"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It is the sixth single from Jackson's sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). The original demo version of the song was written by Jackson and Greg Phillinganes. Quincy Jones passed on the song itself but liked the title and, with James Ingram, fashioned a totally new song with that title. The demo version is featured on The Ultimate Collection.

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" was released on September 19, 1983, as the penultimate single from Thriller. The single charted at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and no. 46 on the Hot Black Singles chart, becoming the sixth Top 10 hit from the album. In the UK, the song reached a peak position of 11. The single was most successful in Belgium, charting within the Top 10 at no. 6. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" has been covered and sampled by numerous artists, includingMonicaJustin Guarini and Kanye West. The original demo was also remixed by The Black Eyed Peas singer forThriller 25.

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" was never performed live by Jackson. In a rehearsal for the Dangerous World Tour, however, Jackson sang a small part of the demo version, describing it as "something I wrote that I haven't recorded yet."


 [hide*1 Recording


James Ingram later described working with Jackson and Jones as being in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. "It's almost like I got the chance to go to Oz and Quincy was the Wizard of Oz and Michael Jackson was who he was dealing with in his world. Their work ethic is unbelievable."[1] He noted how Jones would fall asleep on the board, waking up to answer a question. "He works in the Alpha state a lot", Ingram added.[1] Two of Jackson's sisters, Janetand La Toya, provided backing vocals in the guise of the P.Y.T.s. The two sisters sang "na na na" back at their brother towards the end of the song.[2][3][4] The song has a tempo of 126 beats per minute, making it one of Jackson's fastest songs.[5]

Release and reception[edit]Edit

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" was released on September 19, 1983, as the penultimate single from Thriller. The single charted at no. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and no. 46 on the Hot Black Singles chart, becoming the sixth Top 10 hit from Thriller.[3][6] In the United Kingdom, the song reached a peak position of 11.[2] The song was most successful in Belgium, charting within the Top 10 at no. 6.[2] The single was placed at no. 14 in the Netherlands.[2] "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" charted at number 24 in Canada and peaked at number 51 in Germany.[2]

Response to the song was mixed. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic enjoyed the song and thought that the song was "frizzy funk."[7] Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine believed that the song was a "lush disco paradise."[8] However, Rolling Stone reviewer Christopher Connelly, while discussing the album in a review, stated that the song "isn't up to the spunky character of the other tracks." Connelly mentioned that one of Jackson's weaknesses was "a tendency to go for the glitz," and cited the song as one example of this.[9] Davitt Sigerson, from the same magazine, also agreed with Connelly, calling the song one of Thriller's "forgettables".[10] Jon Pareles of The New York Times called the song "fluff", and believed that the other songs from the album were what made Thriller such a hit.[11]

Cover versions and references to the song[edit]Edit


My first concert ever was the Bad tour. I was absolutely mesmerized. I've always been a fan of Michael's for the simple fact that what he's done no one else will really be able to do. And that's something that makes you legendary.

Monica[17]*2002: Jackson's demo version of "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" was sampled on Monica's single "All Eyez on Me".[3][18] "We used vocals from the song that didn't make the Thriller album", stated producer Rodney Jerkins. "He [Jackson] had more vocals and ad-libs that were never heard, and we used the ones that were not heard."[3] Jackson hand delivered his original masters to Monica, who, as a longtime Jackson fan, was touched by the move.[17][19]

P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008[edit]Edit

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008"
Song by Michael Jackson featuring will.i.amfrom the album Thriller 25
Released February 8, 2008
Format CDdigital download
Recorded November 2007
Genre Hip hopR&B
Length 4:37
Label Epic
Writer Michael Jackson

William Adams Keith Harris Greg Phillinganes

Producer Michael Jackson

Thriller 25 track listing
"The Girl Is Mine 2008"


"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008"


"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008"


For Thriller 25The Black Eyed Peas rapper remixed the demo version of "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)".[22] The singer commented on Jackson and the project, "You always just dream of meeting him, let alone working with him. I wouldn't have believed it. I grew up in the projects in East Los Angeles and Thriller was filmed about two blocks from my house, but my mother was really strict and she wouldn't let me go to the factories—she didn't care who was filming a video there; but I'm on the 25th anniversary, 25 years later—that's pretty awesome."[1] Entitled "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008", the remix was well received by Rolling Stone. The publication described the track, along with "The Girl Is Mine 2008", as being one of the best songs on the album.[23] They noted that "updates the songs' original sound to make them dancefloor-worthy twenty-five years after their release".[23]


  • Written, composed and arranged by James Ingram and Quincy Jones
  • Produced by Quincy Jones
  • Greg Phillinganes: Synthesizer, synthesizer programming
  • Michael Boddicker: Vocoder, Emulator
  • James Ingram: Portasound Keyboard
  • Paul Jackson: Guitars
  • Louis Johnson: Electric bass
  • N'dugu Chancler: Drums
  • Michael Jackson, Louis Johnson, Greg Phillinganes, James Ingram, Steven Ray: Handclaps
  • P.Y.T.'s:
  • Additional background vocals:
    • James Ingram
    • Howard Hewett

Track listing[edit]Edit

45 RPM[edit]Edit


  1. P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing) – 3:58


  1. Workin' Day and Night (Live-Jacksons) – 4:26

Disco single[edit]Edit


  1. P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing) – 3:58


  1. This Place Hotel – 4:41
  2. Thriller (Instrumental) – 5:56

Official versions[edit]Edit

  • Album Version – 3:58
  • Demo Version – 3:47
  • 2008 Remix with – 4:21
  • Instrumental Version (Unreleased) – 3:58


Weekly charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1983–1984) Peak


Australia (Kent Music Report)[24] 40
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[25] 6
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[26] 7
Canada (CHUM)[27] 11
Canada Adult Contemporary Tracks (RPM)[28] 13
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[29] 17
Germany (Media Control Charts)[30] 51
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[31] 13
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[32] 14
Ireland (IRMA)[33] 4
Poland (LP3)[34] 19
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[35] 11
US BillboardAdult Contemporary[36] 37
US Billboard Hot 100[36] 10
US BillboardHot Black Singles[36] 46
US Cash Box[37] 15
Chart (2009) Peak


Belgium (Back Catalogue Singles Flanders)[38] 26
Canada (Hot Canadian Digital Singles)[36] 48
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[32] 68
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[39] 92
UK (Official Charts Company)[40] 98
US BillboardHot Digital Songs[36] 14

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1983) Position
US Cash Box[41] 96
Chart (1984) Position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[42] 65


^ a: This demo, recorded between April and October 1982, was included on the compilation album Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection, issued in November 2004.[3][43]

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