Music

In Case You Missed It: Michael Jackson – Pretty Young Thing (Demo) (U-Tern edit)

by Yvette Travillian

Michael Jackson – Pretty Young Thing (Demo) (U-Tern edit)

Usually there’s a pretty valid reason why a ‘demo’ version of a song doesn’t make the final cut of an album and therefore remains just a demo. But after hearing this demo version of Michael Jackson’s “Pretty Young Thing”, I couldn’t help but think of what a tough of decision it must of been to decided on a final edited version.

Not to take anything away from the final version – which was the sixth single off of Michael”s super- mega smash album Thriller and also featured background vocals by his sisters LaToya and Janet. Without a doubt it is a track that remains one of my favorite to this day, but when I finally heard the demo version I was instantly re-smittenĀ  by Michael’s voice, lyrics and steeze and amazed that this treasure for the most part still remains hidden.

The demo version of “Pretty Young Thing” was co-written by Michael Jackson and a musician named Greg Phillinganes who was discovered by Stevie Wonder and has worked (and toured) with artists such as Patti LaBelle, Anita Baker, Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton (to name a few). The version you hear on Thriller was produced by James Ingram and of course Quincy Jones and it was re-done due to Michael and Quincy’s decision to find a more up-tempo beat and lyrics. A move that is understandable after hearing the demo which sounds like something that would’ve been more appropriate for Off the Wall.

‘Demo P.Y.T’ opens with a funky ‘quiet storm’- like percussion and then it gently eases into the wonderful sound of MJ’s impeccably arranged vocals. You know the MJ vocals I’m talking about. The sweet and delicate ones that give you goose bumps. The version that you can peep below includes very light editing from Vancouver DJ, U-Tern. Very light meaning he simply tweaked it to make the sound quality better. It is a gem of a song that should be included in every MJ fans playlist. Check it out in case you missed it.