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Album: †Released: 2007Charted:
The Justice duo are huge Michael Jackson fans, and this song includes a number of references to the King of Pop's songs. They include "Beat It
," "Black Or White
," "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
," and "Workin' Day and Night," along with the Jackson 5 hit "ABC
," and Jackson's album Music and Me
. Justice's Xavier De Rosnay told NME
: "Everyone loved him. We love him too, but it was more of an excuse for us to have a topic to write lyrics about. We thought it would be something playful and fun."
The vocals were provided by the London-based Foundation for Young Musicians choir. They all attend the Centre for Young Musicians, which offers gifted London school children musical training and education irrespective of ability to pay. Gaspard Auge remembers auditioning lots of kids to perform on the song, but most were "too good ... too technical" for the innocence they wanted to capture in the lyrics. "We wrote the score with small, you know, like blue notes so it doesn't sound too perfect," he told NME.
Rolling Stone ranked this at #4 on their list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007.
De Rosnay told NME this was inspired by Larry Levan's disco mix of "Stand on the Word," a 1985 soul/funk song by the Joubert Singers, which includes a children's choir. "When we heard that track we thought, okay we've got to do a disco song with kids singing on it, so we started writing the tune and writing the melodies."
Because they didn't know much about producing at the time, the duo was plagued by technical issues during recording. Auge recalls to NME: "At some point, the voices were disappearing depending on the device we were playing it."