La Mecánica Popular are a New York based experimental Latin ensemble of Peruvian, Colombian, Venezuelan and New York musicians lead by Efraín Rozas. They released their cover of Michael Jackson’s Thriller as a single in 2015.
Michael Jackson‘s Thriller was released as the seventh and last single from his album Thriller in 1983 as an attempt to re-invigorate declining album sales. Initially the track was regarded by Jackson’s record label Epic as a novelty song and wasn’t intended as a stand alone release. However, thanks much in part to the accompanying music video, the song sold over 13 million copies worldwide and went on to become one of the best-selling singles of all time.
The Electronic Concept Orchestra were a trio who recorded Moog synthesiser versions of film and pop hits, comprising of jazz pianist and orchestrator Eddie Higgins, drummer and percussionist Morris Jennings and jazz guitarist Phil Upchurch – who in the mid sixties had been Chess records house guitarist and later played guitar on Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album. Their cover of John Barry’s theme for John Schlesinger’s 1969 movie Midnight Cowboy is taken from Cinemoog, their third and final album released in 1970.
Only two versions of Midnight Cowboy exist with a vocal track, neither being used in the film, one recorded by the Ray Coniff Singers and the other by Johnny Mathis.
Fun Fact: Bob Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay had originally been written to serve as the theme song to Midnight Cowboy but Dylan failed to finish the track in time.
Cats? Gravy? Michael Jackson? What? All will be revealed…
Los Miticos Del Ritmo (The Myths of Rhythm) was an album of cumbia and South American inspired music released in 2012 by British musician, DJ and producer Will Holland, who was living in Colombia at that time.
Another One Bites the Dust was originally a hit for Queen in 1980. The bass line was inspired by Chic’s 1979 hit Good Times; Queen bassist John Deacon had spent time in the studio with Chic while they were recording their disco classic. Freddie Mercury later said of Bites the Dust:
“Credit for the song should go to Michael Jackson in many ways. He was a fan and friend of ours and kept telling me, “Freddie, you need a song the cats can dance to.” John introduced this riff to us during rehearsal that we all immediately thought of disco, which was very popular at the time. We worked it out and once it was ready, played it for Michael. I knew we had a hit as he bobbed his head up and down. “That’s it, that’s the gravy. Release it and it will top the charts,” he said. So we did and it did.”
The Esso Trinidad Steel Band’s cover of the Jackson 5’s I Want You Back appeared on their 1971 album Esso.
Founded in Trinidad in 1942, The Tripoli Steel Band changed their name to the Esso Trinidad Steel Band when the oil company began sponsoring them. When Esso ceased its backing, the band changed their name to the Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band and spent over two years supporting Liberace.
Released in 1969, I Want You Back was the Jackson 5’s first single and is one of the most sampled songs in history.