Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"The Girl Is Mine" by Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  1242
Date:  11/06/1982
Debut:  45
Peak:  2
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Jackson's disco-fueled 1979 LP "Off the Wall" was a major hit that established him as a solo superstar. It would take three years for him to follow-up the album and he did so with "Thriller," an album that Jackson and producer Quincy Jones worked and reworked in order to make it an absolute hit. To get the album off the ground, this duet with Paul McCartney was issued as the first single. It would be McCartney's second superstar duet of the year following the #1 "Ebony and Ivory" with Stevie Wonder. The radio-friendly, pop-oriented tune did very well hitting #1 at R&B and AC while spending three weeks at #2 on the pop chart. The song also got the two artists a Grammy nod for Best Pop Vocal, Duo or Group.

ReduxReview:  Looking back, it is hard to believe that this is the song that lead off "Thriller." Just from hearing this, who would have thought that the album would have become the biggest selling album in history to-date? Certainly not me. To be honest, I hated this song when it came out. I thought it was sappy, dorky, and a complete letdown. And let's not get started on the spoken word part...yeesh. Let's face it. When people think of "Thriller," most will never even bring up this tune. On a classic album loaded with classic songs, this one was the dog o' tha bunch. Doggone it you two and your fighting!

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Most critics will state that this song is one of the weakest tracks on "Thriller." So why was it the first single? A couple of reason have been called out. First, the attraction of a duet between the red-hot McCartney and Jackson would have gotten attention right away regardless if it was a single or not. Superstar duets were not as common then as they are now, so it would have received immediate airplay. The theory - get the song out there and capitalize on it before the moment passes. Second, it is truly a pop tune and folks have said that this was done purposely to attract a larger audience - meaning white listeners/record buyers. Pop radio at the time (and MTV) was still resistant to R&B with only a few artists able to break through. A pop song like this would certainly get more radio stations on board. Whatever the reasons, it worked and became a multi-format hit.


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