“The Girl Is Mine“ is a song recorded by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. The track was written by Jackson and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. It was released as the first single for Jackson’s sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). The song was recorded at Westlake Studios, Los Angeles, from April 14 to 16, 1982. The year before, Jackson and McCartney had recorded “Say Say Say” and “The Man” for the latter’s fifth solo album, Pipes of Peace (1983). Although it was released as a single, Jackson never performed the song live.
The writing of “The Girl Is Mine” was completed by Jackson as he watched cartoons with Paul McCartney. Producer Quincy Jones had initially told Jackson to write a song about two men fighting over a girl. Inspired, Jackson awoke during the night and sang the song into a tape recorder. He later said, “I sang exactly what I heard in my head, starting with the melody and the keyboard and the strings and everything. So, I just orally put it all on tape.” Jones also asked Jackson to add a rap verse. The song was then recorded by Jackson and McCartney at Westlake Studios, Los Angeles, from April 14 to 16, 1982. The year before, the duo had recorded “Say Say Say” and “The Man” for McCartney’s fifth solo album, Pipes of Peace (1983).
Jackson said that the recording of “The Girl Is Mine” was one of his most enjoyable moments in the studio. He stated, “One of my favourite songs to record, of all my recordings as a solo artist, is probably “The Girl Is Mine”, because working with Paul McCartney was pretty exciting and we just literally had fun. It was like lots of kibitzing and playing, and throwing stuff at each other, and making jokes. We actually recorded the (instrumental) track and the vocals pretty much live at the same time, and we do have footage of it, but it’s never been shown.” He concluded, “Maybe one day we’ll give you a sneak preview of it.” The footage of the pair was later shown at The Paul McCartney World Tour.
Many members of the band Toto participated in the recording of this song, including David Paich (piano), Jeff Porcaro (drums), Steve Lukather (guitars) and Steve Porcaro (synthesizers).