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Beat It
Beat
Single Info
From the Album Live in Phoenix
Released March 25, 2008
Recorded 2008
Format Digital Download
Genre Hard rock, dance-rock
Length 3:48
Label Island Records
Producer Patrick Stump
Writer(s) Michael Jackson
Album Tracks
Previous
(8)
A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More "Touch Me"
This Track
(9)
Beat It'
Next
(10)
Golden
Singles Timeline
Previous
I'm Like a Lawyer with the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)
This Single
Beat It"
Next
I Don't Care

American rock band Fall Out Boy covered "Beat It", which is originally by Michael Jackson. The studio version was digitally released on March 25, 2008 by Island Records as the only single from the band's first live album, Live in Phoenix (2008). The song features a guitar solo by John Mayer, which was performed by Eddie Van Halen in the original song. In the United States, the song peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached No. 21 on the defunct-Billboard Pop 100 chart, also charting internationally. The band has since regularly incorporated it in their set list at their shows.

Background, recording, and release Edit

In early 2008 it was announced that Fall Out Boy were to cover "Beat It" for their Live in Phoenix album. The band had previously performed the song at venues such as Coors Amphitheatre and festivals such as the Carling Weekend in Leeds. Bassist Pete Wentz, who has claimed to have an obsession with Jackson, stated that prior to recording the song, he would only watch Moonwalker. It was also announced that John Mayer was to add the guitar solo previously played by Eddie Van Halen.

The band's lead singer/guitarist Patrick Stump stated that the band had not planned to cover the song. "Basically, I just started playing the riff in sound-check one day, and then we all started playing it, and then we started playing it live, and then we figured we'd record it and put it out with our live DVD." Bassist Pete Wentz added that the band had not originally intended for the song to be released as a single either. "'Beat It' seemed like a song that would be cool and that we could do our own take on", he said. Having spent time deciding on a guitarist for the song, Wentz eventually called John Mayer to add the guitar solo. "We were trying to think about who is a contemporary guitar guy who's going to go down as a legend", Wentz later noted.

Upon its digital release as a single in April 2008, Fall Out Boy's cover of "Beat It" became a mainstay on iTunes' Top 10 chart. The song peaked at No. 8 in Canada, becoming another top 10 hit in the region. It also charted at No. 13 in Australia, No. 14 in New Zealand, No. 75 in Austria and No. 98 in the Netherlands.

Music Video Edit

Fall Out Boy - Beat It (MTV Version) ft03:50

Fall Out Boy - Beat It (MTV Version) ft. John Mayer

Music Video

"I think when you're doing a Michael Jackson cover, there's this expectation that you're going to do one of his videos verbatim," Stump said. "What we decided to do was kind of inspired by Michael Jackson and the mythology of him. There are specific images that are reference points for us, but at any given point, it's not any of his videos. It's kind of all of his videos, all at once, but on a Fall Out Boy budget, so it's not quite as fancy." The costumes for the video were similar to the originals. "My costume is this take on one of the guys from Michael Jackson's original 'Beat It' video, like, the guy who plays the rival dancer," Wentz said during the filming of the video. The music video featured numerous cameos, including a karate class/dance session being taught by Tony Hale, Donald Faison and Joel David Moore dressed up like Michael Jackson. The short film later received a MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Rock Video.

Lyrics Edit

They told him don't you ever come around here 
Don't wanna see your face, you better disappear
The fire's in their eyes and their words are really clear
So beat it, just beat it

You better run, you better do what you can
Don't wanna see no blood, don't be no macho man
You wanna be tough, better do what you can
So beat it, but you wanna be bad

Just beat it, beat it
No one wants to be defeated 
Show em how funky strong is your fight
It doesn't matter who's wrong or right
Just beat it, beat it
Just beat it, beat it
Just beat it, beat it
Just beat it, beat it

They're out to get you, better leave while you can
Don't wanna be a boy, you wanna be man
You wanna stay alive, better do what you can
So beat it, just beat it

You got to show them that you're really not scared
You're playin' with your life, this ain't no truth or dare
They'll kick you, then they'll beat you, 
Then they'll tell you it's fair
So beat it, but you wanna be bad

Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it
No one wants to be defeated 
Show em how funky strong is your fight
It doesn't matter who's wrong or right

Just beat it (beat it)
Just beat it (beat it)
Just beat it (beat it)
Just beat it (beat it)

Beat it [x5]
Beat it [x5]
Beat it [x6]
Beat it [x6]

Beat it (Beat it)
Beat it

No one wants to be defeated
Show em how funky strong is your fight
It doesn't matter who's wrong or right

Just beat it (beat it), beat it
No one wants to be defeated
Show em how funky strong is your fight
It doesn't matter who's wrong or right
Just beat it

No one wants to be defeated
Show em how funky strong is your fight
It doesn't matter who's wrong or right
Just beat it [x8]

Beat it [x8]

Charts Edit

Chart (2008) Peak

position

Australia (ARIA) 13
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 75
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia) 12
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 8
Canada (Hot Canadian Digital Singles) 4
Ireland (IRMA) 21
Germany (Official German Charts) 69
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 98
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 14
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 21
US Billboard Hot 100 19
US Digital Songs (Billboard) 8
US Pop 100 (Billboard) 4
Venezuela Pop rock (Record Report) 9

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