During the run of Thriller, Paul McCartney released Pipes Of Peace in 1983. As the first single, he released a song he co-wrote and performed with Michael Jackson entitled “Say Say Say.” Even he too, tried to ride the Michael Jackson wave. And it’s this song that is the Morning Groove for today.
Of the three songs during the period from Off The Wall through the run of Thriller in which McCartney and Jackson collaborated, it is this one that I like the most. “Girlfriend” (written by McCartney and sung by Jackson) and “The Girl Is Mine” (written by Jackson and sung by both) are both too cutesy for my liking—not that either are bad songs. I just happen to prefer this pairing of songwriters, singers and song better. Plus, the two of them seem to be having a good time, both in the video and the song as well.
However, things between the two would become frosty, and I’m not sure the relationship was ever repaired. McCartney advised Jackson about the importance of owning publishing of songs, and when ATV Music Publishing (which owned the rights to many of the songs of the Beatles) came up for sale, Jackson purchased them. McCartney admitted that he felt undercut by Jackson’s move. Their friendship and musical partnership was effectively over.
But this song and era recall a time when the biggest pop star in the land and the legend from the most revered rock band of all time joined forces to create music that the masses could all enjoy. Jackson, in a run that would see seven songs from Thriller make the pop top ten, added this smash to a great 1983. “Say Say Say” would top the pop chart for six weeks, while settling in at #2 on the R&B list for four weeks.
Share your impressions of today’s Morning Groove in the comments. And as always, thanks for reading and listening.