|From the Album||Live in Phoenix|
|Released||March 25, 2008|
|Genre||Hard rock, dance-rock|
A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More "Touch Me"
I'm Like a Lawyer with the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)
I Don't Care
Fall Out Boy covered "Beat It", which was originally performed 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. Ironically, "Beat It" was released only a year before Michael Jackson passed away in June 2009.
Background, recording, and release
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.
"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.
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||75|
|Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)||12|
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||8|
|Canada (Hot Canadian Digital Singles)||4|
|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|