For about a minute yesterday Michael Jackson’s unreleased songs from the “Cascio” album was up for auction for a million dollars.
Then it mysteriously disappeared.
An auction house called Gotta Have Rock and Roll announced it was selling a master tape quality CD of songs obtained from a close friend of Jackson who was his personal assistant and had traveled he world with him. The tracklist on the CD made it clear these were the songs recorded in New Jersey in the fall of 2007 by Eddie Cascio at his parents’ home. Cascio had already recorded the songs with another artist. But when Jackson, his kids, and nanny came to stay at the Cascio home– his personal friends and surrogate family for years and years– Eddie persuaded Michael to re-rec0rd the vocals and turn the whole thing into a Michael Jackson album.
The result was a scandal. Jackson super fans refused to believe Michael had done any of this. (It was, however, true.) The Jackson estate and Sony made a deal for the recordings. Three of them made it onto Michael’s posthumous “Michael” album. The rest drifted into obscurity.
The Cascio album was a surprise to everyone in the Jackson camp, which led to a discrediting of the material that killed the “Michael” album. Co-executor John McClain didn’t like it because he wasn’t involved in it. Jackson’s nephews, a group called 3T, was sore because they didn’t have a part in it. The Jacksons in general, post-Michael’s death, weren’t so happy about the Cascio family at all. They resented them because Michael had long ago chosen them as a surrogate family. He stayed with them, lavished gifts on them, and confided in them while excluding his actual brothers, sisters, parents, etc.
Before Michael died, I’d heard all the songs recorded with a different vocalist. They were very good. When I broke the story that Michael had stayed with the Cascios in 2007 I did not know that he’d recorded with Eddie. Indeed, everyone remained mum for a long time. When I broke the news about the recordings, the naysayers waged a campaign saying that it was a Michael Jackson imitator. This was ridiculous. Michael had left the recordings with the Cascios as a legacy.
So what happened to the for-auction CD? Even if someone had bought it for a million dollars, the winner could not have used it for anything other than personal listening pleasure. Something tells me though that the Jackson Estate and/or Sony intervened when they saw the listing.
The tracklist: 1. “Monster”
2. “Breaking News”
4. “Keep Your Head Up”
5. “Everything’s Just Fine”
6. “Black Widow”
7. “Burn Tonight”
8. “All I Need”
10. “Let Me Fall in Love”
11. “Ready to Win”
12. “Soldier Boy”