The Dells were an American R&B vocal group. Formed in high school in 1952 by founding members Marvin Junior, Verne Allison, Johnny Funches, Chuck Barksdale, Mickey and Lucius McGill, under the name the El-Rays, they released their first recording in 1954 and two years had their first R&B hit with "Oh What a Night". After disbanding due to a near-fatal car crash in 1958, the band reformed in 1960 with Funches being replaced by Johnny Carter; this lineup remained together until Carter's death in 2009. In 2004 The Dells were inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame; the group performed until illness forced longtime lead singer Marvin Junior and bass vocalist Chuck Barksdale into retirement, ending the group's 60-year run. The Dells grew up in Harvey and began singing together while attending Thornton Township High School. Forming in 1952 under the name the El-Rays, the group consisted of Marvin Junior, Mickey McGill, Lucius McGill, Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale, Johnny Funches.
Lucius soon left the group and the remaining quintet signed with Checker Records, releasing their first single, "Darling I Know," which flopped. In 1955, the group signed with Vee-Jay Records. In 1956, they recorded their first hit, "Oh, What a Night", which hit the Top 5 of the R&B singles chart, it sold over one million copies, was awarded a gold disc. The song is ranked #260 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In November 1958, the Dells suffered a car accident that left McGill in a hospital in Ohio for six months; the group temporarily disbanded and Barksdale sang as a member of Harvey Fuqua's spinoff Moonglows act and the Moonglows, which included a young Marvin Gaye. In 1961, the Dells auditioned for Dinah Washington. After Washington agreed to hire them, Johnny Funches left the group to take care of his family. Funches was replaced by Flamingos founding member Johnny Carter and sang background for Washington for two years. In 1966, they were hired to open for Ray Charles, only to be fired after a performance resulted in several standing ovations.
The group would sing background for Barbara Lewis on Lewis' 1963 hit, "Hello Stranger", while working with Quincy Jones, who helped to fine-tune their vocals for standards and jazz material. In 1966, the Dells returned to Chess under the label's Cadet subsidiary working with Bobby Miller and future Earth, Wind & Fire arranger Charles Stepney. In 1967, the Dells issued the album There Is which included their first R&B chart-topper in years with the title track, which showcased the sharp baritone of Marvin Junior and the harmonies with the four other Dells; the song was their first top 20 pop hit. Subsequent R&B hits included "Wear It on Our Face," "Always Together" (Top 20 Pop, "I Can Sing a Rainbow - Love is Blue", their first #1 R&B hit and first Top Ten pop hit, 1968's "Stay in My Corner," which reached #10 on the pop chart and showcased both Carter and Marvin in lead vocals. In the following year, 1969, The Dells' soulful remake of their debut hit, "Oh What a Night" gave the group their second chart-topping R&B single and reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.
For a second time, the song sold over a million copies. Subsequent hits included "Open Up My Heart," "Oh What A Day," and "On the Dock of the Bay." In 1971, the Dells' "The Love We Had Stays on My Mind" became another Top Ten hit on the R&B charts reaching the pop Top 30. By this time Charles Stepney had taken over production duties from Bobby Miller. 1973's "Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation" was their third certified gold record. The song was written by L. V. Johnson and produced by Don Davis. Leaving Cadet around the end of 1974 with the parent company in financial difficulties, the group would continue recording in order under the Mercury, ABC, Virgin labels finding some hits, including 1980's "I Touched a Dream", which returned the group to the top 40 on the R&B charts; the Dells were confined to the oldies market afterwards until they were asked to be creative consultants to Robert Townsend's acclaimed 1991 film, The Five Heartbeats, loosely based on the lives of The Dells and other groups of its era.
The group recorded a composition titled "A Heart Is a House for Love". The song reached number 13 on the Billboard R&B chart, making them only one of two groups to have hit singles in five decades; the following year, signing with PIR, they released the album. The Dells continued recording sporadically in the early years of the new millennium. In 2004, the group were inducted to both the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the group continued performing until 2012. Original Dells vocalist Johnny Funches died of pneumonia on January 23, 1998, at the age of 62. Johnny Carter died of cancer on August 21, 2009, at the age of 75. Carter is one of the few artists to be a double Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, having been inducted with The Flamingos in 2001, the Dells in 2004. On May 29, 2013, founding member Marvin Junior died in his sleep at his home in Harvey, succumbing to complications of kidney failure and a weak heart at the age of 77. Marvin Junior - lead baritone, lead vocals Verne Allison - second tenor, background vocals Mickey McGill - baritone, background vocals Chuck Barksdale - bass, background vocals Johnny Funches
Go West (band)
Go West are an English pop duo, formed in 1982 by lead vocalist Peter Cox and rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist Richard Drummie. The duo enjoyed their peak of popularity between the mid 1980s and the early 1990s and are best known for the international top 10 hits "We Close Our Eyes", "Call Me", "King of Wishful Thinking", they were named Best British Newcomer at the 1986 Brit Awards. In 1982, Cox and West formed the band Go West, with Cox as lead singer and Drummie on guitar and backing vocals. Go West possessed a portastudio, but lacked a band or recording company. Cox and Drummie decided, with support from John Glover, their manager, to find a musical producer, record just two of their songs; the tracks "We Close Our Eyes" and "Call Me" found Go West landing a recording contract with Chrysalis Records. Upon confirmation of the Chrysalis deal, they recruited British guitarist Alan Murphy, whose contributions became a key ingredient in shaping the duo's musical identity. Go West's debut single, "We Close Our Eyes", was released in 1985 and reached No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart, No. 5 on the US Dance Club Play chart and No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The video for the song, directed by Godley & Creme, became an early favourite on MTV. "We Close Our Eyes" would prove to be the band's highest-placed UK single, their only appearance in the UK top ten. The duo's eponymous debut album was released in 1985, it included "We Close Our Eyes" and "Call Me" as well as "Don't Look Down", which served as the prequel to what would be their first top 40 hit in the US. The album peaked at no. 8 at no. 60 in the United States. Bangs and Crashes, an album of remixes, B-sides and live tracks, was released in 1986, included the track "One Way Street", part of the Rocky IV soundtrack. "Don't Be Afraid of Your Dreams" was in the film A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master during the closing credits. Go West was voted "Best Newcomer" at the 1986 Brit Awards. In 1987, Go West released the proper follow-up to their debut album, Dancing on the Couch, which made the UK top 20. Although several singles were released, the album's success paled in comparison to the first in the States.
However, it yielded the band's first American top 40 hit single: "Don't Look Down – The Sequel", a continuation of the track "Don't Look Down" from the debut album. It was not included on UK versions of the LP and CD, which instead included the track "Let's Build a Boat". In 1990, Go West had a no. 8 hit in the U. S. with "King of Wishful Thinking" from the film Pretty Woman. The track was written by Drummie in collaboration with Martin Page. In 1991, the song received an ASCAP award for being one of the most played songs in America the previous year. In 1992, the duo released the Indian Summer album, which included "Faithful". Written by the band and Martin Page and produced by Peter Wolf, the song reached the top 20 in Canada and the United States. In 1997, Cox took a break from Go West to release his self-titled debut solo album. Cox and Drummie appeared on Jim'll Fix It: Strikes Again in 2007, to re-create a popular'fix-it' from 1986; the band's most recent studio album 3D was released as a three-part series of EPs, the first of, released on 29 March 2010, the second at the end of March 2011 and the third part on 4 March 2013.
In November 2015, a compilation album called 80's Re:Covered featured two Go West covers of The Killers' "Human", including a remix, while a recording of a 2003 concert recorded at the Robin 2 in Bilston was released as Live Robin 2 - 2003 CD/DVD in 2016. The concert was released as the live DVD Kings Of Wishful Thinking - Live in 2004. Peter Cox – vocals Richard Drummie – guitars, vocals Alan Murphy - guitars Touring membersBen Lochrie – lead guitar Lyndon J Connah – keyboards Richard Brook – drums Vinzenz Benjamin – bass The Best of Go West: Live at the NEC Tony Hadley v's Peter Cox & Go West Live Robin 2 - 2003 Aces and Kings – The Best of Go West The Best of Go West The Best Of The Very Best of Go West Bangs & Crashes More Bangs and Crashes 3D Part 1 3D Part 2 3D Part 3 Official Go West Website and Forum http://www.gowest.org.uk Official Peter Cox Website http://www.peter-cox.org Peter Cox interviewed by Kevin Gurney from 96.5 Bolton FM https://soundcloud.com/kevingurney/peter-cox-of-go-west Go West at AllMusic
Newport News, Virginia
Newport News is an independent city in the U. S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 180,719. In 2013, the population was estimated to be 183,412, making it the fifth-most populous city in Virginia. Newport News is included in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the northern shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News Point on the harbor of Hampton Roads. The area now known as Newport News was once a part of Warwick County. Warwick County was one of the eight original shires of Virginia, formed by the House of Burgesses in the British Colony of Virginia by order of King Charles I in 1634; the county was composed of farms and undeveloped land until 250 years later. In 1881, fifteen years of explosive development began under the leadership of Collis P. Huntington, whose new Peninsula Extension of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway from Richmond opened up means of transportation along the Peninsula and provided a new pathway for the railroad to bring West Virginia bituminous coal to port for coastal shipping and worldwide export.
With the new railroad came a terminal and coal piers where the colliers were loaded. Within a few years and his associates built a large shipyard. In 1896, the new incorporated town of Newport News, which had replaced Denbigh as the county seat of Warwick County, had a population of 9,000. In 1958, by mutual consent by referendum, Newport News was consolidated with the former Warwick County, rejoining the two localities to their pre-1896 geographic size; the more known name of Newport News was selected as they formed what was Virginia's third largest independent city in population. With many residents employed at the expansive Newport News Shipbuilding, the joint U. S. Air Force-U. S. Army installation at Joint Base Langley–Eustis, other military bases and suppliers, the city's economy is connected to the military; the location on the harbor and along the James River facilitates a large boating industry which can take advantage of its many miles of waterfront. Newport News serves as a junction between the rails and the sea with the Newport News Marine Terminals located at the East End of the city.
Served by major east-west Interstate Highway 64, it is linked to others of the cities of Hampton Roads by the circumferential Hampton Roads Beltway, which crosses the harbor on two bridge-tunnels. Part of the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is in the city limits; the original area near the mouth of the James River was first referred to as Newportes Newes as early as 1621. The source of the name "Newport News" is not known with certainty, though it is the oldest English city name in the Americas. Several versions are recorded, it is the subject of popular speculation locally; the best-known explanation holds that when an early group of Jamestown colonists left to return to England after the Starving Time during the winter of 1609–1610 aboard a ship of Captain Christopher Newport, they encountered another fleet of supply ships under the new Governor Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr in the James River off Mulberry Island with reinforcements of men and supplies. The new governor ordered them to turn around, return to Jamestown.
Under this theory, the community was named for Newport's "good news". Another possibility is that the community may have derived its name from an old English word "news" meaning "new town". At least one source claims that the "New" arose from the original settlement's being rebuilt after a fire. Another source gave the original name as New Port Newce, named for a person with the name Newce and the town's place as a new seaport; the namesake, Sir William Newce, was an English soldier and settled in Ireland. There he had established Newcestown near County Cork, he was granted 2,500 acres of land. He died two days later, his brother, Capt. Thomas Newce, was given "600 acres at Kequatan, now called Elizabeth Cittie." A partner Daniel Gookin completed founding the settlement. In his 1897 two-volume work Old Virginia and her Neighbors, American historian John Fiske writes:... several old maps where the name is given as Newport Ness, being the mariner's way of saying Newport Point. The fact that the name appeared as "Newport's News" is verified by numerous early documents and maps, by local tradition.
The change to Newport News came about through usage. In 1866 it approved the current form. During the 17th century, shortly after founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, English settlers explored and began settling the areas adjacent to Hampton Roads. In 1610, Sir Thomas Gates "took possession" of a nearby Native American village, which became known as Kecoughtan. At that time, settlers began clearing land along the James River for plantations, including the present area of Newport News. In 1619, the area of Newport News was included in one of four huge corporations of the Virginia Company of London, it extended west all the way to Skiffe's Creek. Elizabeth Cittie included all of present-day South Hampton Roads. By 1634, the English colony of Virginia consisted of a population of 5,000 inhabitants, it was divided into eight shires of Virginia. The area of Newport News bec
ABC are an English pop band that formed in Sheffield in 1980. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Martin Fry and keyboardist Mark White, saxophonist Stephen Singleton and drummer David Palmer. Developed from an earlier band, Vice Versa, ABC achieved ten UK and five US Top 40 hit singles between 1981 and 1990, their 1982 debut album, The Lexicon of Love, was a UK number-one. Now a solo project for Fry, ABC continues to tour and released a ninth studio album, The Lexicon of Love II, in 2016. ABC has its roots in the band Vice Versa, a Sheffield band formed in 1977 by synthesizer-players Stephen Singleton and Mark White, their debut gig was as the support to Wire at the Outlook club in Sheffield. They founded their own label, Neutron Records, releasing the EP Music 4. Martin Fry, who wrote the fanzine Modern Drugs, interviewed Vice Versa and shortly afterwards they asked him to join as synthesizer player. Fry accepted and by late 1980 the band had evolved into ABC, with Fry becoming lead singer.
The last performance as Vice Versa was at the Futurama 2 Festival in Leeds in September 1980, from there on it was as ABC. In the new year they were joined by David Robinson on drums; the band's first single, "Tears Are Not Enough", made the UK Top 20 in 1981. Soon afterwards, Robinson was replaced by David Palmer. In 1982, the band released their debut studio album The Lexicon of Love, which reached number-one on the UK Albums Chart. Produced by Trevor Horn, it featured in UK critics' lists of favourite albums: it ranked 42nd in The Observer Music Monthly's "Top 100 British Albums" and 40th in Q magazine's "100 Greatest British Albums"; the band had three Top 10 hits during 1982: the singles "Poison Arrow", "The Look of Love", "All of My Heart". Several high-concept music videos were made, including the long-form spy pastiche "Mantrap". Following the culmination of the Lexicon of Love tour, Palmer joined the Yellow Magic Orchestra for a series of tour dates; the remaining members found it difficult to follow-up on the success of their debut.
Their second album, Beauty Stab, was released in November 1983, produced by Gary Langan, the engineer on The Lexicon of Love. It performed poorly in comparison to its predecessor, peaking at No. 12. The first single from the album, "That Was Then but This Is Now" appeared in the UK Top 20, followed by a Top 40 showing for "SOS"; the band eschewed remixes for the project and so the 12" single for "That Was Then but This Is Now" featured the disclaimer "This record is the same as the 7" version. The choice is yours." Singleton left the band shortly after the release of Beauty Stab as a result of Fry and White's reluctance to spend much time touring the band's material. Fry and White enlisted the services of Fiona Russell Powell and David Yarritu in the band's new line-up; this line-up recorded the album How to Be a... Zillionaire!, released in 1985. The band's chart success dwindled further in the UK with this album, but they did score their first US Top 10 hit with "Be Near Me", which made the UK Top 30.
The album featured the singles " Millionaire", "Vanity Kills" and "Ocean Blue". Inspiration for the album's cartoons of the band members was taken from a photo shoot by David Levine whose work featured on many of the sleeves for singles released from this album. Keith LeBlanc from Tackhead programmed much of the beatbox work for the album. After a hiatus, during which Fry was being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma, he and White reconvened ABC as a duo, releasing the album Alphabet City in 1987; the album returned them to the UK Top 10 for the first time in five years, peaking at No. 7. It featured "When Smokey Sings", a tribute to Smokey Robinson, which narrowly missed the UK Top 10; the song did give the group their biggest hit in the US. The album spawned "The Night You Murdered Love" and "King Without a Crown" as singles. In 1989, the duo issued Up, final PolyGram studio album; this time experimenting with house music, ABC scored a minor UK hit with the single "One Better World". A second single, "The Real Thing", the album itself were less successful.
During this period, the duo worked on a couple of outside productions aimed at the house music scene. One was first single release. In 1990, the band released; this featured most of their singles. The compilation made the UK Top 10. A video package featuring promos was released. One new song, "The Look of Love'90", was released to promote the package; the duo moved to the EMI label. Two singles, "Love Conquers All" and "Say It", narrowly missed the UK Top 40, though a remix of the latter by the Italian production team Black Box appeared on the US dance charts. Martin Fry collaborated with M People in 1991 on their first album, Northern Soul, recording vocals for the song "Life". However, when the album was re-released in 1992, again in 1995, this track was omitted. After a six-year hiatus, now the sole member of ABC, resurrec
"Billie Jean" is a song by American singer Michael Jackson. The track was released by Epic Records on January 2, 1983 as the second single from his sixth studio album, Thriller, it was composed by Jackson, who produced it with Quincy Jones. The song's spare, bass-driven arrangement helped pioneer what one critic called "sleek, post-soul pop music", it introduced a more paranoid lyrical style for Jackson, a trademark of his music. The lyrics describe a woman, Billie Jean, who claims that the narrator is the father of her newborn son, which he denies. Jackson said the lyrics were based on groupies' claims about his older brothers when he toured with them as the Jackson 5. Jackson's performance of "Billie Jean" on the TV special Motown 25: Yesterday, Forever, which aired in May 1983, won acclaim and was nominated for an Emmy Award; the performance introduced a number of Jackson's signatures, including the moonwalk and white sequinned glove, was imitated. The "Billie Jean" music video, directed by Steve Barron, was the first video by a black artist to be aired in heavy rotation on MTV.
Along with the other videos produced for Thriller, it helped establish MTV's cultural importance and make music videos an integral part of pop music marketing. "Billie Jean" was one of the best-selling singles of 1983, helping Thriller become the best-selling album of all time, became Jackson's best-selling solo single. In the United States, it remained at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, it reached number one in the United Kingdom and several other European countries, reached the top ten in many other countries. It was awarded honors including an American Music Award. "Billie Jean" was critically acclaimed. Jackson said that "Billie Jean" was based on groupies he and his brothers encountered while they performed as the Jackson 5. "They would hang around backstage doors, any band that would come to town they would have a relationship with, I think I wrote this out of experience with my brothers when I was little. There were a lot of Billie Jeans out there; every girl claimed that their son was related to one of my brothers."According to Jackson's biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, "Billie Jean" was inspired by letters Jackson received in 1981 from a woman claiming he was the father of one of her twins.
Jackson, who received letters of this kind, had never met the woman and ignored it. However, she continued to send letters stating that she loved him and wanted to be with him, asking how he could ignore his own flesh and blood; the letters disturbed him to the extent. Jackson received a parcel containing a photograph of the fan, a gun, a letter instructing him to kill himself at a particular time; the fan would do the same once she had killed "their" baby, so they could be together in the next life. To the mother's dismay, Jackson had the photograph of the woman framed and hung above the dining room table of their family home; the Jacksons discovered that the fan had been sent to a psychiatric hospital. Jackson said he felt "Billie Jean" would be a success as he was writing it: "A musician knows hit material. Everything has to feel in place, it fulfills you and it makes you feel good. That's how I felt about'Billie Jean'. I knew it was going to be big when I was writing it." He explained that, listening to it in his car, he was so absorbed that he did not realize his car had caught fire until a passing motorcyclist informed him.
Jackson disagreed with Quincy Jones, about the song. According to some reports, Jones felt it was too weak to be included on Thriller, but Jones has denied this. Jones disliked the demo and did not care for the bassline, wanted to cut Jackson's 29-second introduction. Jackson, insisted that it be kept. According to Jones, he conceded when Jackson said it made him want to dance: "And when Michael Jackson tells you,'That's what makes me want to dance', the rest of us just have to shut up."Jones wanted to change the title to "Not My Lover", as he believed that people would think the song referred the tennis player Billie Jean King. Jackson refused to change the title and asked Jones to give him co-producing credits for the track, as he felt that the finished product sounded close to his demo. In addition, Jackson wanted extra royalties. Jones granted him neither and the two fell out for several days. Jones had Jackson sing his vocal overdubs through a six-foot cardboard tube. Jackson's lead vocal was performed in one take.
Jazz saxophonist Tom Scott played an electronic wind instrument. Bassist Louis Johnson played his part on every bass guitar he owned, before Jackson settled for a Yamaha bass. Engineer Bruce Swedien mixed the song 91 times—unusual for Swedien, who mixed a song just once. Instructed by Jones to create a drum sound with "sonic personality" that no one had heard before, Jones constructed a platform for the drum kit with special elements including a flat piece of wood between the snare and hi-hat, he said: "There aren't many pieces of music where you can hear the first three or four notes of the drums, tell what the piece of music is. But I think, the case with'Billie Jean'—and that I attribute to sonic personality." "Billie Jean" blends post-disco and blues, dance-pop. The song opens with a standard drum beat along with a standard hi-hat, it contains hardly any reverberation. After two bars, a repetitive bassline enters; each time it passes through the tonic, the note is doubled by a distorted synth bass.
Thriller (Michael Jackson album)
Thriller is the sixth studio album by American singer Michael Jackson, released on November 30, 1982, in the United States by Epic Records and internationally by CBS Records. It explores genres similar to Jackson's previous album, Off the Wall, including pop, post-disco and funk. Recording took place from April to November 1982 at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, with a production budget of $750,000. In just over a year, Thriller became the world's best-selling album, having sold an estimated 66 million copies, it is the second-best-selling album in the United States, behind the Eagles' album Their Greatest Hits, was the first to reach 30x platinum, with 33 million shipped album-equivalent units certified in the US. The album won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year, it produced seven singles—"The Girl Is Mine", "Billie Jean", "Beat It", "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' ", "Human Nature", "P. Y. T.", "Thriller"—all of which reached the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Thriller broke racial barriers in pop music, enabling Jackson's appearances on MTV and meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools, the videos for the songs "Thriller", "Billie Jean", "Beat It" all received regular rotation on MTV. In 2001, a special edition reissue was released, which contains additional audio interviews, demo recordings and the song "Someone in the Dark", a Grammy-winning track from the E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook. In 2008, Thriller was reissued again as Thriller 25, containing remixes with contemporary artists unreleased songs, a DVD with three music videos and Jackson's performance of "Billie Jean" from the 1983 television special Motown 25. In the same year, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame along with Off the Wall. In 2012, Slant Magazine named Thriller the best album of the 1980s". In 2003, Rolling Stone placed the album at number 20 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".
The album was listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers at number three on its "Definitive 200" album list. Thriller was included in the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of culturally significant recordings, the Thriller music video was included in the National Film Preservation Board's National Film Registry of "culturally or aesthetically significant films". Jackson's previous album Off the Wall received critical acclaim and was a commercial success, selling over 20 million copies worldwide; the years between Off the Wall and Thriller were a transitional period for Jackson, a time of increased independence. The period saw him become unhappy. I cry. It's so hard to make friends... I sometimes walk around the neighborhood at night, but I just end up coming home."When Jackson turned 21 in August 1979, he hired John Branca as his manager. Jackson told Branca that he wanted to be the wealthiest star in showbusiness, he was upset about what he perceived as the underperformance of Off the Wall, feeling it had deserved the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
He felt undervalued by the music industry. Just wait; some day those magazines are going to be begging me for an interview. Maybe I'll give them one, maybe I won't." Jackson reunited with Off the Wall producer Quincy Jones to record his sixth studio album, his second under the Epic label. They worked together on 30 songs. Thriller was recorded at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, with a production budget of $750,000; the recording commenced on April 14, 1982 at noon with Jackson and Paul McCartney recording "The Girl Is Mine". Several members of the band Toto were involved in the album's production. Jackson wrote four songs for the record: "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", "The Girl Is Mine", "Beat It" and "Billie Jean". Unlike many artists, Jackson did not write these songs on paper. Instead, he dictated into a sound recorder; the relationship between Jackson and Jones became strained during the recording. Jackson spent much of his time rehearsing dance steps alone; when the album was completed, both Jones and Jackson were unhappy with the result and remixed every song, spending a week on each.
Jackson was inspired to create an album where "every song was a killer" and developed Thriller with that in mind. Jones and songwriter Rod Temperton gave detailed accounts of what occurred for the 2001 reissue of the album. Jones discussed "Billie Jean" and why it was so personal to Jackson, who struggled with obsessed fans. Jones wanted to shorten the long introduction, but Jackson insisted that it remain because it made him want to dance; the ongoing backlash against disco made it necessary to move in a different musical direction from the disco-heavy Off the Wall. Jones and Jackson were determined to make a rock song that would appeal to all tastes and spent weeks looking for a suitable guitarist for the song "Beat It", they found Steve Lukather of Toto to play the rhythm guitar parts and Eddie Van Halen of the rock band Van Halen to play the solo. When Rod Temperton wrote the song "Thriller", he wanted to call it "Starlight" or "Midnight Man", but settled on "Thriller" because he felt the name had merchandising potential.
Funk is a music genre that originated in African-American communities in the mid-1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music and rhythm and blues. Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer. Like much of African-inspired music, funk consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves. Funk uses the same richly colored extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths and thirteenths. Funk originated in the mid-1960s, with James Brown's development of a signature groove that emphasized the downbeat—with heavy emphasis on the first beat of every measure, the application of swung 16th notes and syncopation on all bass lines, drum patterns, guitar riffs. Other musical groups, including Sly and the Family Stone, the Meters, Parliament-Funkadelic, soon began to adopt and develop Brown's innovations.
While much of the written history of funk focuses on men, there have been notable funk women, including Chaka Khan, Lyn Collins, Brides of Funkenstein, Mother's Finest, Betty Davis. Funk derivatives include the psychedelic funk of George Clinton. Funk samples and breakbeats have been used extensively in hip hop and various forms of electronic dance music, such as house music, old-school rave and drum and bass, it is the main influence of go-go, a subgenre associated with funk. The word funk referred to a strong odor, it is derived from Latin "fumigare" via Old French "fungiere" and, in this sense, it was first documented in English in 1620. In 1784 "funky" meaning "musty" was first documented, which, in turn, led to a sense of "earthy", taken up around 1900 in early jazz slang for something "deeply or felt". In early jam sessions, musicians would encourage one another to "get down" by telling one another, "Now, put some stank on it!". At least as early as 1907, jazz songs carried titles such as Funky.
The first example is an unrecorded number by Buddy Bolden, remembered as either "Funky Butt" or "Buddy Bolden's Blues" with improvised lyrics that were, according to Donald M. Marquis, either "comical and light" or "crude and downright obscene" but, in one way or another, referring to the sweaty atmosphere at dances where Bolden's band played; as late as the 1950s and early 1960s, when "funk" and "funky" were used in the context of jazz music, the terms still were considered indelicate and inappropriate for use in polite company. According to one source, New Orleans-born drummer Earl Palmer "was the first to use the word'funky' to explain to other musicians that their music should be made more syncopated and danceable." The style evolved into a rather hard-driving, insistent rhythm, implying a more carnal quality. This early form of the music set the pattern for musicians; the music was identified as slow, loose, riff-oriented and danceable. A great deal of funk is rhythmically based on a two-celled onbeat/offbeat structure, which originated in sub-Saharan African music traditions.
New Orleans appropriated the bifurcated structure from the Afro-Cuban mambo and conga in the late 1940s, made it its own. New Orleans funk, as it was called, gained international acclaim because James Brown's rhythm section used it to great effect. Funk uses the same richly coloured extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths. However, unlike bebop jazz, with its complex, rapid-fire chord changes, funk abandoned chord changes, creating static single chord vamps with melodo-harmonic movement and a complex, driving rhythmic feel; some of the best known and most skilful soloists in funk have jazz backgrounds. Trombonist Fred Wesley and saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker are among the most notable musicians in the funk music genre, with both of them working with James Brown, George Clinton and Prince; the chords used in funk songs imply a dorian or mixolydian mode, as opposed to the major or natural minor tonalities of most popular music.
Melodic content was derived by mixing these modes with the blues scale. In the 1970s, jazz music drew upon funk to create a new subgenre of jazz-funk, which can be heard in recordings by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock. Funk creates an intense groove by using strong guitar riffs and bass lines played on electric bass. Like Motown recordings, funk songs use bass lines as the centerpiece of songs. Indeed, funk has been called the style in which the bass line is most prominent in the songs, with the bass playing the "hook" of the song. Early funk basslines used syncopation, but with the addition of more of a "driving feel" than in New Orleans funk, they used blues scale notes along with the major third above the root. Funk basslines use sixteenth note syncopation, blues scales, repetitive patterns with leaps of an octave or a larger interval. Funk bass lines emphasize repetitive patterns, locked-in grooves, continuous playing, slap and popping bass. Slapping and popping uses a mixture of thumb-slapped low notes (also