The Bottom Line
Those who have seen Fall Out Boy live in concert will not be surprised at the release of the band's aggressive interpretation of Michael Jackson's evergreen "Beat It." To match the impact of the original song's fiery guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen, John Mayer steps in to lend his talents. While the band does not take the song in substantive new directions, they are successful at reviving the power of the song with added rock muscle.
Listen to "Beat It"
- Passion and intensity
- Pumped up vocals from Patrick Stump
- John Mayer's always worthwhile guitar work
- The song is a little creaky
- Written by Michael Jackson
- Produced by Patrick Stump and Kyle Chirnside
- Released March 2008 by Island Records
Guide Review - Fall Out Boy featuring John Mayer - "Beat It"
When Michael Jackson first recorded and released "Beat It" as a single back in early 1983, the song's rock arrangement and guitar assist from Eddie Van Halen broke down barriers between R&B and rock music. Today, a new version from Fall Out Boy brings a whole new generation back to the watershed moment with impressive spirit and drive. The band's often underrated lead vocalist Patrick Stump brings the song home in fine fashion.
One truth about Fall Out Boy that is often missed when focusing on their hordes of young female fans is that the band puts on a strong, tight live show. "Beat It" is the first single from the album Live in Phoenix, a set which hopefully may educate a few critics. John Mayer's significant assist shows there is more than one way to solo through this classic.
Earlier this year, Michael Jackson re-released "Beat It's" album Thriller and included his own re-work of the song featuring vocals from Fergie. The song deserves revisiting, but it is best to forget that mistaken version and leave it to Fall Out Boy to re-introduce the song.