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Michael Jackson – Say Say Say – A timeless collaboration

Michael Jackson – Say Say Say – A timeless collaboration

“Say Say Say” is more than just a song; it’s a timeless collaboration between two musical legends, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. Released in October 1983 as the lead single from McCartney’s album “Pipes of Peace,” the song quickly skyrocketed to success, becoming Jackson’s seventh top-ten hit in under a year.

The chemistry between McCartney and Jackson is evident throughout the song, with their distinct voices blending harmoniously over a backdrop of pop melodies. Produced by George Martin, the track was recorded during the production of McCartney’s album “Tug of War” and showcased the artistic prowess of both musicians.

The song’s success was unprecedented, reaching number one in the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, and numerous other countries. In the UK, it peaked at number two but soon climbed to the top after strategic promotion, including a live television interview by McCartney. “Say Say Say” even secured its place as the 41st biggest hit of all time on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 2013, as well as being voted the ninth-best collaboration of all time in a Rolling Stone readers’ poll.

The single’s music video, directed by Bob Giraldi, was influential and featured McCartney and Jackson as a pair of con artists named “Mac and Jack.” The video perfectly complemented the song’s catchy lyrics and infectious beat, captivating audiences worldwide.

Beyond the catchy melody and toe-tapping rhythm, “Say Say Say” holds a deeper significance in the history of music. According to McCartney’s biographer Ray Coleman, most of the song’s lyrics were written by Jackson and given to McCartney, solidifying their artistic bond and friendship.

McCartney played several instruments on the track, including percussion, synthesizer, and guitar, while the harmonica was skillfully handled by Chris Smith. The recording, engineered by former Beatles sound engineer Geoff Emerick, was completed in February 1983 after refinements and overdubs at Cherokee Studios in California.

In “Moonwalk,” Jackson’s autobiography, he spoke fondly of the collaboration, expressing how it boosted his confidence as an artist. He praised McCartney for treating him as an equal in the studio, showing that they worked together as true partners.

“Say Say Say” is a pop song played in the key of B♭ minor, with a dance beat that keeps listeners grooving to this day. The lyrics reflect a heartfelt attempt to “win back” a girl’s affection, making it a “pleading kind of love song” according to Deseret News.

The song’s impact has not faded over the years, as evidenced by its 2015 version. In this new release, McCartney and Jackson’s vocal roles are reversed, offering a fresh take on the classic hit.

Fast forward to March 31, 2023, when Norwegian DJ Kygo paid tribute to this timeless collaboration by releasing a contemporary remake of “Say Say Say.” The remastered version, produced by Kygo and George Martin, once again celebrates the magic of McCartney and Jackson’s musical genius.

“Say Say Say” will forever remain a beloved classic, a true masterpiece showcasing the immense talent and creativity of two musical icons. Its enchanting melody and heartfelt lyrics continue to captivate audiences across generations, making it an enduring anthem of love and artistic camaraderie. Whether you’re a longtime fan or discovering the song for the first time, “Say Say Say” is a must-listen that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on your heart and soul.

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