"Beat It" is a song by singer Michael Jackson. It was produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. It is on his sixth album, Thriller (1982). It was released as the album's third single on February 14, 1983. There is also a music video for the song. The song has a guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen. He chose to make the guitar solo without getting paid. It got the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1984.
|Single by Michael Jackson|
|from the album Thriller|
|Released||February 14, 1983|
|Studio||Westlake (Los Angeles, California)|
|Michael Jackson singles chronology|
|"Beat It" at YouTube|
"Beat It" was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. Billboard said it was one of the top five songs of 1983. The song is certified platinum by the RIAA. Over 11 million copies of the song have been sold. It is one of the best-selling singles ever made. "Beat It" was number one on music charts in many countries, such as Spain, Canada, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.
The song also has a music video. It shows Jackson stopping two gangs from fighting each other, and then dancing with them. The video was very popular. It helped make Jackson a pop icon. Many people say the song and video were important for pop culture.
Jackson made a demo version of the song at his house. Other people that made music helped him make it. The drum sounds for the song were made on a drum machine. The bass guitar sounds for the song were made using a bass guitar and a keyboard. This style of making bass guitar sounds was used in the main song. Jermaine Jackson has said the song was inspired by things that happened when the Jackson family lived in Gary, Indiana.
Guitar solo change
Jackson and Jones asked Eddie Van Halen, the main guitar player for Van Halen, to make a guitar solo for the song. Van Halen recorded the guitar solo for free. He said that he did it "as a favor". The rest of the band thought he should have asked for money, but he did not want to. Van Halen recorded the guitar solo after Jones and Jackson came to his house. Two versions of the guitar solo were made. In 2015, Van Halen said he also changed the song so that his solo was in the key of E.
When Van Halen was recording the solo, a loudspeaker started burning. Because of this, one of the people recording the music said "This must be really good!" Van Halen later said that working with Jackson was one of the best moments in his career.
Track listing change
"Beat It" was released as a single. It was released on 7-inch and 12-inch vinyl records.
|7" vinyl single – US (Epic 34-03759)|
|2.||"Get on the Floor"||4:44|
|12" vinyl single – UK (Epic TA 3258)|
|2.||"Burn This Disco Out"||3:38|
|3.||"The Jacksons – Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" (live version)||4:22|
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