thriller poll: could ‘baby be mine’ & ‘the lady in my life’ have been hit singles?

thriller poll: could ‘baby be mine’ & ‘the lady in my life’ have been hit singles?


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83magic

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based on the snippet from the ‘thriller 40’ documentary, Michael wanted every song from the album to be released as a single.

there’s no doubt that the ‘thriller’ short film extended the life and sales of the album. what impact do you think ‘baby be mine’ and ‘the lady in my life’ would have had, if any?

would they have benefited from visuals or performances? or were they strong enough in their own right to thrive on radio play alone? was nine singles overexposure? or could Michael release any and everything during his peak?

let me know what you think 🙂
 

wonderouzmj

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I think he should've released 2 more videos. Lady in my life & definitely pyt! They were definitely big hits & still gets alot of requests
 

filmandmusic

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Back then it would have been hits for sure. As singles 8 and 9 they probably wouldn’t breach top 10 but top 20 for sure. With videos or with a cool performance at an award show higher peaks could have been reached.
I wish the album got extended into 1985 but perhaps sales started dropping (dramatically) so the idea was dropped.

But remember even thriller with the most iconic video in history wasn’t able to go nr 1 because it was the last single release. Without a video I think the song would be top 20 only. That is how it works.
Still no 7th single in history equalled thriller’s succes ( it was top 5 in the US and top 10 all over Europe) this bever happened before or after.

If thriller had been released after beat it it would have been his 3rd straight nr 1 hit, no doubt.

Say say say got to nr 1 because it wasn’t on the thriller album, tell me I’m not dreaming was a massive radio hit but the record company didn’t release it as a single. It would have cracked the top 10 too, who knows how high…. And of course state of shock became the Jacksons biggest hit since dancing machine. The hunger for MJ was unprecedented around 1983-1985
 

staywild23

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A live, televised performance of The Lady in my Life would have ushered millions of teenage girls through puberty overnight. I wasn't even born yet, but I'm quite sure the spiritual possibility of me at the time would agree.
 

Nite Line

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I think The Lady In My Life could have been a top 10 hit, if it had a music video. I think Baby Be Mine could have been a top 20 hit.

I so wish Michael released all the songs on Thriller as single as he wanted to. Both TLINL and BBM are bangers from Thriller that go under the radar.
 
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DuranDuran

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Never heard it on the radio. I did hear baby be mine this week though which was a first!
R&B radio played both songs then and now. The Lady In My Life has also been a long time staple on the Quiet Storm radio program. There was a similar sounding song to Baby Be Mine by Manhattan Transfer called Spice Of Life, which was a single and Stevie Wonder plays harmonica on it. Spice Of Life had a remix too.
Second thought. It would be difficulty to cut a radio edit for TLIML as it would most certainly mean cutting away the outro which is its selling point imo
During the 1970s & 1980s R&B radio would play long songs, they even played the full 15 minutes of Rapper's Delight. It was Top 40 that would usually only play the short versions of songs, which was the version on the 45 single. R&B stations would play the album version or a remix.
 

filmandmusic

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@DuranDuran I'm obviously talking about regular radio, not specialized genre radios. Also in Europe there isn't really anything like r&b radio or adult contemporary it is usually all very broad. These days there are online genre radios for sure but their reach is limited.
Spice of life rocks! Love that sound, also love the brothers Johnson albums who sound a lot like off the wall.

@staywild23 agreed if this had happened I might have turned gay
 

wonderouzmj

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@DuranDuran I'm obviously talking about regular radio, not specialized genre radios. Also in Europe there isn't really anything like r&b radio or adult contemporary it is usually all very broad. These days there are online genre radios for sure but their reach is limited.
Spice of life rocks! Love that sound, also love the brothers Johnson albums who sound a lot like off the wall.

@staywild23 agreed if this had happened I might have turned gay
What is regular radio? Every station is different genres. I'm from America so idk how European radio works so that might be why it's confusing
 

AlwaysThere

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I don’t think they have the star power that the other tracks on the album do. They’re the very definition of filler material (which is definitely an unpopular opinion, but they have the least replay value).
 

DuranDuran

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What is regular radio? Every station is different genres. I'm from America so idk how European radio works so that might be why it's confusing
Right now, my local stations (not subscription or internet radio) include Top 40 pop, country classics, contemporary country, Tejano, Spanish pop, salsa/tropical, Indian music (not Native American, but like Bollywood), gospel, talk radio (on AM), sports, soul oldies, Top 40 oldies (1970s to early 2000s), contemporary Christian, Christian sermons, Mexican gospel, hip hop/R&B, Adult R&B, alternative rock, Radio Disney, classic rock, Vietnamese music/talk, Chinese music, all news, etc. The adult contemporary station only plays Christmas songs 24/7 during November & December of every year.
 

Licinus

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I don’t think they have the star power that the other tracks on the album do. They’re the very definition of filler material (which is definitely an unpopular opinion, but they have the least replay value).
That’s an odd definition.
 

filmandmusic

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What is regular radio? Every station is different genres. I'm from America so idk how European radio works so that might be why it's confusing
In Belgium we have about 7 or 8 main radio stations. These are the radios you hear in supermarkets, on the work floor, in the car etc. They are all quite broad. Radio 1 gives lots of news and interviews and ignores current hits and opt for a more alternative public, radio 2 is the most popular and plays classics and new hits and all the others are basically a variation of radio 2 (some play more new hits, some play older hits, some play slightly more alternative pop).
We don't have an r&b station, we do have one classical station but nobody listens to that and a station for really old people who enjoy the music that was popular during and in between the wars and there is a station that plays house and trance music.
These last 3 are the only "specialized" stations we have.

Of course on the internet there are tons more stations. for example a 60s station, a 70s station etc. I have no clue if a lot of people listen to those.

Those 6 or 7 regular stations have a reach of over 90% of the population and the difference between them is minimal.

So our radio landscape is completely different than the American one.
 

filmandmusic

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Something tells me people's opinions on a lot of songs would be different if they had opted for example for a BBM single instead of a PYT single.
All songs on the album are worthy singles and they would all receive a lot of airplay.
If PYT wasn't a single lots of people would call it filler as well.

Songs like Chicago were not even picked for any album yet it is now streaming very well while MJ probably didn't deem it good enough.

Maybe in the 50s and 60s filler tracks were common as singles releases were bigger sellers than albums but especially since thriller there is no such thing as "filler" anymore. All tracks are carefully picked, especially in Michael's case because if it was up to him he's release very track as a single.

I never understood the concept of a filler song. As if an artist is content with releasing a half arsed song.
 

DuranDuran

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How often have you heard this one this xmas season?😁
I haven't really listened to it this year other than flipping through the stations, and maybe stopping if it's something I like. Some stores will have the station playing though. But in past few years they usually play the Ariana Grande version more than Wham!'s, but they play the original too.
I never understood the concept of a filler song.
A "filler" song was something from when 33 RPM LP albums first came out, which was around 1949. Before that, there were no albums, everything was 78s, which is basically a single. 78s broke real easily, because they were made from shellac or something. I think radio people or the press came up with the "filler" label. Most acts in the early days of the LP still did not get a full album, it was mainly singles only. If a single or 2 or 3 happened to get really popular, the label would have the act record a bunch of songs really quickly to get an album out there to capitalize on the success. The album was built around the single. The extra tracks were said to be songs just to fill up space. Other than maybe jazz, soundtrack, & classical albums, until around Sgt. Pepper by The Beatles, what people consider an "album" today was not really a thing as far as mainstream popular music went, like having a theme. It was usually just a collection of songs. Or they were built around some kind of craze like The Twist, surf rock, or Beatle soundalike bands. Many acts during that era (and before) recorded the same songs, later often called "standards" or "Great American Songbook" or "Tin Pan Alley". I think Yesterday by The Beatles has over 2,000 different cover recordings. I Heard It Through The Grapevine was a hit for Gladys Knight & The Pips and then a year later by Marvin Gaye. The longer version by CCR was popular around the same time too, but it was never released as a single. Also in the USA, The Beatles albums were mostly different from the original British versions and they also had albums that were exclusive to the US like Hey Jude. Capitol Records just put random Beatles songs together and made an album out of them.
 
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