The Paul McCartney Project

The Girl Is Mine

Written by Michael Jackson

Album This song officially appears on the Thriller Official album.

Other collaborations with Michael Jackson

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

The Girl Is Mine” is a song recorded by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. The track was written by Jackson and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. It was released as the first single for Jackson’s sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). The song was recorded at Westlake Studios, Los Angeles, from April 14 to 16, 1982. The year before, Jackson and McCartney had recorded “Say Say Say” and “The Man” for the latter’s fifth solo album, Pipes of Peace (1983). Although it was released as a single, Jackson never performed the song live.

The Girl Is Mine” achieved success in the music charts. Aside from topping the R&B singles chart, the single peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number eight in the UK. By 1985, it had sold 1.3 million copies, and was eventually certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of at least one million units. Despite the song’s success, it received generally mixed reviews from critics who consider it to be the weakest song on Thriller.

The Girl Is Mine” has been the subject of two plagiarism lawsuits, the first in 1984 and the latter in 1993. Both instances required Jackson to testify in court, and each lawsuit found in the favour of the singer and his record label.

In 2008, for the 25th anniversary edition of Thriller, Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am remixed “The Girl Is Mine“. The remix received generally unfavourable reviews from music critics.

Recording

The writing of “The Girl Is Mine” was completed by Jackson as he watched cartoons with Paul McCartney. Producer Quincy Jones had initially told Jackson to write a song about two men fighting over a girl. Inspired, Jackson awoke during the night and sang the song into a tape recorder. He later said, “I sang exactly what I heard in my head, starting with the melody and the keyboard and the strings and everything. So, I just orally put it all on tape.” Jones also asked Jackson to add a rap verse. The song was then recorded by Jackson and McCartney at Westlake Studios, Los Angeles, from April 14 to 16, 1982. The year before, the duo had recorded “Say Say Say” and “The Man” for McCartney’s fifth solo album, Pipes of Peace (1983).

Jackson said that the recording of “The Girl Is Mine” was one of his most enjoyable moments in the studio. He stated, “One of my favourite songs to record, of all my recordings as a solo artist, is probably “The Girl Is Mine”, because working with Paul McCartney was pretty exciting and we just literally had fun. It was like lots of kibitzing and playing, and throwing stuff at each other, and making jokes. We actually recorded the (instrumental) track and the vocals pretty much live at the same time, and we do have footage of it, but it’s never been shown.” He concluded, “Maybe one day we’ll give you a sneak preview of it.” The footage of the pair was later shown at The Paul McCartney World Tour.

Music

The musical structuring of “The Girl Is Mine” uses the AABA form, in which the song’s title serves as the main source of needed repetition. When used to the maximum, this structuring, also known as the thirty-two-bar form, has the title repeat itself in the same place, in at least two of the three A verses. Author Sheila Davis’ book, The Craft of Lyric Writing, notes that “the repeated title line simultaneously outlines the framework of the design and drives home the main point of the lyric“. Jackson’s “She’s Out of My Life” also uses this musical structuring, as does “Body and Soul“, “Oh, Lady Be Good!” and “Try a Little Tenderness“. The musical chords in “The Girl Is Mine” are seen in several songs written by Jackson. “That’s What You Get for Being Polite“, from The Jacksons’ Destiny album, and two unreleased songs (“Why Can’t I Be” and “Thank You for Life“) used the chords before “The Girl Is Mine“.

Release and reception

Despite recording “Say Say Say” and “The Man” a year prior, “The Girl Is Mine” was the first song to gain a release from the duo and the first single from the Thriller album. “The Girl Is Mine” was released as a single on October 18, 1982. The single’s cover photograph was taken by McCartney’s wife, Linda. Listeners were not impressed by “The Girl Is Mine“, and thought that Jackson’s Thriller would also be a disappointment. The public felt that Jackson and the producer, Quincy Jones, had created a song for the white pop audience. Despite some of the public’s concerns, “The Girl Is Mine” achieved success in the music charts. Topping the R&B singles chart, the single peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 (behind “Maneater” by Hall & Oates and “Down Under” by Men at Work) and the Norwegian Singles Chart. “The Girl Is Mine” reached number one on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The song charted at number eight in the UK, peaking within the New Zealand Top 20. By 1985, the single had sold 1.3 million copies. The single was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of at least one million units.

Since its release, “The Girl Is Mine” has received mixed reviews from journalists and music critics. Journalist Robert Christgau described the pairing of McCartney and Jackson as “Michael’s worst idea since “Ben”“. Rolling Stone stated that the song was a “wimpoid MOR [middle of the road] ballad” and that McCartney was “tame“. Stephen Erlewine of Allmusic noted that the song had a “sweet schmaltz“. Jackson’s breakdown with the “irrepressibly silly Paul McCartney” was “disarmingly goofy“, according to Stylus Magazine. Salon.com later described “The Girl Is Mine” as a “sappy duet“. They concluded that McCartney had become a “wimpy old fart“. The song garnered a favourable review from Jackson’s biographer, J. Randy Taraborrelli. The writer stated that the song was “cute” but lacked substance. He added that the track had a “middle-of-the-road calm” and was the antithesis of the “rambunctious” “Beat It“. […]

Last updated on July 25, 2015

Lyrics

Every night she walks right in my dreams
Since I met her from the start
I'm so proud I am the only one
Who is special in her heart

The girl is mine
The doggone girl is mine
I know she's mine
Because the doggone girl is mine

I don't understand the way you think
Saying that she's yours not mine
Sending roses and your silly dreams
Really just a waste of time

Because she's mine
The doggone girl is mine
Don't waste your time
Because the doggone girl is mine

I love you more than he
(take you anywhere)

But I love you endlessly
(loving we will share)

So come and go with me
To one town

But we both cannot have her
So it's one or the other
And one day you'll discover
That she's my girl forever and ever

I don't build your hopes to be let down
'Cause I really feel it's time

I know she'll tell you I'm the one for her
'Cause she said I blow her mind

The girl is mine
The doggone girl is mine
Don't waste your time
Because the doggone girl is mine

She's mine, she's mine
No, no, no, she's mine
The girl is mine, the girl is mine
The girl is mine, the girl is mine

The girl is mine, (yep) she's mine
The girl is mine, (yep) she's mine

Don't waste your time
Because the doggone girl is mine
The girl is mine, the girl is mine

Michael, we're not going to fight about this, okay
Paul, I think I told you, I'm a lover not a fighter
I've heard it all before, Michael, she told me that I'm her forever lover,
You know, don't you remember
Well, after loving me, she said she couldn't love another
Is that what she said
Yes, she said it, you keep dreaming
I don't believe it

The girl is mine (mine, mine, mine)

Officially appears on


Thriller

Official album • Released in 1982

3:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Vocals
Michael Jackson:
Producer, Vocal arrangement, Vocals
David Foster:
Synthesizer, Synthesizer arrangement
Dean Parks:
Guitar
Greg Phillinganes:
Rhodes piano
David Paich:
Piano, Rhythm arrangement
Steve Porcaro:
Synthesizer programming
Steve Lukather:
Guitar
Louis Johnson:
Bass guitar
Jeff Porcaro:
Drums
Quincy Jones:
Producer, Rhythm arrangement, Vocal arrangement
Jerry Hey:
Strings arrangement
Jerry Vinci:
Concertmaster

The Girl Is Mine

7" Single • Released in 1982

3:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Vocals
Michael Jackson:
Producer, Vocal arrangement, Vocals
David Foster:
Synthesizer, Synthesizer arrangement
Dean Parks:
Guitar
Greg Phillinganes:
Rhodes piano
David Paich:
Piano, Rhythm arrangement
Steve Porcaro:
Synthesizer programming
Steve Lukather:
Guitar
Louis Johnson:
Bass guitar
Jeff Porcaro:
Drums
Quincy Jones:
Producer, Rhythm arrangement, Vocal arrangement
Jerry Hey:
Strings arrangement
Jerry Vinci:
Concertmaster

Bootlegs


Tug Of Peace

Unofficial album

3:43 • Outtake


Tug Of Peace

Unofficial album

3:34 • Outtake


B-Sides Complete Vol. 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

3:40 • Studio versionA


Pipes Of Peace Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:15 • Studio version • Demo


Pipes Of Peace Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:42 • Studio version • Original Long Version


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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[…] 1981 – Michael Jackson called Paul McCartney and suggested that they write and record together… […]