The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Monday Music...and some info

Hey y'all,

    My apologies for not posting in 6 days......I have been soo busy I was unable to.  We went camping this past weekend for the Order of the Arrow Ordeal.  My son was one of several kids from his troop that were nominated to go,  I was very proud.  I spent the entire weekend working and the internet is spotty normally down there on the best of days but it was down so I was unable to post.  We came back from camping Sunday early afternoon, and I immediately unloaded the gear, then switched vehicles to my bike and took her to a friends house that has a bike lift so I can do a complete service.  I did that then headed to the church to do the Financial Peace university by Dave Ramsey.  By the time it was done, I was home and going to bed because I get up early in the A.M to go to work,  Monday I got home kinda late, and slept in the recliner before Monday Scout meeting.  I could have blogged .....or took a nap.  Well my eyelids won.  

    I decided to go with Michael Jackson "Beat it".  I remember when this song came out.  It rocked, Like I said, I liked Michael Jackson before he got weird.  I definitely did not like his later stuff.  I will also add ""Weird Al" Yankovic version to this blog segment.

"Beat It" was composed by Michael Jackson for his Thriller album. Producer Quincy Jones had wanted to include a rock 'n' roll song in the vein of the Knack's "My Sharona", though Jackson reportedly had never previously shown an interest in the genre. Jackson later said of "Beat It", "I wanted to write a song, the type of song that I would buy if I were to buy a rock song... That is how I approached it and I wanted the children to really enjoy it—the school children as well as the college students." Upon hearing the first recorded vocals, Jones stated that it was exactly what he was looking for.The song begins with seven distinct synthesizer notes played on the Synclavier digital synthesizer. While Tom Bahler is credited with Synclavier performance on the song, the intro is taken note for note from a demo LP released the year before, called "The Incredible Sounds of Synclavier II" first published in 1981 by Denny Jaeger Creative Services, Inc and sold by New England Digital, makers of the Synclavier.

Eddie Van Halen, lead guitarist of hard rock band Van Halen, was asked to add a guitar solo.When initially contacted by Jones, Van Halen thought he was receiving a prank call. Having established that the call was genuine, Van Halen recorded his guitar solo free of any charge. "I did it as a favor", the musician later said. "I was a complete fool, according to the rest of the band, our manager and everyone else. I was not used. I knew what I was doing – I don't do something unless I want to do it." Van Halen recorded his contribution following Jones and Jackson arriving at the guitarist's house with a "skeleton version" of the song. Fellow guitarist Steve Lukather recalled, "Initially, we rocked it out as Eddie had played a good solo—but Quincy thought it was too tough. So I had to reduce the distorted guitar sound and that is what was released." The song was among the last four completed for Thriller; the others were "Human Nature", "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" and "The Lady in My Life".
On the record, right before Van Halen's guitar solo begins, a noise is heard that sounds like somebody knocking at a door. It is reported that the knock was a person walking into Eddie's recording studio. Another story has claimed that the sound was simply the musician knocking on his own guitar. The sound, however, is that of Jackson knocking on a drum case, as he is credited in the album's liner notes. The lyrics of "Beat It" are about defeat and courage, and have been described as a "sad commentary on human nature". The line "don't be a macho man" is said to express Jackson's dislike of violence, whilst also referring to the childhood abuse he faced at the hands of his father Joseph. The song is played in the key of D-sharp minor at a moderately fast tempo of 139 beats per minute, making it one of Jackson's fastest songs. In the song, Jackson's vocal range is A♯3 to C♯5.
Drums on the song were played by Toto co-founder Jeff Porcaro.
A remix of "2 Bad", is featured on Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix containing a sample of "Beat It" as well as a rap by John Forté and guitar solo by Wyclef Jean.

"Beat It" was released on February 14, 1983, following the successful chart performances of "The Girl Is Mine" and "Billie Jean". Frank DiLeo, the vice president of Epic Records, convinced Jackson to release "Beat It" whilst "Billie Jean" was heading towards No. 1. Dileo, who would later become the singer's manager, predicted that both singles would remain in the Top 10 at the same time. "Billie Jean" remained atop the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, before being toppled by "Come On Eileen". The Dexys Midnight Runners' song stayed at No. 1 for a single week, before Jackson reclaimed the position with "Beat It".
"Billie Jean" and "Beat It" occupied Top 5 positions at the same time, a feat matched by very few artists. The single remained at the top of the Hot 100 for a total of three weeks. The song also charted at No. 1 on the US R&B singles chart and No. 14 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart in the US. Billboard ranked it at the No. 5 song for 1983. "Beat It" also claimed the top spot in Spain and The Netherlands, reached No. 3 in the UK, the Top 20 in Austria, Norway, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland, No. 31 in Denmark and No. 47 in France.
In a Rolling Stone review, Christopher Connelly describes "Beat It" as the best song on Thriller, adding that it "ain't no disco AOR track". He notes of the "nifty dance song", "Jackson's voice soars all over the melody, Eddie Van Halen checks in with a blistering guitar solo, you could build a convention center on the backbeat". Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine states that the song is both "tough" and "scared". Robert Christgau claimed that the song, in which Eddie Van Halen "wends his night in the service of antimacho", is the "triumph and the thriller". Slant Magazine observed that the song was an "uncharacteristic dalliance with the rock idiom". Stylus expressed amazement that Van Halen performed a rock guitar solo on a R&B record. The track also won praise from Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, who stated that the song was "rambunctious"
"Beat It" has been recognized with several awards. At the 1984 Grammy Awards, the song earned Jackson two of a record-eight awards: Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The track won the Billboard Music Award for favorite dance/disco 12" LP in 1983.The single was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a few months after its release, for shipments of at least one million units. In 1989, the standard format single was re-certified platinum by the RIAA, based on the revised sales level of one million units for platinum singles. The total number of digital sales in the US, as of September 2010, stands at 1,649,000.

The music video for "Beat It" helped establish Jackson as an international pop icon. The video was Jackson's first treatment of black youth and the streets. Both "Beat It" and "Thriller" are notable for their "mass choreography" of synchronized dancers, a Jackson trademark.
The video, which cost Jackson $150,000 to create after CBS refused to finance it, was filmed on Los Angeles' Skid Row—mainly on locations on East 5th Street—around March 9, 1983. To add authenticity to the production but also to foster peace between them, Jackson had the idea to cast members of rival Los Angeles street gangs Crips and Bloods. In addition to around 80 genuine gang members,the video, which is noted for opening up many job opportunities for dancers in the US, also featured 18 professional dancers and four breakdancers. Besides Jackson, Peters and Vincent Paterson, the cast included Michael DeLorenzo, Stoney Jackson, Tracii Guns, Tony Fields, Peter Tramm, Rick Stone, and Cheryl Song.
The video was written and directed by Bob Giraldi, produced by Antony Payne and Mary M. Ensign through production company GASP. "Beat It" is the second video released for the Thriller album. Productions, and choreographed by Michael Peters who also performed, alongside Vincent Paterson, as one of the two lead dancers. Despite some sources claiming otherwise, Jackson was involved in creating some parts of the choreography. Jackson asked Giraldi, at the time already an established commercial director but who had never directed a music video,to come up with a concept for the "Beat It" video because he really liked a commercial Giraldi had directed for WLS-TV in Chicago about a married couple of two elderly blind people who instead of running from a run-down neighborhood all the other white people had fled from, chose to stay and throw a block party for all the young children in the area. Contrary to popular belief, the concept of the video was not based on the Broadway musical West Side Story; in reality Giraldi drew inspiration from his growing up in Paterson, New Jersey.
The video had its world premiere on MTV during prime time on March 31, 1983 though it should be noted that neither Beat It nor Billie Jean was, as is often claimed, the first music video by an African-American artist to be played on MTV. Soon after its premiere the video was also running on other video programs including BET's Video Soul, SuperStation WTBS's Night Tracks, and NBC's Friday Night Videos. In fact, Beat It was the first video shown on the latter's first ever telecast on July 29, 1983.
The video opens with the news of a fight circulating at a diner. This scene repeats itself at a pool hall, where gang members arrive via foot, forklift, and out of sewers, while the video's titular song begins to play. The camera cuts to a scene of Jackson lying on a bed, revealing he's the one singing contemplating the senseless violence. The singer notices rival gangs and leaves. Michael Jackson dons a red leather J. Parks brand jacket, and dances his way towards the fight through the diner and pool hall. A knife fight is taking place between the two gang leaders in a warehouse. They dance battle for an interlude of music until M arrives; the singer breaks up the fight and launches into a dance routine. The video ends with the gang members joining him in the dance, agreeing that violence is not the solution to their problems.
The video received recognition through numerous awards. The American Music Awards named the short film their Favorite Pop/Rock Video and their Favorite Soul Video. The Black Gold Awards honored Jackson with the Best Video Performance award. The Billboard Video Awards recognised the video with 7 awards; Best Overall Video Clip, Best Performance by a Male Artist, Best Use of Video to Enhance a Song, Best Use of Video to Enhance an Artist's Image, Best Choreography, Best Overall Video and Best Dance/Disco 12". The short film was ranked by Rolling Stone as the No. 1 video, in both their critic's and reader's poll. The video was later inducted into the Music Video Producer's Hall of Fame.
The music video of the song appears on the video albums: Video Greatest Hits - HIStory, HIStory on Film, Volume II, Number Ones, on the bonus DVD of Thriller 25 and Michael Jackson's Vision.

"Eat It" is a 1984 song by comedy music artist "Weird Al" Yankovic. It is a parody of "Beat It" by Michael Jackson. The track was both a commercial and critical success, earning Yankovic a Grammy Award.
According to Yankovic, when he presented his lyrics to Jackson for review, he didn't know what kind of reaction he'd get. Jackson allegedly thought it was amusing, and agreed to allow the parody. On October 19, 1989, the RIAA certified "Eat It" as a gold single.

 The video for "Eat It" is styled as a shot-for-shot remake of Jackson's video for "Beat It", but with elements being parodied in various silly ways. For example, one man grabs his girlfriend by the head and swings her back to kiss her, and her head comes off; two rival gang members brandish a spoon and fork at one another during the song's bridge, then begin to fight over a rubber chicken as the solo guitarist's instrument explodes in his hands.

    Here is a side by side shot of both video's


  1. Congrats to your kiddo. That is a BIG deal! You know, the only dance move I had to learn at that time was the moon walk. I can still do it. I have no other moves.

  2. Eddie said he was out shopping shortly after the song's release, went in a record store, and as he was browsing overheard some young people nearby discussing it. One man said, "Do you believe that guy trying so hard to play like Eddie Van Halen? What bullshit." Eddie tapped him on the shoulder and said, "I got news for you, man. That *is* me."

    How I would have loved to see the look on that guy's face.