P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)

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"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Thriller
B-side"This Place Hotel" (UK) / "Workin' Day and Night"
ReleasedSeptember 19, 1983 (1983-09-19)
Format7" / 12"
Recorded1982
GenreR&B, post-disco, funk
Length3:58
LabelEpic
Writer(s)James Ingram
Quincy Jones
ProducerQuincy Jones
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Human Nature"
(1983)
"P. Y. T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
(1983)
"Say Say Say"
(1983)
Thriller track listing
"Human Nature"
(7)
"P. Y. T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
(8)
"The Lady in My Life"
(9)
 
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"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Thriller
B-side"This Place Hotel" (UK) / "Workin' Day and Night"
ReleasedSeptember 19, 1983 (1983-09-19)
Format7" / 12"
Recorded1982
GenreR&B, post-disco, funk
Length3:58
LabelEpic
Writer(s)James Ingram
Quincy Jones
ProducerQuincy Jones
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Human Nature"
(1983)
"P. Y. T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
(1983)
"Say Say Say"
(1983)
Thriller track listing
"Human Nature"
(7)
"P. Y. T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
(8)
"The Lady in My Life"
(9)

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It is the sixth single from Jackson's sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). The original demo version of the song was written by Jackson and Greg Phillinganes. Quincy Jones passed on the song itself but liked the title and, with James Ingram, fashioned a totally new song with that title.

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" was released on September 19, 1983, as the penultimate single from Thriller. The single charted at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 46 on the R&B singles chart, becoming the sixth Top 10 hit from the album. In the UK, the song reached a peak position of 11. The single was most successful in Belgium, charting within the Top 10 at number 6. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" has been covered and sampled by numerous artists, including Monica, Justin Guarini and Kanye West. The original demo was also remixed by The Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am for Thriller 25.

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" was never performed live by Jackson. In a rehearsal for the Dangerous World Tour, however, Jackson sang a small part of the demo version, describing it as "something I wrote that I haven't recorded yet."

Contents

Recording

James Ingram later described working with Jackson and Jones as being in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. "It's almost like I got the chance to go to Oz and Quincy was the Wizard of Oz and Michael Jackson was who he was dealing with in his world. Their work ethic is unbelievable."[1] He noted how Jones would fall asleep on the board, waking up to answer a question. "He works in the Alpha state a lot", Ingram added.[1] Two of Jackson's sisters, Janet and La Toya, provided backing vocals in the guise of the P.Y.T.s. The two sisters sang "na na na" back at their brother towards the end of the song.[2][3][4]

Release and reception

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" was released on September 19, 1983, as the penultimate single from Thriller. The single charted at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 46 on the R&B singles chart, becoming the sixth Top 10 hit from Thriller.[3][5] In the United Kingdom, the song reached a peak position of 11.[2] The song was most successful in Belgium, charting within the Top 10 at number 6.[2] The single was placed at number 14 in the Netherlands.[2][6] "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" charted at number 24 in Canada and peaked at number 51 in Germany.[2]

Response to the song was mixed. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic enjoyed the song, and thought that the song was "frizzy funk." [7] However, Rolling Stone reviewer Christopher Connelly, while discussing the album in a review, stated that the song "isn't up to the spunky character of the other tracks." Connelly mentioned that one of Jackson's weaknesses was "a tendency to go for the glitz," and cited the song as one example of this.[8] Davitt Sigerson, from the same magazine, also agreed with Connelly, calling the song one of Thriller's "forgettables".[9] Jon Pareles of The New York Times called the song "fluff", and believed that the other songs from the album were what made Thriller such a hit.[10] Tal Rosenberg of Stylus Magazine believed that the song was a "jazzy R&B number",[11] and Eric Henderson of the same magazine believed that the song was a "lush disco paradise."[12]

Cover versions and references to the song

Sampling

My first concert ever was the Bad tour. I was absolutely mesmerized. I've always been a fan of Michael's for the simple fact that what he's done no one else will really be able to do. And that's something that makes you legendary.

Monica[18]

P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008"
Song by Michael Jackson featuring will.i.am from the album Thriller 25
ReleasedFebruary 8, 2008
FormatCD, digital download
RecordedNovember 2007
GenreHip-hop, R&B
Length4:37
LabelEpic
WriterMichael Jackson
William Adams
Keith Harris
Greg Phillinganes
ProducerMichael Jackson
will.i.am
Thriller 25 track listing
"The Girl Is Mine 2008"
(11)
"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008"
(12)
"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008"
(13)

For Thriller 25, The Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am remixed the demo version of "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)".[23] The singer commented on Jackson and the project, "You always just dream of meeting him, let alone working with him. I wouldn't have believed it. I grew up in the projects in East Los Angeles and Thriller was filmed about two blocks from my house, but my mother was really strict and she wouldn't let me go to the factories—she didn't care who was filming a video there; but I'm on the 25th anniversary, 25 years later—that's pretty awesome."[1] Entitled "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008", the remix was well received by Rolling Stone. The publication described the track, along with "The Girl Is Mine 2008", as being one of the best songs on the album.[24] They noted that will.i.am "updates the songs' original sound to make them dancefloor-worthy twenty-five years after their release".[24]

Personnel

Track listing

45 RPM

A-Side

  1. P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing) - 3:58

B-Side

  1. Workin' Day and Night (Live-Jacksons) - 4:26

Disco Single

A-Side

  1. P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing) - 3:58

B-Side

  1. This Place Hotel - 4:41
  2. Thriller (Instrumental) - 5:56

Official Versions

Charts

Chart (1983)Peak
position
Australian Kent Music Report40[25]
Belgian Singles Chart6[2]
Canadian Singles Chart24[2]
Dutch Singles Chart14[6]
German Singles Chart51[2]
Holland Singles Chart14[2]
UK Singles Chart11[3]
U.S. Billboard Hot 10010[3]
U.S. R&B Singles Chart46[3]
Chart (2009)Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Digital Songs14[26]
UK Singles Chart98[27]

Footnotes

^ a: This demo, recorded between April and October 1982, was included on the compilation album Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection, issued in November 2004.[3][28][29]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Bennett, Joy (December 24, 2007). "Thrills to come: King of Pop teams up with Kanye, Akon, will.i.am. for remix of world's' best-selling album: is new CD coming next?". Jet. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-34135617_ITM. Retrieved May 3, 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Halstead (2003), p. 42
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Halstead (2007), p. 256
  4. ^ Lyle, Peter (December 5, 2007). "Michael Jackson's monster smash". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3669538/Michael-Jacksons-monster-smash.html. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ Yeany, Ron (February 10, 1984). "MJ breaks record with record and makes 25 million sales". The Daily Collegian. http://digitalnewspapers.libraries.psu.edu/Default/Skins/BasicArch/Client.asp?Skin=BasicArch&&AppName=2&enter=true&BaseHref=DCG/1984/02/10&EntityId=Ar02604. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "Dutch Singles Chart Archives". dutchcharts.nl. http://dutchcharts.nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Michael+Jackson&titel=P%2EY%2ET%2E+%28Pretty+Young+Thing%29&cat=s. Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  7. ^ "allmusic ((( Thriller > Overview )))". allmusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r10089. Retrieved 28 May 2009 (2009-05-28). 
  8. ^ Connelly, Christopher (28 January 1983 (1983-01-28)). "Michael Jackson: Thriller : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/michaeljackson/albums/album/303823/review/6067536/thriller. Retrieved 28 May 2009 (2009-05-28). 
  9. ^ Sigerson, Davitt (27 October 1987 (1987-10-27)). "Michael Jackson: Bad : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/259584/review/6067877/bad. Retrieved 28 May 2009 (2009-05-28). 
  10. ^ Pareles, Jon (3 September 1987 (1987-09-03)). "Critic's Notebook; How Good Is Jackson's 'Bad'?". The New York Times. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/259584/review/6067877/bad. Retrieved 28 May 2009 (2009-05-28). 
  11. ^ Rosenberg, Tal (19 June 2007 (2007-06-19)). "The Diamond: Michael Jackson - Thriller". Stylus Magazine. http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/diamond/michael-jackson-thriller.htm. Retrieved 28 May 2009 (2009-05-28). 
  12. ^ Henderson, Eric (18 October 2003). "Michael Jackson: Thriller". Stylus Magazine. http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/music_review.asp?ID=358. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  13. ^ Blay, Ryan (September 2, 2002). "Two compete on 'American Idol' for a record deal with RCA". Michigan Daily. https://www.michigandaily.com/print/36507. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  14. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (February 12, 2008). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' turns 25". The Baltimore Sun. http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/music/ny-etlede5572856feb12,0,3832309.story?page=1. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  15. ^ O'Neil, Luke (July 31, 2007). "If it fits in the mix, it works". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/ae/music/cd_reviews/articles/2007/07/31/if_it_fits_in_the_mix_it_works/. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  16. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/p.y.t.-pretty-young-thing/id416958764
  17. ^ http://idolator.com/5747641/‘glee’-covers-katy-perry-and-michael-jackson-for-valentine’s-day
  18. ^ a b Moss, Corey (July 3, 2002). "Monica's Next Album Showcases Her Newfound Potty Mouth". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1455920/20020702/monica.jhtml. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  19. ^ Saraceno, Christina (December 11, 2002). "Monica Eyes the Spotlight". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/monica/articles/story/5934131/monica_eyes_the_spotlight. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  20. ^ Reid, Shaheem (May 8, 2002). "Monica Brings New Perspective To Third Album". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1453841/20020507/index.jhtml?headlines=true. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  21. ^ Reid, Shaheem (May 5, 2003). "Memphis Bleek Gets Past Bleak Period, Now Has It M.A.D.E.". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1471696/20030505/story.jhtml. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  22. ^ Pattison, Louis (September 13, 2007). "Graduation review". NME. http://www.nme.com/reviews/8950. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  23. ^ "Kanye West, Akon, will.i.am for 'Thriller' reissue". NME. November 30, 2007. http://www.nme.com/news/nme/32881. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  24. ^ a b Kreps, Daniel (December 20, 2007). "The Thriller Remixes: Kanye, Akon, Will.i.am and Fergie Try to Top the Chipmunks' Beat It". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/12/20/the-thriller-remixes-kanye-akon-william-and-fergie-try-to-top-the-chipmunks-beat-it/. Retrieved May 3, 2009. [dead link]
  25. ^ Kent, David (2003). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  26. ^ "Week of July 11, 2009: Biggest Jump". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. http://www.billboard.com/charts/digital-songs#/charts/digital-songs?chartDate=2009-07-14&order=gainer. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  27. ^ "UK Singles Chart". The Official UK Charts Company. http://www.theofficialcharts.com/top40_singles.php. Retrieved 6 July 2009. [dead link]
  28. ^ Rashbaum, Alyssa (September 9, 2004). "Michael Jackson's Ultimate Box Set Has Demos, Hits, Live DVD". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1490867/09092004/jackson_michael.jhtml. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  29. ^ "CDs". The Washington Post. (December 10, 2004). http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51629-2004Dec9.html. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 

References