What Happened To Niteline And Hot Street?
Songs that were considered a slam dunk on the bonus disc of “Thriller 40” have not materialized to the surprise of Michael Jackson fans.
For over 25 years there’s been three tracks that were recorded for the “Thriller” album that have floated around without being officially released. “Trouble,” “Niteline” and “Hot Street” were all recorded in 1982 during the “Thriller” sessions. In the 1990s they were leaked (along with “Carousel” which has since been released) and became bootlegs among the hardcore fan community. When the internet exploded, they were uploaded to streaming sites such as YouTube, where they are still available to listen to today.
In August this year, it was announced that as part of “Thriller 40” ten bonus tracks will be released, which will be a mix of rarities and demos. Straight away fans assumed the three aforementioned tracks will finally see the light of day in high quality for the first time. However that wasn’t meant to be. The only track from the trio that will be officially available is “She’s Trouble,” which was the second bonus track announced on September 15th. Since Michael recorded his version 40 years ago, the band Musical Youth as well as Happy Days star Scott Baio have both recorded covers of the song.
So it was now a waiting game to see when “Niteline” and “Hot Street” were to be announced. But to the shock of Michael Jackson fans around the world, the day never came. To add insult to injury, these songs were not included so they could make way for previously released songs “Carousel,” “Sunset Driver” and “Can’t Get Outta The Rain.”
It’s a mystery as to why this may have been. Perhaps Michael Jackson’s Estate and Sony Music are holding back to keep material for future releases such as the 50th anniversary of “Thriller,” or other compilations. But it’s certainly a tough pill to swallow.
“Hot Street” (originally titled and recorded as “Slapstick”) very nearly made it on to the original “Thriller” album, but was replaced at last minute by “Baby Be Mine” (both tracks were written by Rod Temperton). Michael has spoken about the song publicly, referencing it in a deposition he gave in 1993 where he expressed his love for it.
Not much is known about “Niteline” (also spelt “Nightline”) other than it evidently never made it on to the “Thriller” album. It was written by Glen Ballard, Davey Faragher and Brie Howard and went on to be recorded by The Pointer Sisters and Randy Crawford after it was passed on by Michael and Quincy.
And so it’s these three tracks that have seemingly always been tied together for the fans, that have now been split apart for “Thriller 40.” We can’t wait to hear “She’s Trouble” in high quality for the first time, and can only hope that one day the other two tracks will see the official light of day.