Tuesday, May 28, 2024

“New” Michael Jackson Album? Pop Star’s Old Engineer Wasn’t Contacted

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There’s a “new” Michael Jackson album. Eight songs have been “contemporized” by a group of producers including Timbaland and one of Jackson’s executors, John McClain. But so far there’s no song list. And no one contacted Jackson’s long time engineer, Bruce Swedien.

I spoke to Swedien today and he had no idea the project was happening at all. So it will be interesting to see what these eight songs are.Five years ago when Michael Jackson died, Swedien told me that he didn’t think there was much unreleased material to be mined. Last year, when “Bad 25” appeared, a whole CD of lost songs was included. The songs included the ones Swedien did recall, like “Don’t Be Messin’ Around.” But that would have tapped out the inventory.

Of course, there are still more songs that Jackson recorded with Eddie Cascio. But that project was so mishandled that his hardcore fans refused to believe they were made by Michael himself. (They were, but that’s another story.)

“Contemporized” sounds a little like “colorized” used to be for movies when studios started messing with classic black and white films. So everyone will brace themselves for “Xscape,” with new debates to follow. If Michael’s well loved classics have had a lot of sonic fiddling, the noise will be endless.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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