20 Watts

Throwbacks: Michael Jackson by rmwreski
April 26, 2009, 6:25 pm
Filed under: Throwbacks | Tags: , , , ,

I must admit, the first time I heard this song was on the April 20th airing of Dancing with the Stars on ABC. Shawn Johnson, gold-medal winning Olympic gymnast, and her partner Mark Ballas danced a Cha Cha to Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).”

Right after the episode aired, I went straight to YouTube to watch the dance over and over… and over again, 25 percent because of the actual dance but 75 percent because of the song. Since DWTS has an in-house band that karaokes all the songs, I had no idea who the original song was by. But after a little research at my local iTunes store, I discovered the infectious poppy song was by none other than the king of infectious poppy songs, Michael Jackson. I immediately bought it and listened to it about a million times with a huge smile on my face.

“P.Y.T.” is straight off of Jackson’s biggest album, possibly the biggest album of all time, Thriller. It seems like many people look over a lot of songs on this album and go straight for the title track, “Thriller,” which made a splash on the radio and as a music video. However, “P.Y.T.”, a 1982 Grammy-nominated song, reached number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. It has also been sampled by many artists, such as Monica and Kanye West, not to mention the phrase “P.Y.T.” has shown up across genres up to the present day.

If you don’t find those stats impressive or the song is a little too bubble yummy for you, just take a listen to the lyrics for fun. “P.Y.T.” sports such lyrical gems as “Tendoroni you’ve got to be/ spark my nature/ sugar fly with me.” Or you could have fun trying to pick out Janet Jackson’s voice when “The P.Y.T.s” sing the “na na na nas” during the bridge. I think she’s the high-pitched breathy one.

— Becky Wreski



P.Y.T. is a fantastic song, and I agree, it simply doesn’t get enough credit. The entire album is one the greatest ever made; Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson were a team that simply could not be out-done. I think the influence of Thriller has echoed across genres and decades.

Although, it is a bit sad that most “kids” listening to Kanye West don’t even know that Good Life takes a few liberties with Jackson’s work.

Anyway, great surprise throwback. Now, to put my vinyl copy of Thriller on and dance.

Comment by Michael J. Smith

So sorry that your life has been lacking the wonder that is PYT. Better late than never! I love that the song uses [introduces?] the concept of a tenderoni.

Comment by Alison

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