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