Stories in the Room: Michael Jackson's Thriller Album

mj_frenzy

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most of us were aware that Michael danced as he recorded. did you know that engineer Bruce swedien build a wooden platform in the booth for him to do so? Michael would dance in between takes in the lobby as well.
That is true, but there is an exception to that.

The only time that Michael Jackson did not dance in the booth (as he recorded his up-tempo songs) was during the 'Invincible' album recording sessions.

"For the first time working on any album, I put a halt to dancing" (Michael Jackson, 2001)
Michael recorded his vocals at night. according to his vocal coach Seth Riggs, the voice opens up more after the body has been in a variety of positions during the day.
Yet, he also used to record his vocals at noon, ignoring in that way Seth Riggs' advice.

"If his vocals were scheduled for noon, he was there at 10 am with his vocal coach Seth [Riggs], singing scales" (Brad Sundberg)
 

zinniabooklover

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Oh, that was fantastic! Just listened. Really enjoyed it. I'm not familiar with these guys so it was nice hearing these stories from a slightly different perspective. Once they hit their stride they did a really good job of painting a picture of what it was like working with Michael. Lovely!
 

laconcombremasque

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@zinniabooklover i found the video
Thank you ! Will watch for sure !
 

83magic

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That is true, but there is an exception to that.

The only time that Michael Jackson did not dance in the booth (as he recorded his up-tempo songs) was during the 'Invincible' album recording sessions.

"For the first time working on any album, I put a halt to dancing" (Michael Jackson, 2001)

Yet, he also used to record his vocals at noon, ignoring in that way Seth Riggs' advice.

"If his vocals were scheduled for noon, he was there at 10 am with his vocal coach Seth [Riggs], singing scales" (Brad Sundberg)
this is specifically about the ‘thriller’ sessions. the information provided by the people who were around to witness it, is correct.
 

83magic

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billie jean’
 

zinniabooklover

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billie jean’
This one was cute to watch. Thanks for posting. I love it when Anthony says, 'What were we thinking?' and Greg says, 'We weren't!'. Brilliant. :ROFLMAO:

@staywild23 - here's your reminder, as promised.

@MacMandy90 @wendijane

COMING SOON
Releases November 30, 2022

  • Stories in the Room: MICHAEL JACKSON's THRILLER ALBUM, is the first season of the podcast series where the musicians, engineers, and producers of iconic albums, share their making-of stories from the studio. In season one, join film composer Anthony Marinelli, who programmed synthesizers for 7 songs on Thriller, AND A&R veteran film producer Steven Ray who assisted Quincy Jones, and was there, every day, in the studio with Quincy and Michael. As we approach the 40th anniversary of the iconic Michael Jackson Thriller album, long time friends Marinelli and Ray re-unite the surviving participants from the album that speak directly from the heart about their shared camaraderie and experience. Much is known about the cultural phenomena that happened after the album's release, but these untold first-hand stories will illuminate the unexpected journey that led to these infectious melodies and beats hitting the streets. Season One guests: Greg Phillinganes, Steve Porcaro, The Waters Family, Paul Jackson Jr., Larry Williams, Matt Forger, Steve Lukather.
 

Fuzball

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The stream recording is now available on their instagram

 

zinniabooklover

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The stream recording is now available on their instagram

Fabulous!

At 2m 20s the 2 guys talk about who they are and their involvement in the project which I appreciated. I never heard of these guys before this thread and was still a bit hazy as to their place in the whole thing. So now I know!
 
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83magic

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I only just started listening. my question was the first one answered regarding, ‘wanna be startin’ somethin’.

honestly, I’m a little disappointed with the response. I knew that the chant was an interpolation of the song ‘soul makossa’, but I didn’t know it was outright taken.

this kind of ruins the magic for me. I guess I’m guilty of building a fantasy around something I love. I’m worried that the upcoming documentary will contain more of these revelations. michael’s not here to tell his side of the story, so I’ll never know what the truth is. I’m at a point where I would rather keep my memories and feelings intact, without delving beneath the surface.
 

zinniabooklover

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I only just started listening. my question was the first one answered regarding, ‘wanna be startin’ somethin’.

honestly, I’m a little disappointed with the response. I knew that the chant was an interpolation of the song ‘soul makossa’, but I didn’t know it was outright taken.
I don't even know what an 'interpolation' is, lol. But the 'mama se' bit of WBSS is certainly extremely similar to the relevant part of Manu Dibango's Soul Makossa. The original has a slightly different emphasis or a very slightly different pronunciation but there's no significant difference, imo. I'm not sure where Hugh Masekela fits in to the story. I haven't tried to dig into it. Afaik, there was some sort of financial settlement between Michael and Manu Dibango.
 
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DuranDuran

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I don't even know what an 'interpolation' is, lol.
An interpolation is like singing some part of a song in the melody of another song. It can be different lyrics or singing some of the original song lyrics in the new song. There's a lot of R&B & hip hop songs that have done this with I Like It by DeBarge. Or it can be using some of the music of another song. But it is replayed on the new song instead of sampled. The interpolation does not have to be used for the entire song, it can just be just one line. But like a sample, the interpolation has to have credit the original songwriters. Technically Rapper's Delight by Sugarhill Gang could be considered an interpolation. Because the music is replayed by the Sugarhill Records house band, it is not directly taken from the original Good Times record. I guess you could say it's a remake with different lyrics, lol. U Can't Touch This is taken directly from Superfreak, so it is a sample.
 

dethorro

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I only just started listening. my question was the first one answered regarding, ‘wanna be startin’ somethin’.

honestly, I’m a little disappointed with the response. I knew that the chant was an interpolation of the song ‘soul makossa’, but I didn’t know it was outright taken.

this kind of ruins the magic for me. I guess I’m guilty of building a fantasy around something I love. I’m worried that the upcoming documentary will contain more of these revelations. michael’s not here to tell his side of the story, so I’ll never know what the truth is. I’m at a point where I would rather keep my memories and feelings intact, without delving beneath the surface.
No need to get disappointed. It still counts as an interpolation as it is not identical to the original, neither in pitch nor in pronunciation.

There are quite a few songs Michael wrote which contain such interpolations. With regards to Startin’ Somethin’, the one at 0:59 is even more interesting.

 

zinniabooklover

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No need to get disappointed. It still counts as an interpolation as it is not identical to the original, neither in pitch nor in pronunciation.
Aha! Is *that* the difference between an interpolation and a sample? I have never been able to get my head around what the difference is but I think I am beginning to understand, lol.
 

dethorro

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Aha! Is *that* the difference between an interpolation and a sample? I have never been able to get my head around what the difference is but I think I am beginning to understand, lol.
Yeah. If you take a portion of a recording and use it in yours it’s a sample. If you re-record a melody from another recording yourself, it’s an interpolation.
 

zinniabooklover

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Yeah. If you take a portion of a recording and use it in yours it’s a sample. If you re-record a melody from another recording yourself, it’s an interpolation.
Finally! A simple, straightforward explanation. Thank you so much.

I get it now. I'm talking in general terms not specifically about WBSS. As far as that goes, I knew first time I heard the song where the 'mama se' chant came from even though, as you say, it's a little bit different. But I had no clue it was an interpolation. I mostly listen to rock and there's generally not loads of sampling going on there so it's not really on my radar.

Anyway, cheers!
 

zinniabooklover

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I thought the podcast was to be released yesterday? I can't find it...
Me neither. I don't wanna whine bc I really like what I've heard so far. But they are not making this as easy as it should be. Should be way quicker and easier to access this stuff.

Patience is not my virtue. I must try harder, lol.
 

zinniabooklover

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I thought the podcast was to be released yesterday? I can't find it...


Looks like the premiere has been delayed. December 22, apparently. This trailer is a bit cheesy but, whatever. I'm still looking forward to hearing it. I always wanna hear anything Matt Forger has to say about working with Michael.
 

zinniabooklover

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Haven't listened to the whole thing yet. Interview with Anthony Marinelli so it's quite technical as far as I can tell.

approx 50m - 53m, nice little account of Thriller the song. Nothing really new, I suppose, but I enjoyed it.
 

Victorious

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my main takeaways were:

there were no live drums used on ‘wanna be startin’ somethin’, ‘p.y.t (pretty young thing), or ‘thriller’. this makes me appreciate those songs even more. ‘thriller’ was made just on the cusp of the electronic wave. the album has that perfect balance between natural and synthesised sounds.
It makes me wonder what a final version of 'Behind The Mask' would have sounded like on 'Thriller'. The demo sounds identical to YMO's original: an electronic masterpiece; I can imagine Quincy would have injected some 'soul/jazz/funk into it though..
 
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