Eddie Van Halen Recalls Recording 'Beat It' Solo
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Eddie Van Halen Recalls Recording 'Beat It' Solo
30 years after the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller, Eddie Van Halen remembers recording his genre-busting solo to "Beat It." "Beat It" was the third single from Thriller -- which was originally released on November 30th, 1982 -- and featured Eddie Van Halen's heavy metal guitar overdub, which was recorded during a Van Halen break, while on tour.

Van Halen remembered the session, telling CNN, that producer Quincy Jones gave him carte blanche to make the solo his own: "I listened to the song, and I immediately go, 'Can I change some parts?' I turned to the engineer and I go, ''OK, from the breakdown, chop in this part, go to this piece, pre-chorus, to the chorus, out.' Took him maybe 10 minutes to put it together. And I proceeded to improvise two solos over it."
Van Halen, who wasn't credited on the album, actually remembers a comical scene at L.A.'s Tower Records shortly after the album's release: "The solo comes on, and I hear these kids in front of me going, 'Listen to this guy trying to sound like Eddie Van Halen.' I tapped him on the shoulder and said, 'That is me!' That was hilarious. I have a lot of respect for Michael. He's going to be sorely missed. I'd be curious as to what he'd be doing right now."

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