Song originally written by Michael with Greg Phillinganes, but totally re-done to a more up-tempo beat by Quincy Jones and James Ingram. Recorded by Michael for his album, Thriller.

P.Y.T. is an electro-funk finger-snapper, polished to a smooth veneer.

Sisters Janet and LaToya were the ‘pretty young things’ singing ‘na na na’ back at Michael.

Charted at No. 10 on the Hot 100 and No. 46 on the R&B singles chart in the States, and No. 11 in the UK.

Michael’s sixth Top 10 hit on the Hot 100 from six releases from Thriller - a new record from one album.

Official Versions: ♫ Album Version ♫ Demo Version ♫

Demo, recorded between Apr. and Oct. 1982, included on Michael’s box-set, The Ultimate Collection, issued in Nov. 2004.

P.Y.T. ♫ 2008

Re-working of the above song included on the album, Thriller 25, released in Feb. 2008.
This new remix featured old vocals by Michael, taken from the original demo, as released on The Ultimate Collection box-set.

~ 9th Song ~
♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

♫ The Lady In My Life ♫

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

Rod Temperton , soft ballad, song Michael recorded for his album, Thriller.

Lyrics to an extra, unreleased verse appeared on the sleeve of original pressings of Thriller.

Cited by Michael as one of the most difficult tracks to cut for the album. ‘We were used to doing a lot of takes, in order to get a vocal as nearly perfect as possible, but Quincy wasn’t satisfied with my work on that song, even after literally dozens of takes,’ said Michael. ‘Finally, he took me aside late one session, and told me he wanted me to beg. That’s what he said - he wanted me to go back to the studio and literally beg for it. So I went back in and had them turn off the studio lights, and close the curtain between the studio and the control room, so I wouldn’t feel self-conscious. Q started the tape and I begged - the result is what you hear in the grooves.’

Included on a single for the first time when it featured on the UK release of Liberian Girl.

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

~ In Closing ~

From Bruce Swedien, Michael’s Recording Engineer:

With the phenomenon of Michael Jackson’s incredible performances and compositions, and Quincy’s impeccable musical taste and direction, all I had to do was use my imagination and paint the widest sonic canvasses of my life. Thriller encouraged people to get out of the video arcades and into the record stores and buy records again, in large numbers, as well.
I think probably the truth in the explanation is the fact that music is organic in the human psyche. Music, and the images that it conjures in the imagination, is the oldest, wildest and richest video game in humanity. Quality music, we found, could be much more important to us than trendy video images and sounds. I think the musical and technical quality, coupled with the incredible musical depth of Thriller, made it a seminal event in the history of recorded music. We, in the industry, have a tendency to think of success in popular recorded music, only in terms of units sold and sales grosses. Indeed, the units sold and the legendary sales figures of Thriller were ultimately the greatest possible mandate of a music-loving public.
I am sure, in years to come, historians will say that Thriller was definitely as big or bigger a success musically and artistically as it was financially. I absolutely love Off The Wall, but Thriller took us to another level: A whole new place in recorded popular music! For that reason, Thriller will always have a very special place in my heart.

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

♥ ♫ ♪ In Loving Memory Of Michael Joseph Jackson ♥ 1958 ~ FOREVER ♪ ♫ ♥

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

♥ L.O.V.E. you Michael ♥

Love You ALL, Carmen ☼

♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥

~ Coming Soon ~ ♫ BAD Tribute Three ♫

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

Comments (12)



Lovely photos, thanks for sharing Carmen ♥


Bumping to the top.

a must read for everyone

Thank you Carmen ♥

Hi jaxlangy,
You have made my day....put a smile on my face.!!! Thankx Smiling
You're so welcome my friend. I'm so happy that you want to learn more about Michael's Music.
I too love to find out all the insight into his amazing creativity. I also love the behind the scenes info between Michael and his Recording Engineer ~ Bruce Swedien. They were the ultimate team.!
Bruce had a great talent to take Michael's beautiful music and his angelic voice and make sure it sounded the best it could be on the albums.

BAD Tribute Three ♪ The Era and The Album.....
The only thing you will find on the forum is a Preview Post about this Tribute.
I was not able to enter the whole BAD Tribute because it has too many links included in it. It has 101 video links and over 90 photo links. It is really long too as I covered the entire Era from July 1987 to May 1990 and then the Album - all 11 songs.
I will be able to send a copy of the whole BAD Tribute to you in a PM message. ok..
I hope you enjoy it and always....keep Michaeling.....♪
Love, Carmen ☼

Michael ♥ Forever the KING ♫ ♪


♫ Thriller Mega Video Mix ♫



So much information, have added Tribute One and Tribute Two to my favourites, will now look for Tribute Three.

This is why I joined the Forum, I wanted more information about Michael's music.

Thank you ForeverMichaelJFan

I found out the video I had placed into my Tribute for BEAT IT was no longer working....so I just replaced it . Now it'll play.
Michael ♥ Forever the KING ♫ ♪

Aw, thank you Carmen ♥♥♥♥ I'm very much looking forward to Bad as it was probably the best era for when Michael embarked on his official solo global tour to coincide with the album. I'm so excited about it too as it was a musical advancement not just from Thriller but Michael took the technology and sounds to a new level before anyone else cared to experiment with. Michael was definitely ahead of his time - and everyone else, that's for sure ♪♫.

Who's Bad? Eye-wink

♫ All Time Greatest Album The One and Only Thriller ♫

Hi Dorita ♥,
I'm so glad you loved this Tribute. You said it girl...this album will never be topped by anyone...on so many levels. The music, the videos, the awards, all of Michael's vast creativity will never be matched by anyone. I love that fact..!!!
I can't wait for BAD either girl... I'm beyond excited as I'm working on it as we speak.
I love you too girl and thankx for your compliments and for taking your time too, to make a reply into each one of the posts in all the forums. {{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}} go out to you big time...!!!!!!!

Hi Erin ♥,
I'm doing pretty good my friend. I hope you are doing ok. I agree with you on that....there will never be another album like Thriller EVER. !!! Thankx for taking the time to read this and for your sweet words. You gotta love all that Michael achieved with this album. He deserved every one of the awards he received. He's Forever THE KING.
Love and hugs, Carmen ♥

We ALL Love you Michael sooooo much and thank you for ALL the music you've given us...!!!!!


How are you doing? I hope you are well. This is truly amazing. There will probably never be another album like this in the music industry.

Erin Smith

Carmen, this is just simply amazing! I couldn't put it down! What a brilliant assessment and surmation of the greatest selling album of all time (which will never EVER be dismantled chartwise).

This was definitely my era and to which I gradually built my fandom, idolisation and admiration for Michael from his artistry firstly right through to the person beneath the music icon.

I love it! You'll give Molly Meldrum a run for his money, that's for sure. lol lol lol Bring on Bad! I can't wait! Smiling Smiling Smiling Smiling

I love you Carmen, sterling job, girl! Smiling ♫♪♪♫