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Forums > Music: Non-Prince > A Technical Analysis On How Michael Jackson Wrote A Song
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Reply #30 posted 09/27/18 2:34am

modified

bboy87 said:

Personal tastes aside, while other producers, arrangers, and writers played a significant part (as they do for all artists) ...



Not for Prince...







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Reply #31 posted 09/27/18 10:22am

bboy87

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modified said:

bboy87 said:

Personal tastes aside, while other producers, arrangers, and writers played a significant part (as they do for all artists) ...



Not for Prince...







Prince prided himself on doing everything and being in control of it all. Not all artists want or have the need to do everything like that and are fine with collaboration and working with others.. Sometimes, maybe it would been a good thing if Prince had used an outside producer

Not everyone is one man band.

[Edited 9/27/18 10:26am]

"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."
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Reply #32 posted 09/27/18 10:51am

Derek1984

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modified said:

Effin millennials and their clueless explaineritis. This "analysis" is an embarrassment to white people. Reminds me of Patrick Bateman's music reviews in American Psycho.

Michael Jackson is massively overrated as an artist. He was an OK singer and a mediocre songwriter - Beat It for example sucks, whiny, childish, like many of his songs.

His producers are the real talents and visionaries behind his music; the Mizell Brothers for the early Jackson 5 hits, Quincy Jones for his 1980s heyday, several top producers Teddy Riley and Rodney Jerkins for the occassional half-decent track in the 1990s.

[Edited 9/11/18 10:55am]

I guess he got lucky with producers in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and some of the 00's... Just amazing luck.

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Reply #33 posted 09/27/18 11:14am

Cinny

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Derek1984 said:

modified said:

Effin millennials and their clueless explaineritis. This "analysis" is an embarrassment to white people. Reminds me of Patrick Bateman's music reviews in American Psycho.

Michael Jackson is massively overrated as an artist. He was an OK singer and a mediocre songwriter - Beat It for example sucks, whiny, childish, like many of his songs.

His producers are the real talents and visionaries behind his music; the Mizell Brothers for the early Jackson 5 hits, Quincy Jones for his 1980s heyday, several top producers Teddy Riley and Rodney Jerkins for the occassional half-decent track in the 1990s.

I guess he got lucky with producers in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and some of the 00's... Just amazing luck.


I love LOVE those producers' other work, but it is funny how their biggest works were with Michael's writing.

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Reply #34 posted 09/27/18 11:47am

bboy87

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Cinny said:

Derek1984 said:

I guess he got lucky with producers in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and some of the 00's... Just amazing luck.


I love LOVE those producers' other work, but it is funny how their biggest works were with Michael's writing.

I think with Q and others, people think of producers in the modern sense. Guys like Quincy, Arif Mardin, Jerry Wexler, and George Martin weren't beat makers.

They did quality control, kept things on budget and on time, brought in the musicians and engineers that would give the best results, staying on theme, and choosing the best material

I remember hearing someone say if this was today, Rod Temperton would be credited as co-producer on Thriller since he was participated in choosing the songs and lead some of the recording sessions on the songs he wrote

"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."
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Reply #35 posted 09/27/18 3:05pm

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Derek1984 said:


I guess he got lucky with producers in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and some of the 00's... Just amazing luck.




The producers of the classic first Jackson 5 singles were the legendary Mizell Brothers, who went on to make many other great records. MJ had no influence in selecting them. From day one MJ had people and money behind him with interest in building up his career. Charles Stepney for example was also lined up to produce him before he died. Google these people.







Written, produced, played by Mizell Brothers:






Another Mizell Brothers production:




[Edited 9/27/18 15:50pm]
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Reply #36 posted 09/27/18 8:45pm

bboy87

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modified said:

Derek1984 said:


I guess he got lucky with producers in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and some of the 00's... Just amazing luck.




The producers of the classic first Jackson 5 singles were the legendary Mizell Brothers, who went on to make many other great records. MJ had no influence in selecting them. From day one MJ had people and money behind him with interest in building up his career. Charles Stepney for example was also lined up to produce him before he died. Google these people.







Written, produced, played by Mizell Brothers:






Another Mizell Brothers production:




[Edited 9/27/18 15:50pm]


Nobody disputes that great songwriters and producers like The Mizells, Hal Davis, Bobby Taylor, Freddie Perren and others played a big role in MJ's stardom but having great people behind you doesn't mean you'll gain success or staying power (in Jackson's case, being a performer for 45 years) Those people deserve credit, especially since they were working with (in Taylor and The Mizells' case) a 9-10 year old.

Jackson's greatest success came when he had more creative and business control over his career. It was why he and his brothers left Motown. It was he that fought to bring in Quincy Jones to be his producer, He wrote and composed a big portion of his biggest solo hits. He had a huge say in his adult career. Disputing his own contributions to his work isn't valid, in my opinion

EVERY major artist has money and influence behind them. That's why artists sign record deals. Doesn't mean they'll become superstars or legends.
"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."
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Reply #37 posted 09/27/18 10:50pm

MotownSubdivis
ion

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modified said:



bboy87 said:


Personal tastes aside, while other producers, arrangers, and writers played a significant part (as they do for all artists) ...






Not for Prince...










Why does every artist have to be like Prince?
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Reply #38 posted 09/27/18 11:41pm

bboy87

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MotownSubdivision said:

modified said:



Not for Prince...







Why does every artist have to be like Prince?

Exactly

Producers, songwriters, arrangers and such exist for a reason. Not everyone produces music in a self contained vaccum, and not everyone wants to. It also doesn't discount or discredit people and their talents/skills who have songwriters and don't produce themselves

"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."
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Reply #39 posted 09/28/18 2:04am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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bboy87 said:



MotownSubdivision said:


modified said:





Not for Prince...












Why does every artist have to be like Prince?

Exactly




Producers, songwriters, arrangers and such exist for a reason. Not everyone produces music in a self contained vaccum, and not everyone wants to. It also doesn't discount or discredit people and their talents/skills who have songwriters and don't produce themselves

Bam.

If everybody was a one-man band like Prince was then Prince himself wouldn't be that special. Would you really want every artist to have the exact same do-it-all skillset or just the same skillset? That would be a boring music scene. I'd hate it if the 80's were like that since that would kill some of the variety that was so prevalent at the time. Even today, I wouldn't want everyone to be a one-person squad.

Michael still did much more than what many on here want to admit. Prince being the multi-talented genius he was takes absolutely nothing away from MJ; just like how MJ being the far more popular of the 2 takes nothing away from Prince and his talents. I know this is a Prince fansite and people are entitled to their opinions even if they're contrary to mine but some of you come off as insecure stans when you have to break down one artist just to build Prince up. If anything, you're doing P a disservice.
[Edited 9/28/18 6:40am]
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Reply #40 posted 09/29/18 11:48pm

Free2BMe

MotownSubdivision said:

bboy87 said:



MotownSubdivision said:


modified said:





Not for Prince...












Why does every artist have to be like Prince?

Exactly




Producers, songwriters, arrangers and such exist for a reason. Not everyone produces music in a self contained vaccum, and not everyone wants to. It also doesn't discount or discredit people and their talents/skills who have songwriters and don't produce themselves

Bam.

If everybody was a one-man band like Prince was then Prince himself wouldn't be that special. Would you really want every artist to have the exact same do-it-all skillset or just the same skillset? That would be a boring music scene. I'd hate it if the 80's were like that since that would kill some of the variety that was so prevalent at the time. Even today, I wouldn't want everyone to be a one-person squad.

Michael still did much more than what many on here want to admit. Prince being the multi-talented genius he was takes absolutely nothing away from MJ; just like how MJ being the Dr far more popular of the 2 takes nothing away from Prince and his talents. I know this is a Prince fansite and people are entitled to their opinions even if they're contrary to mine but some of you come off as insecure stans when you have to break down one artist just to build Prince up. If anything, you're doing P a disservice.
[Edited 9/28/18 6:40am]


Thank You. I have never understood the need to tear down one artist, in order to build another one up.
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Reply #41 posted 10/01/18 11:34am

Cinny

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I know producers like Quincy and Nile Rodgers have the capability to translate the song into lead sheets for different instruments (strings, horns). But that doesn't mean it was written on those instruments, if Mike sang it to them to communicate the idea.

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Reply #42 posted 10/01/18 12:46pm

jaawwnn

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That video though. Man, its interesting and all but a real exercise in missing the point.
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Reply #43 posted 10/02/18 10:32am

modified

Cinny said:

I know producers like Quincy and Nile Rodgers have the capability to translate the song into lead sheets for different instruments (strings, horns). But that doesn't mean it was written on those instruments, if Mike sang it to them to communicate the idea.

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Reply #44 posted 10/03/18 7:17am

Cinny

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modified said:

Cinny said:

I know producers like Quincy and Nile Rodgers have the capability to translate the song into lead sheets for different instruments (strings, horns). But that doesn't mean it was written on those instruments, if Mike sang it to them to communicate the idea.

We've all heard the demo for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", the meat of the song is there.

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Reply #45 posted 10/03/18 11:18am

bboy87

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Cinny said:

modified said:

We've all heard the demo for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", the meat of the song is there.

Exactly. Quincy added parts that were essential to the final version but anybody who has heard the demo can hear the song was already there. Same goes for the demos to

Billie Jean

Beat It

Working Day and Night

The Girl Is Mine (although the demo is superior to the album version, imo)

That's a traditional producer's job.

Picking the right songs, bringing in the right musicians and staff, and adding elements to a song to get the best results.

The multitracks to Don't Stop Til You Get Enough are circulating online. Without the strings, it's still a great song, but WITH them? It takes to another level

[Edited 10/3/18 12:38pm]

[Edited 10/3/18 12:40pm]

"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."
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Reply #46 posted 10/03/18 11:21am

bboy87

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"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."
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Reply #47 posted 10/03/18 11:25am

bboy87

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https://www.makingmichael.co.uk/single-post/2016/04/19/EXTRACT-Inside-the-Bad-sessions-and-the-split-with-Quincy-Jones

https://www.makingmichael.co.uk/single-post/2016/11/21/Full-interview-with-longtime-Michael-Jackson-collaborator-and-friend-Matt-Forger

"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."
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Reply #48 posted 10/07/18 1:44am

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Reply #49 posted 10/07/18 4:41am

deebee

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Cinny said:

We've all heard the demo for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", the meat of the song is there.

That was an interesting thing about hearing that home demo when they released it: the core of the groove is all there, but so too are lots of details like the guitar/synth (?) riff that recurs between the vocal phrases, and the one that closes out the song. Fair play to Quincy for just fleshing out what was there and not trying to mess around with it too much.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #50 posted 10/07/18 4:57am

deebee

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The analysis in the clip seems a bit flat-footed, but it's symptomatic of trying to describe popular music -particularly styles like funk - using the language of Western music theory. Not to say that that's of no use, but you have to tweak the toolkit a little. I often find that such analyses simply redescribe the composition in a more abstract language, rather than really explaining anything about how or why it works.

Still, I hadn't paid attention to the tritone/augmented 4th in the melody before. He'd have been banned for using the 'Devil's interval' by the Church, if he'd lived in Renaissance Europe (and that story hadn't been made up). razz
https://www.npr.org/2017/...s-interval

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #51 posted 10/07/18 4:53pm

bboy87

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deebee said:

Cinny said:

We've all heard the demo for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", the meat of the song is there.

That was an interesting thing about hearing that home demo when they released it: the core of the groove is all there, but so too are lots of details like the guitar/synth (?) riff that recurs between the vocal phrases, and the one that closes out the song. Fair play to Quincy for just fleshing out what was there and not trying to mess around with it too much.

A lot of MJ's demos are like that. Getting certain parts down to the point because that was his way of having more input on the songs. He'd do a rough demo, then a home studio demo then others after.

The demo of The Girl Is Mine is so fleshed out, I prefer it over the album version

"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."
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Reply #52 posted 10/07/18 5:07pm

tump

Always loved the tracks Bill Bottrell worked on. Laughed when I found out about L.T.B. - the rapper on Black Or White https://www.vice.com/amp/...-white-213

The making of Black Or White
https://www.soundonsound....k-or-white
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Reply #53 posted 10/07/18 7:50pm

bboy87

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tump said:

Always loved the tracks Bill Bottrell worked on. Laughed when I found out about L.T.B. - the rapper on Black Or White https://www.vice.com/amp/...-white-213 The making of Black Or White https://www.soundonsound....k-or-white

Bill recently did a seminar with Michael's associate engineer, Brad Sundberg who tours with a seminar about working with MJ.

I didn't know how involved Bottrell was in the 1983-1986 Hayvenhurst sessions with MJ and John Barnes until a few years ago when I read his posts on Gearslutz. Also didn't know he was fired from the project after they got to Westlake and at the behest of the team there

"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."
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