“The Girl Is Mine” by Michael Jackson (ft. Paul McCartney)
“The Girl Is Mine” is an easy-to-understand exchange between two men, i.e. the singers (Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney). More specifically it is a quarrel. And at the center of their disagreement is the titular “girl”.
Basically, both men consider her to be their own romantic interest. So they are arguing over who it is that she actually belongs to. And the third verse centers on them addressing her directly, trying to secure her exclusive love.
So on one hand this song reads as if they both trying to pick up this lady. But on another, particularly during the bridge, it sounds as if she may have already been romantically involved with the both of them. It is also during this part of the song where Michael drops what is arguably the most-memorable line of the entire track, when he exclaims to Paul that he is “a lover, not a fighter”. So their disagreement isn’t the type that’ll lead to blows. Rather they are by and large trying to convince the other to give up their pursuit of “the girl” since she’s already in love with another man, i.e. themselves.
And it is on that note upon which the song concludes, with the singers going back and forth asserting that they are the one whom this lady actually belongs to.
Facts about “The Girl Is Mine”
“The Girl Is Mine” marked the third time Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney have collaborated. The two of them had recorded two tracks – “Say Say Say” and “The Man” – for Paul McCartney’s album “Pipes of Peace” which, even though they was released after “The Girl Is Mine”, were actually recorded earlier.
“The Girl Is Mine” was written by the multi-talented Michael Jackson, who also produced the track in conjunction with Quincy Jones.
It was Mr. Jones who told Michael to write a song concerning this subject matter. And the initial composition came to Jackson randomly during the course of a particular night.
Michael went on to state that “The Girl Is Mine” was ‘one of his favorite songs to record… as a solo artist’.
Toto, a rock band from Los Angeles, contributed heavily to the instrumental side of “The Girl Is Mine”.
The creators of “The Girl Is Mine” were twice sued for plagiarism, as in copying the song from other artists. Once was in 1984 and the other in 1993. In both cases Michael himself testified in court. And also in both instances, the law sided with Jackson and his coworkers.
This track was quite successful, topping two of Billboard’s charts (Adult Contemporary Chart and R&B Singles Chart) in addition to securing a number one in Spain.
Moreover the song peaked at number 2 on the prestigious Billboard Hot 100 and number 8 in Britain (the UK Singles Chart). Furthermore it charted in a handful of other countries.
Additionally in the United States “The Girl Is Mine” has been certified Gold by the RIAA. Back in those days that meant it sold in excess of one-million copies.
Will.i.am, of Black Eyed Peas’ fame, remixed this track in celebration of the 25th anniversary of “Thriller” in 2008. And that version also managed to chart internationally.
Interesting to note is that despite dropping a couple of hits together, eventually the relationship between Michael and McCartney soured. This occurred after MJ bought the rights, using some of the ridiculous amount of money he earned via “Thriller,” to many songs which were dropped by The Beatles. And as we all know, Macca was actually part of that phenomenal quartet. So Mr. McCartney took this “business” decision by Jackson to be something akin to a personal insult. This was not only because he wanted to own his own songs so to speak but also due to the fact it was he who actually taught Michael about purchasing music in the first place.
When was “The Girl Is Mine” released?
Epic Records released “The Girl Is Mine” on 18 October 1982. It was actually the lead single from what is generally considered to be the best-selling album of all time, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.
In addition to this song, “Thriller” produced 6 other smash hits. They are as follows: