500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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Michael Jackson, 'Beat It'

344. Michael Jackson, 'Beat It'

Writer: Jackson
Producer: Quincy Jones
Released: Dec. '82, Epic
25 weeks; No. 1 

"I wanted to write the type of rock song that I would go out and buy," said Jackson, "but also something totally different from the rock music I was hearing on Top 40 radio." The result was a throbbing dance single with a fingers-flying guitar solo provided by Eddie Van Halen. "I’m not gonna sit here and tell you what to play," Jones instructed Van Halen. "The reason you’re here is because of what you do play."

Appears on: Thriller (Epic)


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