Pop-Up Video: Say, Say, Say (1983)

Say Say Say
Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
Album: Pipes of Peace
B-side: Ode to a Koala Bear
Released: October 3, 1983
Genre: Post-disco, funk-pop
Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson

"Say Say Say," written by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson,  was a Number 1 hit in the United States and reached Number 2 in the United Kingdom. Billboard magazine listed it as the 50th biggest hit of all time. In a Rolling Stone readers poll, it was voted the 9th best collaboration.

Say, Say, Say (1983)

Jackson called McCartney on Christmas Day of 1980 about recording a collaboration. He flew to England in the autumn of 1981 to tape at George Martin's AIR Studios. In April 1982, McCartney went to Los Angeles and recorded two more duets with Jackson: "The Girl Is Mine" and "The Man."  They also finished "Say Say Say" and shot the video for it.

Paul McCartney's Pipes of Peace album cover art

"The Girl Is Mine" was the first single released from Jackson's Thriller album. "Say Say Say" and "The Man" appeared a year later on McCartney's Pipes of Peace. When "Say Say Say" went to Number 1 on December 10, 1983, it gave Michael Jackson his seventh Top 10 single 1983.
Micael Jackson's Thriller album cover art

Three topped the US music chart: this song, "Billie Jean," and "Beat It." "Say Say Say" held the Number 1 spot for six weeks, breaking a record until then held jointly by The Beatles and Elvis Presley. It kept another "Say" song - "Say It Isn't So" by Hall & Oates - out of the top spot.

Say, Say, Say (2015)

In 2015, Paul McCartney released a new version of "Say Say Say" from a special edition issue of his Pipes Of Peace album. It was remixed by Steve Orchard and Mark "Spike" Stent. Vocal roles were reversed. Jackson sings the parts McCartney had in the original, and vice versa, for much of the song. Orchard said of the remix:

"Paul remembered that there were two unused lead vocal performances by Michael and himself. We rearranged the vocal sequence and inverted the original performance so that Michael opened the first verse instead of Paul to give the song a different take to the original version."

A new video was also made; this one was directed and choreographed by Ryan Heffington, famous for his work on Sia's "Elastic Heart" and "Chandelier" videos. The updated clip lacks a storyline, with various young people doing modern dance routines.


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