18. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"
Full of funky keyboard squiggles and playful slang like "tenderoni," "P.Y.T." was Thriller's most carefree single. Quincy Jones wrote it with singer James Ingram after Jones' wife brought home lingerie called Pretty Young Things. Ingram has said that he was astonished by how Jackson actually danced in the studio as he was singing the song. That energy comes through, as Jackson trades off "na-na-na's" with a few pretty-young-thing backup singers he knew quite well: sisters Janet and La Toya. Artists ranging from American Idol singer Justin Guarini to Jones himself – with T-Pain and Robin Thicke – have covered the song, and the 25th-anniversary edition of Thriller featured a completely refigured version of the song by Will.i.am, but no one could capture the electric energy of the original. "I love 'Pretty Young Thing,' " Jackson recalled. "I liked the 'code' in the lyrics, and 'tenderoni' and 'sugar fly' were fun rock & roll-type words that you couldn't find in the dictionary."