Monday, May 27, 2024

Michael Jackson “Cascio Songs” CD Offered for Auction for Millions, Then Mysteriously Removed


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.

I broke the story about this album in 2010, a year after Michael died.

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”
3. “Stay”
4. “Keep Your Head Up”
5. “Everything’s Just Fine”
6. “Black Widow”
7. “Burn Tonight”
8. “All I Need”
9. “Water”
10. “Let Me Fall in Love”
11. “Ready to Win”
12. “Soldier Boy”

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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