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Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Starting Something

Written by Michael, and recorded for his Thriller album, issued in December 1982. Believed by some fans to be a hidden criticism of the media pressure Michael faced at this time, and would continue to face long into the future.

"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" is a 1983 single released from Michael Jackson's multi-platinum selling 1982 album Thriller. It was the first track on the album, and the fourth song released as a single, following "The Girl Is Mine" (a duet with Paul McCartney), "Billie Jean", and "Beat It", the latter two songs having both achieved number one on the Billboard Hot 100.


It's the first song written by Michael for Thriller: "(It's a song) which I had written when we were doing Off The Wall," he said, "but had never given to Quincy for that album."

Cited by Michael as a song that disappointed him: "Song-writing is a very frustrating art form," he said. "You have to get on tape exactly what's playing in your head. When I heard it up here (his head), it's wonderful - I have to transcribe that on to tape."

It was the song chosen to open the Jacksons' Victory Tour and Michael's Bad Tour concerts. It was again performed live on later tours by Michael.

Featured in 1990, along with The Way You Make Me Feel, in commercials for L.A. Gear - Michael was paid $10 million for his sponsorship of the brand.

Also featured in the popular 2002 video game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and its accompanying soundtrack.


Credits

* Written, arranged, and composed by Michael Jackson
* Produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson
* Lead vocals by Michael Jackson
* Backing vocals by Michael Jackson, Julia Waters, Maxine Waters, Oren Waters, James Ingram, Bunny Hull, and Becky Lopez
* Rhodes and synthesizer by Greg Phillinganes
* Synthesizer by Michael Boddicker and Bill Wolfer
* Guitar by David Williams
* Bass by Louis Johnson
* Percussion by Paulinho da Costa
* Trumpets and flügelhorns by Jerry Hey and Gary Grant
* Sax and flute by Larry Williams
* Trombone by Bill Reichenbach
* Bathroom stomp board: Michael Jackson, Nelson Hayes, and Steven Ray
* Vocal arrangement by Michael Jackson
* Rhythm arrangement by Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones


Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ - Lyrics

[Chorus]
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)

[1st Verse]
I Took My Baby To The Doctor
With A Fever, But Nothing He Found
By The Time This Hit The Street
They Said She Had A Breakdown
Someone's Always Tryin' To Start My Baby Cryin'
Talkin', Squealin', Lyin'
Sayin' You Just Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

[Chorus]
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)

[2nd Verse]
You Love To Pretend That You're Good
When You're Always Up To No Good
You Really Can't Make Him Hate Her
So Your Tongue Became A Razor
Someone's Always Tryin' To Keep My Baby Cryin'
Treacherous, Cunnin', Declinin'
You Got My Baby Cryin'

[Chorus]
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)
You're A Vegetable, You're A Vegetable
Still They Hate You, You're A Vegetable
You're Just A Buffet, You're A Vegetable
They Eat Off Of You, You're A Vegetable

[3rd Verse]
Billie Jean Is Always Talkin'
When Nobody Else Is Talkin'
Tellin' Lies And Rubbin' Shoulders
So They Called Her Mouth A Motor
Someone's Always Tryin' To Start My Baby Cryin'
Talkin', Squealin', Spyin'
Sayin' You Just Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

[Chorus]
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)
You're A Vegetable, You're A Vegetable
Still They Hate You, You're A Vegetable
You're Just A Buffet, You're A Vegetable
They Eat Off Of You, You're A Vegetable

[Ad-Lib]
If You Cant Feed Your Baby (Yeah, Yeah)
Then Don't Have A Baby (Yeah, Yeah)
And Don't Think Maybe (Yeah, Yeah)
If You Can't Feed Your Baby (Yeah, Yeah)
You'll Be Always Tryin'
To Stop That Child From Cryin'
Hustlin', Stealin', Lyin'
Now Baby's Slowly Dyin'

[Chorus]
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)

[Ad-Lib]
Lift Your Head Up High
And Scream Out To The World
I Know I Am Someone
And Let The Truth Unfurl
No One Can Hurt You Now
Because You Know What's True
Yes, I Believe In Me
So You Believe In You
Help Me Sing It, Ma Ma Se,
Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa
Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa,
Ma Ma Coo Sa
[Repeat/Fade-Out]



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