Thursday, May 12, 2016

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" by Michael Jackson

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1647
Date:  10/08/1983
Debut:  75
Peak:  10
Weeks:  16
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  After setting a chart record by getting five Top 10 singles from one album, Jackson released this sixth single from his mega-hit LP Thriller. Amazingly, the song extended the record, but just barely. Topping out at #10 on the Pop chart, the single wasn't as popular on other formats. It peaked at a weak #46 at R&B while only getting to #37 at AC. Many folks thought this had to be the end of the singles from Thriller, but Jackson had one more trick up his sleeve that would close out a thrilling run of singles.

ReduxReview:  I think Quincy Jones' call on Jackson's own version of this song (see below) was correct. Jackson's original was a little weak and played like a lesser Stevie Wonder tune. Jones' version is more upbeat and fit in with the direction of the album. However, I do have to say it still is one of my least favorite tracks from Thriller. I don't dislike it as much as I did back then, but it just pales in comparison to absolute classics like "Billie Jean" or "Beat It."

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song is completely different from what Jackson had initially intended. Jackson and songwriter/keyboardist Greg Phillenganes first wrote a song under this title and recorded a demo. It was passed on to producer Quincy Jones for Thriller consideration, but Jones didn't really like the song and nixed it. However, Jones did like the title and he used it for the basis of a brand new song that he wrote with singer James Ingram. This one hit the right notes and made it to the album. Jackson's original demo for his version of the song saw the light of day on the 2004 Jackson box set The Ultimate Collection.


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