Saturday, June 22, 2024

Michael Jackson Album of New Songs In Limbo


That album of Michael Jackson‘s unreleased material?

I’ll tell you what: it’s in limbo.

Later this week we may get a sharper picture of what’s going on. But this much I’ve surmised from talks with various sources.

The best material available really comes from those sessions with Eddie Cascio in New Jersey circa summer 2007. Some of the songs were already written by Eddie’s brother Frank Cascio and recorded as demos with a local singer named Bobby Ewing. Michael put his vocals on them during that time he stayed with the Cascios in New Jersey.

At first there was a lot of skepticism about the tracks. I’m told that co-executor John McClain questioned whether the vocals were really Michael’s, or faked. But they are Michael’s. And they will be needed to round out the selections.

Teddy Riley and a couple of other producers have worked to fix up the Cascio tracks for release.

McClain was also working on tracks. It’s unclear how these have gone. I’m told, not so well. Many of them are outtakes from “Invincible,” an album that wasn’t so good in the first place. And no one’s bothered to approach Michael’s engineer, Bruce Swedien, about tracks from “Thriller” or “Bad” he might have in his archives.

There’s truly confusion now in the inner circle about how to proceed. Sony is waiting for delivery but there’s no album art or concept.

As for a cover: I am told McClain commissioned one a la “Sgt. Pepper” with a montage of drawings or caricatures of people in Michael’s life whom he admired. Funny: several lawyers were jammed in among Martin Luther King and Marvin Gaye. McClain’s picture, sources say, was larger than most of the others.

Needless to say, that’s been scrapped.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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