Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Hardcore Michael Jackson Fans Win Small Victory from Estate: Disputed Songs Removed from Streaming

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Back in 2010, I was the first to hear an album of songs Michael Jackson sang vocals on, written by family friend Eddie Cascio and his friend James Porte. It was a year after Michael’s death, and the idea that Michael had recorded in the Cascio’s basement in 2007 was an exciting find.

But the hardcore Michael Jackson fans never accepted the songs. Even as the Estate put three of the songs on Michael’s posthumous self named album, the fans boycotted the release. They claimed the vocals were created by a Jackson impersonator, which simply wasn’t the case. To my mind, they poisoned a perfectly good record that Michael intended for his family friends to profit from. The “MIchael” album didn’t sell well, and the fans — a small but vocal group– continue to carp about the songs.

Today the Estate removed the offending songs from all streaming platforms. I’m told this was not because they are fake in any way, but because they want to concentrate on the positive. “MJ the Michael Jackson Musical” is a hit, there will be a West End version with Tony winning star Myles Frost, and a national tour. There’s also a Jackson biopic in the works written by John Logan and set for distribution by Lions Gate. So why rock the boat?

The songs– “Breaking News,” “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Monster” — will remain on the physical CD because they’re already made and you can’t undo that. They are not fake vocals. A forensic musicologist confirmed it. I always knew it. Jackson went to the Cascio’s home in New Jersey in 2007 and stayed there for several weeks. He was happy to add his vocals, really. He loved the Cascios, something the fans don’t seem to get. He knew he was giving them a gift.

So that’s the “breaking news.” Maybe one day all of the tracks will be released as Michael wished.

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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