An album of new Michael Jackson recordings–songs left behind and remixed since his death–is on its way.
The question, though, is when?
A Sony source confirmed for me that the album will arrive before Christmas. So far, the date can’t be set because the work isn’t finished.
In the end, four of what might be 12 tracks will be derived from sessions Michael did with Eddie Cascio in his suburban New Jersey studio three years ago. At least one of those tracks was originally co written and produced by Eddie’s brother Frank Cascio for an R&B singer named Bobby Ewing.
Some of the other tracks will be outtakes from Jackson albums, a Paul Anka song called “Love Never Felt So Good” from the session that produced the title track for “This Is It.”
Jackson co-executor John McClain is in charge of the project. Sources say that McClain’s been relying heavily on Michael’s brother, Jackie, for help since he’s not, technically, a music producer. Rodney Jerkins and Akon are also working on tracks. It’s unclear whether so many producers can affect a consistent sound.
Last week, Sony chief Rob Stringer went out to Los Angeles, I am told, to supervise and give comments on the progress of the album. After all it’s part of his $200 million deal with the Jackson estate. Sony wants the album to be a huge smash.
The Jackson estate, by the way, is working on several more projects including a documentary or reality show about the putting together of the new live Cirque du Soleil project.