Siedah Garrett (Singer): Quincy called me in, and I thought we were going to finish something on “Man In The Mirror,” and this other song was playing. And I’m in the back of the studio knitting. So of course, he just casually called over his shoulder, “Hey Sid, you like this song?” And I kind of said, “Yeah, I like it.” He said, “Well, can you sing it?”
So I get up to go into the vocal booth to record this song, and as I’m going out of the studio door I hear Quincy say, “Michael, go on in there.” And so Michael is following me to this vocal booth, and I’m going to myself, "Oh my god." It wasn't until I walked into the vocal area and there were two music stands, two microphones, two lyric sheets... The music stands were facing each other, and the microphones were facing each other, and the lyrics sheet said, “'I Just Can’t Stop Loving You': First verse, Michael, second verse Siedah." And it was in that moment that I realized, “Oh my god. I’m singing a duet with the King of Pop, the biggest recording artist on the planet!”
Dann Huff (Guitar): it was pretty loose, and more loose than I would have thought. I would have thought it would have been more dictated in exactly what they knew they wanted, and you were just going to kind of be the person who provided that. They wanted to know what the musicians thought.
East: What I love about Quincy is that he's such an orchestrater and arranger and his knowledge is so vast that he's able to come out and say, "Hey Nath, right before you go into the second verse, just do this little pick up." He'd give me something that I would have never really thought of. What a genius! Of course, when you're tracking, every note you play is going to be heard by a billion people around the world. It's no pressure, though. [Laughs.]
Garrett: [Michael] said, “Guess what? This is going to be the first single to be released on the new record.” I’m like, “What?” And then I said, "If you put somebody like Brooke Shields or somebody in the video singing my part, I will kill you." He said, “Oh, don’t worry, I don’t release a video for my first single, ever.”
Larry Stessel (Epic Records exec): He didn’t have a video [of “The Girl Is Mine”] with Paul McCartney either, which is the lead single from Thriller… I think part of it was the pattern. I think that everything was about, “Let’s just do everything the Thriller way.”
Chancler: For the norm of what people put out as first singles during that time, this was a little against that. Most of the time, they want to be a simple dance, y'know, electronic influence, kind of thing. This was a straight-up pop ballad from Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, who had given us the moonwalk and all of that prior to that.