How They Got the Songs
"Quincy and Michael had gone through 700 demos, got that down to nine, then threw out four of those and that's how they got 'Beat It' and 'The Lady In My Life,'" Mitchell said. "So you have to think what kind of songs were they working with, because the album is so tight."
Often overlooked is the fact that Jackson wrote four of the songs, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "The Girl Is Mine," "Beat It" and "Billie Jean."
"Beat It" was Jackson's peace offering to the Los Angeles gangs, according to Brown, who added that the video included some of South Central's most notorious gang members.
Heatwave's Rod Temperton added "Rock With You" and a song he originally titled "Starlight" or "Midnight Man" but later changed to "Thriller."