Michael Jackson's "Beat It" Demo

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jmattbassplaya, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
  2. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    That's cool.
  3. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Holy, Holy Wow. Unbelievable. The man was a visionary…and having worked as an arranger in studio settings, around this time and a bit afterwards, I'm so blown away by the artist coming in with such a fully-realized vision, with such minimal resources.

    Incredible…In all of my years on Talkbass, this might be the single hippest thing I've seen or heard.

    Thank You, OP!
  4. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    Cool. Kinda like those Joe Meek demos out there but with singing talent.
  5. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 Few people realize how great a song writer he was they just see him as a singing and dancing icon he was an absolute beast in the studio of course it helped to have another genius Quincy Jones along side to help take what was in his head to another level.
  6. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    Whatevs. He's worthless, he didn't sing the Van Halen solo to go over it!

    (just kidding, I think MJ was great)
  7. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    Great Demo of a Great Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Arranger
  8. davidhilton

    davidhilton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Actually I heard that he sang note for note what he wanted Eddie to play...he even hooked up a whammy bar to his voice.........:bag:
  9. "This Is It" made a believer out of me. What a talent, and what really impressed me was his leadership vis. working with the musicians, how respectful and courteous he was with them and how respected he was by them. The highlight of that film for me was when he was working with the guitarist (on Beat It), telling her "this is your place to shine!" - and she did!
  10. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    ^ That's what I was going to say. But the part where is working with the keyboardist really amazed me. It is clear that the guy had perfect pitch because he knew exactly what notes were being played. Wow.
  11. More evidence MJ was the Mozart of our lifetimes. Thanks for sharing! :)
  12. Good analogy! Mozart was led around to the courts of Europe by his father like a trained dog a lot like papa Jackson controlled the boys & their act in The 5 but probably to a more brutal extent. I think Mozart would've been the genius he became regardless of his father's controlling his early career. MJ's controlling father might be more likened to Beethoven's whose father tried to beat Mozart's abilities into him so he could showcase his son like Mozart's father to the extent that he would strike Beethoven's fingers with a stick when he made a mistake on the piano. One of the incredible things is that Beethoven continued on despite this treatment and became what he did. Not so sure if MJ would've became what he did w/o his dad's control on his early life. I think it's tragic (and ironic) that the price of papa J's influence on MJ gave us such an astounding talent but destroyed any chance of normalcy in his life & ultimately killed him.
  13. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    God, that's incredible. I heard the "Billie Jean" demo years ago, same thing. He sings the melody and harmonies, the beat boxes the drum part and then hums the bass line. On that recording, it sounds like it cuts off right as he's about to do the bass part too. What a genius he was.
  14. kikstand454

    kikstand454 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
  15. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    "As Jackson couldn’t fluently play any instruments...."

    That's too bad. He probably woulda been awesome at just about anything. Especially bass with that sense of rhythm he had.
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I sort of have the same reaction to a clip I saw on television awhile back of Bono and the Edge, when SPIDERMAN:BRING ON THE NIGHT was getting put together; they're in the theatre talking about the music with the MD for the band and it takes them about five minutes to talk their way around (sort of more open sound, but bluesy, but this more that etc etc etc) what turns out to be a dominant chord in second inversion.

    It's great that Michael was at a point in his career that paying for studio time to sing chord voicings note by note to his guitar player wasn't a financial burden. Somebody brought up Mozart, he could hear full symphonies complete in his head (wrote his first one when he was 8) AND score them out. So he didn't have to hire an orchestra and go around to each of the violinists and violists and cellists etc. and sing them their part until they had it memorized.
  17. I'm sure if MJ's dad had whipped and abused him into learning orchestration (instead of how to sing & dance), he would have been a prodigious arranger indeed!

    We know Mozart could score an entire symphony in his head, but could he moonwalk??
  18. Ha ha, more like minuetwalk. Thing about Mozart too, no alterations in his work, nothing scratched out, deleted, what he heard in his head and wrote - that was it, no alterations necessary.
  19. teleharmonium


    Dec 2, 2003
    I thought it was fairly impressive until he got to the full on harmony section at which point I was blown away.

    If he would have had a chance to learn theory and notation when he was growing up instead of having to be a child star 24/7, he would have been another Brian Wilson (which is intended as high praise if that's not obvious).
  20. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    He's always been one of my favorites. What a talent.