Billie Jean
By: Michael Jackson

Original Performance: Michael Jackson
Written by: Michael Jackson

Live Versions:
  1. Billie Jean
The Song:

"Billie Jean" is of course the famous Michael Jackson song, from his album Thriller.

On the Midnite Vultures tour, during the bridge in the middle of "Nicotine & Gravy," Justin Meldal-Johnsen would drop that strutting bassline in there. Most of the time, Beck did not sing any of the song, but I have heard a few shows where Beck did sing a little of the song.

Also, many have noted the similarity between the bassline on Jackson's song and that of "Scarecrow."

UPDATE: In 2013, Beck started to play it much more fully live (though still part of a medley). (See below.)

Played live 50 times:
Earliest known live version: April 26, 2000
Latest known live version: July 15, 2018

Not really sure when this first popped up into "Nicotine & Gravy," but probably sometime around May 2000 and it would continue throughout the Midnite Vultures tour.

Then, 13 years later, in 2013, Beck started playing "Billie Jean" as a fairly regular part of his set! It was most often done as a medley with "Sissyneck." "Sissyneck" would start it off, then the riff would slowly groove into "Billie Jean," then after that, they would go back to "Sissyneck." (A few times, some other songs were included too.) These jams were pretty fun, and very well-received.