This story originally appeared in the October 2009 special issue dedicated to Michael Jackson. Maybe it was a sign when the speakers in the studio burst into flames. It was late October 1982, and a full battalion of musicians and technicians were working around the clock at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, putting the finishing touches on Michael Jackson’s new album. The disc was the highly anticipated follow-up to 1979’s Off the Wall, which had established him as a solo superstar. In fact, the first single from the new disc had already been released – “The Girl Is Mine,” a winsome duet with Paul McCartney – adding pressure to wrap things up quickly. And the song Jackson and crew were completing would prove to be the album’s most ambitious, radical achievement, the cut that ended up breaking the project wide open. “When we were finishing ‘Beat It,’ we had three studios going,” recalls Quincy Jones, who was producing the sessions. “We had Eddie Van Halen in one; Michael was in another, singing a part through a cardboard tube; and we were mixing in another. We were working five nights and five days, with no sleep. And at one point,… Read full this story
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‘Thriller’: How Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones Made the Bestselling Album of All Time have 288 words, post on www.rollingstone.com at October 30, 2009. This is cached page on CuBird. If you want remove this page, please contact us.