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Thread: They Don't Care About Us

   
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    Default They Don't Care About Us

    Do any of you have the original release of the History album on CD or Cassette, before the controversy about that one line in They Don't Care About Us, which forced Michael Jackson to go back in the studio and redo it? If I remember correctly, Jackson had all remaining unsold copies of the History album pulled out of record stores everywhere and returned to the supplier, and then the History album got re-released with an edited They Don't Care About Us.

    What do you think? Do you think Michael Jackson should have stood his ground, kept the song and album as is, and maintained that it wasn't racist, and that he was talking about himself as the victim, as he told Diane Sawyer? Legally, he didn't have to do anything. There is fredom of speech. The album would have still been in stores the way it is and selling. They could have put a parental advisory sticker on it I think.

    Would it have effected the rest of his career if he had not made the changes?



    Last edited by Elton-Cetera; 26-09-2019 at 09:42 PM.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    In can imagine that also Sony played a role in pulling the original version.

    There are rumours / speculations that David Geffen leaked the back then unreleased lyrics of the song to the NY Times, which kicked-off the little outrage prior to album release.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    Quote Originally Posted by Electro View Post
    In can imagine that also Sony played a role in pulling the original version.

    There are rumours / speculations that David Geffen leaked the back then unreleased lyrics of the song to the NY Times, which kicked-off the little outrage prior to album release.
    Oh! I could have sworn the album was already released as is, and then it had to be re-released with the changes. I guess I'm mis-remembering.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    Quote Originally Posted by Elton-Cetera View Post
    Oh! I could have sworn the album was already released as is, and then it had to be re-released with the changes.
    The first pressing had the unedited version. I don't think the album was pulled, just the later pressings had the k word bleeped out. It wasn't resung or anything.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    Quote Originally Posted by Elton-Cetera View Post
    Do any of you have the original release of the History album on CD or Cassette, before the controversy about that one line in They Don't Care About Us, which forced Michael Jackson to go back in the studio and redo it? If I remember correctly, Jackson had all remaining unsold copies of the History album pulled out of record stores everywhere and returned to the supplier, and then the History album got re-released with an edited They Don't Care About Us.

    What do you think? Do you think Michael Jackson should have stood his ground, kept the song and album as is, and maintained that it wasn't racist, and that he was talking about himself as the victim, as he told Diane Sawyer? Legally, he didn't have to do anything. There is fredom of speech. The album would have still been in stores the way it is and selling. They could have put a parental advisory sticker on it I think.

    Would it have effected the rest of his career if he had not made the changes?
    I have the original pressing of History. I think at the time Michael did the right thing by changing the song. If it was to be released now I would say leave it as is.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    Bad choice to remove it, even if it was nowadays. People need to stop being so sensitive about words.

    "It's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness."

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    Quote Originally Posted by Elton-Cetera View Post
    Oh! I could have sworn the album was already released as is, and then it had to be re-released with the changes. I guess I'm mis-remembering.
    Yes, the first batch of CDs, Vinyl, Cassettes, MiniDiscs had the uncensored version.
    I don't remember the exact timing, but that little scandal was shortly before the album release, so things were already manufactured and shipped out.

    I also don't think anything was pulled from stores (at least not in Europe (no scandal about it here)). Probably just the next manufactured batches had the new versions on.

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    Default clean

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Rules View Post
    Bad choice to remove it, even if it was nowadays.
    What about rap albums, which have long had a dirty version and a separate clean version sold at stores like Wal-Mart? They do not sell albums with parental advisory stickers. The clean version is also the one that gets radio airplay. In a lot of cases they record 2 versions of the album and it's not just bleeped out words like They Don't Care About Us.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    They should put the original on iTunes.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    I know I got the uncensored version. Since I clearly remember getting that album before all the controversy took place about it. And I was 15 years old back then when I had gotten the album. The controversy didn't bother me at all. Since here in the U.S. the American media always makes the biggest issues out of nothing when it came Michael Jackson. It never bother me then. And it most certainly doesn't bother me now. Because just like I did back then I try to mostly ignore it. But I do remember the summer of 1996. When Michael was making the video for that song. I was seriously laughing at the American media. For having such a field day at what he was doing. And I was thinking they can not be serious about it. Yet it was ok for other singers and rappers to do something like that in their music. But when it came to MJ it isn't ok. Because the way I saw it he had every single right to make an album like that. That album should have never been censored. Most especially the song TDCAU. I am so glad he made a song like that.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    The censoring of TDCAU was not the only change to HIStory in the later pressings, am I right?

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    The censoring of TDCAU was not the only change to HIStory in the later pressings, am I right?
    True.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    I like the sound effects, the hits sound cool. But the lyrics to anyone with a brain are absolutely not racist or anti Semite and it is just as confusing then as it is now that people interpret it that way.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    Quote Originally Posted by DuranDuran View Post
    The first pressing had the unedited version. I don't think the album was pulled, just the later pressings had the k word bleeped out. It wasn't resung or anything.
    I have the unedited version, which I bought on the release date, before the "controversy".
    You're definitely right....nothing was pulled from stores; there was just a change to later editions.

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    Default Re: They Don't Care About Us

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    The censoring of TDCAU was not the only change to HIStory in the later pressings, am I right?
    The classical music piece in the intro of the song HIStory was replaced by another because of copyright issues. Though i remember vaguely that this happend several years later. (?)

    I havn't checked this in ages.... were there more changes?







    Btw, for the trainspotters...
    the censoring in TDCAU was also done in two different ways...

    First a poorly done edit (probably by Sony, before Michael had it done properly with sound effects), were the words "sue me" and "kick me" are repeated in place of the bad words. A copy & paste job done without multitracks, so the music underneath repeats as well. This was released as "LP edit" (4:10) aka "Radio Edit" (4:10) on several Single CDs, Vinyl, MC etc.

    "Sue me, sue me"
    "Kick me, kick me"


    And then the one with sound effects, that also appear in the video versions. On Single releases this was included as: "Single Version" (4:45) aka "Single Edit" (4:43)

    "*** me, sue me"
    "Kick me, *** me"

    The real trainspotting / collectors fun starts when you realize that several of the official remixes where censored one way on some CDs and the other way on others.


    Some Single CDs that came with lyric transcripts, had those sections rewritten to:

    "Chew Me, Sue me"
    "Kick Me, Hike Me"




    I think the first "fix" was actually just done by adding stickers to the uncensored pressing. I can't verify it at the moment, because I don't have a MiniDisc player anymore, but I bought this the day it was released (the MiniDisc came out with a little delay, a few weeks after CD).

    Last edited by Electro; 19-09-2019 at 07:29 AM.

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