New video launched today, Tuesday October 6th, exclusively on Paul McCartney’s Facebook page HERE celebrates special revamped track featuring previously unheard vocals by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. Voices of Paul and Michael swap positions in remix by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent. “Say Say Say” is without doubt one of the all-time greatest musical collaborations in popular music. It is one of three tracks on which Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson worked together and was their biggest commercial success, topping the US Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks upon release in 1983 and going on to become one of the highest selling singles of all time.
The groundbreaking partnership of two of the biggest stars in the music world began with a phone call which Paul received out of the blue after Michael got hold of his personal number and called, suggesting they should collaborate.
Listen to PAUL McCARTNEY & MICHAEL JACKSON “Say Say Say” NEW 2015 REMIX
Paul remembers: “He (Michael) rang me up, and I didn’t believe it was him, so I said “who’s this?” He said ‘Michael’. ‘Are you sure… Michael who?!’. Anyway, we had a joke about that kind of thing, and he said, ‘yeah, I’d like to come over and write with you’, so I said great. So he came over to England and we just sat down. I thought, well, it’s not easy to just sit down with anyone you don’t know and just write, start songwriting because you’ve got to get the chemistry right. But I thought, it is Michael – you know, I’ll just try! If it doesn’t work, we’ll just throw it away …”
Clearly, the magic worked between them and “Say Say Say” resonated around the world. Indeed, such was the excitement about the duo that even the TV premiere of the video – in which they play a pair of travelling con merchants in the Wild West – was an appointment-to-view event in many countries. And now, 32 years after the original release, fans will have a fresh rush of excitement with a completely new mix of the track, prominently featuring alternative vocals from Paul and the late Michael which have never before seen the light of day.
This version came about as Paul worked on the next stage of his extensive reissue collection – the Grammy Award-winning Paul McCartney Archive Series – earlier this year. While working on the remasters for 1983’s Pipes Of Peace album and accompanying bonus material at Abbey Road Studios in January 2015, Paul was listening to an instrumental remix of “Say Say Say” by DJ John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez when he recalled there were unused vocals.
The original multi-track masters were located and Paul’s Chief Engineer at his studio in Sussex, Steve Orchard, along with Paul fused the unheard recordings to the Jellybean mix. The extended track – which stretches to seven minutes compared to the original single’s 3 minutes 56 seconds – was then given a further polish with a remix by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, whose extensive resume’ includes working with Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Coldplay.
Orchard says: “Paul remembered that there were two unused lead vocal performances by Michael and himself. He said we should try putting the unused lead vocals onto the Jellybean mix. 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.
“I needed to edit and arrange the alternative lead vocals to fit the 12″ format. We then 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. Then we added additional backing vocal parts from the original multi-track to further enhance the instrumental mix. 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.”
And to celebrate the remix of “Say Say Say,” a new upbeat dance video has been created and was launched exclusively on Facebook today (Tuesday October 6th). Directed by the choreographer and performance artist Ryan Heffington – recently noted for his choreography work on Sia’s “Chandelier” promo – and filmed in LA, the video follows a teenage boy on a journey through his neighborhood. The boy’s sense of optimism is infectious as he brings joy and stunning dance sequences to those he encounters on his travels.
The track is part of the Pipes Of Peace 2-CD Special Edition, which is made up of the original album plus a nine-track bonus disc including outtakes, demos and other gems. The Deluxe Edition also includes a further DVD which features single promos and unreleased clips from Paul’s film archives. In addition there is a 2-LP vinyl edition as well as standard and hi-res digital versions. All formats are out now.