Rod Temperton, songwriter behind Thriller, dies……


Singer Mica Paris performs at the Jazz Cafe on October 25, 2013 in London, England.

….although not a household name (but he should have been!), British songwriter and musician Rod Temperton, who this week has sadly passed away, has left a huge impression on popular music. In the 1970’s, as part of British based soul/disco act Heatwave, Temperton’s songwriting prowess came to the fore with a string of hits; ‘Boogie Nights’, ‘Always & Forever’ and the ‘Grooveline’ to name but three….

….as one of the few British based soul/disco acts to achieve any credibility in the U.S. Temperton was scouted by Quincy Jones when he was looking for songwriters for Michael Jackson’s first solo album proper, ‘Off the Wall’. Although given just a limited amount of time three Temperton’s songs made the final cut; ‘Burn This Disco Out’, ‘Off the Wall’ and this little beauty….

….needless to say Temperton’s services were now in high demand and a strong of hits followed for other artists including, George Benson’s ‘Give Me the Night’ and Michael McDonald’s ‘Sweet Freedom’. By the time it came to recording the follow-up to ‘Off the Wall’ Qunicy Jones enlisted Rod’s services once more, and as legend has it, after a night searching for the right title for the piece of music he was working on he had a eureka moment, “I wrote two or three hundred titles and came up with Midnight Man. I woke up the next morning and I said this word, Thriller”

After such huge success Rod Tempterton began to retreat from public view and enjoyed a quiet life with his family. Artists such as Boy George, Chaka Khan, The Weeknd and Nile Rodgers have all paid tribute to the songwriter on hearing the news of his death. His music will live on…….


Rod Tempterton –  9 October 1949 – September/October 2016




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