Paul McCartney Debuts Michael Jackson Vocals in New “Say Say Say” Video

Paul McCartney and a still from his new "Say Say Say" video
Paul McCartney and a still from his new "Say Say Say" video, Photo: Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images Entertainment/Thinkstock

Amagansett’s resident musical icon Paul McCartney released a 2015 remix video of his 1983 hit single with Michael Jackson, “Say Say Say” on Facebook Tuesday, October 6 and everywhere else on Wednesday.

The song comes from McCartney’s new reissue of his classic 1980s album Pipes of Peace, which was released on October 2 along with a reissue of 1981’s Tug of War, both including unreleased demos and outtakes, as part of the ongoing Paul McCartney Archive Collection featuring the rock legend’s solo music and with his post-Beatles band Wings.

This version of “Say Say Say” was created after McCartney was listening to the remix by DJ John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez and recalled he had some unused vocals by him and the late Jackson. “He said we should try putting the unused lead vocals onto the Jellybean mix,” Steve Orchard, Chief Engineer at McCartney’s studio in Sussex, explains on “The Jellybean mix is a 12″ and is much longer than the original version. It was originally made by making edit sections of the song with different instruments being muted to make up new sections and then spliced together.”

McCartney and Orchard then rearranged the vocal sequence and flipped the original performance to have Jackson open the first verse instead of McCartney—creating a whole new take on the original hit song. “Then we added additional backing vocal parts from the original multi-track to further enhance the instrumental mix,” Orchard continues. “Paul then said it would be great to get Spike Stent to mix the new version of the track to give the song a new vibe.”

The video, which embodies the positive energy of the song and is directed by the choreographer and performance artist Ryan Heffington, follows a teenage boy through his Los Angeles neighborhood. As he encounters new people, he also inspires fun dance sequences along the way.

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