Listen to Michael Jackson Demo!
This pretty killer 'Beat It' vocal demo by Michael Jackson offers some keyhole insight into how the late King of Pop wrote and arranged songs.
It's pretty much the song a cappella, as Jackson sings without the accompaniment of instruments.
He didn't have verse lyrics yet and he was just singing the harmonies and melody. He then sang the lyrics for the chorus.
It's all the more compelling, since Epic is releasing 'Xscape,' an album of contemporized Jackson tracks, eight which the public has never heard.
Try not to think too hard about it. Just enjoy it, because it's pretty rad. And it makes us miss the talent that once was.
Jackson's unorthodox but effective songwriting and arranging technique was explored in a GQ profile, which revealed that "Michael has always made melodies in his head, little riffs and beats, but that isn’t the same…. Some of the things Michael hears in his head he exports to another instrument, to the piano (which he plays not well but passably) or to the bass. The melody and a few percussive elements remain with his vocal. The rest he assembles around it.
"He has his brothers and sisters with him. He conducts. His art will later depend on his ability to stay in touch with that childlike inner instrument, keeping near enough to himself to hear his own melodic promptings. If you’ve listened to toddlers making up songs, the things they invent are often bafflingly catchy and ingenious. They compose to biorhythms somehow."
That explanation, combined with the actual 'Beat It' demo, gave us chills, in addition to providing some insight into a musical genius.