The Man who made the Music – that made Michael Jackson
Its always a sad situation when we feel the loss of someone who means a great deal to us .. and this week the music industry, along with his family and friends mourns the loss of Rod Lyn Temperton Mega-Hit songwriter, producer and musician .. but, whilst in all respect it is right and propoer so to do .. let’s turn this situation on its head and ‘Celebrate’
Yes let’s Celebrate the talent insight and sheer tenacity of the man who gave us Thriller …and in doing so, inspired the birth of the epic music video and the boundary pushing concept of using a Hollywood Acting Legend like Vincent Price, from the classic black and white era of big screen Horror, to do the voice over for what was not just another pop track … but ostensively one of the most LANDMARK moments in pop History .. and would probably never have been realised if Rod hadn’t sat down and written over 300 titles for the forthcoming Michael Jackson album to be recorded with Quincy Jones .. each of which was just not quite right as he and Quincy deliberated – and in fact the song originally had a completely different theme and title, ‘Midnight Man’ until Rod went back to his hotel and wrote some more, then fell asleep and woke up with the word Thriller on his tongue ..
So .. the Thriller Legend was born and .. directly or indirectly Rod was responsible for the
concept which turned a music video into a Musical movie .. the like of which had never been seen before and the Vincent Price narrative which was also penned by Templeton himself.
And it doesnt stop there .. there are whole generations who have grown up with the music of Rod Temperton .. and probably never known it ..
The start Heatwave .. a 70’s band which Rod got involved with though an advert in the Melody Maker Music Paper took the band to million seller status on both sides of the Atlantic with tracks like Boogie Nights – #2 in the UK charts and Platinum in the US with Rod on keyboards and songwriter of many of their tracks including ‘Always and Forever’ for which the band credit him onstage in the clip below……
Always and Forever – Performed by the Band Heatwave – Rod Temperton on the Keyboard
The track was subsequently released by Luther Vandross, who made it a smash hit played in clubs and discos everywhere as one of the final slow dance tracks for a generation of young lovers. Rod later quit the band and although still writing for them extended his songwriting skills to other artists penning songs for some of funk’s biggest names including Rufus, George Benson (Give Me the Night) and The Brothers Johnson (Stomp!)
Quincy Jones heard some of his music and what followed was an exciting chain of events that eventually brought Rod Temperton to the partnership with Michael Jackson , writing the hits Rock with You and Off the Wall for Michaels Epic Off the Wall Album.
He followed this with three songs including Legendary Title Track THRILLER on the album of the same name.
A man always in the mix .. but frequently .. just out of the spotlight as he is reputed to have preferred.
Songs he has writhen are so well known that, had it been his name on the artist label .. he would be a household name around the circumference of the Entire Globe
and .. as far as the music industry is concerned .. He already IS and Has Been So for equally as long as the artists he has helped into the archives of pop history.
So it is with the utmost joy, respect and adulation that we celebrate the life of the man who has given .. given so so many gifts in his lyrics in his contribution and
in his everlasting memory .. Rod Temperton .. We Celebrate You .. We Salute You and we live in the knowledge that your voice will evermore be heard through the vocals of Artists whose careers You have embellished in Gold and Platinum throiugh your incredible, undeniable and AWESOME talent !!!