Thursday, October 25, 2012

theLEGEND of BILLIE JEAN: Covers of Michael Jackson's Masterpiece

On the 1983 TV special 25 Years Of Motown, Michael Jackson debut "The Moonwalk" & his "infamous" white glove on stage — modified golf glove w/ costume jewelry & rhinestones.

"Billie Jean" was a #1 "world-wide" 1983 "smash-hit" R&B/Pop single by the Greatest Recording Artist in the Music Industry — Michael Jackson. It was written & composed by Jackson and co-produced by Quincy Jones for MJ's sixth studio album, Thriller (1983). The music industry considered the single to be One of the Most Revolutionary Songs of All-Times — certified platinum, winning numerous awards including two Grammy Awards & an American Music Award — garnering global success and critical-acclaim. 

As legend has it...Jackson said that Quincy Jones wanted to change the title to "Not My Lover" because he thought it would be confused w/ Billie Jean King, the tennis star. The two music masterminds had a falling-out for several days and the story went a little something like this...

...originally, word had it that Quincy Jones or "Q" (music industry's "world renown" genius/mogul; who has a "mind-boggling" record: 79 Grammy Award nominations w/ 27 Grammy Awards –including a Grammy Legend Award) for some reason, disliked the song — citing the track wasn't good enough to be a part of the album...unimaginably saying that one of thee most recognizable intros ever...the 29-second beginning bass-line was too long and should be cut-short. 

The "epic" collaboration of Michael Jackson & Quincy Jones garnered a total of
8 Grammys for the best-selling album of all-time, Thriller

After resolving their differences, the two legends got back into the studio and Jones had Jackson sing his vocal over-dubs through a six-foot-long cardboard tube. Incredibly, Jackson's entire lead vocals was said to have been performed in one take; which could have been credited from receiving vocal training every morning through-out the production of the song.

Many "world-class" studio-session musicians took part in the historical production — Jones told
Grammy-award winning audio engineer/mixer Bruce Swedian to create a drum sound that no one had ever heard before (thus creating a 'custom-made' fabric-cushion to cover the kick-drum; in order to help isolate the sound of both the bass-drum & mic...protecting it from unwanted noises)  — Louis "Thunder Thumbs" Johnson presented and played his whole arsenal of basses w/ Michael Jackson ultimately going w/ Yamaha bass — Keyboardist Greg Phillinganes stated, "Billie Jean' is hot on every level. It's hot rhythmically. It's hot sonically, because the instrumentation is so minimal, you can really hear everything. It's hot melodically. It's hot lyrically. It's hot vocally. It affects you physically, emotionally, even spiritually."

[Note: "Billie Jean" is well-known for its and Jackson's "signature" vocal hiccups and introduced those unique adlibs along w/ the "out-of-this-world" dance moves & "flashy" fashion-style...Bruce Swedien was known to mix songs in one take but Michael Jackson was such a perfectionist Bruce ended-up mixing the "classic" 91-times by before it was finalized...and after all that was said and done, Quincy & the production team chose Mix #2.]

The REAL Story on "Billie Jean" Bruce Swedian (Grammy-award winning audio engineer) 

Thriller was released by Epic Records, on Tuesday, November 30th, 1982. Mix #2 of "Billie Jean" helped change the course of music history influencing future chart-topping artists & revolutionize MTV and music videos. The following is a cover of "Bille Jean" by several multi-platinum selling artists:

"Billie Jean (Cover)" – Chris Cornell (singer from Audioslave & Soundgarden)

"Billie Jean (Cover)" –Coldplay

"Billie Jean (Cover)" –The Civil Wars (Later with Jools Holland)

Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which has defended its best-selling album status in the Guinness Book Of World Records for more than 25 years, gave birth to perhaps the Greatest Song Ever Created. The powerful & soulful  rendition proves without a doubt that Michael Jackson (R.I.P.) and his "classic, epic & timeless" masterpiece will continue to live on through-out music history.

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