29 years to this day, the former number-one hit collaboration “Say, Say, Say” by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson was released as a 45 single with the B Side “Ode To A Koala Bear.” This was the second duet single by McCartney and Jackson. Their song “The Girl Is Mine” was released a year prior on Jackson’s Thriller album. ”Say Say Say,” as well as “The Man” which also featured MJ, would be released on McCartney’s Pipes Of Peace album.
“Say Say Say” was recorded at Abbey Road Studios between May and September 1981. As the story goes, McCartney ended up playing several instruments on the track, including percussion, synthesizer, guitar and bass.
That same year, Jackson and McCartney’s masterpiece became number #1 on the American Singles Chart for six straight weeks starting in December. It was also known for being ranked as Michael’s Top Performing Billboard Hot 100 single according to Billboard.com.
The 19th century themed video for “Say, Say, Say” was directed by Bob Giraldi who had previously directed Jackson’s video for “Beat It.” He cast familiar faces such as McCartney’s wife Linda , as well as Michael’s sister LaToya. In addition, the video also features a cameo by actor Harry Dean Stanton who plays a pool shark that eventually gets hustled by Macca.
The video for the song revolves around two con artists – “Mac and Jack” (McCartney & Jackson) – traveling the states to sell their product “Wonder Potion,” which claims to have the ingredients “guaranteed to give you the strength of a raging bull.”
In early 2006, “Say Say Say” was covered by the Dutch techno group Hi-Tack and shot up to number 4 on the UK singles Chart.
–Vincent Roszkowski, WCBS-FM/NYC
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