Music Notes

Michael Jackson’s Hit Becomes A Jazz Classic Thanks To Wayne Brady And Postmodern Jukebox

This is a "Thriller."

When it comes to '80s music, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" might just be one of the most well-known pop songs to emerge from the entire decade. With so much of its identity wrapped up in that time period, Postmodern Jukebox really blew everyone's minds when they switched things up by giving the iconic tune a jazzy '30s vibe with vocals by Wayne Brady.


As a Halloween treat (no trick here) — because the "Thriller" music video is a go-to this time of year — the Scott Bradlee-led group have created a version of Jackson's hit that'll certainly get you a-snapin'. Brady, whose talents seem to know no bounds, is joined by the live band as well as two spooky dancers and a surprise werewolf at the end.

"They're the complete package of musicality and good, old-fashioned, old-school fun! I'm glad we got to Cab Calloway 'Thriller' together and I'm looking forward to more songs to collab on," Brady said in a statement, via Entertainment Weekly. Calloway, who Brady mentioned, was an American jazz singer (who was a master at scat singing) and bandleader associated with the Cotton Club in NYC's Harlem neighborhood.

While seeing this '80s song get a '30s makeover, we have to point out that the epic John Landis-directed music video, featuring actress Ola Ray, is heavily inspired by horror films of the '50s. That zombie choreography will be remembered forever from the nearly 14-minute clip — which is probably why it was the first music video the Library of Congress added to its National Film Registry in 2009 despite somehow losing the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year.

Postmodern Jukebox is known to take popular songs — some of today like Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" and some of yesterday like Britney Spears' "... Baby One More Time" — and turn them on their heads by giving them a completely new style. And they've specifically done jazz numerous times before. For example, who could forget their jazzy take on "Beauty and the Beast" earlier this year?

Watch Postmodern Jukebox and Wayne Brady's jazz cover of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" here:

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