LUMPENPROLETARIAT There’ll be no darkness tonight.
Lady, our love will shine, lighting the light…
“The Lady In My Life” (full version) (1982) by Michael Jackson
VINYL ALBUM COVERS.COM—(29 SEP 2013) 1982 in a studio in LA. “Thriller” has been entirely recorded and mixed, and mastered. The master is sent off to create a test pressing. The test pressing comes back to Quincy Jones, Bruce Swedien (the engineer), and Michael. They listen to the album and something’s wrong. Very wrong. So wrong, in fact, that Michael bursts into tears and runs out of the room.
The problem? Side 2 was too long and the album lacked “punch”. Vinyl operates differently in many ways from other media but one of the chief ways is that you can only put so much music on each side. When you try to go further, one must compromise low end and high end so that all of the music will fit. Such was the problem with the original “Thriller”.
The solution? They were forced to edit two tracks. The first edits were done to “Billie Jean”. Some of the intro was edited and other parts were excised as well in order to create the version we are now most familiar with. Once they edited that track, more had to be done. They then decided to edit “Lady In My Life” – removing the first chorus and second verse. Once the edits were done, another “test pressing” was completed and it sounded amazing. The results were clearly excellent as they were purchased by over 50 million people and continues to this day to be the most successful album ever released by anyone at any time.
The full, unedited version of “Billie Jean” would later surface on the 12-inch singles used to promote the album and they can be found relatively easily on eBay, et al. The full, unedited version of the tune presented here has yet to surface anywhere. In 2002, a CD was released to industry types. It was produced by Chrysalis Music in Europe and was titled “The Songs of Rod Temperton”. That 2-CD set featured songs written or co-written by Mr. Temperton. The CD is incredibly hard to come by. This clip features the song exactly as it appears on the CD. Sadly, the quality of what’s on the CD isn’t amazing. It appears to be a relatively poor cassette dub. Either way, it’s certainly better than not having it at all.
Anyway, it’s a lovely tune made far lovelier by the inclusion of the original first chorus and second verse. If you have one of the original pressings of the “Thriller” LP, take a look at the sleeve. You’ll note it has lyrics for the full song. If you don’t, I have you covered:
[Image entitled “Michael Jackson – Thriller” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia]